To correct a post from a few years ago: Ruffing lost four toes in a mine accident as a boy, not because of a lawn mower.
VIBaseball, I can't say how he got the Mets job either, but I did read that Ruffing was a scout and minor league manager from his retirement in 1947 until 1962.
A few bits of trivia about Red Ruffing:
He started his career with the Red Sox, and on April 19, 1929 he was the starting pitcher for Boston on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium. In that game he gave up a home run to a former Red Sox player, Babe Ruth. The memorable thing about this game was that it marked the first time the Yankees wore uniform numbers.
The Yankees acquired Ruffing from Boston in May of 1930 in exchange for Cedric Durst, who was a backup outfielder, and $50,000. At that point, Ruffing's career record was 39-96. In his next 15 years with the Yanks he went 231-124, with 42 shutouts and a 7-2 World Series record.
Ruffing was also one of the best hitting pitchers in history, batting .269 with 36 homers (third among all pitchers) and 273 RBI. He also was used as a pinch- hitter 228 times in his career.
Ruffing was also drafted by the Army in January, 1943 just months short of his 38th birthday, despite missing four toes on his left foot.