2063
2063

PROPERTY OF, AND SOLD FOR THE BENEFIT OF, THE RUSTY STAUB FOUNDATION

New York Mets
BASEBALL FROM THE FIRST VICTORY OF THE NEW YORK METS
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2063

PROPERTY OF, AND SOLD FOR THE BENEFIT OF, THE RUSTY STAUB FOUNDATION

New York Mets
BASEBALL FROM THE FIRST VICTORY OF THE NEW YORK METS
前往

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Fine Manuscript and Printed Americana

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New York Mets
BASEBALL FROM THE FIRST VICTORY OF THE NEW YORK METS
Regulation National League baseball, inscribed in blue ink: "Jay Hook | 1962 April 23 N.Y. Mets 9 Pittsburgh 1 | 1962 April 23 N. Y. Mets 1st Win | 5 Hits." The ball screw-mounted onto a wooden base mounted with an inscribed plaque: "The Baseball of the First Game Won by the New York Mets Presented to Mrs. Joan Payson by Jay Hook July 1, 1967," also giving the date, score, and place of the game and crediting Hook as the winning pitcher.
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The start of something amazin'. The hapless New York Mets—on the way to a 40-120 record—had lost the first 9 games of their inaugural 1962 season  when they faced the 10-0 Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field on 23 April. On that historic day, Jay Hook, a right-hander acquired from Cincinnati in the expansion draft, turned in a complete game five-hitter and beat the Bucs 9-1 to notch the first victory in Mets franchise history. It was a start, and just seven seasons later, after never having a winning record or finishing higher than ninth in the National League, the Miracle Mets were World Series champions.

By then, Jay Hook was out of baseball, having compiled a career record of 29-62 over eight seasons with the Reds and Mets. Hook was well prepared for life after the majors, though; he had attended Northwestern on an academic scholarship and graduated with a degree in engineering and went on to a very successful business career. It is easy to see why Casey Stengel nicknamed him the Professor. That same 1962 season, Hook was knocked out of game a couple of weeks after giving a detailed explanation of why a curve ball curves. Stengel walked by his locker after the game lamenting, "If only Hook could do what he knows."

One thing Hook could do was achieve that elusive first win for the New York Mets, and he hung on to the ball from the final inning until five years later he presented it to Joan Whitney Payson, the principal owner of the Mets, through M. Donald Grant, chairman and a minority owner of the club. The ball was subsequently given by grandchildren of Mrs. Payson to the Rusty Staub Foundation, to be sold for the benefit of the Foundation.

Rusty Staub spent two stints with the New York Mets over the course of a splendid major league career that spanned from 1963 to 1985 and included six selections to the All Star team. He became one of the most popular and beloved Mets of all time and served as a Mets television announcer for a decade after his retirement. In 1985, Staub established the Rusty Staub Foundation with the motto "Benefitting Youth, Fighting Hunger." The Foundation has raised over $17,000,000 and in collaboration with Catholic Charities, supports emergency pantries that serve more than 800,000 meals per year. Rusty Staub died in March 2018.

Fine Manuscript and Printed Americana

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