Ray Daviault (Trading Card DB)

Ray Daviault

This article was written by Larry DeFillipo

Ray Daviault (Trading Card DB)The third pitcher selected by the New York Mets in the 1961 National League expansion draft, French-Canadian Ray Daviault (pronounced dah-vee-yoh) debuted in New York’s inaugural home game, at the Polo Grounds. He walked the first batter he faced, then chased him home with a pair of wild pitches. After two eventful innings, Mets manager Casey Stengel said “Daviault was wild, wild, wild, but he crossed up some of their hitters.”1  

On June 30, 1962, Daviault notched a career-high seven strikeouts against the Los Angeles Dodgers in what was arguably the best outing of his brief major-league career. The flame-throwing right-hander’s work went unnoticed, as southpaw Sandy Koufax handcuffed New York in that game for his first career no-hitter. Relegated to the minors after the 1962 campaign, elbow problems ended Daviault’s professional baseball career before he turned 30.

Joseph Raymond Robert Daviault was born on May 27, 1934, in Montreal, to Joseph Willy Daviault (a shoemaker’s fitter) and his wife, Marguerite (née Bissonnette). He was the first of three children for the couple, who married on the day that the 1927 World Series opened.2

As a teenager, Daviault played in the Montreal Royals Junior League, an association formed by the Brooklyn Dodgers’ International League franchise in cooperation with the city parks department and the Montreal Baseball Writers Association.3 A no-hitter he threw for the league’s Villa Marie club in 1951, followed by a one-hitter two weeks later, caught the eye of Dodgers scout Al Campanis.4

After excelling in the 18-and-older Laurentian Baseball League the following year, Daviault inked a Dodgers contract offered by Campanis.5 A native speaker of French like most Quebecois, Daviault spoke little English at the time.

Daviault’s first assignment was with the Hornell Dodgers of the Class D Pennsylvania-Ontario-New York (PONY) League. He relieved in four games for them before being shipped to the Cocoa Indians of the Class D Florida State League.6 Used exclusively as a starter by Indians player/manager Bama Rowell, Daviault went 10-8 with a 3.25 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 144 innings.7 He fanned 15 batters in one start and tossed a one-hitter in another; the latter was called the FSL pitching performance of the year (to that point) by the Orlando Sentinel.8

Back with Hornell in 1954, Daviault was the team’s Opening Day starter.9 In August he threw a 13-strikeout, two-hitter in which he carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning and retired 21 straight over one stretch.10 Hornell’s undisputed ace, Daviault compiled a 15-5 record but walked more than six batters every nine innings. Brooklyn invited him to spring training in Vero Beach, Florida in 1955, then sent him to the Class A Pueblo Dodgers of the Western League.11

Lackluster in 13 appearances for Pueblo, Daviault was demoted to the Asheville (North Carolina) Tourists of the Class B Tri-State League in June. “Expected to mow down … batters easier than a lawn mower,” he did just that at first.12 Daviault fanned seven in his debut, flashing what Bob Terrell of the Asheville Times called “blistering speed.”13 “Daviault’s fast ball ‘takes off’ when he’s right,” Terrell added in a later story. “It soars upward, creating somewhat of an optical illusion, especially at night.”14

Despite racking up more walks (82) than strikeouts (73) with Asheville, Daviault was promoted to the Class-A Macon Dodgers of the South Atlantic (Sally) League for the 1956 season. Before reporting, he married the former Lisette Lesperance, a 20-year-old Montreal waitress. The couple had their first child, a daughter named Lucie, later that year. A second daughter, Jacinthe, arrived in 1959, and a son, François, in 1961.15

The newlywed turned heads in his first game for Macon, striking out 13 in a two-hitter over the Montgomery Rebels.16 Daviault’s fastball drew favorable comparisons to that of Juan Pizarro, a first-year phenom who fanned 318 that year for rival Jacksonville. A bout of pneumonia in late July robbed the slender Daviault of a strong second half,17 but he managed to pitch in 30 games and post a WHIP below 1.5 for the first time in his career. He also drew notice in Brooklyn, where the Brooklyn Daily claimed the parent club was “keeping close watch” on him.18

Daviault’s hometown friends and family were able to watch him up close at the start of the 1957 season after he earned a spot with Triple-A Montreal. Named to the Royals starting rotation, he was “palpably nervous” in his debut.19 (Calling signals for him was John Roseboro, soon to be called up to Brooklyn.)  Walking 17 and striking out only nine over 19 innings, earned “the pride of Montreal East, P.Q.” a ticket back to Single-A Pueblo.20 Only he never got there.

By the time Daviault was demoted, stress had dropped his weight to 147 pounds from 165 at the start of the season. Ordered to take a month’s rest before heading west, Daviault asked for and was granted what was termed a “release.”21 He stayed close to home, playing that summer in the semipro Quebec Senior Baseball League.22 Reflecting on his disastrous 1957 campaign years later, Daviault said, “They build me up like the [Montreal Canadiens hockey legend Maurice] Rocket Richard of baseball. I had jumped from Class A ball to Triple A. In my home town, it was no good. I could not do what was expected.”23

Rejuvenated and more relaxed, Daviault was given a second chance with the Royals in 1958, but he fared no better. Pitching mostly in relief he again walked nearly twice as many batters as he fanned.24 Daviault showed better stamina in early June, when he worked eight innings in relief of 18-game winner Tommy Lasorda,25 but he was back to Class A with Des Moines in the Western League by month’s end.

Under Des Moines player/manager Roy Hartsfield, who later became the first manager in Toronto Blue Jays history, Daviault became a starter once again. Battling a sore arm, he lost his first three starts, but as his health improved, so did his effectiveness.26 In his final outing Daviault tossed a one-hitter to give Des Moines a 10-game winning streak, its longest in eight years.27

It was back to Macon for Daviault in 1959, where he bounced between starting and relieving for the defending Sally League champs. In some starts he was brilliant, but his fastball tended to fade late in games.28 Daviault went 9-15 but topped the league in strikeouts, with 169 over 204 innings. In a postseason review of promising Dodger farmhands, Bob Hunter of The Sporting News called Daviault “already on his way to becoming another Don Drysdale.”29 It was high praise to be considered alongside the NL strikeout king and ace of the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

Dodger management harbored a different view of Daviault’s future though, and left him exposed to the Rule V minor league draft. This was understandable, given Daviault’s inconsistency and the wealth of pitching talent both in Los Angeles and in the Dodger farm system.30 The San Francisco Giants’ double-A Corpus Christi club selected Daviault. Soon after, they relocated to Harlingen, Texas, and renamed themselves the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Giants.

Playing for a new organization in a new city, Daviault also took on a new role: fireman. He appeared in 53 games, all but one in relief and many with the game on the line.31 He was a workhorse upon whom manager Ray Murray relied to bail out young starters like Ron Herbel, Gaylord Perry, Dick LeMay, and Bobby Bolin as RGV took the Texas League pennant. Daviault collected 13 saves and an equal number of victories that year.32 One of those wins came in a five-hour, 42-minute, 24-inning marathon with the San Antonio Missions that set a Texas League record for both length and duration.33 “The Valley’s gifted fireman” earned his first All-Star selection and was the only pitcher in the league to work over 100 innings and average more than a strikeout per inning.34

Daviault’s performance for RGV earned him an invitation to the Giants’ 1961 major-league camp in Phoenix. San Francisco Chronicle sportswriter Bob Stevens introduced his readers to Daviault, whose 6-foot-2 frame had filled out to 190 pounds, as having “swept like a prairie fire through the Texas League.”35 The Giants’ new skipper, Alvin Dark, speculated that Daviault “may be just the fellow to give us a big lift.”36 Daviault pitched well in the few Cactus League opportunities he was given, but didn’t make it onto the big-league roster, getting farmed out to triple-A Tacoma instead.

Loaded with talent, the 1961 Tacoma Giants ran away with the PCL crown, compiling a 97-57 record, 10 games better than second-place Vancouver. (Of the 30 players to play for them that year, 19 were future major-leaguers.) Daviault was a mainstay of the Tacoma bullpen, typically the first reliever brought in by manager John “Red” Davis for a fading starter. He earned six saves without blowing any, including one that capped a 16-game winning streak in August.37 Daviault made 58 appearances, second in the PCL, with a 3.17 ERA, while allowing only 5.7 hits per nine innings. After the season Daviault was named to the PCL all-star second team.38

Daviault hoped to play winter baseball in Latin America but was left off the short list of Tacoma players to be taken south.39 A month later, Daviault found himself on a much longer list: the pool of ballplayers available in the December 1961 NL expansion draft.

Two San Francisco backups were chosen first; catcher Hobie Landrith, by the New York Mets, and shortstop Eddie Bressoud, by the Houston Colt .45s. Daviault was the third member of the Giant fraternity taken, going to the Mets for $75,000. The18th player (and fifth pitcher) drafted, he signed with New York for $7,800, slightly above league average.40 New York Daily News columnist Joe Trimble described Daviault as having “excellent control and good stuff,” and claimed “West Coast Scouts” working for Mets president George Weiss felt he “could be the No. 1 sleeper among [New York’s] 22 picks in the expansion draft.” 41 Casey Stengel was hopeful about Frenchy, as the former Giant farmhand had long been called.42 “Daviault could be a good relief pitcher for us. They tell me he can protect a lead for you. That’s nice.”43

English was Daviault’s second language, and Stengel often spoke in a disorienting dialect all his own (Stengelese), so not surprisingly, the pair confused one another from day one. Before spring training, Stengel refashioned Daviault’s last name as “Dave Vault.”44 On the first day of camp in St. Petersburg, Daviault got lost when bunting instructions he was getting from Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby, a Mets coach, were contradicted by his manager. The next day, Stengel raved about “a kid playing at third base who was showing good moves.”45 Turned out it was Daviault, goofing around.

Coming into spring training Daviault was being called a core member of the Mets’ future rotation, along with Al Jackson, Bob Miller (“Righty Bob” to distinguish him from the other Bob Miller to pitch for New York in ’62), and Craig Anderson.46 Though he made clear he preferred relieving –  “I would rather see action in 50 games than start 20,” he’d told the Montreal Gazette – his first few spring outings were as a starter.47 In his Grapefruit League debut, Daviault bested Jim Bunning and the Detroit Tigers, 1-0 on March 22 for the first victory in franchise history.48

On April 13, New York hosted the Pittsburgh Pirates for their home opener at the Polo Grounds. Starting for New York was Sherman Jones, a Tacoma teammate of Daviault also taken by the Mets in the expansion draft. Trailing by a run after seven innings, Stengel inserted Daviault as the Mets’ third pitcher of the game. He walked leadoff batter Dick Groat, then wild pitched him to second. Groat advanced to third on a groundout and scored when Daviault unleashed another pitch that catcher Joe Ginsberg couldn’t corral. Daviault escaped further damage by punching out Dick Stuart and retiring Roberto Clemente on a grounder to short. Back out for the ninth, Daviault walked the bases full before striking out Groat to end the inning.

Stengel admitted later that he’d almost pulled Daviault but was glad he hadn’t. “You cannot whack him out as soon as something happens – and he had plenty happen! But he went to work on a real wet mound, and that’s tough.”49 Asked in another interview why he didn’t pull Daviault, Stengel responded with a non sequitur – “The boy has a nice family.” (During spring training, Stengel had spent some time with Daviault’s two young daughters, appearing with them and several other ballplayers’ youngsters in an endearing AP wirephoto.) 50

After the first month of the season, when the Mets needed to trim down their roster, Daviault was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.51 He said he was chosen because a bone bruise on his pitching hand made him unavailable to pitch.52  Daviault appeared in five games for the Chiefs before being recalled a month later, rejoining a Mets team in the midst of a losing streak that would reach 17 straight.53

Daviault’s first game back was his first as a starter, in the second game of a doubleheader at Wrigley Field. He was unable to halt the Mets’ skid but impressed his right fielder, Jim Hickman. “I don’t think there’s anybody up here who can throw any harder than Daviault,” Hickman told reporters, claiming that Daviault and several other Mets pitchers would succeed by “making their stuff work for them.”54 Branch Rickey, the mastermind behind multiple successful major league franchises, but no longer affiliated with any particular club, went a step further, “[insisting] the little French Canadian can be a winner in the majors if he picks up another pitch.”55

Having something other than a fastball might have helped Daviault in his first few relief assignments, where he kept facing highly decorated opponents before he could get settled. The first batter he’d ever faced, Groat, was the 1960 NL MVP. In his second outing, three-time NL MVP Stan Musial singled and scored soon after. Two-time NL MVP Ernie Banks singled off Daviault in his fourth relief stint to cap a four-run rally and 1960 World Series MVP Bill Mazeroski singled to keep a Pirate rally going in Daviault’s fifth relief appearance. These rough introductions sent Daviault on his way to surrendering an earned run in each of his first 12 appearances and 22 of his first 24.

In that fifth relief outing, on June 25, Daviault had replaced Anderson, the Mets starter, in the first inning, after Anderson had already allowed five runs. Daviault was hammered for 10 hits and seven runs in 5 2/3 innings. Nevertheless, five days later, when “Righty Bob” Miller surrendered four runs in the top of the first to the Dodgers at newly opened Dodger Stadium, Stengel again called on Daviault. This time he allowed only one run over 7⅓ innings, while striking out seven and working around baserunners in every inning. Daviault’s 136-pitch outing was a footnote, however, to the performance of Sandy Koufax, who fanned 13 on the way to his first of four career no-hitters. Dodgers manager Walter Alston gave Daviault an indirect nod when he noted on a clubhouse blackboard that Koufax had gone 0-for-4 (with three strikeouts) at the plate.56

Daviault earned the only win of his major-league career at the Polo Grounds on July 7, thanks to Marv Throneberry, the ballplayer who has long been the poster boy for the lovable but bumbling 1962 Mets. Entering the opening game of a Saturday twin bill against the Cardinals with the score tied, Daviault held St. Louis scoreless in the eighth, then gave up a leadoff go-ahead home run to Curt Flood in the ninth. Throneberry, pinch-hitting for shortstop Elio Chacón in the bottom of the inning, clubbed a game-winning two-run homer to left for the first walk-off hit of his career. Of the 36 games in which Daviault appeared with New York that season, it was the first of only two the Mets won.

Like many Mets hurlers that year, Daviault threw lots of gopher balls. He served up 14 over 81 innings, a rate per nine innings (1.56) that was well above average on the team that surrendered more home runs than any other in the league. Several of the dingers hit off Daviault were worthy of note. Frank Robinson crushed one on August 10 that cleared the left field scoreboard at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, a feat rarely matched.57 Later that month, Daviault also gave up a 280-foot “cheapie” down the right field line at the Polo Grounds to the Dodgers Tim Harkness, a fellow Montreal native.58 In between, Daviault surrendered the only home run that Hall of Famer Minnie Miñoso ever hit in the National League. After the Cardinals’ Charlie James touched Daviault up for an eighth-inning, go-ahead three-run homer in late July, Daviault told Stengel, “It was bad luck. That was a perfect pitch.” “It couldn’t have been a perfect pitch,” the Old Professor replied, “Perfect pitches don’t travel that far.”59

There were a couple of other bright spots for Daviault during the season. In July his brother Adrien, 10 years his junior, signed a contract to pitch in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.60 The next month Daviault collected his only hit as a major-leaguer, a single off the Reds’ Joey Jay.61

In the season’s final weeks, Daviault was part of a record, as well as a milestone. On August 30 he was the first of five pitchers used in the eighth inning of a game with the Philadelphia Phillies, tying a major-league record for most pitchers used in an inning.62 Two days later, in his third and final start of the year, Daviault served up a first-inning double to Stan Musial that tied him with Tris Speaker for second all-time in big-league hits.63 On September 20 Daviault was the pitcher of record in a loss to the Colt .45s that tied New York with the 1935 Boston Braves for the most losses in a season in the modern era. Ten days later he pitched three innings in the Mets’ final game of the season, one that ended with the Mets’ record-setting 120th loss, a mark that has stood for more than 60 years.

Daviault finished the 1962 season with a record of 1-5, a 6.22 ERA and 51 strikeouts against 48 walks. After the season Stengel revealed that Daviault had been nursing a nerve injury in the palm of his right hand for much of the year.64 Daviault described it as similar to the career-threatening condition that Koufax had battled.65 An assessment that Stengel provided to Daviault during the season encapsulated Daviault’s year. “He said my pitching was lousy, but my effort was good.”

Daviault’s dismal 1962 stat line prompted fans and the media to use him for years as an example of the expansion club’s ineptitude. Said one South Carolina sportswriter, “When you got Larry] Foss [0-1, 4.63 ERA and WHIP of 2.057] and Ray Daviault for pitchers … you have yourself declared as a disaster area.”66 After the Mets’ fortunes turned around in 1969, views of Daviault softened.67

Daviault reported to the Mets’ 1963 training camp without having thrown over the winter. He claimed he was hoping to prevent arm injury, but it was an ominous sign.68 After his first Florida outing, Stengel offered a stream-of-consciousness assessment finished with a familiar refrain. “Daviault, he is a Frenchman, and gets nervous after five, six innings which he should relax and be limber, and he is anxious to make good and has a fine family.”69 Soon after, Daviault was optioned to New York’s Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo.70

Daviault was effective out of the Buffalo bullpen until late June, when an elbow injury forced him to the sidelines. Surgery to remove bone chips was recommended, but he took cortisone shots instead to avoid missing the rest of the season.71

When major-league rosters expanded on September 1, Daviault was added to the Mets 40-man roster, but never recalled. Following the season, he went to work for De Luxe Paper, a business in Montreal. Offered a 50% raise to take on the responsibilities of a foreman there, he accepted, retiring from professional baseball rather than pinning his hopes on an elbow surgery that might not help get him back to the major leagues.72

Over the next few years, Daviault devoted much of his free time to Quebec baseball. In 1964 he served as a pitching coach for a local junior baseball club and managed the National Junior League all-star team, a squad that included future Hockey Hall of Famer Yvan Cournoyer, then just finishing his first year with the Montreal Canadiens.73 Daviault also finally had surgery on his balky elbow.74 By 1966 his arm felt good enough to return to the mound. During that season and the next, Daviault pitched on occasion for the Lachine Mets, a Montreal semipro team.75

After retiring as a player, Daviault maintained a connection to major league baseball. He scouted briefly for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1964.76 During the 1970 and 1971 seasons, he pitched some batting practice at Jarry Park, for the Mets and Expos, respectively.77 When Mets reliever Tug McGraw asked a newsman who Daviault was, he was told “That’s Ray Daviault, and he pitched for this club when it took guts.”78

In succeeding years Daviault was recognized time and again for his contributions to the sport of baseball in Montreal and the Province of Quebec. On April 15, 1977, he was one of seven former major leaguers from Quebec given the honor of throwing out a ceremonial first pitch before the first regular season game played at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium.79 In 2003 Daviault was elected to the Quebec Baseball Hall of Fame.80 In April 2017 Daviault was honored along with several active and retired Canadian ballplayers at Olympic Stadium prior to a spring training game played there between the Toronto Blue Jays and Pittsburgh Pirates.81 Three months later, a baseball diamond at a community park in his former home of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Quebec, was renamed Raymond Daviault field.82

Raymond Daviault died on November 10, 2020, age 86, at his home in Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci, Quebec, the victim of a swimming pool accident. He was survived by his brother Adrien, son François, daughter Jacinthe, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.83 “My dad used to say he got to see so many great players that year,” recalled François, referring to the 1962 season, “guys like Koufax and Willie Mays and Willie McCovey and Bob Gibson and Roberto Clemente and more. He would joke that he was part of the worst team that ever was.”84 It’s a perspective that forever endears Original Mets to their fans.



This biography was reviewed by Rory Costello and Rick Zucker and fact-checked by Ray Danner.



The author compiled game logs for selected seasons of Daviault’s minor-league career from game summaries and box scores published in newspapers which regularly covered the teams on which he played, primarily the Elmira (New York) Star-Gazette, Cocoa (Florida) Tribune, Macon (Georgia) Telegraph, Montreal Star, Harlingen (Texas) Valley Morning Star, Tacoma News-Tribune, Rochester (New York) Democrat & Chronicle and Buffalo Courier-Express. In addition to the sources cited in the Notes, the author consulted FamilySearch.com, Ancestry.com, Baseball-Reference.com, Retrosheet.org, Statscrew.com, Baseball-Almanac.com and stathead.com.



1 Jim McCulley, “Stengel: We Helped ‘Em Score Too Many Runs,” New York Daily News, April 14, 1962: 26.

2 Based on Catholic church baptismal certificate accessible via Ancestry.com, marriage records archived at GénéalogieQuebec.com, and both marriage records and Daviault family trees posted on MyHeritage.com.

3 “Talent Brewing in Junior League,” Montreal Gazette, June 7, 1947: 8.

4 “Local Boy, 2 Other Hurlers Signed by Baseball Royals,” Montreal Gazette, March 1, 1957: 24. Campanis subsequently invited the 17-year-old to a tryout camp at Montreal’s Delorimier Stadium. “Temple De La Renommeé,” 2001 Inductees: Raymond Daviault, Quebec Baseball website, https://www.templedubaseball.com/, accessed January 20, 2024

5 Ray Daviault Baseball Questionnaire, 1958. Few of his outings were detailed in local newspapers but Daviault did shut out the league’s regular season champions on three hits in a best-of-nine post-season series. “Montreal East Stalls Beavers,” Montreal Star, September 23, 1952: 28.

6 Elmira Advertiser, May 28, 1953: 14. In all, Daviault worked 13 innings for Hornell. John Nelson, “As We See It,” Hornell (New York) Evening Tribune, February 1, 1961: 14.

7 Baseball-Reference.com errantly shows Daviault appearing in 18 games, with 19 games started.

8 “Locke Wins Rave Notices,” Daytona Beach Evening News, June 29, 1953: 8; Bob Howard, “Top O’ the Morn,” Orlando Sentinel, July 3, 1953: 15.

9 John Nelson, “As We See It,” Hornell Evening Tribune, February 1, 1961: 14; “Cardinals Shut Out by Hornell Dodgers,” Hamilton (Ontario) Spectator, May 10, 1954: 29.

10 “Deveault [sic] Fans 13 Fires Two-Hitter,” Toronto Star, August 17, 1954: 15; John Nelson, “As We See It.”

11 A spring training photo published in the Montreal Gazette suggests Daviault was earmarked to join a different Class A affiliate on the other end of the compass; Elmira, in the Class A Eastern League. In the photo, which included Daviault’s street address in Montreal, he’s wearing an Elmira jersey. “Local Boys at Training Camp,” Montreal Gazette, April 9, 1955: 9.

12 “Daviault Wins in Sally,” Greenville (South Carolina) News, May 4, 1956: 30.

13 Bob Terrell, “Banals Has Shutout as Tourists Divide,” Asheville (North Carolina) Citizen, June 10, 1955: 14.

14 Bob Terrell, “Daviault Will Pitch on ‘Beat Rodriquez Night’,” Asheville Times, June 19, 1955: 17. Later that season, when an errant Daviault fastball broke the right cheekbone of an opposing batter, Terrell pointed to that injury as evidence that batting helmets, which professional ballplayers had only recently begun wearing, needed to protect not just the areas covered by a hat, but the temple and cheek as well. Bob Terell, “Players Need More Protection,” Asheville Citizen, August 15, 1955: 12.

15 Ed Honeywell, “Between Bounces,” Tacoma News Tribune, December 30, 1961: 8.

16 Max Moseley, “Macon Wallops Montgomery by 13-2,” Montgomery (Alabama) Advertiser, April 27, 1956: 6C.

17 Sam Glassman, “Peterson, Hoffman to Hurl Tonight,” Macon Telegraph, July 30, 1956: 6; Lloyd McGowan, “Royals Show Top Exhibition Form with Sweep Over Miami, St. Paul,” Montreal Star, March 25, 1957: 38.

18 “Today’s Rookies Future Stars,” Brooklyn Daily, October 3, 1956: 23.

19 Lloyd McGowan, “Marlins Shell Daviault in Debut with Royals,” Montreal Star, April 22, 1957: 18.

20 Lloyd McGowan, “Daviault Misses Big Chance,” Montreal Star, April 18, 1957: 34; “Official 1957 I.L. Pitching Records,” Buffalo News, November 26, 1957: 29; Lloyd McGowan, “’Slugging Royals’ Top Bisons; Daviault Optioned to Pueblo,” Montreal Star, May 17, 1957: 35.

21 Lloyd McGowan, “’Slugging Royals’ Top Bisons; Daviault Optioned to Pueblo.” “Due to Join Pueblo, He’s Told to Rest,” Des Moines Tribune, May 21, 1957: 19. The press reported that Daviault was granted his release, but given that he later returned to the organization without fanfare it’s more likely that he was simply given time off, presumably without pay.

22 “Ray Daviault Hurls Tonight for Longueuil,” Montreal Gazette, June 20, 1957: 30.

23 Milt Dunnell, “Yale Man and Shoeshine Boy,” Toronto Star, March 12, 1963: 8.

24 “Nelson Keeps Grip on IL Batting Lead,” Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, June 29, 1958: 18.

25 Lloyd McGowan, “Royals Bow to Columbus Despite Amoros’ Big Blast,” Montreal Star, June 4, 1958: 55.

26 Daviault earned his first win in his fourth start. Bill Bryson, “D.M. Rolls to 4th in Row, 7-2,” Des Moines Register, August 31, 1958: 33.

27 “One-Hit Chore Lets D.M. Take 10th Straight,” Des Moines Register, September 13, 1958: 9.

28 “Hornets Down Macon,” Macon Telegraph, August 6, 1959: 3.

29 Bob Hunter, “Dodgers Pick Juicy Crop of Peaches Down on Farm,” The Sporting News, October 28, 1959: 9.

30 At the time, LA’s minor league affiliates included pitchers with major league experience who still had gas left in the tank, like Ed Roebuck, Roger Craig and Lasorda, as well as top prospects destined for the majors like Phil Ortega, Ron Perranoski, and Pete Richert.

31 Basebll-Reference.com shows Daviault as having no starts for Rio Grande Valley in 1960, but he started and pitched one inning in a losing effort on September 6, shortly after RGV clinched the Texas League pennant. “Sens End Play Here,” Austin Statesman, September 7, 1960: 19. 

32 “Valley Topples Missions, 5-2,” Tulsa World, April 29, 1960: 52. Save total based on game log compiled by the author, assuming the major league save rule as defined in 2023.

33 “SA-Valley Tilt Has ‘Em Talkin’,” Austin Statesman, April 30, 1960: 9.

34 “Giants Score Early to Clip Austin 8-6, End Road Trip,” McAllen (Texas) Monitor, May 8, 1960: 14; “Bolin, Herbel, Daviault Named to All-Star Staff,” Harlingen (Texas) Valley Morning Star, July 2, 1960: 7; “Texas League Averages,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, September 4, 1960: 20.

35 Bob Stevens, “S.F. Mound Staff OK With Dark,” San Francisco Sunday Chronicle, March 5, 1961: 33.

36 Alvin Dark, “Dark Faces Big Chore,” Tulsa World, February 15, 1961: 20.

37 Save total based on game log compiled by the author. “Tacos Down Ports, 7-6,” Salt Lake Tribune, August 20, 1961: 12B.

38 “Menke Tabbed Rookie of Year,” Nanaimo (British Columbia) News, September 6, 1961: 10. One particularly prominent second-team All-Star along with Daviault was 18-year-old fireballer Sam McDowell of the Salt Lake Bees.

39 Ed Honeywell, “Between Bounces,” Tacoma News Tribune, September 9, 1961: 10; Sec Taylor, “Sittin’ in With the Athletes,” Des Moines Register, March 26, 1962: 11. Denied the chance to keep playing, Daviault spent the offseason working in a Montreal print shop.

40 Ralph Bonetsanon, “Honor for a pioneer of Quebec baseball,” Journal Metro website, July 9, 2017, https://journalmetro.com/sports/1165250/honneur-pour-un-pionnier-du-baseball-quebecois/. The major league minimum salary heading into the 1962 season was $7,000. “Hurler Inks Nipponese Pact After Rejecting Giants’ Bid,” The Sporting News, February 21, 1962: 32.

41 Joe Trimble, “Mets Corral Neal for 25G; May Play SS for Casey,” New York Daily News, January 16, 1962: 54. It’s uncertain who specifically recommended to Weiss that he select Daviault, or why he was described as having excellent control, but both scout Herman Franks, and coach Cookie Lavagetto separately took the credit. Ed Honeywell, “Between Bounces.” Dan Walton, “Sports-log,” Tacoma News Tribune, April 1, 1962: 55.

42 In a questionnaire he completed in 1958, Daviault listed his nickname as “Frenchee,” which he modified to “Frenchie” in a similar 1960 questionnaire. Misspellings in Daviault’s entries illustrate that he hadn’t yet mastered his second language. Ray Daviault 1958 Baseball Questionnaire; Ray Daviault 1960 Baseball Questionnaire.

43 Casey Stengel, “Mets Have the Talent for Big Start,” New York Daily News, January 17, 1962: 58.

44 Dick Young, “Young Ideas,” New York Daily News, January 21, 1962: 113.

45 Stan Isaacs, “Aubrey Gatewood Exists, But This Fellow Plinge…,” (Melville, New York) Newsday (Suffolk Edition), February 22, 1962: 17C.

46 Joe Trimble, “Youth to Have Its Fling After Mets Start Vets,” New York Daily News, January 22, 1962: C20.

47 Bob Scott and Bill Bennett, “Picke, Daviault, Harkness – Their Big Chance,” Montreal Gazette, January 23, 1962: 19.

48 Dick Young, “3 Mets 4-Hit Tigers, 1-0,” New York Daily News, March 22, 1962: 79.

49 Al Bamberger, Jr., “For the Mets and Their Fans the Spirit Was What Counted,” Mamaroneck (New York) Times, April 14, 1962: 10.

50 Bob Kelley, “Casey Still Makes News,” Wilmington (Delaware) Morning News, April 25, 1962: 49; “Casey and the Kids,” Tallahassee Democrat, April 2, 1962: 10.  

51 At that time, major league rules allowed teams to carry up to 28 players on the active roster for the first month of the season, reduced to 25 thereafter. “MLB Roster History,” Baseball-Almanac website, https://www.baseball-almanac.com/articles/baseball_rosters.shtml, accessed January 25, 2024.

52 Stan Farber, “Daviault, now with NY Mets, Still Thinks Kindly Upon Tacoma Days,” Tacoma News Tribune, June 24, 1962: 27. Daviault attributed the injury to gripping a bat too tightly.

53 Dick Young, “Mets to Give Detmar Trial; Ax Bouchee for Daviault,” New York Daily News, June 6, 1962: 86.

54 Ed Given, “Player, Team: Both Rookies,” Nashville Banner, June 20, 1962: 26.

55 “Diamond Diggings,” Jersey Journal, June 27, 1962: 9;” Dick Young, “Young Ideas,” New York Daily News, June 28, 1962: 76.

56 “Mound Magician Takes Bows After Prize Performance,” The Sporting News, July 14, 1962: 5.

57 “’62 Mets: The Bad Old Days,” (Hempstead, New York) Newsday (Nassau Edition), August 10, 1986: 406. Robinson’s home run was his second of the game, his first coming in the opening frame off Mets starter Al Jackson.

58 Dick Young, “Dodgers Toy with Mets, 16-5; ‘Jet’ Wills Steals 3,” New York Daily News, August 27, 1962: C20.

59 Jimmy Breslin, “Worst Baseball Team Ever,” Sports Illustrated, August 13, 1962: 22.

60 “Pittsburgh Pirates Sign Junior Star Adrien Daviault,” Montreal Star, July 30, 1962: 32.

61 Daviault may have also cracked a smile when, following several infield errors in one game, Stengel strolled out to the mound to say “Strike somebody out, kid. You know they can’t fumble that.” Si Burick, “McKenzie 27 Days Short,” Dayton (Ohio) News, July 25, 1969: 22. Various versions of this exchange have been published since it was first recounted. See, for example, Buford Green, “Picking Up Loose Ends,” Jacksonville Courier, May 21, 1970: 13. The game in which this exchange supposedly occurred was never identified, but a likely candidate was the Mets September 8 loss to the Colt .45s at Rice Stadium in Houston. In that game, every Mets starting infielder made an error, the last two of which came during the first of Daviault’s two innings of work. After third baseman Felix Mantilla’s error gave the Mets infield a quadfecta, Daviault fanned the next batter, Dave Roberts.

62 Stengel did so in what turned out to be a futile effort to preserve a two-run lead. Daviault surrendered a single to the only batter he faced in that inning. The record had been matched 13 times before, according to The Sporting News, “Mets Tie Record; Call Upon Five Hurlers in One Inning,” The Sporting News, September 15, 1962: 35.

63 Associated Press, “Eight Run Outburst In 4th Inning Too Much for NY Mets,” Hays (Kansas) News, September 2, 1962: 10. The hit was number 3,515 for Musial, leaving him trailing only Ty Cobb’s 4,189.

64 Casey Stengel, “Stengel Sees Mets Improved,” Wilmington News Journal, January 17, 1963: 44.

65 Dink Carroll, “Around and About,” Montreal Gazette, March 2, 1963: 34. An injury suffered by Koufax in April 1962 developed into a circulatory problem diagnosed as Raynaud’s phenomenon which caused him to miss two months of the season. The author found no evidence of Daviault receiving a similar diagnosis. Marc Z. Aaron, Sandy Koufax SABR bio, https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/sandy-koufax/.

66 Bill Ballenger, “The Amazing Mets,” Columbia (South Carolina) Record, September 20, 1962: 13. In June 1966 one fan likened oft-injured, scatter-armed Jack Hamilton to Daviault in the final stanza of a poem he sent to Newsday. Using some poetic license in the pronunciation of Daviault’s family name, that stanza read; “So take him back Philadelphia, It’s not just his fault, That he awakens the memr’y, of Ray Daviault.” Stan Isaacs, “The Postman Brings No Gnashing Teeth,” Newsday (Nassau Edition), June 15, 1966: 155.

67 Phil Pepe, “Mets Take Oldtime Beating; 11-0,” New York Daily News, June 25, 1972: 122. Future Hall of Famer Tom Seaver’s dreadful outing in a loss to the Cardinals “revived painful memories of Craig Anderson, Ray Daviault, [Sherman] Roadblock Jones and Herb Moford, heroes of that first Met team a decade ago.”

68 Charlie Halpin, “Four City Players Eyeing Big League Camps,” Montreal Star, February 2, 1963: 17.

69 Ernest Mehl, “Sporting Comment,” Kansas City Star, March 13, 1963: 45.

70 Cy Kritzer, “Bisons Get Seven Key Players from Mets, Including Green, Anderson and Christopher,” Buffalo Evening News, April 1, 1963: 28.

71 “Pitchers and a Catcher for Bison Autograph Album – III,” Buffalo Evening News, July 20, 1963: 25.

72 Ralph Bonetsanon, “Honor for a pioneer of Quebec baseball.” George Vecsey, “Buffalo: The Spirit of Mets Past,” Newsday (Nassau Edition), April 8, 1964: 60C.

73 “Baseball Clinic Set for July,” Montreal Star, June 18, 1964: 67; “Maritimers Win Ball Tilt,” Montreal Star, August 4, 1964: 36.

74 “Baseball Loop Lachine Squad ‘Farm’ for New York Mets,” Montreal Star, February 3, 1966: 26.

75 See, for example, “Home Runs Aid Lachine Playoff Bid,” Montreal Star, August 18, 1966: 26 and “Lachine Deprived of Sweep,” Montreal Star, June 12, 1967: 39.

76 Dan Rosenburg, “Canadian Ball Stars Named for Junior Championships,” Montreal Star, August 25, 1964: 20. The author has identified one ballplayer signed by Daviault; James Anthony, a 17-year-old pitcher from Verdun, Quebec. “Pittsburgh Inks Two Players,” Abilene (Texas) Reporter-News, September 2, 1964: 5.

77 Ian MacDonald, “It’s another TV game, so it’s another rain-out,” Montreal Gazette, May 13, 1971: 19. Daviault also occasionally threw batting practice for the Expos at Olympic Stadium after it opened for baseball use in 1977. Kevin Glew, “Former Mets pitcher and Montreal native Ray Daviault passes away at 86,” Cooperstowners in Canada website, https://cooperstownersincanada.com/2020/11/09/former-mets-pitcher-and-montreal-native-ray-daviault-passes-away-at-86/, accessed January 5, 2024.

78 Dick Young, “Young Ideas,” New York Daily News, July 9, 1970: 95.

79 “Huge crowd sad at loss but happy baseball’s back,” Montreal Gazette, April 16, 1977: 14. The other Quebec-natives so honored were Ron Piche, Gus Dugas, Georges Maranda, Jean-Pierre Roy, Tim Harkness and Claude Raymond.

80 “The Inductees,” Temple de la Renommeé website, https://www.templedubaseball.com/, accessed January 24, 2024.

81 Richard Griffin, “Jays: Tellez has first spring homer in last game,” Toronto Star, April 2, 2017: S2; “Un pionnier du baseball québécois rend l’âme,” Journal de Montreal website, November 9, 2020, https://www.pressreader.com/canada/le-journal-de-montreal/20201109/282540135860088.

82 Ralph Bonetsanon, “Honor for a pioneer of Quebec baseball.”

83 “Death: Daviault, Lucie,” Journal de Montreal website, https://www.journaldemontreal.com/2020/09/05/a31422c710/daviault-lucie, accessed January 24, 2024; “Death: Daviault, Raymond,” Journal de Montreal website, https://www.journaldemontreal.com/2021/08/18/11180fe2d2/daviault-raymond, accessed January 24, 2024.

84 “Daviault pitched one year for Mets in infamous ’62 season,” The Day (New London, Connecticut), November 14, 2020: B3.

Full Name

Raymond Joseph Robert Daviault


May 27, 1934 at Montreal, QC (CAN)


November 6, 2020 at Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci, QC (CAN)

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