Kallman: Bill Denehy, traded for Gil Hodges, then to hell and back

From SABR member Jeff Kallman at The Hardball Times on May 15, 2019:

With 11 games left in the 1967 season, Mets manager Wes Westrum, who had succeeded Casey Stengel, resigned. Third base coach Salty Parker took the bridge to finish the year, but the Mets had a permanent candidate in mind. They wanted Gil Hodges, the much-loved Brooklyn Dodgers icon, who finished his playing career as a knee-injured original Met before becoming the manager of the expansion Washington Senators. But it would cost the Mets to get Hodges, as he had signed a contract extension that would have taken him through the end of 1968.

So the Mets traded right-handed pitcher Bill Denehy—who shared a 1967 Topps rookie baseball card with future Hall of Famer Tom Seaver—to the Senators. If you ask Denehy today whether any Mets fans who remember him ever suggested he could be called the man who really made the 1969 Miracle Mets possible, he says no, while laughing heartily.

Then he tells the back story, which begins with him having left an impression on the parent Senators when he pitched well against their minor league teams while rising through the Mets’ system. To get the Hodges deal done required a little Yankee panky—specifically, former 1930s teammates Johnny Murphy and George Selkirk, now major league general managers.

Read the full article here: https://tht.fangraphs.com/bill-denehy-traded-for-gil-hodges-then-to-hell-and-back/

Originally published: May 15, 2019. Last Updated: May 15, 2019.