Ryczek: It took a rocket scientist to win Mets’ first game

From SABR member Bill Ryczek at The National Pastime Museum on January 15, 2015:

The 1962 New York Mets assembled one of the most educated pitching staffs of all time. It wasn’t very effective, losing 120 games and posting a Major League high 5.04 ERA, but Met pitchers took a backseat to no staff in baccalaureate and advanced degrees.

Bob Miller (the left-handed Bob Miller—the Mets also had a right-handed Bob Miller, but that’s another long story) would eventually earn a master’s degree in business administration from Northwestern; Craig Anderson earned a master’s degree in education; Ken MacKenzie had a bachelor’s degree from Yale; Galen Cisco was a former Ohio State fullback; Al Jackson attended college in Texas. Perhaps the smartest of them all, however, was the holder of a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Northwestern named Jay Hook.

When Hook was an undergraduate, he thought he’d be spending his career working for one of the Big Three automobile manufacturers in Detroit. One of his summer league coaches, however, recommended Hook to the Cincinnati Reds, who signed him for a small bonus and called him up to start two games at the end of the 1957 season. In his second start, he had a no-hitter after five innings when Manager Birdie Tebbetts took him out of the game. “Kid,” he said, “you’re too young to pitch a no-hitter.”

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/it-took-rocket-scientist-win-mets-first-game

Originally published: January 15, 2015. Last Updated: January 15, 2015.