Vecsey: Ed Charles, a mainstay of the Miracle Mets, is dead at 84

From George Vecsey at the New York Times on March 15, 2018:

Ed Charles, the heart and soul of the Miracle Mets of 1969, died on Thursday at his home in East Elmhurst, Queens. He was 84.

His daughter-in-law, Tomika Charles, confirmed the death, saying he had been ill for several years.

Charles was a vital member of the Mets team that suddenly jelled during the 1969 season, winning the World Series in one of the most surprising surges in baseball history and endearing themselves forever to fans who had suffered through the team’s wretched play since its beginning, just seven years earlier.

The Mets’ players relied on the smile and the wisdom of Charles, who was then 36.

“Ed Charles was this guy, you wanted to sit on his knee and hear how he made it,” Ron Swoboda, the right fielder on the 1969 team, said in a telephone interview on Thursday. He added: “He had a physical and emotional grace that most of us didn’t seem to feel. He would say, ‘Don’t wrestle with what looks like complexity.’ ”

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Originally published: March 15, 2018. Last Updated: March 15, 2018.