Today is the 35th anniversary of one of the saddest days in Mets history…and one of the most hamfisted moves in Met management history.
Gil Hodges was laid to rest on April 6, 1972, four days after suffering a fatal heart attack. Hodges had managed the Mets to their first World Series in 1969 and had he lived, might have added a few more championship banners to the team’s flagpole. Unfortunately he dropped dead after a round of golf with his coaches on the eve of the 1972 season.
After the funeral, the Mets held a press conference to announce that Yogi Berra was taking over as manager. The team also announced a trade: Tim Foli, Ken Singleton and Mike Jorgenson to the Expos for Rusty Staub.
Yogi was a fan favorite (and former Met player) and Rusty would become a team legend. However, alot of people thought it was rather tasteless for the Mets to announce all these moves while Hodges was still being lowered into the ground.