HomeSportJohn Stearns, Feisty Met Catcher for a Decade, Is Dead at 71

John Stearns, Feisty Met Catcher for a Decade, Is Dead at 71

John Stearns, a combative four-time time All-Star catcher with the Mets, died on Thursday in Denver. He was 71.

The Mets introduced the demise, which they mentioned got here after an extended bout with most cancers.

Stearns, who was with the Mets from 1975 to 1984, died lower than three weeks after attending Previous-Timers’ Day at Citi Area in Queens. The occasion was held to acknowledge the Mets’ sixtieth anniversary.

“Nobody performed the sport with extra spirit or dedication than John Stearns,” the Mets’ president, Sandy Alderson, mentioned in a press release. “He actually willed himself to attend Previous-Timers’ Day final month so he might go to associates and previous teammates. Regardless of his sickness, he even managed to step into the batting cage to take just a few swings.”

John Hardin Stearns was born on Aug. 21, 1951, in Denver. He performed each baseball and soccer on the College of Colorado and was a late draft choose as a defensive again by the Buffalo Payments of the N.F.L. in 1973. The Philadelphia Phillies took him second total that very same yr, and he opted to play baseball.

With Bob Boone behind the plate, Stearns by no means had an opportunity to play usually for the Phillies after struggling early on the plate. After showing in a single sport for the Phillies in 1974, he was traded to the Mets as a part of the multiplayer deal that despatched the aid pitcher Tug McGraw to Philadelphia.

Regardless of being often injured, Stearns was named to the Nationwide League All-Star group in 1977, 1979, 1980 and 1982. He had a profession batting common of .260 with 152 doubles, 10 triples and 46 house runs in 810 video games. Uncommon for a catcher, he additionally stole 91 bases, together with a team-high 25 in 1978.

Stearns, whose nickname was Dangerous Dude, might be feisty. The star Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Dave Parker sustained a damaged collarbone in a collision with Stearns in 1978. The longer term star Mets catcher Gary Carter, then with the Montreal Expos, acquired right into a combat with him after a collision at house plate in 1979.

In 1980, Stearns tackled one among two followers who ran on the sphere and eluded the authorities just a little too lengthy for his liking.

After retiring as a participant, Stearns was a scout with Milwaukee, a bullpen coach for the Yankees, a minor league supervisor for Toronto and a scout and coach for the Orioles.

He returned to the Mets as a coach in 2000 for 2 years below Bobby Valentine. He was later as a scout and a minor league coach for the group.

“John was such a key a part of our employees,” Valentine mentioned. “He had a singular means of lighting a hearth below the fellows. Each time we spoke by telephone, he stored telling me he was going to beat this factor.”

Stearns is survived by his son, Justin; his brothers, Richard and William; and his sister, Carla.

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