Bud Harrelson. who ESPN describes as "the scrappy and sure-handed shortstop who fought Pete Rose on the field during a playoff game and helped the New York Mets win an astonishing championship," has passed away. He was 79, and had been suffering from Alzheimer's since 2016.
ESPN writes, "Throughout his health ordeal, Harrelson stayed involved with his professional pride and joy. He was part-owner of the Long Island Ducks, an independent minor league team located minutes from his home. He called his decades of work with the club -- which he was instrumental in starting and running -- his greatest achievement in baseball … During a major league career that lasted from 1965 to '80, the light-hitting Harrelson was selected to two All-Star Games and won a Gold Glove. Known to family and teammates as Buddy, he spent his first 13 seasons with New York and was the only man in a Mets uniform for both their World Series titles."
The ESPN obituary says that "in Game 3 of the 1973 NL Championship Series between the Mets and Cincinnati Reds, Rose slid hard into Harrelson at second base on a double play. The two ended up toe-to-toe and then wrestling in the infield dirt at Shea Stadium, triggering a wild, bench-clearing brawl that spilled into the outfield.
"Outweighed by more than 30 pounds, the scrawny, gritty Harrelson got the worst of it. But he didn't back down."
- KC's View:
Endearing himself to Mets fans forever.