Old Time Mets - Jesse Gonder
The 1963 Mets, of course, could use all the help they could get, and if Gonder was an incomplete player, he was still a better hitter than any catcher the Mets had. In fact, Howard Cosell, who in those pre-Monday Night Football days, did the Mets' post-game show (one of the few authorized post-game shows that always seemed to take a negative slant on the team they covered !) called Gonder "one of the best natural hitters in the major leagues". That may have been overstating it, but Gonder was certainly going to hit more than Sammy Taylor, the catcher they traded for him (along with a practically washed up Charley Neal).
Jesse actually had a pretty good year with the bat as the Mets' #1 catcher in 1964, hitting .270 which was quite impressive for a Mets' catcher back then. But he was dealt away and his defensive deficiencies coupled with a disappointing record as a pinch hitter shortened his major league career. Gonder needed to play full time in order to keep his batting eye sharp, but he couldn't play any position other than catcher and was well below average defensively behind the plate, not a good combination. My most vivid memories of Gonder recall his throws in the dirt attempting to nail runners at second and his sweet lefthanded stroke. Jesse was one of many "incomplete" ballplayers who surfaced with the early Mets, but he did at least have one solid year as a regular.