Sunday, August 06, 2006

Old Time Mets - Would You Believe Wilbur Huckle ?


Every so often on eBay, someone auctions off a political button that reads "Wilbur Huckle For President - Metropolitan Party". Who was Wilbur Huckle, some obscure third (or 4th) party candidate ? Not at all. In fact at the time the button was printed, Huckle wasn't old enough to run for president, nor did he have any interest in the job. The whole thing grew out of a banner that some Mets fans made up around the time of "Let's Go Harkness - Put One In The Darkness" or "Is Ed Kranepool Over The Hill ?".

Wilbur was a Mets farmhand in the '60's, a shortstop who also played some third base. There was really nothing special about him except for his name and the fact that he looked exactly the way you might expect someone named Wilbur Huckle to look, with red hair and a million freckles. He peaked at AAA with Jacksonville, where he had a typical season, hitting in the .260 range. He never even got a cup of coffee with the Mets and as bad as they were back then, that's a pretty good indication that he was never considered anything more than an organizational player. Still, to older Mets fans like myself, his name evokes a time of hope, when someone with no more than a funny name could become a fan favorite without any of these fans ever having seen him play !

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I HAVE seen Wilbur Huckle play baseball, and he was fun to watch. As a matter of fact, he was also the nicest person one could ever meet.

8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wilbur Huckle became a favorite of mine, as with other Mets fans just because of his name. At one point I found his birthday, and sent a birthday card to him care of the Mets. Just before the next Christmas, I received a holiday card from him, signed in a very neat handwriting. I still have that card.

8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huckle's high school and college coaches always had him bat clean-up.The infielder,usually shortstop made amazing plays and drew fans from all around. Too bad when he was with the Mets he had to do National Guard duty, but the talented athlete took his duty while winning the top rifle award. He was quick and had an ability to alert his teammates of what needed to be done with each batter. A great athlete and coach.

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Garland Gilliam said...

Wilbur Huckle is a great man and a great coach to this day he coaches his grand daughters softball team and coaches my daughter as well. His knowledge of the game is great and has great teaching skills. Mr Wilbur huckle has my respect 100%!!!

5:30 AM  

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