Well to state the obvious – base ball season is over and the hot stove has yet to really heat up for our beloved Mets. So I figured to help pass these long boring days that lie ahead of us (before pitchers and catchers finally report)that I would highlight a Mets player from yesteryear. He might be a star or a scrub, but the player was one who was dear to our heart. Today’s Do You Remember player is no other than – Joel “Blood” Youngblood.
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Joel Randolph Youngblood III was born on August 28, 1951 in Houston, Texas . When he was nineteen, Joel was drafted by the Reds out of Stephen F. Austin High School in the second round of the 1970 amateur draft. He debuted with Cincinnati on April 13, 1976. His batting average was only .193 for the “Big Red Machine” that season. During the Spring training of ’77, he was dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals for right handed pitcher Bill Caudill. One of the little tid bits that we forgot about regarding June 15, 1977, – aka ” The Midnight Massacre” – As we all know it was the night that the Mets traded our franchise player Tom Seaver to the Cincinnati Reds for pitcher Pat Zachry, second baseman Doug Flynn and outfielders Steve Henderson and Dan Norman, as well as power hitting outfielder, Dave Kingman to the San Diego Padres for minor league pitcher Paul Siebert and future Mets manager , Bobby Valentine. The Mets also acquired Youngblood from the Cardinals for shortstop, Mike Phillips. In order to make room for Youngblood on the Mets’ active roster, Player/Manager Joe Torre elected to retire as a player.
During his tenure with the Mets , Joel emerged as rising “star” on the team that consistently finished last or close to last throughout his time in New York. In 1981 he was the Mets only representative on the National League team for the All-Star Game. It was that strike-shortened season in which Youngblood hit .350 in 143 at-bats.
On August 4, 1982, Youngblood became a part of Major league Baseball history and New York Mets folklore when he became the only player in history to get hits for two different teams in two different cities on the same day. After Youngblood had driven in two runs with a single in the third inning for the Mets in an afternoon game at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs he was traded mid-game to the Montreal Expos for a player to be named later ( Tom Gorman ). Youngblood rushed to Philadelphia in order to play for hiss new team, and hit a seventh inning single. Amazingly enough, the two pitchers that he collected his hits against were non other than Hall Of Famers, Fergie Jenkins of the Cubs and Steve Carlton of the Philadelphia Phillies.
That next season, Youngblood signed as a free agent with the San Francisco Giants, where he became a utility player . He appeared in 124 games for the Giants in 1983 . In 1984, he became the Giants as their almost everyday third baseman. But his low fielding percentage (.887) at that position returned him to his utility role for the rest of his Giants career. In 1989, Youngblood signed as a free agent with the Cincinnati Reds . He retired shortly after the season ended.
He is currently the outfield/baserunning coordinator for the Arizona Diamondbacks
His career Stats are as follows -
Games AB Runs Hits 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO Avg. Slg.
1408 3659 453 969 180 23 80 422 60 55 332 589 .265 .392
Not bad for a man who spent the bulk of his career as a utilityman with some of the worst Mets teams ever.