New York Mets Hats

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Glad To Have MET Ya: Theodore Recalls Unique Nickname, Bad Collision

Joey Wahler
September 02, 2019 - 12:00 pm

Ex-Mets outfielder George Theodore is forever nicknamed, "The Stork."

"Well there's no truth to the rumor that I delivered babies," joked Theodore. "Jim Gosger gave me that nickname in (Triple-A) Tidewater when we were teammates. And I've been telling people it's because for some reason I was holding a small child and he saw me and said, 'Hey, you're the stork!'"

In 1973, Theodore's rookie year, he and Don Hahn collided in Shea Stadium's outfield against the Braves, simultaneously crashing into the left centerfield wall . A scary scene, with both laid out on the warning track in severe pain.

"When there was a line drive by Ralph Garr I took off and I went as hard as I could," Theodore said. "And so did Don Hahn, who was a great outfielder. We met at the fence and I got the worst of it with a dislocated hip."

Those '73 Mets were leading the World Series three games to two against the A's, who rallied for their second of three straight championships.

"We were proud," Theodore said. "This was a great A's team and we could compete with them."

Despite just two homeruns during his two-year career, in 1974 Theodore belted one at San Diego, followed by back-to-back-to-back homers from Rusty Staub and Cleon Jones.

"Yeah, one of my claims to fame," Theodore recalled, laughing. "And the only reason I got to play was because (teammate) John Milner was at a funeral."

As a long-time, elementary school counselor in his native Utah, working with many refugees, in 2016 Theodore was named South Salt Lake Chamber Of Commerce Educator Of The Year.

"My goal was to be a positive influence on every child I met," Theodore said. "And hopefully be a good role model, and hopefully give them some hope. Because there was some very sad stories."