Swoboda Looks Back On '69 Miracle Mets

June 17, 2019 - 6:30 pm
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By Joey Wahler

As a 21-year-old Mets rookie in 1965, outfielder Ron Swoboda belted 19 homers, playing for manager Casey Stengel.

"Casey knew when he came over to the Mets, his job was to entertain the media, give them something to write about, and keep them from turning on the team," Swoboda said. "But I loved the fact that Casey knew what was going on."

In Game 4 of the '69 World Series against the Orioles, Swoboda's famous, diving catch in right field against Brooks Robinson preserved a Mets win. Swoboda has written a new book, titled, "Here's the Catch: A Memoir Of The Miracle Mets And More."

"To be known for the best thing you ever did on a baseball diamond is a lot better than being known for the five times I struck out against the Cardinals earlier in 1969," Swoboda said. "So I'll take the catch and the World Series, if you please," he added, laughing.

After baseball, Swoboda became a TV sports anchor, starting at New York City's WCBS despite no on-air experience.

"Honestly, the only way I should've walked in that building was with a mop and a bucket," Swoboda quipped.

Nevertheless, Swoboda later anchored in Milwaukee and New Orleans.

"One thing I learned how to do was scuffle," Swoboda said. "I was used to scuffling, and you could slap me around a little bit and I was going to get back up. And I ended up doing 20 years as a local TV broadcaster, and it was the greatest opportunity of my life."

Turning 75 this month, Swoboda keeps busy by drawing and frequenting the Museum Of Modern Art in Manhattan.

"I have a pretty raging curiosity for things I don't know, and it's still fun to discover stuff," Swoboda said. "And I feel blessed that my brain still runs in that direction."

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