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Gary Edward Gentry (born October 6, 1946 in Phoenix, Arizona), is a former right-handed Major League Baseball pitcher.

Gary Gentry
Pitcher
Born: (1946-10-06) October 6, 1946 (age 72)
Phoenix, Arizona
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 10, 1969, for the New York Mets
Last MLB appearance
May 6, 1975, for the Atlanta Braves
MLB statistics
Win–loss record46–49
Earned run average3.56
Strikeouts615
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Contents

Early yearsEdit

Gentry was a second baseman at Camelback High School in Phoenix, Arizona, and only began pitching while at Phoenix Junior College. He was drafted by the Houston Astros in the eleventh round of the inaugural major league draft in 1965, and was a first round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in the January Secondary Draft in 1966, but signed with neither team, choosing instead to remain in college. In 1966, he led the Bears to a national junior college championship. Shortly afterwards, he was drafted by the San Francisco Giants, but again chose not to sign.

After two years at Phoenix College, Gentry transferred to Arizona State University. He went 17-1 with a college record 229 strikeouts. In the 1967 NCAA University Division Baseball Tournament, Gentry tossed a fourteen inning gem against Stanford University to help his team catch the College World Series title. He was named the pitcher of the All-Tournament Team.[1] Shortly afterwards, he was drafted by the New York Mets in the 1967 Major League Baseball draft. This time, he was ready to sign.

New York MetsEdit

Gentry spend just two seasons in the Mets' farm system when he caught the eye of Mets manager Gil Hodges in Spring training 1969,[2] and earned a spot on the opening day roster behind Tom Seaver & Jerry Koosman in the starting rotation. He came within an out of a complete game in his major league debut, defeating the Montreal Expos in front of 8,608 at Shea Stadium.[3]

Overall, Gentry made 35 starts, and went 13-12 with a 3.43 earned run average & 154 strikeouts his rookie season. Unquestionably, his biggest game came on September 24. The Mets, who once trailed the Chicago Cubs by 9​12 games on August 13, were now in first place by six games, and now regularly drew crowds over 50,000 to Shea. Gentry pitched a four-hit, 6–0 shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals[4] to clinch the National League East title for the Mets.[5]

On his 23rd birthday, Gentry was sent to the mound for game three of the 1969 National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves. Gentry lasted only into the third inning, however, the Mets were able to mount a comeback that would allow them to sweep the NLCS,[6] and head into the World Series against the Baltimore Orioles.

With the 1969 World Series tied at one game apiece, Gentry faced Jim Palmer in game three. Tommie Agee led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run to give the Mets the early 1-0 lead (Agee also made two spectacular catches in center field to prevent the Orioles from scoring up to five runs in this game). Gentry, meanwhile, held the mighty Orioles scoreless, pitching into the seventh inning before handing the ball to Nolan Ryan for the save. He also helped his own cause in the second inning with a double that plated two runs.[7]

Gentry got off to a hot start in 1970.[8] Following a one-hit shutout of the Chicago Cubs on May 13,[9] his record stood at 4-1 with a 1.71 ERA. He would cool off from there, and ended the season at 9-9 with a 3.68 ERA.

Following a 1971 season in which Gentry went 12-11 with a 3.23 ERA, the California Angels inquired about Gentry, dangling third baseman Jim Fregosi as bait. Unwilling to part with Gentry, the Mets sent Nolan Ryan to the Angels in one of the most infamous trades in franchise history.[10]

He would remain with the Mets for one more seasons, going 7-10 with a 4.01 ERA. Following the 1972 season, he & relief pitcher Danny Frisella were traded to the Atlanta Braves for All-Star second baseman Félix Millán & left hander George Stone.[11]

Atlanta BravesEdit

Gentry exited his June 5 start in the first inning due to right elbow soreness.[12] He made his next start, but was pulled after the second inning,[13] and placed on the disabled list.[14] He returned a month later, but after just two more appearances, his season was ended for good.

After surgery to have bone chips removed from his elbow, Gentry returned to the mound on April 30, 1974, pitching an inning of relief.[15] He made two more appearances before his season was once again cut short, this time for tendon surgery. He made seven appearances in 1975 before the Braves decided to end their relationship with Gentry. He played his last game for the Braves on May 6, and was waived two days later.[16]

Shortly afterwards, Gentry was re-signed by the Mets, but after just one appearance at double A Jackson was released on June 19.[17]

Career statsEdit

W L PCT ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP BF H ER R HR BAA K BB BB/9 WP HBP Fld% Avg. SH
46 49 .484 3.56 157 138 25 8 2 902.2 3800 770 357 400 90 .231 615 369 3.7 29 28 .995 .095 25

Gentry was an exceptional fielding pitcher. The only error he committed in his career (in 182 total chances) came on August 23, 1970, covering first on a ground ball by Pete Rose.[18]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Connor Pelton (July 9, 2016). "ASU's 50 Best Professional Athletes No. 45: Baseball's Gary Gentry". Vox Media, Inc.
  2. ^ "Sports Parade". Times-News (Hendersonville, North Carolina). February 12, 1969. p. 15.
  3. ^ "New York Mets 4, Montreal Expos 2". Baseball-reference.com. April 10, 1969.
  4. ^ "New York Mets 6, St. Louis Cardinals 0". Baseball-reference.com. September 24, 1969.
  5. ^ "A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Cellar". The Michigan Daily. September 25, 1969. p. 6.
  6. ^ "1969 National League Championship Series, Game 3". Baseball-reference.com. October 6, 1969.
  7. ^ "1969 World Series, Game 3". Baseball-reference.com. October 14, 1969.
  8. ^ Roy Blount Jr. (May 25, 1970). "Good pitch but no no-hit". Sports Illustrated.
  9. ^ "New York Mets 4, Chicago Cubs 0". Baseball-reference.com. May 13, 1970.
  10. ^ William Leggett (May 14, 1973). "An Angel Who Makes Turnstiles Sing". Sports Illustrated.
  11. ^ "Braves Get Gentry, Frisella From Mets". Rome News-Tribune. November 2, 1972. p. 8A.
  12. ^ "Montreal Expos 7, Atlanta Braves 6". Baseball-reference.com. June 5, 1973.
  13. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals 4, Atlanta Braves 3". Baseball-reference.com. June 10, 1973.
  14. ^ "Braves' Gentry on Disabled List". Montreal Gazette. June 15, 1973. p. 29.
  15. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals 7, Atlanta Braves 2". Baseball-reference.com. April 30, 1974.
  16. ^ "Gentry Waived". Lewiston Morning Tribune. June 20, 1975. p. 2B.
  17. ^ "Mets Release Gary Gentry". Waycross Journal-Herald. May 9, 1975. p. P-7.
  18. ^ "New York Mets 5, Cincinnati Reds 4". Baseball-reference.com. August 23, 1970.

External linksEdit