Where Are They Now: Ron Hunt

Ron Hunt with the New York MetsOK, I’m stealing the headline from Newsday … but we were doing it here first (weren’t we?).

Anyway …

For those who weren’t there, Ron Hunt broke into the bigs with the Mets in 1963, and was the first player to get a hit, score a run, and hit a homer at Shea Stadium. His claim to fame was the ability to get in the way of pitched balls — he holds the NL record for hit by pitches in a season with 50, and is fifth all-time in MLB with 243 in his career. That may not seem like such a big deal until you remember that wearing body armor was against the rules, and the helmets back then weren’t as impact-resistant as they are now — in fact they didn’t even have ear flaps. I won’t go into the rest of his stats and highlights because Amazin’ Avenue has already done a great job of that.

These days, Hunt gives lessons and runs baseball instruction programs in Missouri, and also offers to travel to you for instruction — see Ron Hunt Baseball for more information. I am certain that the former All-Star teaches skills beyond ducking into pitches.

In addition to helping kids with their baseball skills, Hunt returns to New York at least twice a year for fundraising events. Considering his history as a “Shea Original”, I’d hope that he’s part of a “goodbye to Shea” event this season — assuming one is held. Kind of strange we haven’t yet heard anything from the Mets’ PR department on that issue.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Walnutz15 March 18, 2008 at 10:23 am
    I think I might have been the only one secretly rooting for a “Where Are They Now: Darryl Boston” at Shea last year when they did those Diamond Vision segments.

    ….Sadly, it never happened…..

    (And while we’re at it, I find it hard to believe that they couldn’t scrounge up a bunch of guys to do this — I saw the same ones 2 or 3 times at various points during the season. No excuse not to have a full arsenal of these things.)

  2. joe March 18, 2008 at 11:10 am
    Agreed … it’s strange that the Mets do very little in regard to remembering the past. While they don’t have the successful history of the Yankees, they do have an incredible cast of characters and fan favorites. Makes you think the Mets are embarrassed about their past.
  3. Jack Romaine September 18, 2009 at 10:13 am
    Dear Ron and Jackie,
    I do not know if you remember living in Fort Lee NJ on the 2nd floor of an apartment on 3rd street.
    I was on the 1st floor with my wife Ronnie so you had Jack and Ronnie on the 1st floor and Ron and Jackie on the 2nd floor. After a few of your games at the Polo Grounds you would knock on our door and want to go to “Hings” chineese restaurant and get some food [ at 12:30 in the morning ]. We would also drive Jackie to the Polo Grounds for your game and we receive tickets and park in the players parking lot.
    My wife passed away last year and you do a lot of remembering the past. I am happy to say that both you and Jackie are a memorable part of our past.
    Oh, by the way, do you still like Chineese food?

    Jack Romaine [ still a met’s fan – in a tough year] ………….