Today we say Happy 70th Baseball Birthday to former New York Mets outfielder Ron Swoboda.
Ronald Alan Swoboda was born on June 30, 1944, in Baltimore, Maryland.
Ron played baseball at Sparrows Point high school in Baltimore, and went on to NYU and the University of Maryland.
In 1963 Swoboda signed a contract with the New York Mets, and played one year of Double A ball in Williamsport, PA in 1964.
Ron made his big league debut with the Mets, on April 12, 1965, at the age of 20.
Swoboda appeared in 135 games as a rookie, collecting 91 hits in 399 at bats, with 50 RBI.
Ron smacked 19 home runs as a rookie, a Mets club record that would stand until it was broken by a young Mets rookie named Darryl Strawberry in 1983.
Swoboda had a terrific throwing arm from the outfield, and played at least 109 games for the Mets between 1965-1970.
Ron collected 126 hits in 1967, batting .281, and in '68 Ron smacked 109 base knocks with 59 RBI.
In the Mets 1969 Championship season Swoboda played in 109 games, with 57 hits, 9 HR, and 40 RBI in 327 at bats.
Swoboda will be forever in the hearts of Mets fans for his diving grab of a sure extra base hit into right center field gap off the bat of the Orioles Brooks Robinson in Game 4 of the '69 World Series.
The great ninth inning defensive play saved the game for the Mets, who won the game, 2-1, and went on to a 4 games to 1 series win over Baltimore.
In the middle of the 1971 season, Swoboda was traded to the Montreal Expos, where he played in just 39 games.
The Expos then traded Swoboda to the New York Yankees, where Swoboda would play through the 1973 season.
His last big leaguel appearance was with the Yankees, on September 30th, 1973.
After being released by the Yankees Swoboda went to Spring Training with the Atlanta Braves in 1974, but was released in March.
Swoboda tried another comeback in the spring of 1976 with his old team, the Mets, but didn't make the team.
In his nine year big league career Ron Swoboda played in 928 games, collected 624 hits, scalloped 73 home runs, scored 285 runs, with 344 RBI in 2,581 at bats.
After his playing days Ron worked in TV and radio broadcasting baseball games.
He lives with his family in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Happy Baseball Birthday Ron!