Uncovered 3rd Baseline Grandstand and Press Box - Photograph © Steven L.J. Russo
Future Milwaukee Brewers’ Bernie Smith also added 17 2Bs, 14 HRs, 23 SBs and a .299 batting average. As for the pitching… though the team featured several future Major Leaguers (Jim Hardin 3-6, 5.24; Grover Powell 2-6, 5.12), it was Malcolm Warren who was the star of the show pitching to an all-time record 18-5 with a 3.51 ERA, easily taking out Ed Flanagan and Ronnie Sheldon‘s 15 win seasons. Malcolm Warren was a good enough pitcher to get the team into the post-season where the Auburn Mets and their excellent hitting all came together to shine and believe it or not... not only were they not eliminated in the first round... they would go on to take over the NY-Penn League Championship! It would be only the 2nd Championship title since 1927 for Falcon Park and it was a special one. It also hinted of the talent that lay in the Mets farm system which would eventually rise to the Major League level. Amazingly, Auburn was even better in 1963 going 76-54. Another future superstar joined the team as future 1969 Amazing Mets’ Cleon Jones played in his very first professional games. He was so good, batting .360 that like Kranepool, he was quickly promoted to the next level. Jones would go on to hit .340 for the Mets in 1969 and take over the parent club's batting title for quite some time. Along with Cleon Jones was a monster hitter by the name of Robert Sturges who at 21 years old brought tremendous power to Falcon Park as he slammed 24 2Bs and a record breaking 30 HRs taking over John Erickson’s record of 28. Malcolm Warren and his 18 wins had moved on but Ron Locke was right there to pick up where he left off, tying his all time Wins record by going 18-8 with a 2.94 ERA and helping lift the Auburn Mets again to 1st place. These two (Warren and Locke) would become the permanent holders of the Wins record for Falcon Park history. Sadly, this team didn’t have the legs of the 1962 team and lost in the 1st round. A repeat wasn’t in the cards. That didn’t deter the team however as in 1963, they were again, better than the year before. It seemed like every season under the Mets there would be some future superstar in the making and this trend continued into 1964 as Tug McGraw became the Auburn Mets' 3rd future MLB All-Star in 3 years and 6th overall born of Falcon Park.