3rd Baseline Pressbox featuring (on left) Steven L.J. Russo-Photograph © Steven L.J. Russo
McGraw would go on to become a top reliever for the Mets and Phillies pitching for 19 All-Star studded years in the MLB (as well as becoming father of famed country singer Tim McGraw). Like Kranepool and Jones, McGraw’s 1-2, 1.89 ERA was impressive enough to have him promoted quickly so he didn’t stay long here but his impact was felt and while there were no 18 game winners on this team, there were two 15 game winners as William Craft (15-5, 3.28) and Richard Peterson (15-7, 3.78) gave the Auburn Mets something they didn’t have in the past two winning seasons… a 1-2 punch on the mound. Future Mets/Yankees Rob Gardner was also stellar going 9-1. As for the hitting, Sturges was gone and so would be, the HR record that he thought would be safe for awhile at Falcon Park. Future NY Mets’ Danny Napoleon would blow that record away as he would slam 36 bombs and bat .351 to take over the recently reset HR record by 6 homers! Unlike Sturges who's record would only last one season, Napoleon's explosive 36 HR record would last forever. Richard Bazinet would give him protection in the lineup batting .282 with 26 HRs and Richard Haymore hit 28 2Bs with 17 HRs and a .321 average. As if all this wasn’t enough… Bernie Smith came back to bat a mind-boggling .391 along with 20 2Bs and 12 HRs in 261 At Bats. He would come the closest to breaking the .397 that Bobby Dill had hit here in 1946. This team had the pitching and the hitting and the future stars to go all the way and indeed they would, as the Auburn Mets captured their 2nd Championship title in 3 years and their 4th overall. The Mets had brought some serious talent to Falcon Park. The 1965 Mets were looking to do what the 1963 team couldn’t… repeat. And like 1963 team, they wouldn’t. They were good though. While they fell out of 1st place for the 1st time in 3 years, they were a solid second going 73-55. The question was who would be the next big star to come to Falcon Park. Well for the 1st time in a 4 years, the Auburn Mets would not promote any future MLB All-Stars but they would come close as future 11 year MLB veteran of the Astros and Mets Ken Boswell (20 2B, 7 HR, .285) came to the team and would provide some excellent hitting along with Bruce Fitzpatrick (20 2B, 27 HRs, .246), future NY Mets’ Greg Goossen (19 2B, 24 HRs, .305) and future Milwaukee Brewers’ Al Yates (20 HRs, .335).