This Date In Mets History: Mets Release George Foster
On August 8th in 1985, George Foster had a big day for the Mets with three RBI in a 14-7 victory at Montreal. It was one of his few, if not his last.
Even with his performance, Foster was overshadowed as Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter and Wally Backman also drove in three runs apiece.
After several monster years with Cincinnati, including hitting 52 and 40 homers in consecutive seasons, the Mets landed the slugger for Greg Harris, Jim Kern and Alex Trevino.
Finally, a true power machine was on his way to Shea
Foster, who already seemed on the downside of his career, was given a five-year, $10-million contract (worth over $22 million by today’s standards).
Foster hit 13 homers in 1982, his first year with the Mets, but bounced back the following year to hit 28, but it was merely a glimpse of his former self as he never hit that many again.
In parts of five seasons with the Mets, Foster hit 99 homers with 361 RBI and will always be regarded as one of the most disappointing acquisitions in club history.
Maybe Foster felt more at home in laid back Cincinnati with its roster of stars in Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and Tony Perez. Perhaps the expectations were too high in New York in the early years, but in the end Foster was also surrounded by stars so the spotlight wasn’t only on him.
Old accounts of him said he was moody, surly and didn’t hustle. In the end, Foster played the race card when talking about his diminished playing time.
“I don’t want to say it’s a racial thing, but … ’’
That was the last straw. Foster was finally waived 26 years ago on this date – August 7th, 1986.
Shortly after that he signed with the Chicago White Sox, but after 15 games he was released and soon after Foster announced his retirement from the game. Funny thing, it was Kevin Mitchell who replaced Foster, the former MVP in left field that day.
At the time the Mets dumped Foster in 1986, he had one homer and 13 RBI.
Despite his well-publicized issues with the Mets he was invited to and appeared at the final game and closing of Shea Stadium in 2008.
At one time the guy could play, but he’ll always be remembered as one of the most disliked Mets joining a group that includes Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo, Bobby Bonilla, Vince Coleman, and Bret Saberthagen.
About the Author: John Delcos
I am an active member of the BBWAA and have covered Major League Baseball in several capacities for over 20 years, including ten in New York working the Mets' and Yankees' beat. I covered the Baltimore Orioles for eight years and the Cleveland Indians before that.
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