Taylor had cure on and off field

BOB ELLIOTT, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:29 AM ET

Ron Taylor was there when the 1992-93 Blue Jays World Series teams were honoured at the Rogers Centre earlier this month.

And this weekend his memory tour continues in New York with celebrations commemorating the 40th anniversary of the New York Mets winning the 1969 World Series.

With the Jays, he used his healing powers as club doctor to keep pitchers healthy and with the Mets the Leaside right-hander and Tug McGraw shared closer's duties under manager Gil Hodges.

"Seventh inning on, he'd have us both warming," Taylor said yesterday. "If the other team got a runner on, Tug faced the lefties, I had right-handed hitters. Usually we'd stay in for the eighth and ninth."

Hall of famers Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan will be at a banquet Friday in Manhattan along with Miracle Mets such as Jerry Koosman, Gary Gentry, Art Shamsky, Ed Kranepool, Al Weiss, Jerry Grote and Taylor.

They'll be at Citi Field on Saturday for a Mets foundation fundraiser and will be honoured on the field as the Mets play host to the Philadelphia Phillies. Who will throw out the ceremonial first pitch?

"Probably Seaver, he won 25 games. It won't be me," Taylor said. "My arm is dead."

While Jays alumni showed some bald spots, the Mets family is dwindling. Manager Hodges has died, as has pitching coach Rube Walker. Same for Donn Clendenon, Dan Cardwell, Tommie Agee, Cal Koonce and McGraw.

Taylor joined the Mets in 1967, a 101-loss season under manager Wes Westrum. In Hodges' rookie season, 1968, losses were cut to 89 and in 1969, they won 100.

On Aug. 13, the Mets trailed the Cubs by 10 games.

The Mets went 21-6 to take over top spot on Sept. 10 as Taylor beat the Montreal Expos and Bill Stoneman 3-2 in 12 innings.

Taylor had a win and a save as the Mets swept the Atlanta Braves in the best-of-five NLCS, working seven scoreless. Taylor picked up the save in Game 2 of the World Series as the Mets beat the Baltimore Orioles in five games.


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