1977 New York Mets season and 36th Special Aviation RegimentThe 1977 New York Mets season was the 16th regular season for the Mets, who played home games at Shea Stadium. Initially led by manager Joe Frazier followed by Joe Torre, the team had a 64–98 and finished in last place for the first time since 1967, and for the first time since divisional play was introduced in 1969.Contents 1 Offseason 2 Regular season 2.1 Managerial change 2.2 "The Midnight Massacre" 2.3 Season highlights 2.4 Season standings 2.5 Record vs. opponents 2.6 Notable transactions 2.7 Roster 3 Player stats 3.1 Batting 3.1.1 Starters by position 3.1.2 Other batters 3.2 Pitching 3.2.1 Starting pitchers 3.2.2 Other pitchers 3.2.3 Relief pitchers 4 Farm system 5 Notes 6 References 7 External linksOffseason March 30, 1977: Benny Ayala was traded by the Mets to the St. Louis Cardinals for Doug Clarey. Regular seasonThe 1977 Mets had some promising new players in outfielder Lee Mazzilli and catcher John Stearns, but there was not enough sock in the lineup. the once powerful pitching staff had also taken on a leaner look. By midseason, ace Tom Seaver had been traded, Jerry Koosman was 8-20 and Jon Matlack (who would be traded in December) was 7-15. Managerial change1977 got off to a bad start for Joe Frazier's Mets. On May 30, after being swept in a doubleheader by the Montreal Expos, the Mets' record fell to 15-30, and Frazier was fired as manager of the Mets. Mets first baseman Joe Torre assumed the role of player-manager, leading his team to a 49-68 record the remainder of the way. The team finished 37 games behind the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East, narrowly avoiding a 100-loss season (64-98).Torre was the club's sixth manager and in certain respects his appointment reestablished the New York connection of Mets managers. Although he had spent most of his career with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals, Torre had grown up and played his first baseball in Brooklyn. When the thirty-six-year-old Torre retired as a player that June, he left behind a .297 lifetime batting average for his eighteen years in the major leagues, including an MVP season in 1971 when he led the league with a .363 batting average. Torre was an able manager, with a veteran's incisive insights into the game and the ability to handle and motivate players. But in this case, a last-place team was a last-place team no matter how able the manager. "The Midnight Massacre"Seaver was at odds with Met chairman M. Donald Grant all season over money. It came to a head two weeks after Torre took over as manager on June 15, when Grant traded Seaver to the Cincinnati Reds for Pat Zachry, Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson and Dan Norman. Dave Kingman was also traded to the San Diego Padres for minor league pitcher Paul Siebert and Bobby Valentine. Somewhat more quietly that day, they also acquired Joel Youngblood from the St. Louis Cardinals for Mike Phillips. To make room for Youngblood on the Mets' active roster, Torre retired as a player.From a public-relations perspective, the Seaver and Kingman trades were a disaster. Seaver especially was a hard hit to the fan base. As a member of the 1969 World Champions, he was a symbol of past glory—one who was still a highly-effective pitcher—and instilled pride in the fans. Whatever else they might not have had, they still had as their very own the man generally acclaimed as baseball's premier pitcher. No matter how abrasive the relationship between Seaver and his employers had become, dealing him away was a serious miscalculation, and Shea Stadium became known as "Grant's Tomb" in the New York sports pages.Grant did acquire some good, young talent for Seaver; Flynn was a slick fielding second baseman who won the NL Gold Glove award in 1980, Zachry was co-winner of the NL Rookie of the Year award with Butch Metzger the previous season (coincidentally, they would be teammates on the Mets in 1978), and Henderson would be narrowly eclipsed by the Montreal Expos' Andre Dawson for the award in 1977.The rationale for the Kingman trade was that he would become a free agent at the end of the season, and the club would lose him anyway. But coming on top of the Seaver trade, aligned with the fact that the team got very little in return for their big buster, the Kingman trade only added to the growing disenchantment at Shea Stadium, and June 15, 1977 would forever be known to Mets fans as the "The Midnight Massacre." Season highlightsOn July 13, the Mets trailed the Chicago Cubs 2-1 with one out in the sixth inning when the lights at Shea went out as New York City was stricken with a blackout that would last two days. The game was resumed on September 16, with the Cubs winning 5-2. On July 15, when the lights finally went on in New York, the Mets split a double header with the Pittsburgh Pirates.On August 21 Tom Seaver took the mound against the New York Mets for the first time in his career. His Cincinnati Reds defeated the Mets 5-1. Season standings Record vs. opponentsNotable transactions June 7, 1977: Bud Black was drafted by the Mets in the 2nd round of the secondary phase of the 1977 Major League Baseball Draft, but did not sign. June 14, 1977: Jeff Reardon was signed by the Mets as an amateur free agent. June 15, 1977: Tom Seaver was traded by the Mets to the Cincinnati Reds for Pat Zachry, Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, and Dan Norman. June 15, 1977: Mike Phillips was traded by the Mets to the St. Louis Cardinals for Joel Youngblood. June 15, 1977: Dave Kingman was traded by the Mets to the San Diego Padres for Bobby Valentine and Paul Siebert. Roster Player stats Batting Starters by positionNote: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in Other battersNote: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in Pitching Starting pitchersNote: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts Other pitchersNote: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts Relief pitchersNote: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts Farm system See also: Minor league baseball Notes ^ Benny Ayala page at Baseball-Reference ^ "The Top 50 Mets of All Time: #43 Joel Youngblood". Archived from the original on October 4, 2009. Retrieved September 6, 2009. ^ Bud Black page at Baseball Reference ^ Jeff Reardon page at Baseball Reference ^ Tom Seaver page at Baseball Reference ^ Joel Youngblood page at Baseball Reference ^ Paul Siebert page at Baseball Reference
36th Special Aviation Regiment and 1977 New York Mets seasonVIP airliner Tupolev Tu-154M Lux at the airport in ZagrebThe 36 Specjalny Pułk Lotnictwa Transportowego 36 SPLT (English: 36th Special Regiment of Aviation Transport) was a special aviation regiment of the Siły Powietrzne Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej, established in 1945. All of its aircraft were for national public use, the most important being transport of Polish politicians and MON highest officials & forces commanders. It was headquartered at the 1st Air Base at Warsaw Frédéric Chopin Airport (formerly Okęcie). Between 1947 and 1974 it operated as Special Air Regiment, earlier as Government Transport Squadron. It was shut down in 2011 after the 2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash accident report found serious deficiencies in its organization and training, and its aircraft retired. Accidents On 28 February 1973 a government airliner Antonov An-24W serial number 97305702 (tail number 012), crashed in Szczecin, north-west Poland. All 18 people on board were killed (including ministers of the interior of Poland and Czechoslovakia). On 4 December 2003 Mi-8 helicopter carrying Poland's Prime Minister Leszek Miller crashed near Warsaw, all people on board survived. Main article: 2003 Polish Air Force Mi-8 crash On 10 April 2010 one of two Tupolev Tu-154 airplanes (serial number 90A-837; Polish aircraft PLF 101) crashed landing in fog at Smolensk North, Russia. All 96 onboard died including Poland's President Lech Kaczyński and 42 other officials en route to the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre nearby. The crash also took lives of the Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Army and most senior military commanding officers, the National Bank of Poland governor, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and dignitaries in the government, vice-speakers and members of the Senate of the Republic of Poland and Sejm of the Republic of Poland houses of the National Assembly of the Republic of Poland, and senior members of clergy of various denominations. Main article: 2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crashOn 4 August 2011, the regiment was disbanded by the Polish Minister of National Defence as a direct consequence of the 2010 crash. The regiment officially ceased to exist on 31 December 2011; however the 1st Air Transport Base continues to transport government VIPs by helicopter. Since then all Polish government officials have been using civil aircraft owned by LOT Polish Airlines, mainly two Embraer 175 operated exclusively for government. Equipment in 2011Previously operated transport aircraft including Lisunov Li-2, Ilyushin Il-14, Antonov An-24 and Tupolev Tu-134.
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