NEW YORK (OCN) — Will Willie Larry Randolph for the New York Mets strikeout? Rumor has it before most fans are awake and are out of their PJ’s, Randolph will no longer be apart of the Mets Organization.
Randolph was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 7th round of the 1972 draft. He made his major league debut in 1975, and was at age 21 the 6th youngest player in the NL. In December 1975 he was traded by the Pirates with Ken Brett and Dock Ellis to the New York Yankees for Doc Medich. Randolph spent 13 of his 18 seasons as a player with the New York Yankees, and also played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, Milwaukee Brewers and finished his career with the New York Mets. He was selected to six All-Star games over his career. He was known as a top lead-off man, a skilled bunter, and a patient hitter who drew more than 80 walks seven times.
Randolph was also an outstanding defensive player, known especially for his ability to turn the double play. However, he never received the Gold Glove, which was perennially awarded to his more acrobatic contemporaries Frank White of the Kansas City Royals and Lou Whitaker of the Detroit Tigers. He was the Yankees’ starting second baseman from 1976-88 and was a member of the 1977 and 1978 World Championship teams.
In 1980 Randolph led the league in walks (119) and was 2nd in the AL in on base percentage (.427), 8th in stolen bases (30), 9th in runs (99), and won the Silver Slugger award at second base in the AL. He also batted .332 leading off the inning, and .340 with men in scoring position. In 1987 he batted .305 and led the league in at bats per strikeout (18.0), and was 4th in the AL in OBP (.411) and 9th in walks (82). He also batted .366 in tie games, and .345 in games that were late and close. In December 1988 he signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In May 1990 he was traded by the Dodgers to the Oakland Athletics for Stan Javier. In April 1991 he signed as a free agent with the Milwaukee Brewers. In 1991 Randolph was 2nd in the AL on base percentage (.424) and 3rd in batting average (.327). He batted .373 with runners in scoring position. In December 1991 he signed as a free agent with the New York Mets. In 1992, at 37 years old he was the 8th oldest player in the NL.
In his last career game with the Mets, lifelong second base player Jeff Kent moved to what has been his only career start at shortstop to allow Randolph to play his final game at second base.