Carroll's Cuisine: Remembering Amazin' Ed Charles • Latino Sports

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Carroll’s Cuisine: Remembering Amazin’ Ed Charles

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New York, NY – The sad news of the passing of former Mets third baseman and East Elmhurst resident Ed Charles last Thursday set off a wave of tributes especially from Mets fans and sportswriters who were old enough to remember how Charles was an integral members of the 1969 Miracle Mets team that incredibly became World Series champions against all odds and logic.

Yes, just being a member of that 1969 Mets would be enough to spur kind posthumous words about the player who was bestowed the nickname “The Glider” by teammate and star lefty pitcher Jerry Koosman. That would be a gross oversimplification however for accounting for Ed’s popularity.

What always stood out for me about Ed Charles was how happy he was to talk with fans. He probably heard people tell him millions of times about their memories of 1969 and he always reacted as if it were the first time that he had heard it. Now that wasn’t because Ed was such a good actor but rather because he was an extremely nice person who was genuinely touched that he was able to provide so much happiness for others.

Another reason that was Ed Charles was beloved is that he had to work a number of 9 to 5 jobs to make ends meet after his baseball career was over. Major League Baseball players had no free agency rights at the time and were paid a pittance compared with today’s players. In a classless move, the Mets at the time did not offer him a job in the organization. The Mets’ current owner, Fred Wilpon, corrected that slight by having Charles serve as a goodwill ambassador for the team.

The first gig Charles landed after he retired was working in the promotions department of Buddah Records. The president of the label, the late Neil Bogart, was a huge Mets fan and he had the team record an album of songs in Mitch Miller style called “The Amazing Mets” hours after they clinched the National League East title on September 24, 1969. After they won the World Series the Mets appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” where they lip-synched “You Gotta Have Heart,” ironically the showstopping tune from the Broadway show “Damn Yankees,” which they recorded for that album.

One of the artists that Ed worked with was a young singing group from Chicago called the Five Stairsteps who had a big hit in the spring of 1970 with the silky smooth soul ballad, “O-o-h Child.” Charles told me years ago that one of his prized possessions was the framed gold record that Bogart presented to him for his work in getting the song played on radio across the nation.

Ed would have loved being part of next year’s 50th anniversary of the Miracle Mets celebrations. They won’t be as joyous without his megawatt smile.

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About Lloyd Carroll

Lloyd Carroll is the Senior Columnist for the Queens Chronicle, an award-winning weekly newspaper that has served the communities of Queens since 1978. This article as well as many future articles will also appear at Queens Chronicle. In addition, Lloyd also writes for our friends over at NYSportsDay.com. In today’s world of online publications, we at Latino Sports understand and value the importance of collaborating with other online publications in order to showcase and create awareness of each other’s work and dedication to our respectable communities.

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