A sad day in Mets land.
Former catcher John Stearns passed away at the age of 71 after a long battle with cancer.
Stearns was a four-time All-Star, who played for the Mets from 1975-1984. In addition to playing for the Mets, he also spent two seasons on their coaching staff from 2000-2001.
Despite his illness, Stearns willed his way to attend Old Timers' Day on August 27, just three weeks before he passed away.
Mets president Sandy Alderson issued a statement on the passing of Stearns via a team press release:
“No one played the game with more spirit or determination than John Stearns. He literally willed himself to attend Old Timers’ Day last month so he could visit friends and old teammates. Despite his illness, he even managed to step into the batting cage to take a few swings. His nickname, ‘Bad Dude’ couldn’t have been more appropriate. A four-time All Star, John was one of the most complete catchers in Mets history. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family.”
Stearns appeared in 810 games with the Mets. He was initially drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies at No. 2 overall in the 1973 MLB Draft. Stearns was later sent to the Mets in the deal that saw Tug McGraw get traded to Philadelphia.