Miracle Mets SS Bud Harrelson dies at 79

Bud Harrelson, the shortstop on the 1969 New York Mets championship team and the team’s one-time manager, died Wednesday night at a hospice house in East Northport, N.Y., the team announced. He was 79.

The Mets said the cause of death was Alzheimer’s disease.

A Northern California native, Harrelson made his Mets debut on Sept. 2, 1965, and remained with the team through the 1977 season. He played two seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies and one with the Texas Rangers prior to his retirement.

He gained fame with the 1969 Miracle Mets, who defeated the Baltimore Orioles in five games in the World Series. He was a two-time All-Star (1970 and 1971) and won the 1971 Gold Glove at shortstop.

In 1,533 career games, Harrelson batted .236 with 539 runs, 1,120 hits and 267 RBIs. He stole 127 bases.

Post-retirement, he was a member of the Mets coaching staff (1982, 1985-90) and took over as manager 42 games into the 1990 season after Davey Johnson was fired. He managed the team through the 1991 season and compiled a 145-129 record.

He holds the Mets’ record for most appearances at shortstop. And as the third base coach on the Mets’ 1986 world championship team, he is the only person to have been in uniform for of the club’s World Series championships.

In 1986, the Mets inducted Harrelson into their Hall of Fame.

In 1998, he co-founded the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League and served as the league’s first president.

“Bud’s impact on Long Island will be felt through Ducks baseball for as long as we play,” said Frank Boulton, the Ducks CEO who co-founded the team with Harrelson. “He was my partner in bringing professional baseball to Long Island following his outstanding playing career in MLB and he made his mark on so many through his charitable giving, appearances and kindness. He was a one-of-a-kind human being, and he is missed greatly.”