The Legend of Marv Throneberry

Marv Throneberry was a legendary member of the 1962 New York Mets, the worst team in baseball history.

In one unforgettable game against the Cubs that year, Marvelous Marv, trying to atone for an error the previous inning, came up with a couple of Mets on base and boomed a long triple up the right centerfield alley at the old Polo Grounds.

Marv neglected one minor detail — he failed to touch second base — and was called out. As manager Casey Stengel came out to argue, first base coach Cookie Lavagetto grabbed the Ol’ Professor and said, “Don’t bother arguing Casey, he missed first base too. ” The Mets lost, 8-7.

Another time the Mets decided to throw Casey a birthday party and give him a cake. Throneberry asked why he hadn’t been given a cake on his birthday. Stengel leaned over and told Marv, “We was gonna give you a piece but we was afraid you’d drop it!”

In 1962, Throneberry batted .244 but his 16 home runs established him as a fan favorite. The following year he had 14 at-bats before being sent down to Buffalo to make way for another Met legend, Ed Kranepool. Marv never made it back to the majors.

Marvelous Marv later became one of the original spokespeople for Miller Lite beer and the “tastes great, less filling” campaign of the early 1980s. Throneberry’s most famous line: “If I do for Lite what I did for baseball, I’m afraid their sales will go down.”
Columnist Jimmy Breslin once quipped, “Having Marv Throneberry play for your team is like having Willie Sutton work for your bank.”

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