Monday, April 17, 2017

2017mfc Les Rohr!

Leslie Norvin Rohr
(born March 5, 1946) played for the New York Mets in the late 1960s. He was born in Lowestoft, England, where his father was serving with the United States Air Force. Six months later he moved to Billings, Montana with his family, where he grew up, attended high school, and currently lives.

Rohr, a left-handed pitcher, was selected by the Mets in the first round (second pick overall) of the 1965 Major League Baseball Draft.  It was a draft that turned out to be rather weak in comparison to later drafts with only a few players turning into stars. Johnny Bench was drafted in the second round with the 36th pick by the Reds and Graig Nettles was taken in the fourth round with the 74th pick by the Twins.

But the draft gained legendary status in the future because of the Mets' 12th-round selection, which happened to be Nolan Ryan out of Alvin High near Houston, Texas. "I couldn't believe they picked me over Nolan Ryan," said Rohr, who met Ryan shortly after signing a contract worth a combined $55,000, including salary and bonuses.

"I couldn't believe it either."
Les played in the minor leagues until being called up to play for the Mets near the end of the 1967 season. He started in his first Major League appearance against the Dodgers at Shea Stadium on Sept. 19, 1967, and pitched six innings, allowing three runs, two earned, and six hits while striking out six and walking four. Rohr, who was 21 at the time, earned the win in the Mets' 6-3 victory in front of 9,535.

On Sept. 30, 1967, he faced Don Drysdale and pitched eight innings, allowing no runs and six hits with seven strikeouts and two walks in the Mets' 5-0 victory. "That was something else, to pitch against someone like Drysdale and have a game like that," said Rohr, who helps coach the same American Legion team he played for in the 1960s. "I thought I was on my way after that."

The beginning of the end of Les Rohr's career came early the 1968 season in the final innings of a 24-inning game against the Houston Astros. Les was making an appearance as a reliever even though he had thrown batting practice that day, something starting pitchers did on their days off back then. Entering the April 15th game as a relief pitcher in the 22nd inning and pitching through the 24th inning, he pulled a tendon in his pitching arm. After one more failed start against the Los Angeles Dodgers, he spent the remainder of the season on the disabled list or back in the minor leagues. 

Les made only one more appearance on the mound for the Mets, versus the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1969. He pitched 1 1/3 innings, allowing four runs, three earned, and five hits with one walk and no strikeouts. Rohr was later unconditionally released by the Mets when a routine physical discovered a ruptured disc in his lower back, scuttling a proposed trade to the Milwaukee Brewers. He ended up having a spinal fusion surgery and never recovered to play again. 

Rohr's first game was on September 19, 1967, and his last game was on September 19, 1969. He stayed with New York Mets for his entire career, finishing with a 2-3 record and 3.70 ERA in six games and four starts. He pitched 24 1/3 innings and allowed 15 runs, 10 earned, with 27 hits, 17 walks and 20 strikeouts.

Hats off to you Mr. Rohr. You get an mfc card!

mfcNOTE: The text was basically ripped from Mr. Rohr's Wiki page and this article by Chris Girandola.


  1. I enjoyed reading this informative post, Warren!

    1. Thank you for the comment. I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

  2. Of the THREE young Texas fireballers in the Mets system in 1967, the Mets were actually highest on John Glass. They felt Glass, who was signed prior to the 1966 season, had the superior heat (he was routinely 97+). His minor league win-loss records don't look too impressive, but his ERA's were low and he struck out about a batter an inning. John began developing arm problems in 1968. The Mets were concerned enough after he unraveled in the instructional league that fall (and, for once, loaded with enough pitching talent) that they left him unprotected for the expansion draft and Montreal sucked him up with their final pick. We bought him back a few years later. I don't remember when he had the rotator cuff surgery, but it cost him a heck of a lot of velocity and ultimately ended his career without ever appearing in the majors.

    1. Great info Stubby. Thank you. I'd make Glass a card if I could find a decent photo. BobW did him up good>