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Former Mets GM Frank Cashen has died

Jun 30, 2014, 5:03 PM EDT

Frank Cashen AP

Former Mets general manager Frank Cashen — the man who built the 1986 World Series champs — has died at age 88. Mets owner Fred Wilpon released a statement:

“On behalf of all of us at the Mets, we extend our deepest condolences to Jean Cashen and her entire family. Frank Cashen revitalized our franchise when he took over in 1980 as general manager and helped engineer us to a world championship in 1986.

“I dealt with Frank on a daily basis and he was a man of integrity and great passion. No one had a more diverse career than Frank. He was also a lawyer, sports writer and marketing executive. His accomplishments will always be an integral part of our team history.”

Among Cashen’s key moves in building the Met teams of the mid-to-late 80s: acquiring Keith Hernandez from the Cardinals, trading for Gary Carter and helping build a farm system that produced a number of great talents like Dwight Gooden and Daryl Strawberry.

Cashen’s legacy is not just with the Mets, however. As Wilpon’s statement noted, he was a lawyer and a well-respected sports writer before getting into baseball. He leveraged a job with a Baltimore brewer into one with the Orioles when the brewer, National Brewing Company, bought the team. Cashen and his general manager, Harry Dalton, engineered the Frank Robinson trade, hied Earl Weaver and laid the groundwork that brought the Orioles championships in 1966 and 1970 and won pennants in 1969 and 1970 as well. After some time out of baseball, he joined MLB’s offices under Bowie Kuhn before moving on to the Mets.

  1. arrooo - Jun 30, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    Cashen traded for Carter, now Carter traded for Cashen

  2. sdelmonte - Jun 30, 2014 at 8:32 PM

    Not quite sure why Cashen isn’t a bigger figure in the historical NYC sports scene. Maybe his time with the Mets wasn’t long enough. Maybe that one ring wasn’t enough. But he without a doubt set the standard in Flushing for GMs.

    The Mets posted the opening to tonight’s game, where Keith Hernandez pays tribute.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140630&content_id=82414930&notebook_id=82414932&vkey=notebook_nym&c_id=nym

  3. hushbrother - Jun 30, 2014 at 11:54 PM

    Really one of the most successful GMs ever.

    • sleepyirv - Jul 1, 2014 at 6:29 AM

      Great GMs rarely get the respect they deserve, unless a very popular financial reporter writes a book about you.

      Just think about Cedric Tallis, who built those great Royals teams of the late 70s- He traded for Amos Otis, Freddie Patek, John Mayberry, Hal McRae and signed George Brett and Dennis Leonard. Despite all that, he’s not even in the Royals Hall of Fame.

  4. deepstblu - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    It’s not totally out of the question that with fewer injuries (notably Jim Palmer in ’67 and ’68 and Frank Robinson in ’67) those Oriole teams could have won six pennants in a row. In that universe Cashen’s a Hall of Fame exec, Hank Bauer’s a HoF manager and Earl Weaver has to go somewhere else to manage–if he ever gets a shot.

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