Mets Legend Jerry Grote Dead At 81

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Andrew Powell Sports and Entertainment Blogger
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Jerry Grote, a World Series champion of the New York Mets and two-time All-Star at the catcher position, passed away Sunday at a Texas hospital, according to the franchise. He was 81 years old.

Grote was featured on the 1969 Miracle Mets team that pulled a shocker upset over the Atlanta Braves in a National League Championship Series sweep. In the next round in the World Series, Grote and the Mets went on to defeat Frank Robinson and the Baltimore Orioles.

Jay Horwitz, a spokesman for the Mets, stated that Grote was suffering from problems with his heart. He died in Austin at the Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute at St. David’s Medical Center. Originally scheduled for an operation, he ultimately passed away of respiratory failure during the procedure.

Grote began his career playing for the Houston Colt .45s, eventually being traded in 1965 to the Mets. Before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, he played a total of 11 seasons with New York.

His last season in Major League Baseball was in 1981 when he suited up for both the Dodgers and Kansas City Royals.

Playing 16 seasons in MLB, Grote tallied a lifetime batting average of .252. (RELATED: Former MLB Star J.J. Hardy Is Making All Of His Neighbors Angry By Building A Miniature Baseball Field In His Backyard)

“We are incredibly saddened to hear about the passing of Jerry Grote,” Mets owner Steve Cohen and his wife Alex said in an official statement. “The Mets Hall of Famer was the backbone of a young Mets team who captured the heart of New York City in 1969.”