John Stearns, a four-time All-Star catcher with the New York Mets, has died after a prolonged battle with prostate cancer. He was 71.
The Mets report that Stearns, who played football, baseball, and both at the University of Colorado, died on Thursday night in Denver.
He died less than three weeks after going to Citi Field in New York for the Mets’ 60th anniversary Old Timers’ Day. On August 27, he waved to the audience and looked visibly emaciated in his Mets uniform when he was introduced on the field.
Stearns had everything covered. He was able to run, bat, and throw out baserunners, putting an end to nearly 38% of their attempts.
“No one played the game with more spirit or determination than John Stearns,” Mets president Sandy Alderson said Friday in a statement.
“He literally willed himself to attend Old Timers’ Day last month so he could visit friends and old teammates. Despite his illness, he even managed to step into the batting cage to take a few swings. His nickname, ‘Bad Dude’ couldn´t have been more appropriate.”
John Stearns’s Impressive Career
John Stearns was a former Major League Baseball (MLB) player who had an impressive career as a catcher. He played for the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals during his time in the league. In addition to his success on the field, Stearns has also made a name for himself in the world of business.
Stearns was born on August 21, 1951, in Denver, Colorado. He attended the University of Colorado where he played football and baseball. Stearns was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the first round of the 1973 MLB draft but was eventually traded to the New York Mets.
Stearns made his MLB debut with the Mets in 1974 and quickly became known for his excellent defensive skills. He was named an All-Star in four consecutive seasons from 1977 to 1980 and won a Gold Glove Award in 1979. Stearns also had a solid offensive career, hitting .260 with 46 home runs and 312 RBI over his 11-year career.
After retiring from baseball in 1985, Stearns began a career in business. He started his own construction company, Stearns Enterprises, and later founded another company called the John Stearns Company, which specialized in real estate development and investment.
In addition to his business ventures, Stearns has remained active in the world of baseball. He served as a coach for several MLB teams, including the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, and the Kansas City Royals.
He worked as a scout for Milwaukee, a bullpen coach for the Yankees, a minor league manager for Toronto, and a scout and coach for the Orioles after retiring as a player.
In 2000, he came back to the Mets as a coach, first as a scout and then as a minor league coach under Bobby Valentine.
Stearns has also been involved in various charitable organizations, including the ALS Association, which raises awareness and funds for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Stearns’ success on and off the field had earned him recognition and numerous accolades. In 2010, he was inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame, and in 2013, he was honored with the Bobby Bragan Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to baseball.
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