By Barry Duchan
Editor's Note: We will publish a post from Barry Duchan every Sunday covering some aspect of Mets history. - M.S.
Every so often on eBay, someone auctions off a political button that reads "Wilbur Huckle For President - Metropolitan Party". Who was Wilbur Huckle, some obscure third (or 4th) party candidate? Not at all. In fact at the time the button was printed, Huckle wasn't old enough to run for president, nor did he have any interest in the job. The whole thing grew out of a banner that some Mets fans made up around the time of "Let's Go Harkness - Put One In The Darkness" or "Is Ed Kranepool Over The Hill?".
Wilbur was a Mets farmhand in the '60's, a shortstop who also played some third base. There was really nothing special about him except for his name and the fact that he looked exactly the way you might expect someone named Wilbur Huckle to look, with red hair and a million freckles.
He peaked at AAA with Jacksonville, where he had a typical season, hitting in the .260 range. He never even got a cup of coffee with the Mets and as bad as they were back then, that's a pretty good indication that he was never considered anything more than an organizational player. Still, to older Mets fans like myself, his name evokes a time of hope, when someone with no more than a funny name could become a fan favorite without any of these fans ever having seen him play!