By Barry Duchan
One of the very first trades the Mets made after the 1962 season began was the one that sent veteran Don Zimmer, who had just broken an 0-for-34 slump, to the Reds for lefty Bob Miller (not to be confused with righty Bob Miller, an original Mets' draft pick) and third baseman Cliff Cook.
The previous season while the Reds were winning the National League pennant, Cliff was the MVP of the AAA American Association, batting .311 with 32 home runs and 119 rbi's. If the league's defending champion had no room for a player who tore up the minor leagues, certainly the fledgling Mets did. Or did they? Cook was pretty awful from the day he arrived. Not only didn't he hit, but he had a bad back that inhibited his ability to play third base, and he wound up being used more in the outfield, where he wasn't much better.
Cliff hit .232 as a part-time player with the '62 Mets, but after hitting .142 in 106 at-bats with the 1963 team, he was sent to AAA Buffalo where he hit .260 and never played in the major leagues again. Cook turned out to be one of many examples that being a dominant player in AAA doesn't always translate to being a good one in the big leagues. It should be noted that 2 days after trading for Cook, the Mets made a deal for another player who had torn up AAA in the past - Marv Throneberry.