John Stearns, the Mets’ combative four-time All-Star catcher, died on Thursday in Denver. He was 71.
The Mets announced his death, which they said was the result of a long battle with cancer.
Stearns, a Mets player from 1975 to 1984, died just three weeks after attending Old-Timers’ Day at Citi Field in Queens. The celebration commemorated the Mets’ 60th anniversary.
“No one played the game with more spirit or determination than John Stearns,” said Sandy Alderson, president of the Mets. “He literally willed himself to go to Old-Timers’ Day last month so he could see old friends and teammates.” Despite his illness, he was able to enter the batting cage and take a few swings.”
Cause of Death for John Stearns
Baseball player and manager John Stearns passed away at the age of 71. According to reports, John Stearns passed away as a result of cancer.
About John Stearns
John Hardin Stearns (August 21, 1951 – September 15, 2022), nicknamed “Bad Dude,” was an American Major League Baseball catcher and coach (MLB). After appearing in one game for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1974, he joined the New York Mets from 1975 to 1984.
Stearns was a two-sport standout in college and was drafted in both the Major League Baseball and the National Football League draughts. He was a four-time MLB All-Star who was plagued by injuries in the latter stages of his career. Stearns worked as a coach for the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, and New York Mets of Major League Baseball, as well as in Minor League Baseball, after retiring as a player.
Stearns’ professional career began in 1973 with the Reading Phillies of the Class AA Eastern League. After batting.241 for Reading in 1974, he was demoted to the Rocky Mount Phillies of the High-A Carolina League, where he batted.343 in 64 games. Midway through the season, he was promoted to the Class AAA International League’s Toledo Mud Hens.
He batted.266 for Toledo before being promoted to the big leagues in September. Stearns made his major league debut and first hit on September 22, 1974, going 1-for-2 off the bench.