The acquisition of Duke grad Chris Capuano, along with the pursuit of Princeton’s Chris Young, to join erudite hurler R.A. Dickey on the Mets pitching staff this year has sparked some discussion about the Mets’ potential to lead the Majors next year in Cogitations Above Replacement and Earned Degree Average. Although this wouldn’t mark the first time the Mets had a brainiac in the bullpen.
Original Met Jay Hook was the Mets first wearer of the No. 47 jersey. He studied mechanical engineering at Northwestern University and understood the physics of the curve ball. When he explained it to the New York Times he became something of a sensation and was contacted by a company then known as Sarcotherm Controls, a manufacturer of steam traps and other industrial temperature control products based in New York. Sarco contracted Hook to expand on his ideas in a quarterly magazine it distributed to its customers. Don’t ask why, but my dad happened to acquire a copy, and saved the cover and an inside page, displayed below:
Jay’s illustrations of the physics phenomenon known as Bernoulli’s Principle (it would take a scientist to explain) would famously come back and bite him when after a bad outing weeks later Casey Stengel remarked “It’s wonderful that he knows how a curveball works. Now if he could only throw one.”
Capuano, by the way, wore No. 39 in Milwaukee, but that number belongs to Bobby Parnell today. In honor of Hook, we’d like to remind the Mets that 47 is available.
Sarco still exists, sort of too.