On Thursday, Ed “The Glider” Charles died at the age of 84. Charles played for the Mets from 1967-69, and served as platoon third baseman on the “Miracle Mets” team that won it all in ’69.
Jerry Koosman is credited with giving Charles his nickname for how smoothly he would glide to the ball at the hot corner. Though he was known for his glove, Charles once appeared on Kiner's Korner after hitting a home run off Juan Marichal and told Ralph Kiner that the pitch he knocked out of the park was a slider. From there, Kiner’s broadcast partner, Bob Murphy, coined the phrase: “Never throw a slider to The Glider.”
Charles’ legacy goes far beyond his play on the field. He was a beloved figure not only with the Mets, but throughout baseball.
I can’t imagine a world without Ed Charles. He was a terrific baseball player, kind with a gentle soul He was the glue in the ‘69 Met clubhouse. More importantly he was my friend. Always remember “Don’t ever throw a slider to the Glider”. RIP #5 #mets #1969 #baeball— Art Shamsky (@ArtShamsky) March 16, 2018
RIP Ed Charles, 84, who provided a veteran presence for 1969 Miracle @Mets and gained fame as a baseball poet. Read his #SABR biography here: https://t.co/HYlMDS3SQb @SABRbioproject pic.twitter.com/QKO1fL52iK— SABR (@sabr) March 16, 2018
The last game Charles ever played was Game 5 of the ’69 World Series, when the Mets secured the franchises first championship. What a way to go out.
George Vescey wrote a touching piece on Charles’ life for the New York Times that I highly recommend reading. RIP, Ed. Thanks for the memories.