McCraw expected to move to Mets

October 21, 1991|By Newsday

MINNEAPOLIS -- The New York Mets' coaching staff will assume a more definite shape today when the club is expected to announce the hiring of Tom McCraw as first-base coach and batting instructor. Baltimore Orioles general manager Roland Hemond confirmed yesterday that his club had granted the Mets permission to speak with McCraw, who has served as the Orioles' batting instructor for three years.

McCraw, 51 next month, worked as a roving hitting instructor in the Mets' minor-league organization for three years, beginning in 1986. He has served as a hitting instructor in various stations since 1975, his final year as an active player. He served as player-coach with the Cleveland Indians in 1975, the year Frank Robinson began his managerial tenure as a player-manager. He spent the next three years as a batting instructor in the Indians' minor-league system.

He returned to the Indians in 1979, the final year that Jeff Torborg, the Mets' new manager, managed the Indians, and remained there until rejoining Robinson with the San Francisco Giants from 1983-85. He served with Robinson in the Orioles organization as well.

McCraw was thought to be Torborg's second preference, after Don Baylor. Baylor, however, is a candidate for managerial jobs with the Seattle Mariners and Milwaukee Brewers, and the Mets preferred not to wait. Vice president Al Harazin said last week that the club was in no urgent rush to appoint a hitting coach but that he hoped it would happen quickly.

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