Gary Edward Gentry
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 183 lb.
- School Phoenix College, Arizona State University
- High School Camelback High School
- Debut April 10, 1969
- Final Game May 6, 1975
- Born October 6, 1946 in Phoenix, AZ USA
Gary Gentry was a rookie pitcher on the Miracle Mets, the 1969 New York Mets that surprised everyone by winning the 1969 World Series. His career spanned seven years, but an arm injury kept him from having more than four relatively full seasons.
He attended Arizona State University in 1967 (Larry Gura was also there that year, and Reggie Jackson had been there in 1966). Gentry was drafted several times before being selected by the Mets in the 3rd round in 1967. With the Williamsport Mets in the Eastern League in 1967, he had an ERA of 1.59. In Jacksonville of the International League in 1968, he had a record of 12-4 with an ERA of 2.91. That set the stage for him to be in the majors all of 1969.
Other than Don Cardwell, the Mets starting staff was quite young: Gentry was 22, Tom Seaver was 24, Jerry Koosman was 26, Jim McAndrew was 25, and Nolan Ryan, who had 10 starts, was 22 (Ryan had been up twice before, though). Gentry recorded his first career win against the expansion Montreal Expos in his debut on April 10th; he was the first starting pitcher to record a win against the Expos, as Seaver and McAndrew had both been chased early in the first two games of the season. He ended up going 13-12, 3.43 with 154 strikeouts in 233 2/3 innings in his rookie season.
Gentry pitched Game 3 of the 1969 World Series at Shea Stadium, going 6 2/3 innings without giving up a run. In relief, Ryan pitched the remaining 2 1/3 innings, also scoreless. The two beat opposing pitcher Jim Palmer, 5-0, with Gentry picking up the win and Ryan a save. The Baltimore Orioles heart of the order consisted of Frank Robinson, Boog Powell, and Brooks Robinson. The Orioles had won 109 games that year and were heavily favored going into the Series. The World Series ended after 5 games, but if a 6th game had been necessary, it would have been Gentry's to pitch.
In each of his first three seasons, Gentry's ERA was a bit better than the league ERA. He went 13-12 his first season, 9-9 his second, and then 12-11 in 1971.
His ERA was not so good in 1972, when he went 7-10 (it was 4.01), but the next year, 1973, he was able to post a 3.43 ERA with the Atlanta Braves, even though his record was only 4-6. Bothered by arm problems, he was only able to appear in 10 more games, in 1974 and 1975. He was a very poor hitter, hitting .095 for his career, with 174 strikeouts in 285 at-bats.
One of the most similar players to Gentry, based on the similarity scores method, is Don Schwall, a player who also burst onto the scene as a rookie, had a few good years, and then came to a close with the Atlanta Braves.