|Born: July 9, 1946|
|September 15, 1967, for the Atlanta Braves|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 27, 1975, for the New York Mets|
|Earned run average||3.89|
George Heard Stone (born July 9, 1946) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. He is likely best remembered for his 1973 season with the New York Mets, when he went 12–3 with a 2.80 ERA to help lead the Mets to the 1973 World Series.
Stone played college baseball and basketball for Louisiana Tech, and was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 1966 Major League Baseball draft. After two seasons in the Braves' farm system, in which he went 16–9 with a 2.51 earned run average, he reached the majors as a September call-up in 1967. He made his major league debut on September 15 at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, and lasted just a third of an inning and giving up three earned runs against the Chicago Cubs.
After starting the 1968 season in the minors, Stone reached the majors again that July. Though he had been used primarily as a starting pitcher in the minors, he was used primarily out of the bullpen when he first joined the Braves. By August, however, he had earned a spot in the starting rotation, and went 7–3 as a starter his rookie season.
Stone was 13–10 with a 3.65 ERA for the National League West champions in 1969. He made just one appearance in the 1969 National League Championship Series, pitching one inning in the third, and final, game against the Mets.
New York Mets
The Mets dealt Danny Frisella and Gary Gentry for Stone and Félix Millán following the 1972 season. As with the Braves, he began his career with the Mets as a relief pitcher, going 1–0 with a save and a 0.60 ERA before being added to the starting rotation. Though he lost his first two starts, Stone proved an invaluable addition to the Mets' starting rotation, winning his last eight decisions, as the Mets came from 12.5 games back to win the National League East.
Stone started game four of the 1973 NLCS, going 6.2 inning and giving up one run before giving way to the bullpen. The Cincinnati Reds won the game in twelve innings; however, the Mets won game five to head to the World Series. Stone was used out of the bullpen in the 1973 World Series, appearing in games two and seven. He was hoping for a start in game six, with the Mets ahead in the series 3 games to 2. But Yogi Berra decided to go with Tom Seaver with 3 days' rest, instead of saving him for game 7.
Stone was unable to match his early success with the Mets, going 5–10 with a 5.04 ERA in 1974 and 1975. He ended up tearing his rotator cuff, and was not as effective as he had once been. Following the 1975 season, he was traded to the Texas Rangers for Bill Hands; however, he never appeared with the Rangers. He retired from baseball instead.
In his career, Stone won 60 games against 57 losses, a .513 winning percentage, with 590 strikeouts and a 3.89 ERA in 1020.2 innings pitched. As a batter, he had 72 hits in 339 at-bats for a .212 batting average with 33 runs and 39 RBI.
- "Chicago Cubs 7, Atlanta Braves 1". Baseball-reference.com. September 15, 1967.
- "1969 National League Championship Series, Game Three". Baseball-reference.com. October 6, 1969.
- "1973 National League Championship Series, Game Four". Baseball-reference.com. October 9, 1973.