Jim Hickman, who supplied batting punch for the Mets during their futile early years and then became an All-Star for the Chicago Cubs, died on Saturday in Jackson, Tenn. He was 79.
His death was confirmed by his son Mike, who did not specify the cause.
Hickman, a lanky right-handed batter, played in the outfield and at first and third base in a 13-year major league career. In his years with the Mets, from 1962 to 1966, first at the Polo Grounds and then at Shea Stadium, he set several team milestones.
He was the first Met to hit a grand slam, the first to hit three home runs in a single game and the first to hit for the cycle — a single, double, triple and homer in one game. (He did it in that order.) He was also the last Met to hit a home run at the Polo Grounds, connecting off the Philadelphia Phillies’ Chris Short on Sept. 18, 1963.
Taking advantage of the Polo Grounds’ short left-field line, Hickman hit…