May 21, 2019

Remembering Mets History (1998): The Mets Aquire Mike Piazza In A Trade With The Marlins

Friday May 22nd 1998: The ground work on this massive Mets deal, was laid a week earlier when the Los Angeles Dodgers traded Mike Piazza & Todd Ziele to the Florida Marlins for Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla, Charles Johnson & Jim Eisenreich.

It is considered one of the worst deals in Dodger history. It all ahppened as the end result of contract disputes with L.A. & Piazza as he was becoming a free agent at the end of the season.

The Marlins had won the World Series the year before and wanted to cut salary, they dropped over 22 million on this trade alone. They had a big league fire sale, dumping all their big players. 

In getting Piazza, it would give them a big chip to trade for more top prospects. The New York Mets had just aquired Al Leiter after the 1997 Marlin Championship season, for pitching prospect; A.J. Burnett. At this point both teams GMs were on good terms, making good in leading up to the Piazza deal.

Todd Hundley was the Mets catcher at the time and he was down with a long term injury. Alberto Castillo was the back up catcher and he wasn't going to be an every day big leaguer. The Mets under Bobby Valentine were changing direction & moving forward. Piazza would give them the catcher they needed, and one of the best hitters in the league.

On May 22, 1998 the new broke in New York to the delight of Mets fans; The Mets had got Mike Piazza in exchange for Preston Wilson, Ed Yarnell, & Geof Getz.

The rest is Mets history. Piazza went on to become one of the best players in franchise history. After a slow start in 1998, he became a New York icon, that season bringing them within one game of the playoffs.

The next two years he led them to two playoff berths, and an NL pennant, going to the World Series. He came close to winning an MVP Award, made seven All Star appearances, set many offensive records becoming the face of the franchise. He set a record for most HRs by a catcher in a Mets uniform and is one day destined for Cooperstown joining Tom Seaver as Mets immortals.

The Other Players: Preston Wilson did well for Florida, he hit over 23 HRs in all four seasons he played there, driving in over 100 RBIs once and never hitting above .280.

Wilson was gone by 2003, when the Marlins won their second World Series. Ed Yarnell was a top AAA pitcher at the time of the trade but soon faded away. Geof Goetz never made it to the big leagues.

Remembering Mets History: (1996) Todd Hundley Homers From Both Sides of the Plate

Saturday May 18, 1996: Todd Hundley was one of the bright spots on the 1996 Mets team. That season he became the fourth Met to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game.

Lee Mazzilli was first to do it in 1978, Howard Johnson had done it in 1991 & Bobby Bonilla had done it three times. Hundley himself, had done it before, two years earlier in 1994.

The '96 Mets were already struggling in fifth place (17-23) under manager Dallas Green. Now in San Francisco on their annual West Coast trip. That week the San Diego Padres had taken three of four from New York in San Diego and they were facing a third place Dusty Baker Giants team (20-20).

The Mets sent Mark Clark (1-5) to the mound against William Van Landingham (2-5).

Starting Lineups

The Mets pounded Van Landingham early, in the 1st Rico Brogna hit a HR to make it 2-0 Mets. In the 3rd Brogna drove in two more runs with a nase hit & Rey Ordonez added a two run single as well. This combined with a hit by pitch made it 7-1 Mets after three innings.

In the top of the 4th, Brogna reached on an error & Todd Hundley batting left handed came to bat. Hundley blasted a two run HR off reliever; Jose Bautista to dead center field putting New York up 10-3.It was his tenth HR of the year.

Later, in the top of the 9th, Hundley came up, this time batting right handed. With Bernard Gilkey on third & Jeff Kent on first base, Hundley connected once again, this HR to left center field, his 11th of the season.

This put the Mets up 14-4 on their way to the win. It was That year Todd Hundley went into the record books, setting a single season HR mark for catchers, as well as setting an all time Mets single season mark with 41 HRs.

In 1996 he hit .256 with career highs in HRs (41) doubles (32) hits 9140) & RBIs (112). Hundley spent nine seasons with the Mets (1990-1998) & was the last catcher before Mike Piazza took over behind the dish.

May 20, 2019

50th Anniversary of the 1969 Mets: Mets Reach .500 Mark

50th Anniversary of the 1969 World Champion "Amazing Mets"

Wednesday May 21st, 1969: A modest crowd of 14,669 attended Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium, to see a marquee match up of two future Hall of Famers, the Braves Phil Niekro (6-2) & the Mets Tom Seaver (5-2).

Not many people were thinking these were to be the two teams that would matchup in the first ever NLCS later that October, but it would be the case. 

The Braves managed by their former Hall of Fame slugger, Eddie Mathews, fielded two other Hall of Fame players that day, besides Niekro- Hank Aaron & Orlando Cepeda.

Starting Lineups

Tonight's game was a classic Tom Seaver gem, a complete game three hit shut out, although he struck out just two, while walking a pair as well. 

The only time Seaver had more than one base runner on was in the 8th inning. With two outs he issued a walk & a then a single to future Met, All Star Felix Millan. He then got Sonny Jackson to line out to end the inning. Seaver went to 6-2 on the year.

Trivia: One of three Atlanta players to get a hit on the night, was Mike Lum. Lum was the first player of Japanese ancestry to play in the major leagues. He would platoon & switch positions at first base as well as the outfield with Hank Aaron in his time with Atlanta. He went 2-3 in the NLCS against Mets pitching.

The Mets started in the 1st inning as both Tommie Agee & Ken Boswell both doubled. Agee was unable to score but both runners would come home on Cleon Jones single to left field. Jones was batting .391 at this point in the season. Jones, Agee & Boswell would all have two hit each on the night. It was 2-0 Mets.

As mentioned before, Seaver rolled along. Allowing just a walk to Hank Aaron in the 1st, then a single in the 4th, before setting down the Braves in order for three straight innings.

In the top of the 8th, Jones singled again & stole second. He advanced to third when Art Shamsky struck out. Eddie Kranepool walked & then also stole second. Mets catcher J.C. Martin walked to load the bases. 

Bud Harrelson then tripled to centerfield, clearing the bases & scoring all three runners to 5-0 Mets win.

Amazing Trivia: Harrelson would come in second on the club to Ken Boswell with six triples on the year. He would drive in just 21 more runs in 1969 for a total of 24 RBIs.

The win got the Mets over the .500 mark (18-18) for the first time in the 1969 season since the second game of the season. At this point they were 5 1/2 games out of first place.

Early/Mid Seventies Mets Pitcher: Hank Webb (1972-1976)

Henry Gaylon Matthew Webb was born May 21, 1950 in Copiague, Long Island New York. He has the distinction of being the second Met with the name Gaylon, remember 1960’s Mets pitcher Galen Cisco.

Trivia: The only other creature I can think of with that name is Roddy McDowell’s chimpanzee character Galen, in the short lived 1974 cult classic Planet of the Apes TV show.

The tall six foot right handed pitcher known as “Hank” was drafted by the New York Mets in the 10th round of the 1968 draft. He was another of the many good Mets minor league pitching prospects of the early seventies. 

But it was tough to crack into those solid Mets pitching staffs in those days. Webb went 6-2 for the Marion Mets in 1969, then 5-2 at A ball Pompano Beach in 1970. By 1972 he was 12-8 overall, with a 2.87 ERA pitching through A ball & moving up into AA ball. He was 9-5 at AA Memphis that year posting a 227 ERA.

He got a September call up making his MLB debut on September 5th 1972 at Shea Stadium. He allowed two runs in one inning of work, earning no decision in the Mets 3-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs. Three days later he got his first start pitching seven innings, allowing four runs to the St. Louis Cardinals.

He left the game while the Mets tied it up, although they eventually lost 9-4. He had another solid start against the Montreal Expos on October 3rd, allowing three runs over six innings, but got no decision in the Mets 4-3 win. Overall he allowed nine earned runs in 18 innings pitched in six games.

In the Mets 1973 NL Pennant season, Webb pitched in just two games in May, allowing two runs in 2.1 innings of work, to post an ERA over ten. He was sent down to AAA Tidewater where he went 8-9 (fourth most wins on the staff) with a 3.05 ERA.

The next season, on June 7th 1974 at AAA, Webb pitched a seven inning 1-0 no hit victory for the Tidewater Tides of the International League. He was 10-8 on the season at Tidewater, second to only Randy Sterling in wins. He pitched well enough to get another September 1974 call up.

One of MLBs Longest Games: In his first game back up he was involved in one of the longest games in baseball history. It occurred at Shea Stadium on Sept. 11, 1974 as the Mets and St. Louis Cardinals were tied 3-3 in the 25th inning. Webb came in to pitch in relief of rookie Jerry Cram, and faced St. Louis’ Bake McBride who greeted him with a single. With the speedy McBride on first base, Webb attempted to pick him off.

He threw wildly to first base, and the ball bounced against the stands and McBride scored all the way from first base. It turned out to be the winning run, ending the deadlock after seven hours & four minutes.

Webb made just three appearances, also getting two starts. He allowed three runs in five innings against the Chicago Cubs but earned no decision. He ended the year getting pounded by the Phillies on September 25th, allowing five runs in four innings of work. He went 0-2 that September with a 7.20 ERA.

In 1975 he saw the most action of his career, getting up to the staff by May & quickly earning two losses in the first week. On June 8th he earned a victory after pitching just one inning, when Felix Millan scored on a bases loaded wild pitch in the 14th inning. 

On June 23rd he pitched eight innings allowing just one run, which came in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals. But he took another loss because Ron Reed shut out the Mets on just five hits.

In July Webb pitched two complete game victories where he only allowed one run each time. The first came in Atlanta in a 3-1 win & the second was in the nightcap of a double header at Wrigley Field. His best outing came on August 25th when he threw a five hit shutout against the Padres in San Diego. 

In September he pitched in relief & made two more starts earning a win in St. Louis on September 13th, pitching seven innings. For the year Webb pitched in 29 games making 15 starts, going 7-6 with a 4.07 ERA in 115 innings pitched, striking out 38 batters while walking 62. It was the only time in five years with the Mets he ever recorded any victories.

In 1976 he was 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA and the next winter he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers with minor leaguer Richard Sander in exchange for Rick Auerbach. 

He pitched in only five games for the 1977 NL Champion Dodgers before ending his playing career at AAA Albuquerque. In his six year career, Webb pitched in 53 games going 7-9 with 4.39 ERA, striking out 71 batters, while walking 91 in 169 innings pitched.

Family: Webb moved south to Clearwater, Florida after his baseball days.

His son Ryan Webb is an MLB relief pitcher who has played for the San Diego Padres (2009-2010), Florida / Miami Marlins (2011-2013) Baltimore Orioles (2014) Cleveland Indians (2015) & Tampa Rays (2016).

In 2010 Ryan Webb earned a win in an extra inning victory against his dad’s old Mets team on June 2nd. On September 23rd 2012, Ruben Tejada hit a base hit off Webb, in the bottom of the 9th inning scoring Jerry Hairston with the walk off win. 

On April 23rd, 2013 he took a loss to the Mets pithing in the 7th inning but then came back for a win two days later. He would face the Mets five more times in 2013 with no decisions. Webb pitched for eight seasons going 17-18 with a 3.43 ERA in 375 appearances.

1954 World Champion NY Giants Pitcher Who Was Saved By Willie Mays' Catch: Don Liddle (1954-1956)

Don Eugene Liddle was born on May 25, 1925, in Mount Carmel, Illinois.

After high school Liddle went into the Navy to serve his country during World War II. The left-handed pitcher was signed by the Boston Braves in 1947, spending seven years in the minor leagues. He was already 27 years old when he debuted in the big leagues, & by this time the Braves had moved to Milwaukee.

In May 1953 he earned his first MLB win, it was a one run two hitter against the Chicago Cubs. Liddle ended up 7-6 with two saves, while posting a 3.08 ERA for the ‘53 Braves. During the winter of 1954 he was traded along with along with Johnny Antonelli, Billy Klaus, Ebba St. Claire and $50,000 to the New York Giants for Bobby Thomson & Sam Calderone.

Liddle had his best season in the Giants 1954 Championship season. After beginning the year at 0-2 then went on to go 9-2 the rest of the way, including a 5-1 stretch from August through September.

He finished out June pitching a complete game four hitter against his old Milwaukee Braves team mates to even out his record at 2-2. On July 15th he shutout the Cardinals in St. Louis on a five hitter 4-0 win. That same week he went into the 9th inning pitching five hit shutout innings in Cincinnati, but the Giants lost the game in the 11th inning.

On August 20th Liddle threw a three hit shut out at the Polo Grounds to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates. He closed out his season with another five hit shutout in Philadelphia beating the Phillies on September 24th to earn his ninth win. Liddle would start 19 games & also work out of the bull pen, going 9-4 with three shutouts, four complete games while posting a 3.06 ERA.

Post Season- 1954 World Series: In Game #1 of the 1954 World Series at the Polo Grounds, Liddle relieved Sal Maglie in the 8th inning with two Cleveland Indians on base. Giants manager Leo Durocher wanted Liddle to specifically pitch to Cleveland’s slugger Vic Wertz.

Wertz then bashed a long fly ball way back to deep center field, somewhere around 450 feet deep. Willie Mays went back, ran down the long fly ball & caught it over his shoulder, making the most famous catch in baseball history.

Liddle was off the hook and throughout time was the forgotten man, as to who actually threw the pitch that leaded to “The Catch” by Mays. Durocher came out & changed pitchers like he had originally intended. When the new pitcher Marv Grissom came to the mound to replace him, Liddle turned to Grissom saying "well, I got my man".

In Game #4 Don Liddle got the start at Cleveland's Municipal Stadium. He went into the 7th inning, allowing four runs while striking out two batters.

He got the victory anyway as the Giants bats exploded to complete the four game sweep over Cleveland, beating Bob Lemon, 7-4.

In 1955 he returned to have another quality year, starting out the year with an eighth inning victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In July he won four straight games besting his record to 5-2. After taking a loss in relief at Wrigley Field he went on to win five of his next six games to end the season.

On the year he was 10-4 with a 4.23 ERA, one save & one hold in 33 games.

He dropped to 2-4 in 1956 before getting traded along with Alvin Dark, Ray Katt and Whitey Lockman to the St. Louis Cardinals for Dick Littlefield, Jackie Brandt, Red Schoendienst and Bill Sarni that June.

He played with St. Louis for the remainder of the year, finishing his career at age 31 at the end of the 1956 season. In his four year career he was 28-18, with four saves, 13 complete games, three shut outs, 198 strike outs, 203 walks and a 3.75 ERA in 117 games pitched.

Retirement: After leaving baseball, Liddle worked at the local Elks Club, owned a service station & sold insurance. He then went to work at the Snap-On Tools factory, for 22 years. He was a supervisor there for 18 of those years.

Honors: He also helped his community's construction of a new ballpark for its youth baseball program. The ballpark was named for him in his Honor.

Passing: Don passed away at age 75 in Mount Carmel, Illinois from lung cancer in 2000.

May 19, 2019

Remembering Mets History (2015) Jacob deGrom One Hits Cards & Ks Season High 11 Batters

Thursday May 21st 2015: A Citi Field crowd of 32,783 came out for an afternoon matinee as Terry Collins second place Mets (24-18) just 1/2 game back hosted Mike Matheny's first place St. Louis Cardinals.

The Mets sent Jacob deGrom (4-4) to the mound facing the Cards Jaime Garcia (0-0). It was one of deGroms best outings of the year.

Starting Lineups

He started out the first inning by striking out three batters, although he did allow a base hit to Matt Carpenter. deGrom would then retire the next 23 batters in a row. He was nothing less than awesome this afternoon, allowing a season low one hit & no walks in eight innings of work. 

No Cardinal got past first base during his eight innings of work. This afternoon deGrom struck out a season high eleven batters. deGrom would have five games where he had double figures in strike outs on the 2015 season.

In the 4th inning, the Mets got a walk to Lucus Duda & a pair of singles to Michael Cuddyer & Daniel Murphy. Then short time Met John Mayberry Jr. singled to left field scoring Duda, making it 1-0 Mets.

In the 6th Duda hit a solo HR, the first of his two on the day. His other came in the 8th inning a three run shot off Randy Choate, capping off a four RBI day for Mr. Duda. Duda now had five HRs on the young season.

Jeurys Familia came on in the 9th & gave up the second hit of the day, but closed out the 5-0 shut out.

Remembering Mets History (1973) Tom Seaver Tosses Two Hitter

May 12, 1973: Yogi Berra's Mets (16-14) took the field at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium to go up against the defending NL East Champion Pirates (12-14). 

Pirates' Manager Bill Virdon sent Bob Moose to the mound to face Cy Young Winner of that year; the Mets Tom Seaver.

Starting Lineups

In the top of the 1st, Wayne Garrett singled & got to third on a Felix Millan single. Then Cleon Jones hit into a double play, which scored Garrett. Little did anyone know it would be all the Mets needed on the day.

Tom Seaver would allow a base hit to pitcher Bob Moose in the 3rd inning & a triple to Hall of Famer Willie Stargell in the 7th. Those were the only two hits he gave up on the day, on his way to a two hit shut out. 

It was strange for Seaver, who usually struck out lots of people in a game, but only fanned two Pirates on this day.

In his second Cy Young season, Seaver put in many good performances, but the two hitter on this day was the fewest hits he allowed in a complete game all year. The previous September, Seaver had thrown a two hit shut out in Pittsburgh, beating Nellie Briles 1-0.

In that 1972 season Seaver had also pitched a one hitter, striking out eleven San Diego Padres at Shea Stadium. Up to that point in his Amazing career, Seaver had thrown three two hitters & four one hitters.

In 1973, Seaver won 19 games (19-10) leading the league in strike outs (251) ERA (2.08) & Complete games (18). This game was one of his three shut outs on the year.

Cleon Jones
The Mets gave Seaver a lot of offense on that day, but not until late in the game. In the 8th inning they hit three straight singles, including an RBI hit by Ed Kranepool. Next up short time Met, Jim Gosger doubled bringing home Rusty Staub.

In the 9th Wayne Garrett hit his first of a career high 16 HRs on the season, off Pirate reliever Dave Guisti. After Felix Millan reached on an error, Cleon Jones doubled bringing in  his second RBI on the day. Jones then scored when Gosger reached on an error by Vic Davallio at first base.

Pirates Bob Moose notes: On September 29th 1969, Bob Moose pitched a no hitter against Gary Gentry & the New York Mets. The Mets had already clinched the NL East at that point. 

Moose had his best season in 1969, going 14-3 leading the league in win % (.824%) posting a 2.91 ERA. Moose would win ten games or more over the next five years, as a regular in the Pirate rotation. In his time in Pittsburgh (1967-1976) he was 76-71 with 19 saves & a 3.05 ERA in 289 appearances. He won a World Series (1971) played in five NLCS but never had a post season victory. The Pirates were 0-7 in playoff games where Moose pitched.

In 1976 on his 29th birthday, Bob Moose was killed in an automobile accident.

May 18, 2019

2000 NL Champion Mets Relief Pitcher: Turk Wendell (1998-2001)

Steven John "Turk" Wendell was born on May 19, 1967 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The six foot two, right-handed pitcher attended Quinnipiac College, setting single season strikeout & ERA records there. Wendell was then drafted in the fifth round of the 1988 draft by the Atlanta Braves.

He began his minor league career as a starter, going 11-11 in 1989 at both the A & AA levels. He fell to 5-12 the next year moving into the bullpen as a relief pitcher. In September of 1991 he was traded with Yorkis Perez to the Chicago Cubs for Damon Berryhill and Mike Bielecki.

He debuted with the Cubs in 1993, pitching in just thirteen games over his first two seasons. He would spend parts of five seasons with the Cubs, becoming their closer by the 1996 season. That year he appeared in 70 games, with 18 saves, going 5-4 with a 2.84 ERA.

In 1997 the Cubs closer duties went Terry Adams, as Wendell fell to a 3-5 record in mid relief appearing in 52 games.

In August of 1997 he was traded to the New York Mets along with Brian McRae and Mel Rojas for outfielder Lance Johnson, who was coming off a career year. (The Mets later sent Mark Clark and Manny Alexander to complete the trade.)

Wendell soon became a work horse reliever for Bobby Valentine, with good control & a good fastball. He also became popular with the Shea fans due to his zany antics. Wendell wore a necklace around his neck made from teeth of various animals he had hunted down. 

He would wave to the centerfielder before each inning & wouldn’t start pitching until the outfielder waved back. He would start out each inning by drawing three crosses in the dirt on the pitcher’s mound. He would crouch down on the mound when his catchers would stand up back of the plate. 

Turk chewed black licorice instead of tobacco and would hide in the corner of the dugout to brush his teeth between innings. For good luck he superstitiously leapt over the white base line on his way to the dugout. He would also have the umpire roll the ball to him instead of having it thrown back.

He wore #99 in honor of Charlie Sheen’s Wild Thing character in the movie Major League, and signed a three year contract in 2000, worth $9,999,999.99 in honor of his number. His most famous trademark was when he would slam down the rosin bag before getting set to pitch, drawing a huge cheer from the Shea Faithful.

Turk Wendell made his Mets debut on August 9th at Shea Stadium pitching one inning of relief against the Astros. On September 2nd he pitched four innings in an interleague game against the Toronto Blue Jays & earned a save. On Opening Day 1998 he came in for the 13th inning pitching against the Philadelphia Phillies. He earned the victory after a four hour & thirty five minute season winning home opener.

Two days later he got another win in extra innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Although he was a primarily middle reliever by the end of August he was 4-0 with a 2.70 ERA. On the year he would make 66 appearances going 5-1 with four saves, eleven holds and a 2.93 ERA over 76 innings. 

In 1999 he allowed an earned run in Florida in the season opener, but got no decision in the 6-2 loss to the Marlins. After that game he would only allow one more earned run over his next sixteen appearances, going through mid May. I

n that time he gathered up nine holds and kept his ERA at 1.57 well under two. He had a good July as well, earning his second win on July 5th, and then earned his third save on July 26th coming against the Pittsburgh Pirates. That month he earned five more holds but did blow a save & took a losing decision against the Expos.

After two straight losses during the first week of September, he came back to earn wins in back to back outings that next week. He finished the year setting a Mets team record with 80 appearances, while getting credit for 21 holds amongst the tops in the NL, going 5-4 with 77 strike outs 37 walks in 85 innings pitched, with three saves & a 3.05 ERA.

1999 Post Season: NLDS: In Game #1 of the NLDS against the Diamondbacks he was the winning pitcher in Arizona, after pitching a scoreless 8th inning. The Mets then had Edgardo Alfonzo hit a 9th inning grand slam HR leading to an 8-4 win.

1999 NLCS: In the NLCS he earned another win against the Atlanta Braves when John Olerud singled home the winning runs off John Rocker in the 8th inning of Game #3 at Shea Stadium. Overall in the 1999 post season he made seven appearances going 2-0 allowing three runs over seven innings pitched. He struck out five & walked six in 7.2 innings of work.

In 2000 he began the year with five holds in the month of April, earning two victories during the week of April 20th. The wins both came at home, first on April 20th he pitched a scoreless 11th inning then got the win courtesy of Melvin Mora's walk off HR.

In May he had a rough start blowing two saves & taking two losses in the first two weeks.

On May 21st he earned a win at Shea against the Arizona Diamondbacks & then two days later earned another victory in San Diego after pitching two scoreless innings against the Padres. He earned himself four more winning decisions over the last two months as the Mets chased the Braves for the Eastern title & won the NL Wild Card title.

Wendell finished with a career high eight victories, going 8-6 with one save, leading the team in appearances once again (77) while posting 17 holds, & a 3.59 ERA. He struck out 73 batters in 82 innings of work. He also did a lot of charitable work with children in the New York area & won the New York Press' Good Guy Award for the 2000 season.

2000 Post Season: In the 2000 post season he appeared in two games of each series, including earning a strange win in the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals.

2000 NLCS: In Game #2 of the NLCS, he entered the game in the 8th inning and allowed J.D. Drew to tie up the score at 5-5. He intentionally walked slugger Mark McGwire then struck out Craig Paquette to end the St. Louis threat. The Mets scored a run in the 9th inning on Jay Payton’s RBI single and Turk ended up with the win.

On the eve of the 2000 World Series he said " The AL NY Teams Stadium, I don't give a hoot about it. We played there before."

2000 World Series: In the 2000 Subway World Series he was the loser in the twelve inning loss in the opening game. Wendell served up former Met Jose Vizcaiano’s game winning base hit. Turk would make one more appearance in that Series, overall allowing one run on two hits, with two strike outs &a walk in 1.2 innings of work.

Wendell pitched in two post seasons with the Mets going an overall 3-1 in thirteen appearances, striking out 14 batters in 12.2 innings pitched, allowing four runs on six hits.

In 2001 he made 40 appearances going 4-3 with six holds & a 3.51 ERA into late July . On July 27th he was traded along with fellow reliever Dennis Cook to the Phillies for Bruce Chen & Adam Walker. 

In his five seasons with New York, he never posted a losing record or had an ERA above 3.60. He made 285 Mets appearances (12th all time in Mets history) going 22-14 with ten saves, 55 holds and a 3.34 ERA, striking out 259 batters in 312 innings while walking 147.

Wendell, was always outspoken & never afraid to speak his mind. When asked if he thought Barry Bonds & Sammy Sosa used steroids, he said yes. He also said everyone in baseball; players, coaches, managers & owners alkie knew about steroid use. He spoke out against steroid use and believed everything in Jose Canseco’s controversial book “Juiced”.

In 2001, he hit Vladimir Guerrero with a fastball saying; “ If he doesn’t like it, he can freaking’ go back to the Dominican and find another line of work." Less than a month later, he was ejected from a game against the St. Louis Cardinals for throwing behind catcher Mike Matheny. After the game, he told the media "When Rick Ankiel is out there throwing balls everywhere, why don't they throw him out of the game?"

After his Mets days his career was plagued by injuries, even missing the entire 2002 season. He went 3-5 in those last three seasons, finishing up his career in Colorado with Rockies in 2004. In his 11 year career, he went 36-33 lifetime with 33 saves, posting a 3.93 ERA with 515 strikeouts & 324 walks in 645 innings pitched making 552 appearances.

Retirement: In 2006 he visited the Troops in Afghanistan as part of MLB’S Heroes of the Diamond tour. He says he was so inspired by that trip he tried to enlist but was denied because he is color blind.

Wendell owns Wykota Ranch, a 200-acre hunting and fishing camp in Larkspur, Colorado.

In 2010 he told the Daily News he believes there should be a worldwide draft in baseball, and told former union president Donald Fehr just that. “These kids are coming over from Japan, Cuba or where ever and they’re giving them $30 million and they’ve never set foot in a minor league facility and they’ve just robbed every kid in Triple-A that’s competing for that spot.”

Remembering Mets History: (1980) John Stearns Tackles A Fan On the Playing Field

Thursday June 12th 1980: A crowd of 19,501 fans came out to Shea Stadium, for this series finale. They were eager to see Joe Torre's fourth place Mets (26-27) sweep Tommy Lasorda's second place Los Angeles Dodgers (32-24). The Mets sent John Pacella to the mound to go up against L.A's Dave Goltz. It was a wild series that already had had a bench clearing brawl two days earlier.

In the top of the 2nd inning Dusty Baker singled & scored on a Mike Scoscia RBI double. In the 3rd, Bill Russell doubled & Reggie Smith drove him in with a single. Steve Garvey also singled & Baker hit a three run HR making it 5-0 L.A.

But the Mets bounced back, in the 5th inning John Stearns & Eliott Maddox both singled.

Goltz attempted to pick off Maddox at first, but Steve Garvey's error advanced the Maddox & Stearns from third. After Ron Hodges walked, Lee Mazzilli singled home Maddox making it 5-2. Frank Tavares then singled, bringing in Hodges. Another Dodger error scored Mazzilli to bring the Mets within a run.

In the home 6th, Mike Jorgensen & John Stearns both walked. Eliot Maddox then sacrificed to the pitcher & got himself an infield hit. Jorgensen scored on a wild throw by new Dodger pitcher; Bobby Castillo. The throw went all the way to the backstop & Stearns scored all the way from first base. It was all the Mets needed for the 6-5 win, as Neil Allen came on & got the save. 

But there was more excitement during the game when two fans jumped onto the field & ran across the outfield. Security guards chased the fans but weren't able to track them down & the game was delayed.

Mets catcher; John Stearns saw enough, the former college football defensive back (University of Colorado) left his catchers spot & ran into left field after the fans. He managed to tackle one of the fans & hold him down until the police came over to arrest the individual. 

 John Stearns was certainly a tough guy, he had been known for brawls & head on collisions at home pate. One famous one was with Pittsburgh Pirates slugger Dave Parker & another with Montreal Expos star (& future Mets All Star) Gary Carter. Stearns even once attacked the Atlanta Braves mascot; Chief Nocahoma after he had been heckling him.