Aug 2, 2020

Remembering Mets History: (1982) Joel Youngblood Plays For Two MLB Teams On The Same Day

Wednesday August 4th 1982: The fifth place New York Mets (46-58) were in Chicago to play an afternoon game against Lee Elia's sixth place Chicago Cubs (42-66) in front of 9,237 fans at Wrigley Field. It was to be a strange , historic day for Mets player Joel Youngblood.

New York Mets Manager; George Bamberger, was well aware that a trade was being negotiated for his All Star outfielder.

 Youngblood had been with the Mets since 1977, the versatile outfielder had a strong arm, played infield positions as well & made the 1981 All Star team. He was a good player that never found a home position for two long on a poor team.

When the new Mets ownership took over, things began to change. As a young Mookie Wilson arrived with the Mets, there was less room for Youngblood. 

He felt he was good enough to start on the poor club & if not, he asked to be traded. He also knew his days in New York were numbered.

Mets Game: The Mets were in Chicago at Wrigley Field playing the Cubs. Manager, George Bamberger, penciled in Youngblood as the Mets clean up hitter, in the Mets line up that day.

 In the 1st inning, he struck out against Hall of Famer, Fergie Jenkins. In the 3rd inning, with the Mets up 1-0 & the bases loaded, Youngblood singled off Jenkins, scoring Wally Backman & Craig Swan.

In the middle of the next inning, Mookie Wilson was put in the game, replacing Youngblood. Joel was feeling like he was to have a good day at the plate, after the hit & wondered why he was being removed. 

He went over to ask his manager about the move. Manager George Bamberger informed him that he had just been traded to the Montreal Expos. He also stated that, the Montreal team was short players and wanted Youngblood to join the ball club as soon as he could. They were asking to see if he could make it to that night's game scheduled in Philadelphia. 

Youngblood exited the Mets dugout, saying goodbye to his team mates, telling them what had transpired. In the locker room he showered, packed his bags and got a cab to the airport.

 It was then he realized he forgot his glove at Wrigley Field. He told the cab driver, he'd give him a big tip but he had to go back to the ballpark to get it & quickly get to the airport.

Quotes- Joel Youngblood: "And I knew that would take away from the time I had and I was jeopardizing my opportunity to make that flight. But I’d played with that glove for years. So I went back, got my glove, and the cab got me to the airport in probably another 30 minutes. It was a 6:05 flight – 7:05 Philly time.”

He eventually caught the next flight from O'Hare to Philadelphia, arriving at Veterans Stadium just as the night game began. There, the Expos already had a uniform waiting for him. It had his long last name & number, already stitched in  on the back. 

Expos Game: Youngblood now the Montreal Expo, got dressed and walked into his new team’s dugout, getting greeted by Montreal manager; Jim Fanning.

Fanning inserted him in right field, replacing Jerry White in the 6th inning. He came to bat in the top of the 7th and singled off the Phillies future Hall of Famer; Steve Carlton.

Youngblood made baseball history, becoming the first player to get two hits on the same day for two different teams. It must also be noted that he accomplished the feat, against two future Hall of Fame pitchers.

At the end of 1982, he would become a free agent & sign with the San Francisco Giants.

Joe Pignatano: The Longest Serving Coach In Mets History (1968-1981) A Brooklyn Born Italian / American

Joseph Benjamin Pignatano was born in Brooklyn, New York on August 4, 1929. He grew up less than a mile from Coney Island, where the A ball Brooklyn Cyclones now play, on West 15th Street.

As a boy on the streets of Brooklyn all Piggy did was play was baseball. It was either was hard ball, stickball or softball.

In 1948 he tried out for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and was one of just two players who got selected. He was sent to Cairo, Illinois to play, then was given a check, released and sent home. With no money in his pocket he slept at a Chicago train station, until a cop felt sorry for him & put him up at a hotel for the night.

When he got home, his mother called the Dodgers wanting to know why her boy was tossed out on the street. No one knew why & as a result he was given another chance.

This time he did better & signed a contract. He played minor league ball until 1951 when he went into the military, serving two years in the Korean War. He returned to the minors playing through the ranks, batting a solid .299 in 1957 in the International League. From there he got his promotion to the Dodgers big league club, playing in his home town of Brooklyn at Ebbets Field.

He would only play in only eight games in 1957 hitting .214 (3-14) with one RBI. On Tuesday September 24th, 1957, he replaced Roy Campanella in the 5th inning of the last game ever played at Ebbets field. He went on to catch the last five innings of a shut out thrown by rookie pitcher Danny McDevitt.

In 1958 he went with the Dodgers to Los Angeles, becoming the backup catcher behind Johnny Roseboro. The third string catcher was future Mets coach Rube Walker who was finishing out the final season of his playing career.

Pignatano hit .218 in 63 games, with a career high 9 HRs, driving in 17 runs. In 57 games behind the plate he threw out 12 of 18 base runners attempting to steal (67%). 

In the Dodgers 1959 Championship season, he hit .237 in 52 games, playing mostly against lefthanders. He got to catch in 49 games throwing out 46% of base runners attempting to steal, posting a .997 fielding %.

1959 World Series: Pignatano singled advancing Gil Hodges to third base, in the 12th inning of the second game of a best of three playoff series with the Milwaukee Braves. Hodges would score on Carl Furillo’s hit, which led to the Braves Felix Mantilla making a crucial throwing error.

In the 1959 World Series Pignatano got to play one inning against the Chicago White Sox.

After the Championship: He played one more season in L.A. playing in 40 games, throwing out 12 of 19 base runners attempting to steal, but with Roseboro behind the plate & Norm Sherry becoming a favorite target of Sandy Koufax, Pignatano was sent to the Kansas City A’s.

There he had career highs in games played (92) hits (59) average (.243) doubles (10) walks (36) & RBIs (22). At the start of the 1962 season he was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Jose Tartabul (Danny Tartabul’s father) and after only seven games had his contract purchased by the expansion 1962 Mets.

Mets Playing Career: He joined New York that summer & debuted on July 14th in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. In his first Mets at bat he doubled going 1-4. The next day he doubled again driving in a run against the San Francisco Giants. He played In 27 games with the ’62 Mets driving in two runs, batting .232.

In 25 games behind the plate he made just one error (.991%) with 100 put outs throwing out just 4 of 13 base runners attempting to steal.

Trivia: On the last day of the season at Wrigley Field, in his last career at bat, he hit into a triple play in the top of the 8th inning. It was a pop up back behind second base, Cubs infielder Ken Hubbs made the grab then got Ritchie Ashburn & Sammy Drake out on the bases.

Piggy played two seasons in the minors, winning the International League Championship in 1964. 

Playing Career: In his six season career he batted .234 with 161 hits 16 HRs 25 doubles & 62 RBIs. He threw out 45% of would be base stealers posting a .990 fielding %.

Pignatano worked in the off season as many players of his era did. He was a plumbers assistant for ten years & then worked at an A& S department store for more than twenty years.

After his playing career he remained friends with his old team mate Gil Hodges. Hodges had become manager of the Washington Senators & in 1965 asked Pignatano to be his first base coach.

Mets Coach: In 1968 he joined Hodges in his move to New York, becoming the Mets bullpen coach. He also served as a part time first base coach as a backup to Yogi Berra. In the bull pen his job was to get relief pitchers warmed up and report their status to Hodges.

On that coaching staff he worked with another former teammate, Mets pitching coach Rube Walker. Pignatano & Walker would start a coaching relationship that lasted 14 years, serving the longest terms of any coaches in Mets history.

Pignatano, Rube Walker & Gil Hodges worked very closely, spending all their time together on the road. 

Quotes- Joe Pignatano: "On the road, we were always together. We talked about what we had to do and then we went out and did it. All three of us came from Washington and we inherited Yogi Berra and he fit just like a glove.

Pignatano & Rube Walker would serve under five different managers; Gil Hodges, Yogi Berra, Roy McMillan, Joe Frazier & Joe Torre through the 1981 season.

Piggy's Famous Bullpen Vegetable Garden at Shea
The Shea Stadium Vegetable Garden: Pignatano was famous for maintaining his tomato plants & vegetable garden in the Mets bullpen.

In 1969 he found a wild tomato plant growing, he tended to it and nursed it throughout the season. As he said in later years : "We got some tomatoes off it, but most important, we won the whole thing."

As the Mets did win the whole thing,after the World Championship season, he felt the tomato plant was a good luck charm and continued to maintain it through the seventies.

Eventually the garden grew to be thirty feet long, sprouting out zucchini, eggplants squash, lettuce & pumpkins. He was very proud of his garden, as ot also saw two different generations of Mets fans tend to its needs.

After he left the Mets in 1981, the garden was still maintained by a few players & Pete Flynn's ground crew.

In 1969 Piggy helped groom Tug McGraw in the bullpen to becoming one of the game’s best relievers. "McGraw had to be the best," said Pignatano, "But Cal Koonce did a good job, Ron Taylor and Don Cardwell did nice jobs, too. But the guy that did the greatest job was McGraw."

Pignatano was there for all the good times; the 1969 Championship, the close knit teams of the early seventies & the 1973 NL Pennant.

Piggy & Bud Harrelson at Citi Field
He was also there for the bad times. He was golfing with Gil Hodges when he suffered his fatal heart attack, and then suffered with the team’s demise after the passing of owner Joan Payson.

He said after Hodges & Payson passed, the people running the ball club wouldn’t spend the money to get good players or keep the ones they had. He blamed Charles Payson and of course M. Donald Grant for running the team into the ground.

Post Mets Career: After the Wilpon/Doubleday ownership took over in 1981, Joe Torre & his old coaches were fired. Piggy went along with his Brooklyn friend Torre to Atlanta and coached under him for three seasons. He then coached in the minor leagues until 1986, before retiring from baseball.

2007: Pignatano & Danny McDevitt
Throw Out First Pitch Before a Cyclones Game
His favorite years in baseball, were the ones he spent in New York, with the Brooklyn Dodgers & Mets. His biggest thrill (of course) was the 1969 Championship. Over the years he frequently visited Shea Stadium, Citi Field & appears at various Mets & Brooklyn Dodger events.

Honors: In 2007 he was at Ralph Kiner night at Shea Stadium, and was also honored at Keyspan Park in Brooklyn. He & pitcher Danny McDevitt threw out a ceremonial first pitch, prior to a Cyclones game, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the last game ever played at Ebbets Field.

Honors: Piggy attended the closing ceremonies of Shea Stadium in 2008 & was on hand for the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the 1969 Mets team in 2009.

Pignatano is one of the nicest guys you could ever meet, & one of the most popular Mets coaches in team history. He is one of the last living members of the Brooklyn Dodgers team. He still lives in Brooklyn and is the cousin of former Mets pitcher, Pete Falcone.

Mackey Sasser: Late Eighties Mets Back Up Catcher (1988-1992)

Mack Daniel Sasser was born August 3, 1962 at Fort Gaines, Georgia. He attended Troy State University & still holds the school record for most at bats by a player making it to the big leagues. Sasser was originally an outfielder, getting drafted in the fifth round of the 1984 draft by the San Francisco Giants.

In 1985 at A ball Fresno he was fourth in the California league in batting (.338) & fourth in RBIs (102). He hit .293 the next year at AA Shreveport & then .318 at AAA Phoenix in 1987.

That year he also made his MLB debut with the Giants (14 games) but was soon traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Don Robinson & cash on July 31st. 

He finished the season batting .185 playing in just 14 games at then big league level. In the off season he was sent to the New York Mets for prospect Randy Milligan.

1988 NL Eastern Champion Season: In Spring Training 1988, Sasser impressed, & beat out Barry Lyons for the backup catching job, behind Gary Carter. On April 10th he made his Mets debut as a defensive replacement in a 4-3 Mets win at Philadelphia.

On April 19th he got his first Mets hit as a pinch hitter at Shea Stadium. He kept his batting average up to .300 by the end of May & then brought it back to that mark with a strong end of June where he started seeing more action.

On July first he hit a rare triple in the bottom of the 7th inning, against the Houston Astros in the first game of a double header. The hit drove in Daryl Strawberry in what turned out to be the game winning run. On July 22nd he hit a pair of double driving in wo runs in the Mets 5-1 win over the Atlanta Braves.

From there he slumped to the end of September as his average fell to .245. In the last week of the season he had a resurgence, getting seven hits over three game stretch.

On September 25th, Sasser had a four RBI day in St. Louis while gathering up three hits & a walk in the Mets 9-7 win. He finished the year batting .285 with one HR, ten doubles, a .313 on base % & 17 RBIs in 60 games played. 

Behind the plate he made six errors (.970 fielding %) & only threw out 22% of base runners attempting to steal.

He did not play in the post season.

In 1989 Gary Carter spent more time on the disabled list & Sasser saw action in 62 games behind the plate, (72 games) overall sharing time with Barry Lyons. Defensively, Sasser improved to a .992 fielding % & threw out 29% of runners attempting to steal.

 On May 13th he hit his only HR of the year, it came off Ed Whitson & the San Diego Padres. The two run shot in the home second inning, led the Mets to a 3-2 win. 

He didn't begin to see much action until June, and quickly got himself over .300. That June he drove in runs in six of seven games in the middle of the month.

Toward the end of July he had a another hot streak where he drove in seven runs with six hits, over a six game stretch keeping his average well above .300. In 182 at bats he batted .291 with one HR, 14 doubles a .316 on base % & 22 RBIs.

By 1990 Gary Carter’s days in New York were over, but Barry Lyons won over the main catcher’s job at first. But Lyons struggled through injuries, and Sasser was hitting better, He won over the position once again. He caught 87 games that season, leading all NL catchers with 14 errors, while posting a .975 fielding %.

Drama: That July he got run over during a home plate in a collision with the Atlanta Braves Jim Presley.He already had had other home plate collisions.

 After that point, Sasser developed a serious mental problem where he would double pump his arm on his throws back to the pitcher.

Strangely it didn’t seem to affect him throwing out base runners who were attempting to steal. Neither he nor the Mets medical staff could figure out what was going on. So became the legend of in which Mackey Sasser will always be remembered.

At the plate he had his best year batting .307 (second on the team to Dave Magadan) with 6 HRs 14 doubles a .344 on base % & 41 RBIs in 270 at bats. 

On May 6th he helped the Mets come back from a four run deficit, hitting a three run HR to tie the game against the Houston Astros. They went on to win it on a Kevin McReynolds HR. 

A few days he doubled driving in two more runs in a 9-4 win over the L.A. Dodgers. A the end of June into July he hit safely in 19 of 22 games topping his average up at .336.

On July 6th he had a four RBI day at Atlanta, capped off with a three run 9th inning HR in the 10-3 Mets win. The following day he came back to drive in three more runs, but it was all the Mets could score in the 4-3 loss.

On July 24th he had a huge day in Philadelphia, hitting two HRs driving in four runs while gathering up three hits in a 7-4 Mets win. On July 29th Sasser hit a grand slam HR off St. Louis's Jose Deleon, helping Doc Gooden to a 6-0 shutout in front of 42,000 at Shea Stadium. Sasser peaked at a .350 batting average before leveling off to .307 in the final months of the season.

By 1991 the double clutch throwing issue was becoming a real problem. At first he tried psychotherapy, & the yoga exercises but neither one worked. Veteran catcher Rick Cerone was brought in to split the catching duties with Sasser. 

The Mets wanted Sasser's bat in the lineup & even tried putting him in the outfield (21) games, as well as at first base (14 games). In 21 games in the outfield he posted a .967 fielding % & made three assists.

On May 31st he hit a three run HR in St. Louis helping the Mets to a 10-5 win. On July 19th, he had a walk off RBI sac fly against San Francisco’s Dave Righetti giving the Mets a dramatic win over the Giants. Two days later he had a big four hit, five RBI day against the Los Angeles Dodgers, which included a two run HR.

Once again Sasser was hitting, staying over the .300 mark into August. On August 26th Sasser broke a 4-4 tie in Houston, with a tenth inning RBI double leading the Mets to a 6-4 win. In September he drove in eleven runs, for the 5th place Mets, and saw Bud Harrelson get replaced at manager by Mike Cubbage.

Overall in 96 games he batted .272 (fourth best on the club) with 5 HRs & 35 RBIs. By 1992 his average had dropped to .241 and the Todd Hundley era was about to begin behind the plate. Sasser played in 92 games with two HRs 18 RBIs a .248 on base %. He became a free agent and the Mets didn’t peruse him.

He ended up with the Seattle Mariners backing up catcher Dave Valle, batting .218 in 83 games. He played briefly the next two seasons and his career was over by 1995 at age 33. 

Career: He finished a nine season career batting .267 lifetime with 317 hits 16 HRs 69 doubles 7 triples a .296 on base % & 156 RBIs. Defensively he posted a .987 fielding percentage & threw out 27% of would be base stealers.

Retirement: Sasser became a long time baseball coach at Wallace Community College in Alabama. He was still having problems with the throwing and it was occasionally interfering with him throwing batting practice.

Therapy: A friend suggested he seek help from a Long Island psychotherapist and in 2007 they appeared to have worked out the issues. A psychological mental block had occurred from the home plate collision in 1990, as well as other situations earlier in his life. Through therapy Sasser believes he is finally cured.

Family: Sasser & hos wife Terra, live in Dothan Alabama, with their children.

Aug 1, 2020

Kevin Elster: 1986 World Champion Mets Infielder (1986-1992)

Kevin Daniel Elster was born August 3, 1964 in San Pedro California. The six foot two, sleek infielder was signed out of Golden West College in Huntington Beach California. He was the Mets second round draft pick in 1984. Within two years he was at AA Jackson batting .269 & playing a solid shortstop.

He earned a September call up in the 1986 Championship season making his debut on September 2nd, as a defensive replacement against the San Francisco Giants at Shea Stadium. He saw action in 19 games that month, batting .167 (5-30).

Considered such a fine defensive shortstop early on in his career, he also made the post season roster.

1986 Post Season: He got into four games of the NLCS against the Houston Astros, going 0-4, but was on the field when the Mets clinched the pennant in Game Six at Houston. In the World Series he saw action against the Boston Red Sox playing three innings at shortstop in the classic Game #6 at Shea Stadium.

He certainly celebrated with the club on the field, and was one of the last to leave, as he is visible in many of the celebration photographs.

In 1987 he was at AAA Tidewater batting .310 with 8 HRs 74 RBIs & 83 runs scored, getting another September call up. Elster appeared in five games of the 1987 season. By 1988 he was penciled in as the Mets main shortstop, replacing the departed Rafael Santana. 

On Opening Day in Montreal, he hit a two run HR helping the Mets to a 10-6 win over the Expos. On April 17th he singled home the winning run in the bottom of the 9th inning in a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. On May 31st Elster added another game winning hit, this time a walk off HR off Alejandro Pena to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers.

On July 29th he hit a HR in the bottom of the 8th inning, to help Bobby Ojeda beat Pittsburgh's John Smiley 1-0 in a classic pitcher's duel. The next day he drove in two runs helping Sid Fernandez & Randy Meyers shut out the Pirates again at Shea Stadium 3-0.

Later on in September he had a big day hitting two HRs & driving in three runs in the Mets 8-0 win over the Dodgers at Shea Stadium. On the season he hit .214 with 9 HRs 11 doubles & 37 RBIs.

At short stop he posted a .977 fielding percentage (3rd best in the NL) turning 61 double plays while playing in 148 games (5th most in the NL). He was known for having a good glove & overall playing steady defensive.

1988 Post Season: He played in five games in the 1988 NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting .250 (going 2-8). In Game #6 at Dodger Stadium he went 1-3 with two walks, driving in a run with a double off Tim Leary in the 3rd inning.

Record Breaker: During the 1988 season he began a streak of 88 consecutive games at short stop without making an error. At the time he set a new MLB record , breaking the former streak held by old time New York Giant Buddy Kerr.

Kerr was working in the Mets organization as a scout at the time. Baltimore Orioles Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. would later break that record, playing in his 95th errorless game in 1990.

In 1989 Elster played in 150 games leading all NL shortstops in put outs & posted the league’s third best fielding percentage (.976) while turning 63 double plays. That season he put up some of his best numbers during his Mets career, he had 106 hits, with 10 HRs, 25 doubles & 55 RBIs although he only batted .231. He started out the year with a six game hit streak, hitting doubles in four straight games.

He also had RBIs in four of the first six games of the year. At the end of July he had a twelve game hit streak & drove in ten runs in a nine game stretch. The next week Elster hit HRs in back to back games & then drove in the winning run the following day with an 8th inning single off Montreal's Tim Burke.

In September he helped the team compete for the NL East title, with three HRs & 11 RBIs although they fell short, losing out to the Chicago Cubs.

He struggled mightily in 1990, then the fans & the press got on him. His manager, Bud Harrelson tried to stand up for him, claiming he was driving in runs even with his low batting average. He barley hit above .100 the first month & didn't get over the .200 mark until late June.

That month in Harrelson's defense, Elster did drive in 16 runs. His season was cut short on August 3rd went a shoulder injury finished off his year. He hit only .207 with a .274 on base %, 9 HRs 20 doubles & 45 RBIs in 92 games.

In 1991 it seemed he may have lost his starting status as Bud Harrelson juggled the struggling players around. Elster still ended up playing 107 games at short. He batted .241 with 6 HRs 16 doubles & 36 RBIs.

Defensively he was still among the top five defensive shortstops in the NL turning 39 double plays with a .970 fielding % (5th in the NL).

The following season Elster felt pain when he threw to first base, he ended up needing shoulder surgery which put him out the rest of the season. He only appeared in just nine games that year and the Mets let him go to free agency after the season.

He didn’t play at all in 1993, as he recovered from the surgery. He then had brief stints with the A.L.New York club, at the end of 1994 & start of 1995. Elster did not enjoy playing for the A.L. New York club & was upset at leaving the Mets.

Although he did enjoy playing for his manager there; Buck Showalter. " I loved playing for Buck.  He was a disciplinarian, and that worked for him. Buck was the only manager I had who called in the off-season, just to touch base and see how everything was going.  That was pretty cool ".

In 1994 he appeared in the movie Little Big League making his Hollywood debut. He was then sent to the Philadelphia Phillies batting .208 in 26 games the rest of the way.

In 1996 Elster had an amazing resurgence, having his best season. That year he signed on with the Texas Rangers and won the A.L. Comeback Player of the Year Award. It was an exciting year for Texas as well, as they won their first Divisional title, under manager Johnny Oates.

He had 24 HRs with 32 doubles 99 RBIs & a .252 average. He hit eleven sac flies which was third most in the AL. He set an MLB record by driving in 92 of his RBIs batting in the 9th position.

At short stop he led the league in put outs (285) & his .981 fielding % was second best in the league.

From there He bounced around to the Pittsburgh Pirates (1997) & Texas again for another round (1988)

Out of the blue he then got a call from his old Mets skipper; Davey Johnson who said he needed a short stop while managing in L.A. Elster then finished his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2000.

On the Opening Day of the San Francisco Giants new Stadium, Pac Bell Park, he fueled the Giants /Dodger rivalry by hitting three HRs in the game.

At the end of April he had already hit six HRs & finished the year with 14 total HRs while playing in just 80 games.

In his 13 season career Elster is lifetime a .228 hitter with 648 hits 88 HRs 136 doubles 12 triples a .228 on base % & 376 RBIs.

Defensively he posted a .974 fielding percentage, making only 98 errors in 7223 innings while turning 433 double plays. Personally Elster has been married & divorced twice.

Honors: Elster has been named one of the top 50 Mets of All Time. He was also honored at Golden West College in Huntington Beach California at their Pillar of Achievement.

Elster was not on hand for the 30th Anniversary of the 1986 Mets Championship team.

Dae-Sung Koo: Short Time South Korean Mets Pitcher (2005)

Dae-Sung Koo was born on August 2, 1969 in South Korea. The six foot one Koo, was a natural right handed pitcher, but an arm injury as a child forced him learn how to pitch left handed.

He began his pro career in Korea in 1993. Three years later he won 18 games & posted 24 saves with 183 strike outs.

He won a Gold Glove as well as being named the league's MVP. In 2000 he led The Korean National Team to a Bronze Medal pitching in the Summer Olympics.

The next year he went over to pitch in the Japanese Pacific League, pitching for the Orix Blue Waves team. 

In 2004 he became a starting pitcher & when Orix merged with the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes he announced he wanted to pitch in America for the major leagues.

In 2005 he was signed by the New York Mets and had an impressive Spring Training earning him a spot on the Met pitching staff.

Mets Career: He debuted on Opening Day in Cincinnati getting credit for a hold, pitching a scoreless 8th inning. The Mets ended up losing the game when Braden Looper gave up back to back HRs to Adam Dunn & Joe Randa in the bottom of the 9th.

After six scoreless games he allowed three runs to the Washington Nationals on April 25th. In May Koo got credit for five holds, but also had two blown saves coming in Chicago & Florida.

His biggest Mets moment came in the May 21st Subway Series matchup at Shea Stadium. Koo relieved Kris Benson & got a chance to bat against Randy Johnson.

Koo shocked everyone, blasting the pitch over the centerfielders head all the way to the wall. He dashed into second with a stand up double. He then scored on a Jose Reyes bunt, with no one covering third base.

see next post:

Koo would pitch in 33 games as a middle reliever for the 2005 Mets, posting a 3.93 ERA, with 23 strike outs, allowing ten earned runs in 23 innings pitched.

His MLB Mets career was short lived, as his contract was sold back to Korea for the 2006 season. 

Post Mets Career: He eventually began to
pitch in the Australian baseball League. He eventually became a closer & was still pitching into his forties.

Family: Koo & his wife live in Sydney Australia with their two children.