Sep 20, 2012

Early Nineties New Jersey Born Mets Outfielder: Dave Gallagher (1992-1993)

David Thomas Gallagher was born September 20, 1960 in Trenton, New Jersey. The South Jersey outfielder was a first round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians in 1980 (the 8th pick overall).

He spent seven years in the minor leagues, batting over .300 three times. In 1983 he hit .338 at AA Buffalo in 1983, getting promoted to AAA Maine where he spent another three seasons. Gallagher was not a HR hitter not known for his power, since he never hit double figures in HRs in his ten year minor league career.

In 1987 he made the Indians club out of Spring Training, but after batting just .111 he was sent back down to the minors .At AAA Buffalo he went on to hit .329 in 75 games the rest of the year. Gallagher was traded to the Seattle Mariners for Mark Huismann, but then got released in September 1987. In December he was signed by the Chicago White Sox & found a home on the south side of Chicago. Gallagher became an fine defensive outfielder for the White Sox over the next two seasons.

In 1988 he hit .303 with 5 HRs 15 doubles & 31 RBIs playing in 101 games. In 95 games in the outfield he posted a perfect fielding % (.1000%) & made five assists. The next season he played in every White Sox game and posted the best fielding percentage of all A.L. center fielders (.(993%) while making eight assists. His average dropped to .266 with 22 doubles & Gallagher who very rarely displayed power, hit just one HR. Midway through 1990 he was placed on waivers after Lance Johnson took over as the Sox main centerfielder. Gallagher was picked up by the Baltimore Orioles where he hit just .216 in 23 games.

In December 1990 he was traded to the California Angels where he would play behind Dave Winfield, Luis Polonia & Junior Felis on a last place Angels team. He hit .293 with 17 doubles & 30 RBIs playing in 90 games (270 at bats). In December of 1991 he was traded to the New York Mets for Hubbie Brooks after his second go round in New York.

Gallagher found himself as a reserve outfielder on the ’92 Mets behind Howard Johnson, Bobby Bonilla, Daryl Boston & Vince Coleman. Gallagher debuted on Opening Day as a pinch runner in the Mets 4-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. In his first month as a Met he had a five game stretch where he drove in at least one run from April 14th through April 19th. In two of those games he was successful with pinch hits.

On June 21st he hit a rare HR in a 6-2 Mets win. On August 28th in the second game of a doubleheader against the Reds he had a three hit day driving in three runs in the Mets 12-1 win as they swept the twin bill. Gallagher played in 98 games batting .240 with one HR 11 doubles 7 sac flies (8th in the NL) & 21 RBIs on the so called "worst team, money could buy". He posted a .982 fielding % making two errors in 111 chances with four assists.

In 1993 he would have seven pinch hits for the Mets raising his batting average 34 points on the year to .274. On May 26th at Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium Gallagher hit a second inning HR off Danny Jackson & then had a big 8th inning. With the bases loaded he hit a line drive single scoring two runs leading the Mets & John Franco to a 5-4 win. In a wacky July 18th game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, Gallagher hit his only career grand slam in the 9th inning off Giants pitcher Michael Jackson.

By the end of July he was still batting over the .300 mark & was a useful weapon off the bench. In September he had one final game leading the Mets to victory, as he had a two hit three RBI day in the Mets 4-3 win at Pittsburgh. On the season he hit a career high 6 HRs with 12 doubles, while driving in 29 runs in 201 at bats.

In the outfield he played in 72 games without making an error (.1000%) & made six assists. Around Thanksgiving of 1993 he was sent to the Atlanta Braves for Pete Smith.

Gallagher played one season in Atlanta batting .224 & was then granted free agency. In 1995 he signed with Philadelphia hitting .306 in 62 games but was traded to the California Angels for the rest of the season.

It was his last MLB season finishing up his nine year career, batting .271 lifetime, with 564 hits 17 HRs 100 doubles 10 triples & 190 RBIs in 794 games. In the outfield he posted a fantastic .993 fielding %, playing in 699 games, making 38 assists.

Retirement: Gallagher now runs a baseball academy at Frog Bridge summer camp in Mills township, New Jersey.

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