Dec 6, 2014

Former Bronx Born Mets Number One Draft Pick: Stanley Jefferson (1986)

Stanley Jefferson was born December 4, 1962 in the Bronx, New York. Jefferson grew up in the Co-Op City section of the Bronx, playing many years in the Co-Op City Little League. He was a star baseball player at Truman high school graduating in 1980.

He attended College at Daytona Beach, Florida getting selected as the New York Mets first round draft pick in 1983 (the twentieth pick overall). The outfielder was hyped up as the next Mets superstar in the shadows of Daryl Strawberry.

He was one of the fastest players the organization has ever had, clocked at 3.0 from home plate to first base in college. He had 120 stolen bases in his first three minor-league seasons, including an inside-the-park grand slam.

In 1986 at AAA Tidewater he batted .290 getting a September call up for 14 games batting .208 (5-24). 

He debuted in the big leagues on September 7th, 1986 batting lead off & center field. In his second at bat he was hit by a pitch from the Padres Dave LaPoint. He eventually scored on a Kevin McReynolds base hit & got a hit of his own later in the 7-1 Mets win. On September 20th, he hit his first career HR, it came at Shea Stadium against Tom Hume in a  9-5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

After the Mets won the World Series he was sent to the San Diego Padres in the Kevin McReynolds-Kevin Mitchell deal that winter.

Jefferson showed some promise in San Diego, stealing 34 bases hitting 8 HRs with 7 triples in 116 games batting only .230. He clashed with Padres manager Larry Bowa and in 1988 only batted .144 getting sent back to the minor leagues. There he hit .317 getting traded to the A.L. New York club in the Jack Clark deal, arriving back home in the Bronx. He logged just 12 at bats there before being shipped to the Baltimore Orioles (1989-1990) Cleveland Indians (1990) and Cincinnati Reds (1991).

In 1991 he tore his Achilles’ tendon which finished off his career. After a six year career, he batted .216 with 180 hits 16 HRs 25 doubles 67 RBIs & a .276 on base % in 296 games.

During the Players strike in the early nineties Jefferson became a replacement player for the Mets, sharing the outfield with ex-Met Herm Winningham. Eventually he obtained his Bachelor's degree at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York.

Retirement: In 1997 after his baseball career Jefferson joined the New York City Police Department. He was on duty during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and worked at Ground Zero after the collapse of the World Trade Center. He suffered health problems as a result of his time at Ground Zero, and was forced to retire being unfit for duty in 2004.

He then suffered from agoraphobia, panic attacks, depression & recurring nightmares. Jefferson still lives in Co-Op City with his wife Christie.

No comments: