Showing posts from February, 2015

Short Time Late Sixties Mets Pitcher: Al Schmelz (1967)

Alan George Schmelz was born on November 12th 1943 in Whittier California. The six foot four right hander attended Arizona State University. There he was a team mate of futue Major leaguers Sal Bando, Rick Monday & future Mets catcher Duffy Dyer. He was signed as an amateur free agent by the New York Mets in 1966. In his first season at pro ball he went 12-0 in the New York Penn League but never matched that success again. After going 8-12 with a 2.60 ERA at A ball Williamsport he was brought up as a September call up. Smeltz debuted on September 7th 1967 at Shea Stadium pitching in relief of Jerry Hinsley. He served up a solo HR to Julian Javier & finished off a 9-2 loss to the eventual World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. He earned no decision. On September 24th he made his final MLB appearance pitching in relief of Don Cardwell in a 4-2 loss to the Houston Astros. He would pitch in the minor leagues through the 1969 season where finshed up at A ball Pompano Beach &

Short Time Early Nineties Mets Infielder: Jeff Gardner (1991)

Jeffrey Scott Gardner was born February 4th,1964 in Newport Beach, California. The five foot eleven left hand hitting infielder, threw right handed & was signed by the New York Mets as an amateur free agent in 1984.   Gardner spent seven years in the minor leagues before ever reaching the majors. Gardner was the AAA Tidewater Tides second baseman from 1989 through 1991, under managers Mike Cubbage & Steve Swisher. He was scouted as having a good eye to draw walks & rarely striking out.After batting a minor league best .292 since his first year in pro ball, he was brought up to the Mets squad for a September 1991 call up. On September 10th, 1991 he got the start at short stop as Kevin Elster got a day of rest. In that game the Mets Pete Shourek, beat the Montreal Expos 9-0. Gardner got his first career hit, a base hit off Mark Gardner, while drawing two walks. He hit safely in five straight games, then had just one other hit in his last eight games. Gardner sa

New York Mets Hitting Coach: Dave Hudgens (2011-2014)

David Mark Hudgens was born on December 5, 1956 in Oroville, California. Hudgens was a star athlete in high school, first getting picked as the New York Mets number one pick in 1975 & then the Milwaukee Brewers 18th round pick in 1977, but did not sign either time. T he left hand hitting outfielder chose to attend the great baseball school of Arizona State University, where he appeared in two College World Series with the Sun Devils. In four years at ASU he hit .313 with 16 HRs & 135 RBIs. Eventually he signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1979 as an amateur free agent. He hit .291 with 26 HRs & 86 RBIs in 127 games at A ball Modesto in his first season. He was promoted to AA Chattanooga in 1980 but was back in A ball in 1981. By 1983 he reached AAA Tacoma hitting 21 HRs with 72 RBIs, getting a big league September call up. He debuted on September 4th, 1983 going 0-1 as a pinch hitter. He played six games, getting his only hit on September 25th in a 8-6 loss to the

Former Mets Outfielder: Alex Escobar (2001)

Alexander Jose Escobar was born on September 6th, 1978 in Carabobo, Venezuela. The six foot one right hand hitting outfielder was signed out of high school by the New York Mets in 1995.  In 1996 he hit .360 in the Rookie League and then stole 49 bases batting .310 with 27 HRs at A ball Capital City two years later. As the Mets won the National League pennant in 2000 Escobar was showing promise as an outfielder of the future at AA ball, getting named to the Baseball America All Star team. By 2001 he was at AAA Norfolk, hitting 12 HRs 52 RBIs & batting .267 and got a call up in the early part of the season. Escobar debuted on May 8th playing centerfield & batting seventh at Coors Field in Colorado. In the 6th inning he singled scoring Todd Pratt with his first hit & RBI. Escobar stayed on the roster until the end of June batting .216. He returned in September playing the first game after the September 11th attacks, in Pittsburgh appearing as a pinch runner. On Octo