Jul 31, 2015

Late Nineties Mets Pitcher: Brian Bohanon (1997-1998)

Brian Edward Bohanon was born August 2, 1968 in Denton, Texas. The big six foot two left hander was a first round draft pick (19th pick overall) for the Texas Rangers in 1987.

He began his career in 1990, as a starter in Texas, going 4-7 over two seasons. He spent five seasons with the Rangers and then moved on to the Detroit Tigers. He made 52 appearances going was 1-1 in ten starts .

Next it was off to Toronto where he was primarily a middle reliever for the Blue Jays in 1996. For 1997 he signed as a free agent with the New York Mets.

Bohanon made his Mets debut on April 6th 1997, in the sixth game of the year. He earned a win, pitching seven innings allowing just two runs against the Giants in San Francisco. He lost his next game coming in relief in the 14th inning of a game in Los Angeles. As the month went on he got hit hard, allowing two runs in each of his next four outings. He was sent to AAA Norfolk & had his best minor league season there, going 9-3 earning him a Mets call up again by late July.

He would get put into the starting rotation & pitch into the 7th inning four times in his first five games. But in that time only got one win while losing twice. He finished out the year 3-1 from August 30th on, winning two games in September. He ending up with a 6-4 record, posting a 3.82 ERA, allowing 95 hits in 94 innings pitched, striking out 66 batters. He pitched beyond the 5th inning ten times in 14 games that he started, giving up less than two runs in five of those games.

In 1998 he was back in the Met bullpen and after going 2-4, he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Greg McMichael. The first time he went up against the Mets again he took a loss, even though he only allowed one earned run through six innings of work.

Bohanon went on to the Colorado Rockies, enjoying success in 1999 & 2000. He was a 12 game winner both seasons pitching over 177 innings both years, including a career high 197 in 1999. In his last outing against the Mets in 2001 he gave up eight runs at Coors Field, taking the loss. He retired after the 2001 season.

In a 12 year career he pitched in 304 games, with a 54-60 lifetime record, posting two saves and a 5.19 ERA. He struck out 671 batters while walking 489 in 1116 innings of work.

Jul 30, 2015

The Man Shea Stadium Was Named After: Bill Shea (1907-1991)

William Alfred Shea was born June 21st, 1907 in New York City. Shea began his education at NYU then moved on to Georgetown & Harvard Law. At Georgetown he played basketball on the varsity team.

He began practicing law & became known as a guy who got things done. Through this success he made many political & powerful contacts throughout New York City.

In 1957 when the New York Giants & Brooklyn Dodgers left New York for the West Coast, New York's Mayor Robert Wagner asked Shea to head a committee to help bring National League baseball back to the city.

Without getting much feedback from the Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates or Philadelphia Phillies, he along with Branch Rickey announced a formation of a new baseball league to rival the majors, named the Continental League.

The Continental League was to be a third League, with teams in Houston, Dallas, Minneapolis, Toronto, Denver, Atlanta, Buffalo & New York.

The owners of the National & American Leagues, held most of the power in those days & the thought of a new league cutting into their investments worried them.

MLB got together & agreed to expand, The AL got a new Los Angeles team (Angels) & Washington D.C. got another version of the Senators.

In 1962 the National League got a franchise in Houston (the Colt 45's) & New York got the Metropolitans, known as the Mets.

Bill Shea abandoned the idea of a new League & the Continental League was dead. The New York Mets played its first season in the old Polo Grounds, awaiting for their new Stadium to be built. It was delayed another year & would not open until 1964.

It's location was in Flushing meadows Queens & was to be named Flushing Meadow Park Municipal Stadium. But a movement began in support of the man most responsible for bringing Major League baseball back to New York.

Shea Stadium opened for buisness in 1964 as one of the biggest & most beautiful baseball stadiums of its time. Shea was a big baseball fan who would always attend Mets games. He got to throw out the ceromonial first pitch in Shea Stadium's history in 1964. He always joked about his legacy, saying; they'll probably rename it, 15 minutes after I die.

Another great story he told in the Mets documentary "An Amazing Era" was that on Opening Day in 1964, he sat next to two guys saying the Stadium was named after an old ball player who was killed in World War II.

Shea would form the Shea & Gould law firm which was one of the best known law firms in New York in the sixties, seventies & eighties. At one point the firm employed 200 lawyers in New York, Albany, Los Angeles, Washington & London.

Some of it's clients included the New York Mets, the A.L. New York team, Marine Midland Bank, Aristotle Onassis, NY's Mayor Abe Beame & Reverend Sun Myung Moon. The firm dissolved in 1994 three years after Shea's passing.

Bill Shea was elected top the Mets Hall of Fame in 1983. Shea passed away in 1991, at the age of 84. In 2008 the Mets honored Shea putting his name up alongside the retired Mets uniforms numbers of Gil Hodges, Tom Seaver & Casey Stengel.

Shea Stadium was demolished in 2009 & the Mets began play in their new home Citi Field.

After one season the Mets finally decided to honor Shea again, this time naming the pedestrian walkway in the outfield area the Shea Bridge.

Trivia: Bill Shea was also responsible for bringing the New York Islanders to the Nassau Veterans Coliseum on Long Island in 1972.

Shea Stadium

Jul 28, 2015

Former New York Giants N.L. Victory Leader: Larry Jansen (1947-1954)

Lawrence Joseph Jansen was born July 16, 1920 in Verboort, Oregon. The right hander was the last AAA pitcher to win 30 games, while pitching for the San Francisco Seals. In 1946 he led the Pacific Coast league in wins (30), earned run average (1.57) and winning percentage (.833)

He was brought up to the New York Giants in 1947 & in his rookie season he led the league in winning percentage (8.08%) and tied for second in victories going 21-9. He completed 20 of 30 starts, pitched 248 innings and posted a 3.16 ERA. If it weren’t for Jackie Robinson he would have won the Rookie of the Year Award, as Jansen came in second.

He was a great control pitcher and had the fewest walks per nine innings allowed (2.02). He would come in second place in that category in the league three more times. Jansen became one of the top pitchers in the league in the late 1940’s & early 1950’s. He was in the top four in victories four times from 1947-1951, leading the league with 23 wins in 1951.

Through those years he was also among the leaders in shutouts, complete games, innings & strikeouts as well. In 1950 he won 19 games (19-13) with a 3.08 ERA & led the NL in shutouts (5) making his first All Star appearance.

In the 1950 All-Star Game, he pitched five innings, striking out six batters, allowing only one hit and no runs before finally being replaced in the 12th inning. Since then No pitcher has pitched more than four innings in an All-Star Game.

The 1951 Giants are famous for one of the best regular season comebacks in baseball history. That season Jansen and team mate Sal Maglie both led the NL with 23 wins. Jansen pitched a career high 278 innings with three shutouts, and a 3.01 ERA, allowing 1.8 walks per nine innings (2nd in the NL). Jansen had six wins in the final month of the season & won his last five decisions. He was the winning pitcher on the last day of regular season against the Boston Braves clinching at least a tie. Because of that start he didn’t get any starts in the Giant/ Dodger playoff Series.

Post Season: In the final playoff game Jansen began warming up in the first inning, but did not relieve Sal Maglie until the 9th inning. Jansen recalls “Well, we were behind 4-1 at the time, so I just did my best to get three guys out. The Dodger players were hollering out at me from the dugout, "You can go home tomorrow," that kind of stuff. They let me have it pretty good.”

When Bobby Thomson hit his famous HR; “the Shot Heard 'Round the World” in the bottom of the ninth to win the game & the pennant, Jansen was the winning pitcher. His World Series wasn’t that impressive as he went 0-2 allowing seven earned runs over two games pitching in ten innings.

In his career Jansen allowed 191 HRs (226th most all time), leading the league in long balls twice. He battled back problems & then arm troubles over the next couple years. He won 11 games in 1952 going 11-11 with a 4.09 ERA. In 1953 he lost 16 games (11-16) with a 4.14 ERA & then arm issues put him at 2-2 with no post season during the Giants 1954 Championship season. He did help out by serving as a coach during that season.

His missed all of 1955 then went to the Cincinnati Reds going 2-3 in eight games before retiring in 1956. Lifetime Jansen was 123-89 (.578 win %) with a 3.58 ERA, walking only 410 batters in 1,766 innings pitched.

Retirement: Interestingly, with the low salaries of his day, he had to work in a pharmacy in Jackson Heights, Queens during the off season for extra pay.

After his playing days he first managed & coached in the Pacific Coast League. He became the San Francisco Giants pitching coach in 1961 under former team mate Alvin Dark. He remained there for 11 years (1961-1971), coaching Hall-of-Famers Gaylord Perry and Juan Marichal along the way & getting to two post seasona.

In 1972 he went to the Chicago Cubs as pitching coach under his old manager, Leo Durocher. After Durocher was fired he coached for another former Giants teammate, Whitey Lockman in 1973. He retired to his home town in Oregeon and lived peacefully until his passing at the age of 89 in 2009.

Jul 27, 2015

Early Eighties Mets Outfielder: Ellis Valentine (1981-1982)

Ellis Clarence Valentine was born on July 30, 1954 in Helena, Arizona. The six foot four, right handed hitting outfielder went to high school in Los Angeles getting drafted by the Montreal Expos in the second round in 1972.

Within three years he flew through the minors & was batting .306 at AAA Memphis with 13 HRs when he got a call up. Valentine made his MLB debut on September 3rd, 1975 in Philadelphia going hitless in three at bats. He played in 12 games at the end of the 1975 season batting an impressive .364.

In the bicentennial year he played in the outfield alongside Gary Carter & Bombo Rivera but he was batting just .238 in June & was sent down to tune up at AAA Denver. He returned to put in a good enough year batting .279

Ron Leflore, Ellis Valentine & Gary Carter
It didn't take the league long to see that Valentine had a rocket launcher for an arm.

His manager Dick Williams boasted, he had the best arm in the NL & compared it to Roberto Clemente’s. That season he finished fourth in the NL with 12 assists.

In 1977 the Expos failed to lure Reggie Jackson to Canada through free agency, and decided to go with their home grown talented young outfield, Andre Dawson, Warren Cromarte & Ellis Valentine. On April 15th he hit the first HR ever hit in the brand new Olympic Stadium.

Over the next three seasons Valentine would hit over 20 HRs, drive in 75 runs or more, get over 150 hits, 28 doubles & steal at least 13 bases. His defense in the outfield was one of the best in baseball. Valentine was originally a center fielder but then switched to right field in 1977. He made the All Star team that year, going 0-1 with a walk in the National Leagues 7-5 win in New York.

In 1978 & 1979 he won the Gold Glove Award, while leading the league with 24 assists in '78. The Expos became true contenders winning 90 games in 1979 & 1980, finishing up in second place both years under skipper Dick Williams.

In 1980 Valentine was having a great start until he was hit in the cheekbone with a pitch and missed 40 games. That injury may have cost the Epos their playoff hopes, in 86 games he hit .315 with 13 HRs & 67 RBIs.

In the strike shortened 1981 season, they made their first post season. That year Valentine started off slow batting just .211 in 22 games & rumors about him using drugs began to swirl. After the first part of the year he was traded to the New York Mets for Jeff Reardon & Dan Norman. The Expos beat the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLDS &lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers on the NLCS. It was their only post season appearance in franchise history.

Ellis Valentine debuted as a Met on June 7th at the Houston Astrodome, batting 5th & playing left field. In his first game at Shea Stadium he had two hits & drove in a run in a 8-4 loss against the Cincinnati Reds. After that Series the baseball strike happened for the next two months. Upon returning he hit safely in eight of the next ten games.

Valentine & Mets Manager Joe Torre
On August 19th he homered off the Atlanta Braves Tommy Boggs and hit another ten days later. They were the only two HRs he hit that month.

One of his biggest days as a Met came at Wrigley field on September 24th. He hit two HRs that day driving in five runs, in the Mets 10-9 loss to the Cubs. In 48 games that season he only batted .207 with 5 HRs 8 doubles 21 RBIs & a poor .227 on base %.

In 1982 he was penciled in as the Mets everyday right fielder, alongside a young Mookie Wilson & veteran George Foster. It looked good on paper but Foster & Valentine disappointed as the Mets finished a disappointing sixth. Valentine was limited to 111 games, batting .288 but his power never came back, he did not hit his first HR until May 24th.

That week he hit three HRs, all in Mets victories closing out the month with three straight two RBI games.

On June 14th he hit a two run HR scoring both Mets runs helping Pete Falcone beat Pittsburgh's Don Robinson. On August 22nd he drove in four runs in Atlanta although the Mets still fell short 10-9.

Overall he hit just 8 HRs with 14 doubles & 48 RBIs posting a .294 on base %. He played a quality defense throwing out 12 base runners with his strong arm & posted a .983 fielding %. The Mets chose not to resign Valentine after the 1982 season, and he signed with the California Angels.

Valentines career had fallen apart by this time, he became a reserve outfielder batting only .240. He was out of baseball in 1984 except for four minor league games, then returned for one season with the Texas Rangers playing in just 11 games batting .211.

He finished a once promising career with a 278 batting average, 881 hits 123 HRs 169 doubles 474 RBIs & a .315 on base %. In 856 games he posted a .972 on base % with 85 outfield assists.

Retirement: After baseball he struggled with his substance abuse problems & was working in a car rental place, making just $4.50 an hour.

He eventually straightened out his life and began working with youngsters in the A.V. Light Foundation. Today he is a counselor for a Church located in Grand Prarie Texas.

Late Nineties Mets Reserve Outfielder Turned Coach: Wayne Kirby (1998)

Wayne Leonard Kirby was born January 22nd, 1964 in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. The five foot eleven left hand hitting out fielder was signed out of an Apprentice School in 1983 by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 13th round.

Kirby spent  eight years in the Dodgers minor leagues before getting put on waivers & signed with the Cleveland Indians. He debuted at age 27 playing 21 games with the Indians in 1991. He spent six years in Cleveland, playing as a regular in 1993. That year he batted .269 with 123 hits, 19 doubles, 5 triples, 6 HRs, 60 RBIs & 17 stolen bases in 131 games. He was a fine defensive outfielder, making a league leading 19 assists. He also turned in five double plays & posted a .979 fielding %.

The next year he hit .293 in 78 games but then fell to .207 in 101 games in 1995 for the AL Champion Indians. He got two post season hits in seven at bats, playing 11 games in the ALDS, ALCS & World Series combined.

The next year he was placed on waivers & was signed by the L.A. Dodgers, making an NLDS appearance. After two years in L.A. where he hit .271 in 65 games in 1996 & then just .169 in 46 games the next year. In 1997  he was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals. After playing in their minors, he was traded to the New York Mets for Shan Gilbert.

Kirby arrived to debut with the Mets on June 11th as a defensive sub. He got a start the next day, going 0-4 in a 4-3 loss to the Florida Marlins. Two days later, he came into the game in the 6th inning & got two hits in three at bats. On June 25th Kirby hit a pinch hit triple in the bottom of the 7th inning, during an inter league game with the Baltimore Orioles. He tied the game when Mike Piazza scored him on sac fly. The Mets went on to a 3-2 win, on a Carlos Baerga walk off hit.

Kirby got one more start & went 1-4 on July1st in Toronto against his old Blue Jays team mates. By the end of July he was sent back down to AAA Norfolk. He finished the year playing in 33 games batting .194 (6-31) with five runs scored. 

After the season he was released & then played in the minors through 2001. In his eight year career he hit .252 with 302 hits 51 doubles 14 HRs 119 RBIs 44 steals & a .309 on base %.

Retirement: Kirby became an outfield base running coach for the Texas Rangers. In 2011 he became the first base coach for the Baltimore Orioles. He has held that position for the past five seasons.

Family: Wayne, his wife & two daughters live in Las Vegas. His brother is Terry Kirby who played in the NFL (1993-2002) FOR Miami, San Francisco, Cleveland & Oakland.

Jul 26, 2015

Short Time New York Mets First Baseman: Brian Buchanan (2004)

Brian James Buchanan was born on July 21, 1973 in Miami Florida. The tall six foot four switch hitter attended the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, Virginia. The outfielder hit .322 in 1993 as a sophomore. 

In 1994 he made All American batting .396 with 22 HRs & 66 RBIs. He was selected as a number one pick for the A.L. New York team (the 24th pick overall). He remained in their organization through 1997 when he hit .309 at AA Norwich.

He was traded to the Minnesota Twins organization making it to the big leagues by May 2000. He debuted against the Athletics in Oakland playing right field. In Mid June he was sent back down after hitting .224 with one HR & four RBIs. He returned in September then made the club out of Spring Training the next season, playing 69 games while batting .274.

The next year he was traded to the San Diego Padres for Jason Bartlett. He was the Padres main utility player in 2003, getting into 115 games batting .263 with 8 HRs & 29 RBIs.

On May 10th he hit a two run HR against Al Leiter & the New York Mets in a 4-2 Mets win. On August 3rd he broke up an extra inning 2-2 tie in Philadelphia, with a three run HR off Jose Mesa in the 10th inning for the game winner.

In August of 2004 he was granted free agency & signed with the New York Mets. Buchanan debuted with the Mets as a pinch hitter, going hitless, on August 26th at Shea Stadium against his old Padres team mates. 

On August 29th he played in his second & final game as a New York Met. He batted sixth & played a full game at first base going 0-2 with a walk in a 10-2 Mets loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He remained on the club until October when he was granted free agency.

He played in the Minnesota Twins, Cincinnati Reds & Kansas City Royals organizations through 2009. He also had stops in Japan & in an Independent League before beginning a managerial career. 

Retirement: In 2010 he began managing in the Kansas City Royals organization. First with the Idaho Falls Chukars (2010-2012) then A ball Kane County Cougars. In 2013-2014 he managed the A ball Lexington Legends.

In his five year MLB playing career he batted .258 with 198 hits 32 HRs 37 doubles a .328 on base % & 103 RBIs in 346 games.

Jul 24, 2015

Remembering Mets History: (1980) Claudell Washington Hits Three HRs In Los Angeles

Sunday June 22, 1980: Joe Torre’s fifth place Mets (28-35) took on Tommy Lasorda’s second place Dodgers (38-28) at Dodger Stadium. A good crowd of 43,000 settled in to see New York's John Pacella take on L.A.'s Dave Goltz.

Claudell Washington started out the Mets 1st with a  two run HR, his first of the day. John Pacella allowed two runs in the second & was removed as manager Joe Torre replaced him with Mark Bomback. 

The Mets struck again in the 4th when short stop, Jose Moreno (Moreno had a brief 37 game stint with the 1980 Mets) tripled home Steve Henderson & John Stearns.  Then in the 5th Eliott Maddox singled, and Claudell Washington hit his second HR of the day, putting New York up 7-3. 

But he wasn’t done yet, in the top of the 7th with knuckleball pitcher; Charlie Hough on the mound, Claudell hit his third HR of the afternoon, sealing the 9-6 Mets victory. Mark Bomback who was now 4-1 on the season.

The HRs were only Washington’s second, third & fourth of the season. He became the third Met in team history to have a three HR day. Jim Hickman did it 1965 & Dave Kingman did it in 1976. Washington was a speedy outfielder who came up with the Oakland A's in 1974, he won a World Series there, then went to the Texas Rangers & Chicago White Sox. On June 7, 1980 he was traded to the Mets for minor leaguer Jesse Anderson. 
This was Washington’s biggest day as a Met, with four hits three HRs and five RBIs. It was his only season with the Mets playing in 72 games, batting .275 with 10 HRs, 42 RBIs, 16 doubles and 17 stolen bases. He wasn't happy in New York, opted for free agency at the end of the year & went to the Atlanta Braves.

Remembering Mets History: (1993) Anthony Young Losses 27th Game In A Row & the Vince Coleman Firecracker Incident

Saturday July 24th 1993: The Mets are in Los Angeles in the midst of a three game series with the Dodgers. Dallas Green's last place Mets (32-65) took on Tommy Lasorda's third place Dodgers (51-46). The starters are Pete Schourek for New York & Pedro Astacio for L.A.

Schourek gives up four runs, but the Mets tie the game on a HR by Dave Gallagher, an RBI single by Eddie Murray & sac fly's from Bobby Bonilla & Jeff McKnight. In the 8th inning, the Mets brought in pitcher Anthony Young.

In the bottom of the 10th, Young walks pinch hitter Dave Hansen with the bases loaded to end the game. The loss puts Young at 0-13 on the season. Worst of all it was his 27th loss in a row, setting an all time major league record. Young had been used as a starter & reliever in that time dating back to the 1992 season. He actually did well as a reliever converting 12 straight saves in save opportunities.

After the game Vince Coleman was sitting with Dodgers; Eric Davis in his blue Jeep Cherokee. Coleman lights & throws a lit M80 firecracker toward a fence separating the Dodgers private parking lot & the fans. Coleman gets back in the jeep & the vehicle exits the Dodgers Stadium parking lot. The M80 fire cracker, went off approximately 25 feet away from a crowd of an estimated 200 people who were looking for post game autographs from Dodger players. A 33 year old woman, suffered inner ear damage, an 11 year old boy suffered bruises on his leg & a two year old girl suffers second-degree burns under her right eye and lacerations of her cornea. 

Coleman was in the line up the next night as the news spread, he went  0-5. In the mean time the  L.A. County Police Department & Arson unit were busy filing Felony charges on Mr. Coleman.

Vince Coleman did not comment directly to the media, instead the Mets Spokesperson Jay Horowitz made a statement on behalf of Coleman: "I take full responsibility for a very foolish act for which I am suffering greatly. It was never my intent to hurt anyone. My main concern is for those injured."

Mets VP at the time Gerry Hunsicker had some harsher words for Coleman and made it known his days were numbered:  "It only involved the New York Mets because he is an employee of the Mets. In large measure, this is Vince Coleman's problem."

Coleman was a problem ever since joining the Mets in 1991 with a four year $12 million deal. Hamstring injuries constantly kept him out of the line up. He once injured Dwight Gooden swinging a gold club in the locker room. He once batted out of turn in batting practice and was told to come out of the cage by then manager; Mike Cubbage. Coleman went on a tirade cursing out his manager & refused to apologize. He then had another huge argument with his next manager Jeff Torborg & received another suspension.

He appeared in just two more games as a Met, getting suspended for the rest of the season. Coleman was traded to the Kansas City Royals for Kevin McReynolds the following winter.
 He was lucky enough with the law, to get away with a fine, probation & serving community service in Los Angeles.

Former Italian / American Player & The Sausage King of Georgia: Biff Pocoroba (1975-1984)

Biff Benedict Pocoroba was born on July 25, 1953 in Burbank, California. To everyone's surprise, his actual name on his birth certificate is Biff.

The five foot ten inch catcher, was signed in the seventeenth round of the 1971 amateur draft by the Atlanta Braves.

In 1975 he began to get some attention when he threw out eleven straight would be base stealers during Braves Spring Training.

He made the Braves squad that year, backing up catcherVic Correl who only hit .215. Pocoroba would see action in 67 games, batting .255 with 7 doubles 1 HR & 22 RBIs. Defensively he had a rougher time than in Spring Training, throwing out only 17% of base stealers while getting charged with 13 passed balls.

His defense got better as he went along, throwing out 34% of the base runners attempting to steal the next two seasons. By 1977 he was the Braves main catcher, batting .290 with 24 doubles, 8 HRs & 44 RBIs. In May he hit a walk off grand slam HR to beat the Montreal Expos at Fulton County Stadium.

All Star: He had a good start in 1978 and represented the lowly Braves in that years All Star Game, catching the whole 9th inning as a defensive replacement. He didn’t get an at bat, but caught the final out of the game from teammate Phil Niekro. The main reason Pocoroba was added to the roster by NL Manager Tommy Lasorda was to handle Niekro's famous knuckle ball. He finished the year batting only .242, with 6 HRs & 34 RBIs.

Biff’s 1978 baseball card was always one of my favorites, he looks like real old time catcher, a cheek full of tobacco squinting into the sun, as he adjusts his catcher’s mask to go over his cap. Like many catchers of the era, Biff didn’t wear a batting helmet under his mask, as it hadn’t become a rule yet. That card also features the classic blue Braves uniform with that red, white & blue feather on the sleeve.

In 1979 Pocoroba batted .316 playing in just 28 games. He injured himself & needed rotator cuff surgery which ruined any chances of him being a top player. He stayed with the Braves for six more seasons as a backup catcher & third baseman.

He retired in 1984 after only four games at the young age of 30. In his ten year career he batted .257 with 374 hits 21 HRs 71 doubles 172 RBIs & a .339 on base %. Defensively he threw out 34% of would be base stealers, posting a .982 fielding %.

Retirement: In 1988 he & his brothers, started the Detailed Sausage World Inc. Company in Lilburn Georgia. For the past twenty five years his business has been a huge success, raking in over a half a million dollars a year while only employing five people.

Pocoroba serves as the President of the company known as Sausage World Inc, that makes every kind of sausage from sweet basil Italian sausage, links of pepperoni, bratwurst, knockwurst, kielbasa, & Andouille.

Jul 22, 2015

2006 N.L. Eastern Champion Mets Pitcher Who Once Was Chased Off the Mound By Mike Piazza: Guillermo Mota (2006-2007)

Guillermo Reynoso Mota was born on July 25, 1973, in the Dominican Republic. The six foot six right hander, was originally signed by the Mets as a third baseman in 1990 right out of high school.

He played with the Kingsport, Gulf Coast & St. Lucie Mets where he was transformed to a pitcher because he struck out way too often as a hitter.

In 2006 he was taken by the Montreal Expos in the Rule five draft. After three seasons there, he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Drama: It was with the Dodgers he became famous for an incident where he was chased off the mound & into the dugout by Mike Piazza. Mota had thrown a pitch at Piazza in Spring Training at a Vero Beach.

Piazza grabbed him by the neck, as Mota was getting taken out of the game down by the first base line. Piazza yelled at him without throwing any punches.

A year later at another Spring Training matchup in Port St. Lucie, the two faced off again. The Dodgers had Mota pitch a second inning of work, possibly just to pitch to Piazza. On the very first pitch Mota came inside, on the second pitch he threw a fastball toward Piazza's head.

Piazza dropped his bat & charged the mound like a madman. Mota threw his glove at him & ran off the field to hide in the dugout.

Piazza was held back by Dodgers & Mets players, but had a certain look in his eye never seen before. Jeremy Burnitz went after Mota as he ran to the dugout, so did Joe Mcewing & Ty Wiggington as well. It was probably the angriest Mike Piazza ever was on a baseball field.

In July 2004 Mota was involved in a big trade, sending him along with Juan Encarnacion and Paul Lo Duca to the Florida Marlins for Hee-Seop Choi, Bill Murphy and Brad Penny. He went 1-4 with three saves posting a 3.81 ERA.

After the 2005 season he was in the middle of another big trade, going to the Boston Red Sox, with pitcher Josh Beckett and third baseman Mike Lowell for, Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Jesus Delgado,& Harvey Garcia. He never pitched in Boston, as the journeyman was traded to the Cleveland Indians where he was 1-3 with an ERA over six & was released.

In August of 2006 the New York Mets gave him a shot and signed him. Amazingly he ended up pitching well for the rest of the season. Mota debuted as a Mets pitcher, on August 22nd in relief of John Maine in an 8-7 win. On September 1st he earned his first Mets win, it came against the Houston Astros, pitching a scoreless seventh inning.

On September 12th he earned a victory against his old Florida Marlins team mates & on the last day of the season he earned his third victory in Washington D.C. He was 3-0 with an ERA of 1.00 in 18 games, making the post season roster as one of two set men for Billy Wagner.

Post Season: In Game #1 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, he allowed three runs in the top of the 7th inning, but still earned the victory as the Mets held on for the 6-5 win. in Game #3, he pitched two scoreless innings at Dodger Stadium as the Mets went on to sweep the series.

Mota appeared in five of the seven NLCS Games against the St. Louis Cardinals, posting a 4.15 ERA allowing two runs in 4.2 innings pitched. In Game #2 he blew a two run lead in the 6th inning & was credited with a blown save. With two outs he allowed a single to Albert Pujols & a walk to Jim Edmonds. Then Scott Spezio tripled, driving in both runs to tie the game, as the Mets would lose in the 9th inning.

Just prior to the 2007 season, Mota was suspended for fifty games for violating baseballs drug treatment plan, testing positive for steroids. He returned to Shea Stadium in June appearing in 52 games, going 2-2 with a 5.76 ERA.

He struggled, pitching poorly and the fans let him have it. He was getting booed every time he appeared & was gone by the end of the season.

He was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Johnny Estrada who never suited up in a Mets uniform. Mota went 5-6 in Milwaukee, then went back to the Dodgers in 2009.

Drama: That season he hit his ex-teammate Prince Fielder, with a pitch and it did not go over well. Fielder tried to go after Mota in the clubhouse, but was stopped by security guards. Mota was never the most popular guy on the field and was generally looked at as a coward.

In 2010 he signed on with the San Francisco Giants & went on to two World's Championships with them as a middle reliever.

Post Season: He made one appearance in the 2010 World Series, against the Texas Rangers pitching 2.1 scoreless innings.

In 2012 he made one appearance in the NLDS & one in the NLCS allowing two runs each time. He did not get an appearance in the World Series.

He was granted free agency but was not signed by any team in the off season. In his 14 year career Mota was 39-45 with ten saves, 696 strike outs & 331 walks in 743 games with a 3.94 ERA.

Late Sixties Mets Outfielder: Don Bosch (1967-1968)

Donald John Bosch was born on July 15, 1942 in San Francisco, California.

The five foot ten switch hitting outfielder was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1960. Bosch hit .332 at A ball Kinston in 1963, then showed some power hitting 15 HRs at AA Asheville in 1964. He was touted as being a good centerfielder with a big future ahead of him.

He played three brief games for Pittsburgh in 1966, before getting traded to the New York Mets along with pitcher Don Cardwell in exchange for Dennis Ribant and Gary Kolb.

Bosch was a centerfielder with a bit of speed, but never hit too well in the major leagues. He arrived in New York with expectations to solidify the Mets centerfield position, which had been occupied by a young Cleon Jones who was more of a corner outfielder. Right away Bosch made a bad impression with his pre mature grey hair & small size.

He was the 1967 Mets Opening Day leadoff man; getting a single in his first at bat & scoring the Mets first run of the year. Bosch the struggled mightily; he was only batting .168 with no HRs & one RBI by early June when he was sent back to AAA Jacksonville. He hit .263 with 5 HRs & 31 RBIs there playing in 90 games.

He returned to the Mets in September, but still didn’t hit, finishing with a .140 average on the season, no HRs three stolen bases & two RBIs in 44 games with 101 at bats. He made the club again in 1968, but Tommie Agee, was now the center fielder & Bosch was just a reserve outfielder.

On June 14th he hit his first career HR, it came against the San Francisco Giants at Shea Stadium. Bosch hit another HR the next day in the first game of a double header. He then hit his third Mets HR in a Fourth of July double header at Shea Stadium in a 3-2 loss against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He remained on the club until August when he was sent back down to AAA Jacksonville where he hit .298 the rest of the way.

For the Mets in 1968 he only hit .171 with three HRs, one double, seven RBIs & a .231 on base %. In October of 1968 his contract was purchased by the expansion Montreal Expos.

Bosch became an original Montreal Expo & came to bat as a pinch hitter in the Expos first ever game, played at Shea Stadium on Opening Day 1969.

A few days later on April 14, 1969 he made history when he scored the first MLB run outside the United States at Montreal’s Jarry Park. He had led off the bottom of the first with hit, scoring (along with Rusty Staub) on a Mack Jones three run HR.

He played 49 games for the Expos, hitting a career best .179 with one HR & four RBIs. He played his last MLB game on July 9th as he was shut down with an injury. Bosch spent 1970 at AAA Buffalo & Oklahoma City ending his playing career.

In his four season MLB career he hit .164 with 52 hits, four HRs, six doubles, one triple, five stolen bases, a .217 on base %, 13 RBIs & 34 runs scored in 146 games played.