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Showing posts from August, 2015

1999 N.L. Wild Card Mets Utility Infielder: Luis Lopez (1997-1999)

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Luis Manuel López Santos was Born on September 4, 1970 in Cidra, Puerto Rico. The five foot eleven infielder, was signed as an amateur free agent by the San Diego Padres in 1997. After six years in the minors he made a brief appearance with the Padres playing in 17 games in 1993. He spent two seasons in San Diego as a reserve infielder, getting traded to the Houston Astros in Spring Training 1997. Two weeks later he was traded to the New York Mets for Tim Bogar. Lopez batted .330 with 4 HRs 19 RBIs in 48 games at AAA Norfolk, getting brought up to the Mets squad in June 1997. He would play a utility role at short stop (45 games) second base (20 games) & third base (4 games). On September 14th he hit his only HR of the season, scoring the only run in a 1-0 Mets win over the Montreal Expos. On the year he batted .270 with one HR 12 doubles & 19 RBIs. Lopez would play in 117 games in 1998 behind Carlos Baerga at second (50 games) & Rey Ordonez at short (39 games) i

Mid 2000's Mets Pitcher: Victor Zambrano (2004-2006)

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Victor Manuel Zambrano was born August 6, 1975 in Los Teques, Venezuela. The six foot right hander began his career as an infielder before converting over to a pitcher. He was originally signed by the A.L. New York team in 1993. He was eventually released and signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1996. In Tampa he pitched well enough to establish himself as the ace of their weak pitching staff. He had a good sinking fastball, to go along with a decent change up but suffered with control issues. He was good at holding runners on base and was a solid defensive player, due to the fact he was a former infielder. He debuted in June 2001 as a relief pitcher going 6-2 with two saves & a 3.16 ERA. He may have had the best control of his career at this point, striking out 58 batters while only walking 18. In 2002 he posted a 8-8 record & was beginning to get used in a starting role. In 2003 he won a career high 12 games, leading manager Lou Pinella's staff as the only piche

Late Eighties Mets Pitcher: David West (1988-1989)

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David Lee West was born on September 1st, 1964 at Memphis Tennessee. The tall six foot six, lefty got signed by the New York Mets right out of high school, in the fourth round of the 1983 draft. West won ten games or more for three straight seasons at Columbia & Jackson from 1985-1987. In 1988 he was 12-4 with a 1.80 ERA at AAA Tidewater, earning himself a September call up to the Mets staff. He made his MLB debut at St. Louis on September 24th as the Mets starting pitcher. He pitched five innings & earned his first victory as the Mets romped the St. Louis Cardinals 14-1. He made one other appearance in relief at Philadelphia. In 1989 after six relief appearances, the Mets gave him two starts, in which he lost both games. Overall he was 0-2 in eleven appearances posting a 7.40 ERA. At the end of July he was traded along with Rick Aguilera & Kevin Tapani to the Minnesota Twins, for former Cy Young winner, Long Island born Frank Viola. West went 3-2 the rest of the

Former Mets Prospect- Tug's Brother: Hank McGraw (1961-1966)

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Henry Thomas McGraw was born on January 26th, 1943 in Oakland, California. He was the older brother & hero of Tug McGaw, who always looked up to his older brother. The McGraw’s mother had mental issues & had to leave the home when they were boys. Hank, the eldest, took care of the two younger brothers after school while their dad was at work. Their youngest brother Denny, had gotten in to trouble & was put in a mental institution after he hit a police officer. He blamed the family & they were told to stay away from him. Years later Denny McGraw killed his neighbor after an argument in broad day light, shocking Hank. Hank was a hippie type of free spirited guy who like his brother marched to a beat of a different drummer. He had long hair & a moustache before it was acceptable in baseball. He once said he was suspended three or four months due to his hair & appearance. Then a year or two later the Oakland A’s won the World Series with long hair, mutton

One Time New York Mets Outfielder: Claudell Wahington (1980)

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Claudell Washington was born August 31, 1954 in Los Angeles, California. He did not play high school ball, but was spotted on a sandlot field in Berkley California, by the Oakland A’s scouts. He was signed to a contract in 1972, and quickly added to their World Champion roster by 1974. Owner Charley O Finley loved speed on the bases & on the field. He threw Washington in a line up with six times AL base stealing champion Bert Campaneris, as well as 1973’s AL leading base stealer, Billy North. This made for an incredibly fast team that stole 164 bases, North (54) Campy (34) pinch runner Herb Washington (29) & Reggie Jackson added (25). Washington was only 20 years old in his first season, he hit .285 with six stolen bases over 73 games. In the 1974 ALCS he went 3-11 with a double in four games against the Baltimore Orioles. In the first All California World Series in 1974, he hit .625 (4-7) with a walk & a run scored against the Los Angeles Dodgers. That year the A

Former Mets Catcher: Henry Blanco (2010)

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Henry Ramon Blanco was born on August 29th, 1971 in Caracas, Venezuela. The five foot eleven catcher got drafted as an amateur free agent in 1989 by the Los Angeles, Dodgers. The catcher spent seven years toiling in the minors before making to the Dodgers big league squad in 1997. His best asset was always his good arm & his defensive abilities behind the plate. He made a career at being at being a solid backup catcher in Los Angeles (1997) then with the Colorado Rockies (1999) Milwaukee Brewers (2000-2001) Atlanta Braves (2002-2003) Minnesota Twins (2004) Chicago Cubs (2005-2008) San Diego Padres (2009) the New York Mets (2010) & Arizona D-backs (2011-2012) Toronto Blue Jays (2013) Seattle Mariners (2013). Defensively, he has a strong arm and has excelled in throwing out base runners. In 1999 he led all catchers throwing out 39 runners, and would throw out over 30 runners twice more coming in second place in the league's top ten both times. In those seasons he led

Early Nineties Mets Speedster: Chuck Carr (1990-1991)

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Charles Lee Glenn Carr was born on August 10, 1967 in San Bernardino, California. The switch hitting speedy outfielder was drafted out of high school by the Cincinnati Reds in the 9th round of the 1986 draft. Over the next two years he moved to three organizations mostly due to his bad attitude. By 1989 he was with the New York Mets, stealing 47 bases at AA Jackson, but only hitting .241. In 1990 he made a one game appearance with the Mets in late April, filling in a quick roster spot going 0-1. Back at Jackson, he stole 48 bases in 93 games & was promoted to AAA Tidewater. In 20 games there, he hit .259 stole six more bases & was briefly brought up to the Mets big league squad again in August. He mostly was used as a pinch runner in two games, stealing a base against the San Diego Padres in a 2-1 Bob Ojeda win on August 25th. With the Mets, Carr first donned uniform #1, this just a season after Mookie Wilson had been traded to Toronto, he then switched to uniform #27.

Former Italian / American Pitcher Turned Broadcaster: Tom Candiotti (1983-1999)

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Thomas Caesar Candiotti was born August 31, 1957 in Walnut Creek, California. The six foot three right hander was a knuckle ball pitcher that would pitch 16 seasons in the major leagues. He was originally drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1980 but was claimed in the Rule 5 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. An injury had him miss the entire 1982 season. He debuted in August of 1983 making a relief appearance against his old Royals team. On August 17th he made his first start & pitched a complete game victory over the Boston Red Sox. He won his first four games & then lost his next four, going 4-4 with a 3.23 ERA in his first season.  After two seasons in Milwaukee he was traded to the Cleveland Indians. In 1986 he had a breakthrough season, leading the league with 17 complete games, posting a 16-12 (9th most wins in the AL) record with 167 strike outs a 3.57 ERA (10th in the AL) . He had an off season the next year losing 18 games, for the Indians team that lost 10

One Time Italian / American Mets Pitcher: Ricky Bottalico (2004)

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Ricky Paul Bottalico was born on August 26, 1969 in New Britain, Connecticut. He played high school ball at Hartford, and was discovered playing in a semi pro league there. The six foot right hander was signed the Philadelphia Phillies in 1991. He began his minor league career as a starter, but with a fastball in the upper nineties & a hard curve, he was converted to a reliever. After one season, he became a closer and moved quickly through the organization. He saved over twenty games in both 1993 & 1994 getting to the Phillies big league club for good by 1995. In 1996 he became the teams closer, replacing Heathcliff Slocumb. Bottalico was the Phillies sole representative at the 1996 All Star Game played right at Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium. That season he had his best year, posting 34 saves for the first of two straight seasons, finishing up eighth in the NL both times. He went 4-5 with a 3.19 ERA, striking out 74 batters in 67 innings. After five seasons with t

Remembering Mets History: (1969) Mets Pitchers Allow Just Three Earned Runs Over Six Games

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50th Anniversary of the 1969 World Champion "Amazing Mets" Saturday August 16th, 1969: A big crowd came out to Shea Stadium to see Gil Hodges second place Mets (63-51) host Preston Gomes last place San Diego Padres (35-82) in a afternoon doubleheader. Tom Seaver took the mound, shutting down the Padres for eight innings allowing no runs on four hits with four strike outs. Ron Taylor closed the door in the 9th with his 11th save, securing Seaver's 17th win (17-7).  In the Mets 5th, Tommie Agee singled in Baud Harrelson for the first run. Bobby Pfeil singled in Jerry Grote for a 7th inning insurance run. The Padres Tommie Sisk took the loss (0-7). In the night cap, another fine Mets pitcher Jim McAndrew won his fourth game, pitching seven innings allowing just one run on three hits, striking out seven Padres. Tug McGraw came on for two scoreless innings of relief sealing the double header sweep. The game was tied going into the 7th inning, when Ron Swoboda reach