Sep 6, 2015

2000 N.L. Champion Mets Pitching Coach: Dave Wallace (1998-2000)

David William Wallace was born on September 7th, 1947 in Waterbury Connecticut.

The five foot ten right hander attended the University of New Haven getting signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1969. Wallace would spend twelve seasons in the minor leagues going 48-37 overall with a 4.11 ERA in 360 appearances. He made brief appearances in three seasons at the major league level.

In 1973 he appeared in four games for the last place 71-91 Philadelphia Phillies posting no record. In 1974 he had three May appearances & took a loss to the San Diego Padres on May 7th, the only decision of his career. In 1978 he appeared in four games with the Toronto Blue Jays after signing there as a free agent. Wallace retired in 1979 working as the Los Angeles Dodgers organization at A ball Vero Beach (1981-1982) San Antonio (1983) & AAA Albuquerque (1984-1986). While at Albuquerque he returned to pitch four games in 1984 earning a win in four appearances.

In 1986 at age 39 he pitched another four games there as well. From there he became the Dodgers big league pitching coach in 1995 reaming there for two seasons, making the playoff both times, although they were defeated in the first round both times. During his Dodger career he is credited in developing the careers of such pitchers as: Pedro Martínez, Ramón Martínez, Pedro Astacio, Darren Dreifort, Hideo Nomo, Chan Ho Park, Ismael Valdéz and John Wetteland.

In 1998 Wallace became special assistant to the New York Mets GM Steve Phillips. In 1999 he became the pitching coach under Bobby Valentine replacing Bob Apodaca. That season Wallace's staff finished third in the NL with 97 wins, ranked second saves (49) fourth in strike outs (1172) fifth in ERA (4.27) & shut outs (3).

The staff was led by 13 game winners, Al Leiter & Wallace's early protege' from his Dodger days Orel Hershiser, now a veteran. Masato Yoshi was a 12 game winner & Rick Reed an 11 game winner. That year the Mets went 97-66 winning the NL Wild Card title & advancing to the NLCS.

In 2000 the Mets won their second straight Wild Card title going 94-68, getting to the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time in their history. Wallace's staff finished fourth in wins (94) second in strike outs (1164) & saves (49).

The Mets were third in ERA (4.16) shut outs (2) as well as in hits, HRs & walks. The staff was led by 16 game winner Al Leiter & new comer 15 game winner Mike Hampton. Hampton was 2-0 in the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals, pitching 16 innings of shutout ball. Rick Reed, Glendon Rusch & Bobby Jones all won 11 games each as the Mets advanced all the way to World Series.

In 2001 Wallace briefly became the Dodgers interim General Manager during a time of transition. By 2003 he took over the pitching coach role of the Boston Red Sox and won a World Series there in 2004, the tams first since 1918.

In 2004 he needed a hip replacement, two years later he suffered an infection from the surgery & almost died. He he missed half the season & left the club at the end of the year, but fully recovered from the infection. He moved on the Houston Astros (2007) & then Seattle Mariners as a special assistant (2008).

Wallace moved on the Atlanta Braves in 2009 as a minor league pitching coordinator, he replaced Roger McDowell as an interim pitching coach of the Braves in April 2011 when McDowell was on administrative leave for inappropriate comments to fans in San Francisco.

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