Dec 3, 2015

Early Eighties Mets Reserve Outfielder: Gary Rajsich (1982-1983)

Gary Louis Rajsich was born on October 28th, 1954 in Youngstown, Ohio. The six foot to, left hand hitter attended Arizona State University, getting drafted by the Houston Astros in the 11th round of the 1976 draft.

After five seasons in the Astro minor leagues, he was traded to the New York Mets organization in1981. At AAA Tidewater, he hit 24 HRs with 56 RBIs while batting .277 in 74 games for the Tides.

In 1982 he made the Mets club out of Spring Training, debuting as a pinch hitter in the second game of the season. On April 12th, he got his first start & got his first career hit, a double at Wrigley Field off the Cubs; Dickie Noles. On May 18th, he hit his first career HR, a three run shot off future Met Bruce Berenyi, in a 7-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds. He played in 80 games for the 1981 Mets, batting .259 with 2 HRs eight doubles, three triples & 12 RBIs.

In 1983 he was back at AAA Tidewater, where he hit .270 with 28 HRs & 83 RBIs, both second to Clint Hurdle. He got the September call up, playing in 11 games for the Mets batting .333 with a HR & three RBIs in 36 at bats.

A youtube video exists of Rajsich making a spectacular catch for the Mets, at Shea Stadium while playing right field.

 In April of 1984 his contract was purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals & he went on to slug another 29 HRs at AAA Louisville.

In 1985 he was sent to the San Francisco Giants with Jose Uribe, Dave LaPoint & David Green in exchange for Jack Clark. In 51 games with the Giants he hit .165 with ten RBIs. It would be Rajsich's last year in the majors, ending his four year career at age 31. In 149 games he hit .236 with 70 hits, three HRs, 17 doubles & 27 RBIs. In the minor leagues he had hit 158 career HRs with 590 RBIs in 972 games.

Retirement: After his MLB career he played with his brother in the Senior Professional Baseball Association in St. Petersburg, Florida.

He then became an MLB scout, getting credit for signing the Boston Red Sox; John Lester. He also scouted for the Toronto Blue Jays & currently is the Baltimore Orioles Director of amateur scouting.

No comments: