Mar 30, 2015

Long Time New York Giants Pitcher: Dave Koslo (1941-1942/ 1946-1953)

George Bernard Koslo was born on March 31, 1920 in Menasha, Wisconsin just outside of Milwaukee. The left hander was signed out of high school, making it to the big leagues in 1941 pitching in four games, posting a 1.90 ERA. He went 3-6 in 1942 before going off to serve in World War II from 1942 through 1945.

He returned to the Giants rotation three seasons later to win 14 games (6th most in the NL). He also lead the league in losses (19) hits (251) earned runs allowed (107) as well as starts (35) while overall posting a decent 3.63 ERA. Koslo was also a work horse pitching in 265 innings on the year, while pitching 200 plus innings in three of the next four seasons.

In 1947 he gave up Jackie Robinsons first career HR & served up 23 HRs to lead the league in that category. On the ’47 season he won 15 (15-10) posting a 4.39 ERA and once again allowed the most earned runs in the National league.

Two years later he had his best season, leading the league in ERA (2.50) going 11-14 while saving four games pitching 212 innings. He would post another losing record in 1950 but would then win ten or more games for the next four seasons. In the 1951 Giants pennant season, he was used mostly as a reliever, but had some big games as a starter as well. In his first start he pitched a two hit shutout in the Polo Grounds against The Cardinals. Two months later he threw another two hit shutout in St. Louis.

He won four games during the crucial September pennant race, pitching into the 9th innings three times in four starts. His 10 victories (10-9) tied him with George Spencer for fourth best on the staff. He had three saves & posted a 3.31 ERA making 39 appearances.

Post Season: He got the surprise start in Game #1 of the 1951 World Series and pitched a one run complete game victory. He struck out three & allowed seven hits beating Allie Reynolds. He came back in Game #6 and took the loss allowing 4 runs on 5 hits in 6 innings pitched in the final game.

After going 6-12 in 1953 his contract was purchased by the Baltimore Orioles where he pitched just three games. During that season he was sent to the Braves where he finished up his career near his hometown area of Milwaukee in 1955. In his final career appearance he gave up a game winning walk off HR. In his 12 season career he was 92-107 22 saves with a 3.68 ERA making 348 appearances.

Retirement: After baseball he worked for a publishing house in Menasha Wisconsin. He passed away there from unknown causes at age 55 in 1975.

Mar 26, 2015

Short Time Brooklyn Born Mets Third Baseman: Ted Schreiber (1963)

Theodore Henry Schreiber was born on July 11th 1938 in Brooklyn, New York. He attended James Madison High School, & the five foot eleven infielder then attended St. Johns University.

In 1959 he was signed as an amateur free agent by the Boston Red Sox. When he first arrived to his locker, veteran Jim Piersal said to him "get every dollar you can get out of 'em kid". Schreiber had an on going feud with his minor league manager Johnny Pesky & his days were numbered.

In 1962 he was scooped up by the Mets in the Rule V draft & spent three years mostly playing at AAA Buffalo. He was not a favorite of Casey Stengel but was rather chosen by GM Johnny Murphy.

On April 14th, 1963 he got a chance in the majors, playing for manager Casey Stengel. He debuted as the tenth third baseman in Mets history, batting leadoff & wearing uniform #43. He got his first career hit that day as well, in a 1-0 ten inning ,ets loss to the Milwaukee Braves. He got three hits in the month but was sent to the minors at the end of April. He returned in late July & remained with the club for the rest of the season.

He hit just .160 (8-50) with two RBIs & no extra base hits, playing in 39 games. It was his only big league season.

In his next to last career at bat, he grounded into a double play & made the final out in the Polo Grounds. The Mets lost to the Philadelphia Phillies 5-1 that day. Schreiber got one more at bat on the final road trip & had four appearances as a defensive replacement.

Retirement: After baseball he became a long time school teacher in Brooklyn.

Mar 22, 2015

Mid Nineties One Time Mets Relief Pitcher : Mike Remlinger (1995)

Michael John Remlinger was born on March 23rd, 1966 in Middletown, New York. He attended high school in Plymouth, Massachusetts & then went to Dartmouth College.

The six foot left hander is just one of two recent major league players to come out of Dartmouth. Remlinger was selected as a first round draft pick of the San Francisco Giants (16th pick overall) in 1987.

In his first season at A ball he went 6-3 & then did not post another winning minor league record until 1995. He got a June call up back in 1991 debuting with a three hit shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He went 2-1 into mid July before being sent back down. Later that winter he was traded to the Seattle Mariners along with Kevin Mitchell for Dave Burba, Bill Swift & Michael Jackson.

Two years later he signed with the New York Mets as a free agent. In 1994 he went 2-4 with a 3.14 ERA in twelve games at AAA Norfolk.

In 1995 he made the club out of Spring Training & pitched on Opening Day at Colorado against the Rockies. His Mets debut was not a good one, in the 13th inning he gave up a double to John Tatum tying the game in which the Mets had just taken a lead. In the top of the 14th Joe Orsulak doubled home Ricky Otero to give the Mets another lead. But in the bottom of the 14th after allowing a single & having another runner reach base on an error,

Remlinger served up a walk off HR to Dante Bichette. He would pitch in just five games for the Mets, going 0-1 with a 6.35 ERA allowing four earned runs in 5.2 innings. On an early May road trip to Cincinnati he was traded to the Reds fr minor leaguer Cobi Cradle.

Remlinger pitched three seasons with the Reds going 8-18 in 1997 as both a starter & reliever. The next year he made 28 starts falling to 8-15 (3rd most losses in the NL) with a 4.82 ERA, throwing one shut out. On November 10, 1998 he was Traded along with Bret Boone to the Atlanta Braves for Rob Bell, Denny Neagle and Michael Tucker.

In 1999 he helped the NL Champion Braves coming out of the bullpen, by going 10-1 with 21 holds & posting a 2.37 ERA in 73 appearances. He was the losing pitcher in Game #4 of the NLCS against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium.

In the 8th inning he allowed Roger Cedeno to steal second base & then walked Melvin Mora. He was relieved by John Rocker who allowed each runner to steal their next bases, & then gave up the game winning hit to John Olerud.

The runs were charged to Remlinger who got the losing decision. Overall he appeared in five of the six games posting a 3.18 ERA. He pitched five successful seasons in Atlanta getting to four post seasons & making one All Star game (2002).

He was one of baseballs top middle reliever set up men in a few of those seasons. In 2002 he was 7-3 with a 1.99 ERA making 73 appearances. That off season he signed a deal with the Chicago Cubs going 6-5 getting to another post season. He appeared in five games of the NLCS, including closing out the famous eight run 8th inning in Game #5, against the Florida Marlins.

While pitching for the Cubs in 2003 he salvaged pieces of the bat used by Sammy Sosa which was found to have cork inside of it. He recently auctioned the pieces off.

He pitched in Chicago from 2003-2005, also pitching in Boston for a brief eight games in 2005. He ended his career back in Atlanta In 2006 going 2-4.

In his 14 year career he was 53-55 with a 3.90 ERA, striking out 854 batters walking 430 in 879 innings while making 639 appearances (140th most games all time).

Early Nineties Mets Pitcher: Cory Lidle (1997)

Cory Fulton Lidle was Born on March 22, 1972 in Hollywood, California. Lidle was a descendant of the inventor of the steamboat Robert Fulton, as reflected in his middle name. His brother Kevin, was a minor league catcher as well.

The right handed Lidle was signed by the Minnesota Twins in 1990, and then released by 1993. From there his contract was purchased by the Minnesota Twins, where he pitched in their minor leagues though 1995. During the baseball strike of 1994, Lidle crossed the picket lines to pitch, therefore he was never able to join the Players Union.

In January he was traded to the New York Mets for Kelly Stinnett. At AA Binghamton Liddle led the staff with 14 wins (14-10) 140 strike outs & a 3.38 ERA. He began 1997 at AA Norfolk going 4-2 that April before getting called up to the big league squad.

Liddle made his MLB debut on May 8th, 1997 pitching in relief of Rick Reed at the Astrodome, in a 4-2 loss to the Houston Astros. Three days later, he would earn his first career win in St. Louis pitching one scoreless inning of relief against the Cards. On May 19th he earned another win, when John Olerud hit a 9th inning walk off HR to beat the Colorado Rockies. He would start out his career at 3-0 with one save, going into early June. 

In July he would earn five holds out of the bullpen, earning another win on July 11th against the Atlanta Braves. On August 5thhe came in to pitch a tenth inning tie against the St. Louis Cardinals. He earned the win after holding them down & Edgardo Alfonzo hit a game winning sac fly. The following week he earned a win in St. Louis as Butch Huskey singled in the top of the 9th driving in the game winning run. Lidle would pitch well for the Mets, going 7-1 through September 23rd, not earning another loss until his last outing of the season. 

In 54 games, he was 7-2 with two saves posting a 3.53 ERA striking out 54 batters in 81 innings pitched. That November he was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the expansion draft.

He would make his way to Tampa for two seasons, before becoming a starting pitcher and going to Oakland in a huge three team deal. The deal sent Ben Grieve to Tampa, Mark Ellis & Johnny Damon to Oakland, & future Mets Roberto Hernandez & Angel Berroa to Kansas City. 

Lidle quietly had the best year of his career, going 13-6 with a 3.56 ERA (10th in the league) behind the Big Three of Mark Mulder, Tim Hudson & Barry Zito for the wild card winning Oakland A’s. He helped Oakland in their historic August run of 20 straight wins, going 5-0 allowing just one earned run all month in six games pitched.

Post Season: In the ALDS with Oakland leading two games to one, Lidle got roughed up taking the loss allowing six runs over 3.1 innings.

The next year he fell to 8-10 & was granted free agency. He went to Toronto going 12-15 then had another 12 win season pitching between the Cincinnati Reds & Philadelphia Phillies.

In 2005 he tied his career high 13 wins going 13-11 with a 4.53 ERA. After leaving the Phillies he criticized his team mates for not playing behind him on days he pitched.

By 2006 he signed with the A.L. New York club and went 4-3 on the season, making an appearance against the Detroit Tigers in the ALDS. After the series ended in defeat he publicly said the Tigers were more prepared than his team. 

He put blame on manager Joe Torre & appeared on WFAN defending himself & his team. Then hosts of Mike & the Mad Dog show both jumped on Liddle saying he wasn’t entitled to a day in New York, nor did they think much of him.

Passing: On October 11, 2006 Liddle took off in a small plane from Teterboro airport in New Jersey with a co pilot/ instructor. After circling the Statue of Liberty twice, he went up the East River past the 59th St Bridge where they lost radar contact.

While attempting to make a U-turn the small plane crashed into the Bel Aire apartments on 72nd St. overlooking the East River.

Lidle & the co pilot Tyler Stanger were both killed, shocking the baseball world, he was 34 years old.

The next night a moment of silence was held in his memory during the NLCS at Shea Stadium in a game between the Mets & Cardinals.

1954 World Champion New York Giants Relief Pitcher: Marv Grissom (1946/ 1953-1958)

Marvin Edward Grissom was born March 31, 1918 in Los Molinas, California. His older brother Lee Grissom was a left handed pitcher, mainly playing with the Cincinnati Reds (1934-1939) going 29-48 lifetime with seven saves & a 3.89 career ERA. Marv began to pitch on Sundays because his high school had no baseball team. He went off to World War II in 1941 & did four years of military service.

There he pitched against a team managed by the New York Giants star Johnny Mize. Mize was impressed the six foot three right handed Grissom, especially his wicked curve ball. When he got back from the war he was asked by the Giants if any ball players had impressed him in the service, he recommended Grissom. He was signed and began pitching with the AAA Jersey City Giants going 4-10 in 1946.

That season he got a brief call up for four games and went 0-2 before going back to the minors. He would go to the Pacific Coast League, then get drafted Rule V by the Detroit Tigers. He would appear with them in 1949 and by this time was already thirty years old. Grissom was sent once again to the Pacific Coast League as two more seasons would pass him by. He was traded to the Chicago White Sox where he went 12-10 as a starter in 1952. He was then traded to Boston, before getting put on waivers then getting picked up, returning to the Giants in 1953. That winter the Giants toured Japan & since they only had six pitchers Grissom was always willing to pitch. He later said that those innings built up his arm to have a strong 1964 campaign.

Grissom came to New York with a 3-6 record & went 3-2 the rest of the way. He saved the first game of the 1954 season against the Brooklyn Dodgers, in relief of Sal Maglie. He had a great month of June going 6-1 with four saves lowering his ERA to 1.52 by July 1st. He made the All Star team and helped the Giants win the World Series as one of the league’s best relievers. He finished with a solid September going 1-0 with three saves. In that 1954 Giants Championship season he went 10-7 with 19 saves (3rd best in the league). He appeared in 56 games pitching 122 innings, striking out 54 batters while posting a 2.35 ERA.

Post Season: In the 1954 World Series Grissom had a front row seat for Willie Mays famous Game One catch which is now called the greatest catch of all time. He was warming up in the bullpen a few feet away from Mays when he made the grad in deep center field off Vic Wertz. Right after the catch Manager Leo Durocher summoned Grissom from the bull pen, to relieve pitcher Don Liddle. As Grissom arrived on the mound, Liddle gave Grissom the ball & said “I got my man”.

Grissom later said while pitching in the Polo Grounds he always felt safe with Willie Mays out there in center field. He entered that Game #1 with a 2-2 tie in the 8th inning. He pitched 2.2 innings allowing no runs on one hit, striking out two & walking three Cleveland Indians. He pitched out of a few jams & earned the win on Dusty Rhodes three run pinch hit HR. It was his only Series appearance.

Over the next four years he was among the tops in the league in saves, appearances & had four straight seasons with perfect .1000 fielding percentages. In the Giants last year at the Polo Grounds he saved 14 games (second most in the league) going 4-4 with 55 appearances (4th most in the league) posting a 2.61 ERA. When the Giants moved out west he was happy to return close to his home in Red Bluff, California. In San Francisco in 1958 he saved ten more games (4th in the league) going 7-5 with a 3.99 ERA.

In October 1958 he was traded along with Ernie Broglio to the St. Louis Cardinals for future Met Hobie Landrith. By now Grissom was 40 years old & only pitched in three games that season before retiring. In his ten season playing career he was 47-45 with 58 saves, making 358 appearances posting a 3.41 ERA in 810 innings pitched.

Retirement: After his playing days he became a long time pitching coach for the Los Angeles / California Angels (1961-1966/1969) also the Chicago White Sox (1967-1968) and Chicago Cubs (1975-1976). Grissom passed away in Red Bluff, California, at the age of 87 in 2005.

Mar 21, 2015

Former Italian / American Mets Pitcher: Danny Boitano (1981)

Danny Jon Boitano was born March 22, 1953 in Sacramento, California. The six foot right hander was a highly touted prospect, getting drafted first round by the St. Louis Cardinals (18th pick overall) but did not sign. He was then chosen first round by the Philadelphia Phillies (17th pick overall) but again did not sign.

The next year he was being pursued by the Montreal Expos & Milwaukee Brewers but once again was chosen first round by the Phillies (11th pick overall) & this time he did sign. 

 Boitano went 8-2 with a 2.08 ERA in the New York / Penn. League in 1974 making his future look even brighter. But he didn’t pitch as well moving through the levels of the minor leagues, going 37-43 through 1978. He still got his chance making his MLB debut, pitching just one scoreless inning on October 1st against the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

 In Spring Training of 1979 he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Gary Beare. He would pitch in just 16 games of relief over the next two seasons posting an 0-1 record. In 1980 he allowed 16 earned runs in 17.2 innings of work, ballooning his ERA to 8.15. 

In April of 1981 the New York Mets purchased his contract. He arrived for his promotion pictures with a thick bushy moustache as if he were auditioning for a barber shop quartet, qualifying him for one of the Mets all time best moustache's. At AAA Tidewater he went 5-6 with seven saves posting a 3.74 ERA in 40 appearances. 

He made his Mets debut on August 16th, 1981 at Shea Stadium, allowing one run against the Philadelphia Phillies in the Mets 5-2 win. He earned his first win in Cincinnati after pitching a scoreless 7th inning while being down 4-1. Then Dave Kingman belted a grand slam HR leading Boitano & the Mets to a victory over the Reds. 

After a blown save & a loss, he earned his second win on September 21st, when John Stearns scored on a wild pitch, to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3, in the bottom of the 13th inning. In 15 appearances he was 2-1 with a 5.51 ERA allowing ten earned runs in 1.1 innings.
  The following season he was traded along with Doug Flynn to the Texas Rangers for Jim Kern. There he pitched 19 games for the Rangers, before finishing his brief five season career.

In 51 career appearances Boitano was 2-2 with a 5.56 career ERA. He struck out 52 batters walked 28 in 71 innings of work. Unfortunately the highly touted prospect never panned out.

Mar 20, 2015

Brooklyn Born- 1999 New York Mets Wild Card Champion Utility Player: Shawon Dunston (1999)

Shawon Donnell Dunston was born March 21, 1963 in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn, the same school as Danny Kaye, Shelly Winters, Riddick Bowe & Grandpa Al Lewis had all gone too.

Dunston was a slick fielding short stop with a strong throwing arm, getting drafted in the first round (the number one pick overall) for the Chicago Cubs in 1982. In the rookie league he batted .321 then moved up to A ball where he would bat .310 in the mid western league. He made the jump right through to AAA the next year & made his MLB debut in 1985.

He would spend eleven years in Chicago making two All Star teams, working as a double play partner with Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg. In his first full season he led the NL in errors at short (32) while also leading in assists (465) & put outs (320). Two seasons later he stole 30 bases for the first time in his career. He would steal a career high 32 in 1997 (9th in the league) & steal 20 or more bases five times overall.

He hit a career high 17 HRs twice (1986 & 1990) while driving in 60 or more runs four times. His batting average seemed to get better as his career moved ahead, in 1995 his last year in Chicago (the first time around) he batted .296 playing in 127 games.

In 1996 he signed with the San Francisco Giants as a free agent & batted .300 for the first time in his career playing a full season. He had batted .315 in an injury ridden 1992 season (19 games). The next year he signed back with the Cubs & was traded to the Pirates where he once again hit .300 overall on the season.

Over the next two years he would pack his bags quite often, playing for Cleveland, San Francisco, St. Louis & then the New York Mets. At this point in his career he had primarily become an outfielder, leaving the short stop position. He arrived in New York on July 31st, 1999 going to the Cardinals in exchange for Craig Paquette.

He was happy to be playing in his hometown, for the team he had rooted for while growing up in Brooklyn. He debuted the next day entering the game in the 3rd inning in Milwaukee. He got two hits & an RBI,  in the Mets 7-2 win over the Brewers. 

The next day he made his first start & had three hits with another RBI in the Mets 10-3 victory. Dunston hit well with the Mets playing in 22 games that August, having six multiple hit games. He raised his average to .317 at the end of the month. 

On August 30th, Dunston entered the game in the 8th inning as a pinch hitter, getting a base hit to bring home a run. The next inning he doubled scoring Benny Agbayani & Edgardo Alfonzo in the Mets 17-1 win over the Astros in Houston.  On September 12th he had another multi RBI game, driving in three runs in a 10-3 win in Los Angeles. He played in 42 games for the 1999 Wild Card winning Mets, batting .344 with six doubles 16 RBIs 4 stolen bases & 12 runs scored.

Post Season: In the 1999 NLDS against the Arizona Diamond Backs, he got the start in centerfield in Game #1 going 1-3 being pulled for a pinch hitter late in the game. Overall he went hitless in the next three games as a pinch hitter. In Game #1 of the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves, he reached on an error as a pinch hitter in the 9th inning scoring a run on Todd Pratt’s base hit off John Rocker.

He went hitless as a pinch hitter in the next two games & then appeared in the marathon Game #5 at Shea Stadium. In the bottom of the 15th inning he lead off with a walk & scored the tying run on Todd Pratts base hit, setting the stage for Robin Ventura’s grand slam single. Overall in the post season he was 2-13 with a stolen base & a run scored.

In the 2000 season he signed with the St. Louis Cardinals batting .250 & appearing in his second straight post season. In the NLCS he faced off against his old Mets team mates, going 2-6 with a double & a run scored. Dunston played out his last two season with the San Francisco Giants retiring in 2002.

In his 18 year career he batted .296 with 1597 hits 292 doubles 62 triples 150 HRs 668 RBIs 212 stolen bases & a .296 on base %. 

In 1363 games at short stop he posted a .967 fielding % making 205 errors in 6223 chances. He also played 242 games in the outfield, 25 games at second, 11 games at third & 16 games at first,

Retirement: Dunston works as a special assistant for the San Francisco Giants & resides in Freemont California.

Former Mets Second Baseman: Brad Emaus (2011)

Bradley Mark Emaus was born on March 28th, 1986 in Kalamazoo Michigan. The six foot right had hitting infielder attended Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

There he was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 11th round of the 2007 draft. He hit .298 in 2010 at AAA Las Vegas in the Pacific Coast League & was drafted away (Rule V) by the New York Mets that winter.

As the new Terry Collins managerial era began, everyone had a chance of making the ball club. The Mets were fed up woth Luis Castillo & he was released in mid March. Emaus had a good spring surprising everyone & manager Collins named him the clubs second baseman for 2011.

He found himself as the teams Opening Day second baseman batting in the seventh position. He drew a walk that day & got his first career hit the next day against the Marlins in Florida.

On April 5th he singled off the Phillies Cole Hamels driving in the fifth run of a Mets six run third inning, in a game they went on to win 7-1. In his fourth career game he had two hits and was batting .308 but it all fell apart from there.

By April 17th his average fell to .162 with no extra base hits, and he was designated for assignment. He was sent back to Toronto soon after. Justin Turner was called up & took the position over for the remainder of the season. Emaus was traded to the Colorado Rockies for a minor leaguer & hit .313 at AAA Colorado Springs with 9 HRs & 28 RBIs in 45 games.

In January 2012 he was traded to the Boston Red Sox system but was released. He resigned with the New York Mets & batted .212 at AAA Buffalo in 73 games the rest of that year.

Retirement: Since then he has retired from playing & has opened up a hitting academey at Monroe, Louisiana. 

Mar 17, 2015

Late Nineties Mets Reserve Catcher: Jorge Fabregas (1998)

Jorge Fabregas was born on March 13, 1970 in Miami Florida. He attended the University of Miami playing as a catcher for the Hurricanes. 

He joined Team USA in 1990 at the last minute & ended up being the team’s second best hitter with a .444 average. Fabregas was a 1991 first round draft pick (#34 pick overall) for the California Angels.

He debuted in 1994 then became the Angels main catcher the next two seasons batting a career high .287 in 1996. In 1997 he was sent to the White Sox & overall saw the most full time action of his career. In 121 games he hit 7 HRs with 51 RBIs 11 doubles 93 hits & .258 average. From that point on he would be mainly a backup journey man catcher in the major leagues for nine seasons through 2002.

He would play with the Angels (1994-1997 / 2001) Chicago White Sox (1997) Arizona Diamondbacks (1998) Florida Marlins (1999) Atlanta Braves (1999) Kansas City Royals (2000) & Milwaukee Brewers (2002) . Fabregas would also have a twenty game stop with the New York Mets in 1998.

After playing 50 games with the Diamondbacks that season he was traded to the New York Mets on July 31st along with Willie Blair for Nelson Figueroa & Bernard Gilkey. Fabregas was a solid defensive catcher with a strong throwing arm. On the 1998 season, although he caught just 53 games, he threw out a league leading 46% of would be base stealers. He would post a .990 fielding % & turn over five double plays behind the plate as well.

At the plate he hit his only Mets HR on August 12th in St. Louis, a two run shot against the Cardinals. In his next start he had his best day, gathering three hits at Shea against the Rockies. He finished out the year batting .188 with the Mets & .199 overall.

His stay in New York was short lived as he was traded to Florida in November for pitcher Oscar Henriquez who never suited up in a Mets uniform. In 1999 he finished the year with the Braves facing off against the Mets in the NLCS where he went 0-2 as a pinch hitter.

In his nine year career, Fabregas played in 646 games, batting .241 overall with 441 hits, 23 HRs 211 RBIs throwing out 37% of would be base stealers posting a .989 fielding %.

Mar 16, 2015

Former Italian /American Mets Coach & Minor League Manager: Sam Perlozzo (1981-1989)

Samuel Benedict Perlozzo was born on March 4, 1951 in Cumberland, Maryland. He attended George Washington University, and was signed by the Minnesota Twins in 1972. He was one of the top defensive shortstops in the Florida State league, in the early to mid seventies.

Perlozzo spent seven seasons in the minors, with the exception of a ten game cup of coffee in 1977. He tripled in the last game of the season, and scored a run when Rod Carew drove in his 100th RBI of the season.

Perlozzo saw action at second & third base at the major league level. He was released by the Twins at the end of Spring Training 1979, and got signed by the San Diego Padres in 1980. He would play in only two more MLB games before getting signed by the New York Mets in 1981.

He spent the year at Tidewater as a player/coach, before hanging them up to concentrate on managing. He went through the Mets organization, managing in the NY Penn. League with the Little Falls Mets in 1982. 

In 1983 he managed the single A Lynchburg Mets to a 96 win season. He was the Carolina league Manager of the Year, getting promoted to the AA Jackson Mets, where he was named Baseball America’s Manager of the Year there. He won two straight championships with three first place finishes, getting promoted to AAA Tidewater in 1986.

In 1987 Davey Johnson brought Perlozzo in to coach third base for the big league team at Shea Stadium. He remained with the Mets through 1989, eventually moving to the Cincinnati Reds, with Lou Pinella then going with him to Seattle. 

In 1996 he rejoined Davey Johnson, this time in his home state of Maryland, with Baltimore as the Orioles third base coach. He eventually moved over as the O’s bench coach under Mike Hargrove and then briefly under former Met Lee Mazzilli.

When Mazzilli was fired in August of 2005, Perlozzo got the job as his successor. He somehow managed to convince his childhood Italian American friend, Leo Mazzone to leave Atlanta and join him as the Orioles new pitching coach. 

Perlozzo finished fourth his only full season as manager, 2006 with the Orioles going 70-92. He was fired in June of 2007 with the team posting a 29-40 record. 

After a brief stop in Seattle he moved on in 2008 to the Philadelphia Phillies as third base during their championship season. He then served as their first base coach through the 2012 season.

Former Mets Pitcher : Josh Stinson (2011)

Joshua Randall Stinson was born on March 14th, 1988 in Shreveport Louisiana. The big six foot four right hander was drafted by the New York Mets in the 37th round of the 2006 amateur draft. He struggled at Savannah in 2007 going 3-11 with a 4.86 ERA. He would bounce between there & A Ball St. Lucie the next two seasons. 

In 2010 he improved to 9-3 at AA Binghamton although his 4.34 ERA was still a bit high. He got pushed up to AAA Buffalo where he was 2-2 in four games with a 2.57 ERA. 

In 2011 he began the year at AA Binghamton going 4-3 with six saves in 27 games. He was moved up to AAA Buffalo back in a starting role going 3-7 with a 7.44 ERA.

Stinson got a September call up to the Mets and debuted on September 2nd against the Nationals in Washington. He pitched the final two innings of a 7-3 Mets win, giving up no runs on two hits with two strike outs. Two days later he was credited with his first of three hold on the year. On September 6th in Florida Stinson got his first career save. it came in Florida against the Marlins.

On the ten year anniversary of September 11th, the Mets had a touching ceremony remembering the tragic events in New York in a game at Citi Field. Many former players from the 2000 NL Champion Mets team were on hand that night & although the Mets came close to a comeback they could not pull of a win. Stinson came on to pitch in the 11th inning with the score tied 4-4 against the Chicago Cubs.

He allowed a walk, a single, an RBI single to Carlos Pena & another walk before being removed for Ryota Igarashi who gave up four more runs. Dale Thayer then came in & allowed another as the Mets lost it 10-6 with Stinson taking the loss. He would blow one more save & take another loss on September 20th. 

In 14 appearances he posted a 66.92 ERA going 0-2 with eight strike outs & seven walks in 13 innings of work.

In April of 2012 he was placed on waivers & picked up by the Milwaukee Brewers. He appeared in six games for them in relief with no record.

At the end of Spring Training 2013, Stinson was placed on waivers. He was picked up by the Baltimore Orioles a week later. He had a terrible outing on April 24th, giving up five runs in 5.2 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays. He was back at AAA returning in September making 11 appearances posting a 3.18 ERA.

In 2014 he pitched mostly at AAA Norfolk going 5-5. He did pitch in eight games at the Major league level for the O's posting a 6.23 ERA in 13 innings pitched.

In his four year career he is 0-2 with two saves, posting a 4.41 ERA in 52 innings pitched in 39 games.

Short Time Mid Sixties Mets Outfielder: Gary Kolb (1965)

Gary Alan Kolb was born on March 13, 1940 in Rock Falls, Illinois. The six foot left hand hitter attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign getting signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1960.

The talented Kolb, would play outfield, second base, third base & even catcher in his baseball career. Although he batted left handed, Kolb threw right handed. He made some brief appearances with the Cardinals in the 1960 & 1962 seasons then had his best minor league season in 1963 batting .318 at AA Tulsa.

He was called back up to St. Louis during that season where he hit a career best .271 in 73 games. Kolb was the last Cardinal to wear the uniform #20 before Hall of Famer Lou Brock took it over& had the number retired. In April 1964 Kolb was traded to the Milwaukee Braves for the legendary baseball personality Bob Ueker. But soon, in July 1965 Kolb was traded to the New York Mets for catcher Jesse Gonder.

Kolb debuted as a Met in Pittsburgh playing centerfield going 0-4 on July 21st, during a 1-0 Al Jackson shut out over the Pirates. A week after joining the Mets he had a short four game hitting streak which kept him in the lineup into late August. 

On August 6th he hit  a three run HR at Shea Stadium, driving in all three runs  of a Mets 4-3 Mets loss to the Cubs. His hitting didn’t last too long, as he would only hit .167 (15-90) with one HR & seven RBIs playing in 40 games for the ’65 Mets. He would drive in just one more run that year coming in late September in another Mets loss. He was used as a pinch hitter twelve times getting just one hit in that role.

In December 1965 he was traded along with Dennis Ribant to the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitcher Don Cardwell who would be a aprt of the 1969 Amazing Mets team & Don Bosch. He spent the next two years in the minors. In Pittsburgh Kolb batted .218 playing in 74 games with the Pirates in 1968. After appearing in 29 games during the 1969 season, he spent his final four years playing in the minors.

In his seven season career, Kolb batted .290 with 94 hits in 450 at bats, 6 HRs 9 doubles & 29 RBIs playing in 293 career games. In his MLB career he played every poition except short stop & pitcher, although in the minors he played all nine positions at one time or another.

His cousin is Danny Kolb who pitched in the big leagues from 1999-2007 with the Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers, Atlanta Braves & Pittsburgh Pirates. Kolb saved 39 games with the 2004 Brewers (8th best in the A.L.).

Mar 15, 2015

Former Italian /American Umpire: Frank Pulli (1972-1999)

Frank Victor Pulli was born on March 22, 1935 in Easton Pennsylvania. In high school he played baseball well as basket ball eventually turning to umpiring. 

He began working games in the Mid West, Eastern & International Leagues in the sixties & early seventies. Pulli made it to the major leagues as a National League Umpire by 1972 using the number 14. 
 On April 8th, 1974 he was the first base umpire at Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium in the game where Hank Aaron broke the All Time HR record. Pulli would officiate sic NLCS Series: 1975 / 1979/ 1986/ 1991 / 1993 & 1997. 

In the 1986 NLCS Pulli worked home plate at Shea Stadium in Game #3 where Lenny Dykstra hit a two run walk off HR to beat the Houston Astros & put New York up two games to one. Pulli would officiate four World Series: 1978 / 1983 / 1995 & 1990 where he was the crew chief. 
 In the 1978 World Series blew a major call in the 6th Inning of Game #5. The A.L. New York club's Lou Pinella hit a low liner to Dodger short stop Bill Russell. He dropped the ball then flipped it to second baseman Davey Lopes.

Lopes threw to first base but base runner Reggie Jackson stuck out his hip in order to get hit by the ball. The ball caromed off Jacksons' leg & the runner scored from third base as Steve Garvey argued the call.

Dodger Manager Tommy Lasorda came out to argue as well but the call stood, as L.A. lost the game 5-4 in extra innings. Had the call been corrected, the Dodgers would have won the game & been ahead 3-2 in the Series. 
Pulli also worked the 1977 & 1988 All Star games, being the crew chief in the latter game. In 1993 he was named an NL Umpire chief.

In 1989 he along with Umpire; Rich Garcia was placed on probation by Commissioner Fay Vincent, when it was learned they had placed bets on other sporting events, not baseball.

In 1999, Pulli was the first umpire to use instant replay. In a game in Florida between the Marlins & the St. Louis Cardinals, Cliff Floyd had hit a ball near the yellow line on the outfield wall. The play was first ruled a HR but then Pulli used a television monitor to review the play. He reversed the call to a double & the Cards won the game 5-2. 

The play caused a lot of attention, & the NL Office ruled the umpires erred in using Instant Replay. Instant Replay would not be used in MLB again for almost ten years. 

In 1999 he was one of 22 MLB umpires who resigned, because they were unable to strike due to an earlier labor agreement. MLB accepted the resignations, hiring back just 13 of the 22. Pulli was not one, but was allowed to retire. He was later hired back as an umpire supervisor.

Pulli retired at the end of the 1999 season completing 28 years of MLB umpiring. In 2000 he was named an umpire supervisor served as a liaison between the umpires & the league until 2008.

Pulli passed away at his home in Palm Harbor, Florida, from complications of Parkinson's disease in August of 2013, he was 78.

Short Time Mets Pitcher With a Perfect Winning Percentage: Don Florence (1994)

Donald Emery Florence was born on March 16, 1967 in Manchester, New Hampshire. The six foot  Italian / American lefthander was signed by the Boston Red Sox in 1987. 

He pitched in the Sox minor leagues for seven years going 28-39 before being granted free agency in 1994. He was signed by New York Mets and pitched in 41 games at AAA Norfolk posting a strong 0.46 ERA going 0-1.

Florence was called up that August debuting in Philadelphia on August 12th. Although he is forgotten by most fans, Don Florence posted a 3-0 record, with a perfect .1000 winning %. His three victories most amongst no losses is the best in Mets history.

In his first win, which was his second career outing; he pitched one perfect inning between Bill Pulsipher and John Franco in Philadelphia. On August 28th he finished a game at Shea Stadium, getting credit for win #2 as the Mets scored three runs in the bottom of the 9th inning. He then notched his third & final win in San Francisco in September pitching two scoreless innings.

On the season Florence appeared in 14 games going 3-0 posting a 1.50 ERA with five strikeouts & six walks in 12 innings pitched. But arm troubles would ruin his promising rookie year and the only Met ever to be born in the State of New Hampshire would fade away into obscurity.