Apr 30, 2015

Short Time Mid Nineties Mets Reserve Catcher: Brent Mayne (1996)

Brent Danem Mayne was born on April 19, 1968 in Loma Linda, California. The tall six foot catcher was the Kansas City Royals first round draft pick (13th pick overall) out of California State University. The next season he was brought up to the Royals big league squad for nine games. Mayne spent six seasons in Kansas City sharing time behind the plate with Mike Macfarlane.

He came in 8th in the 1991 Rookie of the Year voting & threw out 40% of would be base stealers the next season. In 1995 he was the main catcher seeing action in 110 games (103 behind the plate) batting .251. In the winter of 1996 he was traded to the New York Nets for minor leaguer Al Shirley.

In 1996 he was Todd Hundley’s back up catcher, although he only saw action in 21 games behind the plate due to Hundley’s durability that season. Mayne would only throw out one of the 23 base runners attempting to steal while he was behind the plate.

By the end of May he was hitting at .290 & then in August he brought his average back up again near the .300 mark. In 70 games on the season he batted .263, hitting a HR on April 25th in St. Louis. After the season he was granted free agency & signed on with Oakland.

He would spend time there as well as San Francisco, Colorado, back to Kansas City , Arizona & Los Angeles as a backup catcher through the 2004 season. In 2000 he was brought in to pitch an inning by his Rockies manager Buddy Bell. He pitched a scoreless inning & became the first position player since Rocky Colavito in 1968 to earn a victory when the Rockies won it the next inning.

He is the only catcher in the entire 20th century to get credited with a win. In his two seasons back with the Royals, he was their main catcher, enjoying a good 2003 season where the team finished third after being in the wild card run all season.

Mayne finished his 15 year career with 951 hits 38 HRs 178 doubles & 403 RBIs playing in 1279 games.

In his career he posted a .993 fielding %, ranked at #18 all time. His 1143 games behind the plate are 80th all time, & his 6186 put outs are 58th all time. There have been 651 successful stolen bases on Mayne, 95th most on the all time list.

One Of The Tallest Pitchers In Baseball History: Eric Hillman (1992-1994)

John Eric Hillman was born on April 27th 1966 in Gary, Indiana. The tall six foot ten left hander was drafted by the New York Mets in the 16th round of the 1987 draft. He pitched in the minors for six years, going a best 9-2 with a 3.65 ERA leading the AAA Tidewater Tides staff in 1992.

That season he was called up to the Mets on two separate occasions, making his MLB debut in San Diego on May 18th pitching one inning of relief of Dwight Gooden. On August 11th he pitched eight innings of shutout ball, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-0 at Shea Stadium earning his first win. In his next start he went into the 9th inning earning a win at San Francisco beating the Giants 5-3. He would finish the year at 2-2 taking two losses at the end of September where he allowed eleven earned runs in just four innings of work. That season he was the tallest pitcher in the big leagues along with Randy Johnson of the Seattle Mariners.

Hillman returned to the Mets in May of 1993 and was greeted to a loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. He started out 0-4 pitching in both a relief & starting role. His best outing came on July 25th when he pitched a five hit shutout at Los Angles to beat the Dodgers for his first win. He would lose his next five decisions & not earn another win until September 30th his final game of the year.

In that game he pitched a complete game one run ten hit performance against the Cardinals at Shea Stadium. He finished the year at 2-9 with a 3.79 ERA in 27 appearances. In 1994 he started out the year with Mets but quickly fell to 0-3 with a 7.79 ERA after allowing nine HRs in just eleven innings pitched. He was sent down to AAA Norfolk & went 10-1 there with a 2.86 ERA.

Hillman went on to pitch for the Chiba Lotte Marines IN 1995, pitching for manager Bobby Valentine in Japan. He went 14-9 making the All Star team winning the games MVP Award. That season he was voted to the Best Nine team. In 1997 the Yomiuri Giants purchased his contract but he only pitched six innings due to a torn rotator cuff.

He attempted to come back to pitch in the US but retired officially by 2000. In his three year career he was 4-14 with a 4.85 ERA, striking out 96 batters walking 45 while allowing 30 HRs in 232 innings pitched in 49 appearances. After his playing days he went on to work as an analyst for FSN with the Colorado Rockies (2005-2008).

Apr 29, 2015

Former Mets Broadcaster: Kevin Burkhardt (2007-2014)

Kevin Burkhardt was born March 2nd 1974 in Bloomfield, New Jersey. Burkhardt was a young Mets fan who idolized Mets announcer; Gary Cohen. 

After graduating from William Patterson University he worked at the radio station WGHT in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey. He began to cover high school football games & New Jersey Jackals minor league games as well. Burkhardt would work selling Chevy cars at a dealership in Eatontown, New Jersey.

Quotes: Kevin Burkhardt “I thought I was good enough to make it in broadcasting, but after so many years of busting my tail, I was making $18,000 a year and working all kinds of odd hours. It just wasn’t happening for me.”

He sent many tapes of his work to local stations before getting a break on WCBS-AM doing part time sports reports. This led to a gig on WFAN on 20/20 updates & as a Jets reporter.

In 2007 he joined the Mets Broadcast team at the newly former SNY network. He quickly earned a reputation as a nice guy, a fine interviewer & pleasant personality becoming popular with Mets fans. 

He would give live reports from around the ball park, as well as provide pre game & post game player interviews. He fit right in working with his boyhood idol; Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez & Ron Darling up in the booth. In addition to that he would also work on SNY's; Mets Hot Stove, SNY Spotlight, Sports Nite, Daily News Live & occasional Mets Spring Training games.

In 2012 he began to do pre game work & play by play coverage for the MLB on FOX  & FOX Sports 1. In 2013, Burkhardt began doing NFL Football games on FOX, teaming with John Lynch & Erin Andrews as the network's #4 announce team. He is now a full time FOX NFL & MLB broadcaster.

He also covered Dallas Cowboys games for Compass Media briefly worked in Philadelphia on the Out of Bounds program. At the end of the 2014 baseball season he did his final game with the New York Mets.

After residing in Central New Jersey, Kevin his wife & son; Logan have relocated to California. 

Being the good guy he is, he is now the celebrity spokesperson for the card dealership he worked for in New Jersey.

Citi Field Mets In Game Host: Christina Thompson (2015)

Christina Thompson was born in Wisconsin in 1985 & attended Vanderbilt University.

She was Miss Wisconsin & a top eight runner up in the 2008 Miss America Pageant. She appeared in the reality TV show, Miss America: Reality Check in 2008 & 2009. 

She is a classical violinist who has taught classes & worked as a personal violin instructor. Thompson became a model & actress in the Chicago area before moving to New York.

Thompson is the current in game host at Citi Field for the New York Mets, doing live promotions in between innings of Met home games. She also does commercial work for the SNY network & Mets games promotions.


In addition to her Mets work, she is the On Camera host of Fast Lane Daily & co-host of Shakedown Nation on the drive network. She is trained specialist working for Bentley & Ford motor companies as well.

Her resume also includes being part of Napa Auto Parts instructional videos & on camera host of Escoffier School of Culinary Arts.

Host of SNY's Mets Insider TV Show: Alexa Datt (2015)

Alexa Datt is a freelance sports reporter on SNY network & current host of Mets Insider. 

Datt began working as a Production assistant on Americas Most Wanted in 2006. From there she moved on to Comcast Sports Mid Atlantic region from 2006-2009.

In 2010 she began to do high school sports & College Basketball on Staten Island. From there she worked on Men's & Women's College basketball at Rutgers University.On SNY she also covers the Fordham Rams basketball games.





In 2013 she was hired at SNY Sports Network & was soon seen on air. She is a weekly host on the social media segment of the "Covino & Rich Show" on SNY. In addition she works on "Hitting the Streets" talking to New Yorkers about various sports issues. Datt began doing New York Mets promotional segments during Mets games advertising future events & promotions at Citi Field.


At Mets Spring Training 2015, she began doing on the field & in the dug out interviews with Mets players in Port St.Lucie, Florida. She is also the host of the Mets Insider TV program for the 2015 season. 

In May of 2014 she along with Howie Rose, Branden Wellington & Rich Kaminski served as judges for Citi Field's Mets Banner Day.

Former Host of SNY's Mets Insider TV Show: Kaitlin Monte (2014)

Kaitlin Monte was born on February 9th 1989 in Pittsford, New York. She first attended Clarkson University but then graduated from the University of Tampa with a Bachelor Degree. Having grown up with three with three siblings with disabilities, she became an avid advocate for disability awareness.

After college she moved to New York City & started out in musical theater working in off  Broadway shows. She also became a member of the USO Show Troupe bringing support to US military personnel, veterans & their families.

In 2011 she held the title of Miss New York & entered the 2012 Miss America competition. She finished second runner up as Miss New York & was awarded scholarships in National fitness & lifestyle. As Miss New York she selected Anti Bullying, as her personal platform. 


She founded an on line petition to bring the issue of cyber bullying to state legislators. She was named the Anti-Defamation League's No Place for Hate 2012 Difference Maker of the Year for her workshop series.

Kaitlin also hosted interactive trivia on WNBC's Today in New York television show.

In 2014 Kaitlin added some beauty to the FSNY network & the Mets organization. She got the job as host of the FSNY show; Mets Insider. The show takes fans behind the scenes of the New York Mets. The show goes behind the scenes of the game with Mets players past & present, as well as other Mets oriented personalities.

In June she became the head traffic reporter for PIX 11 News from 5am -11am in the morning hours. She also has hosted a cocktail segment on the WPIX entertainment show 'Celebrity Tastemakers'. She has family in Astoria Queens, living on Ditmars Blvd. so she frequents the many restaurants & cafe's in the area.

Apr 28, 2015

Former Met Infielder: Brian Giles (1982-1984)

Brian Jeffrey Giles was born on April 27, 1960 in Manhattan, Kansas.

He was the grandson of George Giles who played in the Negro Leagues from 1929-1937.


George Giles began his career with the Kansas City Monarchs at age 18 becoming their regular first baseman. George batted .292 in 1929 & was second in the league with seven triples. The scouting report on him said he was a fine glove man with limited power, but a good contact hitter.


That year he was the first Monarch to sit out due to contract disputes & eventually moved on to the St. Louis Stars, Homestead Grays & back to Kansas City. In 1935 he signed with the Brooklyn Eagles & batted .345 with seven steals (second in the league) & became the teams manager. He would move on to play for four other teams before retiring.

His grandson Brian Giles attended Kearney high school in San Diego & was signed by the New York Mets in the third round of the 1978 draft. Giles not known as a big hitter, batted .299 at A ball Lynchburg (1979) & .286 at AA Jackson (1980) getting pushed up to AAA Tidewater in 1981.

He made his MLB debut as defensive replacement in the 12th inning of a 4-2 Mets loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on September 12, 1982. He was back at Tidewater the next year returning to the Mets in August batting .210 behind a young Wall Backman at second.

Although the scrappy Backman batted .272, he made 16 errors & had a fallen out within the organization. So in 1983 the second base job was up for grabs in Spring Training. Giles won the position & played his only career full season for the ’83 Mets.

He hit .245 but showed speed with 17 stolen bases (4th on the speedy club) he hit 2 HRs with 15 doubles & 27 RBIs but posted a low .308 on base %. Giles posted .980 fielding % but made 14 errors & the next year he was in Tidewater & Wally Backman was back at second base in Shea Stadium. Giles did show good range & turned 87 double plays with his frequent DP partner 19 year old Jose Oquendo.

At the end of 1984 he was drafted (Rule V) by the Milwaukee Brewers, and then went to the Chicago White Sox for nine games in 1986. He spent the next three years in the minors before signing with the Seattle Mariner for 1990.

In 1990 he had a career day playing for the Mariners, hitting two HRs including a grand slam & seven RBIs in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays. In a six year career he batted .228 with 10 HRs 27 stolen base & 50 RBIs posting a .985 fielding %.

Late 2000's Mets Catcher: Omir Santos (2009)

Omir (Rios) Santos was born on April 29th, 1981 in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. The big six foot 215 pound catcher, attended East Central College in Missouri.

He was selected in the 21st round of the 2001 draft, by the AL New York club. Santos spent seven years in the clubs organization, as a catcher at all minor league levels. He was released in late 2007 & signed with the Baltimore Orioles. He played in ten games at the big league level, debuting at age 27.

At the end of the year he was granted free agency & got signed by the New York Mets. He played 84 games with the AAA Norfolk Tides, batting .269 with one HR & 36 RBIs. In 2009 he began the year at AAA Buffalo, but after three games he was called up to the Mets big league club when injuries struck the catching staff, putting out Brian Schneider.

On April 17th he appeared as a pinch hitter, going 0-1 in a 5-4 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. Two days later he got a start at Shea Stadium catching Nelson Figueroa in a 4-2 loss to the Brewers. That day he got two extra hits, a double & a triple. On April 27th, he had a huge thrill, hitting a 1st inning grand slam HR off the Florida Marlins Anibal Sanchez.

In May, he had a good month, driving in 14 runs while playing in 19 games. On May 23rd, with the Mets down 2-1 in an interleague game at Fenway Park in Boston, Santos came to bat in the 9th inning with Gary Sheffield on base. He blasted a two run game winning HR off the Red Sox Jonathan Papelbon leading to a 3-2 win. A week later he was the hero again, this time at Citi Field, hitting a walk off HR against Brian Sanches to beat the Marlins 2-1.

Santos was finding a quick success in New York after all his years in the minor leagues. On June 13th in an inter league subway series match up, Santos hit a three run HR off Andy Petitte in a 6-2 Mets win.

Santos put in a decent season, as the Mets main catcher (96 games). He hit .260 with 7 HRs 14 doubles & 40 RBIs. Behind the plate he threw out 29% of would be base stealers.

In 2010 he played just 27 games in the minor leagues & was granted free agency at the end of the year. He would get to the Detroit Tiges organization & appeared in 11 games in the 2011 season.

In 2012 he played three games at the big league level for the AL Champions Tigers. In 2013 he played Spring Training with the Cleveland Indians batting .375 in 17 games.

Short Time Member of the 1988 NL Eastern Champion Mets: Bob McClure (1988)

Robert Craig McClure was born April 29th 1952 at Oakland, California. The five foot eleven left handed pitcher, attended the College of San Mateo, getting drafted in the third round of the 1973 amateur draft.

McClure moved up quickly, finding himself in the majors by late August 1975. He debuted finishing out a 3-0 loss in Baltimore to the Orioles. On August 16th, he earned career save #1, coming against the AL New York team. In his last outing of the year he earned his first career win as well.

He spent most of 1976 in the minors & in March of 1977 was sent to the Milwaukee Brewers as a player to be named later in a deal that also sent Jamie Quirk & Jim Wohlford to the Brewers. Kansas City received Darrell Porter & Jim Colborn.

McClure would spend ten years in Milwaukee making the post season twice (1981 & 1982). He spent his first five years with the Brewers as a reliever leading the team in saves in 1978 with nine & again in 1980 with ten.

After battling arm issues most of the strike shortened 1981 season, he was ready for the playoffs, as the Brewers made their first post season appearance. He would pitch in three games of the ALDS earning a hold in Game #4.

In 1982 he was converted to a starter & found himself on one of baseballs best teams. McClure went 12-7, third on the staff of Pete Vuckovich (18-6) & Mike Cauldwell (17-13) for Harvey Kuenn's A.L. Champion "Brew Crew", also known as "Harvey's Wall Bangers".

Post Season: In the post season, he was used once again as a reliever, mostly in the closing role as future Hall of Famer; Rollie Fingers was injured. McClure would be very effective, first  

In the ALCS against the California Angels, he was the Game #1 winning pitcher. He pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, as the Brwers won the game on a Cecil Cooper RBI single.

In the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals he appeared in five games, going 0-2 while earning saves in Games Four & Five.

In Game #7 it was McClure that allowed a 6th inning bases loaded single to Keith Hernandez, tying up the game. He then gave up what would be the game winning run to George Hendrick, as he took the loss. Overall in nine post season career games he is 1-2 with two saves, a hold & a 1.93 ERA.

The journeyman pitcher would go to the Montreal Expos (1986-1987) & back to Montreal in 1988. He was released & signed by the New York Mets in mid June.

McClure debuted with the Mets, on July 14th, in Atlanta getting credit for a hold in a 7-2 Mets win. On August 6th, he earned his only Mets win, pitching a scoreless 7th inning against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. On October 1st, he earned a save against the St. Louis Cardinals. He did not pitch in the Mets post season. 

In his brief Mets career lasting just 2 1/2 months, he was 1-0 with a save & a 4.09 ERA in 14 appearances.

He would go to the California Angels (1989-1991) St. Louis Cardinals (1991-1992) & finish his playing career with the expansion Florida Marlins in 1993.

In a 19 year career, he was 68-57 with 52 saves. He struck out 701 batters walked 497 in 1158 innings over  698 games.

Retirement: After his pitching days he began a long career of coaching. He coached with the Colorado Rockies organization (1999-2005). He then went to the Kansas City Royals from 2006-2011.

In 2012 he was Bobby Valentines pitching coach with the Boston Red Sox, but as the team struggled he was let go in late August. He was replaced by Randy Niemann. In 2014 he was named pitching coach for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Apr 27, 2015

Early 2000's Mets Pitcher: Orber Moreno (2003-2004)

Orber (Aquiles) Moreno was born on April 27, 1977 in Caracas, Venezuela. The tall slender right hander was signed at the age of sixteen by the Kansas City Royals. 

He would spend six years in the minors as a starter, reliever even a closer at times before debuting with the Royals in 1990. He appeared in seven games posting a 5.63 ERA with six strikeouts in eight innings of work. In 2003 he was signed by Jim Duquette & the New York Mets during Spring Training.

He went 5-1 posting a strong 1.90 ERA in 38 games at AAA Norfolk, getting a September call up to Shea Stadium. He debuted on September 3rd in a game against the Braves & was greeted with a two run HR by Javier Lopez, but he got no decision in the 9-3 loss. He had another rough outing in Florida as the Marlins tagged him for four runs & in seven games he posted a 7.88 ERA on the season.

In 2004 he made the club after a good Spring Training, and in the second game of the season was greeted with a two run double from Atlanta’s Andruw Jones in the wild 18-10 Braves win. Moreno earned his first save two days later in Montreal. AT the end of Mat he got his first career win, pitching two innings of scoreless relief in Philadelphia.

On July 4th he came into a subway series game at Shea Stadium, ahead 5-4 in the 8th inning. But he blew the lead allowing two hits & the tying run to score. He was saved by Ty Wiggington who hit a dramatic 8th inning HR, giving Moreno credit for the Met victory. He would earn one more win before getting demoted at the end of the month.

He went 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA in 33 appearances that season but never pitched in the major leagues again. He finished his MLB career at 3-1 in 47 games with a 4.44 ERA. He pitched in the minors through 2008, then in the Mexican League in 2009 & the Independent League in 2010.

Early Seventies Mets Infield Prospect: Lute Barnes (1972-1973)

Luther Owens Barnes was born April 28, 1947, in Forest City, Iowa.

He attended Oregon State University getting drafted by the New York Mets in the 21st round (482nd pick overall) in 1969.

As a second baseman there wasn’t much room for Barnes with Ken Boswell & then Felix Millan both steadily holding the position through the mid seventies. He certainly wasn’t seeing any action at short with All Star Bud Harrelson in that spot. The five foot ten infielder even lost out to the solid reserve, Teddy Martinez for any back up duties.

In 1970 Barnes hit .290 in 121 games at AA Memphis. By 1971 Barnes was the AAA Tidewater Tides main second baseman playing for managers Hank Bauer & then former New York Giant Johnny Antonelli. He turned 51 double plays posting a .962 fielding % in 121 games at the position while hitting .273.

Barnes got a major league call up that summer, debuting with the Mets on August 6th 1972 at Shea Stadium in a 12-2 Mets romp over the Chicago Cubs. Lute got a base hit driving in Teddy Martinez in his first MLB at bat. Three days later he got to start at short stop in a 8-3 Mets win at St. Louis. He had a big day getting two more hits with a triple, two walks & two runs scored. He was hitting .750 after his first two career games & would have three more multiple hit games that season.

On September 12th he drove in two runs with a triple off the Phillies Ken Reynolds leading New York to a 4-2 win at Veterans Stadium. Ten days later he hit into a double play in the 8th inning of a game against the Phillies at Shea Stadium. The play scored the winning run & helped Tom Seaver beat Steve Carlton 2-1.Overall he played in 24 games total, batting .236 with two triples & six RBIs.

In 1973 he was back as AAA Tidewaters main second baseman posting a .985 fielding %, he stole 23 bases but hit just .226. He still got another September call up playing in three games for the 1973 NL champion Mets.

On September 13th he pinch ran in the 12th inning in a tie game at Philadelphia. He scored what would be the games winning run on Wayne Garrett's base hit, bringing the Mets within two games of first place. He got two pinch hit appearances, getting an RBI single against the Montreal Expos in what would be his last career at bat.

In 27 MLB games he hit .243 (18-74) with two doubles, two triples, six walks & seven RBIs. He posted a .959 fielding % in 14 games at second & short, with a .100% in six games at short. Barnes played in the minor leagues through the 1975 season, retiring at age 28.

Former Italian / American Eighties Pitcher: John Cerutti (1985-1991)

John Joseph Cerutti was born on April 28th 1960 at Albany, New York. The six foot two, left handed pitcher attended Amherst College. He was a first round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in 1981, the 21st pick overall.

He got a cup of coffee in 1985 going 0-2 in four games with a 5.40 ERA. The next season he went 9-4 establishing himself as a solid pitcher. He was mostly a starter but used in a relief role as well. This was the case in his entire seven year career.

In 1987 he won a career high 11 games (11-4) with a .733 winning % (second best in the AL). After a 6-7 season in 1988, he rebounded for the First place AL Eastern Champion Jays in 1989.

On June 7th, 1989 he made Blue Jays history, recording the teams first win at the newly opened SkyDome, as he beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2.

On the year he matched his career high, eleven wins but lost eleven games as well. Cerutti posted a 3.07 ERA (9th in the AL) putting up career highs in innings (205) & starts (31). He made two post season appearances, mopping up losses to the Oakland Athletics.

In 1991 he signed with the Detroit Tigers going 3-6 with two saves in 38 games. Injuries cut his career short, as he played 1992 & 1995 in the minor leagues before retiring. In a seven year career he was 49-43 with four saves, posting a 3.94 ERA in 229 games (116 starts).

Retirement: Cerutti became a broadcaster for the Toronto Blue Jays on CBC & the new Rogers Sportsnet as well.

Passing: He was scheduled to work the final game of the Blue Jays 2004 season, but had missed an 11:00 meeting. After he could not be reached, the police were called & broke open his hotel room door.

He was found dead, passing from natural causes due to heart arrhythmia. He was 44 years old.

Honors: John Cerutti was known and admired for his exemplary character, good will, and sportsmanship. The former Good Guy Award was named after him in Toronto.

Apr 26, 2015

Short Time Italian /American Mets Utility Player: Frank Catalanotto (2010)

Frank John Catalanotto was born on April 27, 1974 in Smithtown, Long Island.

He was drafted out of Smithtown East high school in the 10th round of the 1992 draft by the Detroit Tigers. The left handed Catalanatto known as the “Little Cat” has played all infield & outfield positions in the major leagues.

He began his career spending three seasons with the Detroit Tigers batting a best .276 in 1999 playing in 100 games.

In 1999 he was traded to the Texas Rangers as a player in the Juan Gonzales trade. He started out the season with a bang. In his first 13 plate appearances Catalanotto collected ten hits & drew three walks, setting a franchise record.

He set another Rangers record in May, getting five hits in a single game. He then went on to hit .291 with 10 HRs 13 doubles & 42 RBIs in 103 games that season. His good hitting got him into 133 games in 2001, and he responded by hitting .330 (5th best in the AL).

He put up 31 doubles, with 11 HRs & 54 RBIs. In 2002 Injuries plagued him to only 68 games, as his average dropped to .268 & the Rangers declined to sign him.

He moved on to the Toronto Blue Jays (2003-2006)& had another good season batting .299 setting career highs in HRs (13) & RBIs (59) in 133 games. The next year he set a Blue Jays  hit record, getting six hits going 6-6 in the second game of a double header against the Chicago White Sox.

He hit over .290 again, but injuries limited him to just 75 games. He bounced back to hit over .300 the next two seasons, winning two Player of the Week Awards in 2005 and matched his career high RBI total (59) in 2003.


He signed with Texas again in 2007 & his average fell to .260. He hit .274 in 2008 then went to Milwaukee & batted .276 last season. He was signed by the New York Mets for 2010 & made the team out of Spring Training, although he was considered a long shot.

Catalanotto was happy to come home & play for the hometown Mets as a utility player. He appeared in 25 games, often used as a pinch hitter but overall was just 4-25 (.160).

On April 16th he had an RBI pinch hit single, in a 4-3 loss to the Cardinals at St. Louis, batting for Jennry Mejia. On May 10th he was released finishing his 14 year baseball career.

Overall he batted .291 lifetime with 1113 hits 262 doubles 37 triples 84 HRs 457 RBIs & a .357 on base %. In the outfield his career .992 fielding % puts him with many in the top twenty of all time. He also had 25 career assists as an outfielder & turned 54 double plays as a second baseman.

Family: Frank has four children, his daughter Morgan was born with a Vascular Birthmark on her face. He and his wife Barbara have become honorary chairpersons for the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation.

He is also active in Little League programs on Long Island as well. His brother is an attorney & sports agent also on Long Island.

In 2006 & 2009 Frank played on the Italian National team in the World Baseball Classic.

Apr 25, 2015

Early 2000's Mets Relief Pitcher: Scott Strickland (2002-2003)

Scott Michael Strickland was born April 26, 1976 in Houston, Texas. The right handed fastball pitcher was drafted out of the University of New Mexico by the Montreal Expos in the 10th round in 1997.

After a brief two year period in the minors, Strickland made his debut with the Expos, in 1999 going 0-1 in 17 games. In 2000, the Expos only won 67 games and Steve Kline was their main closer with 14 saves. Strickland would eventually take over that closer role, posting a 3.00 ERA and finishing up 4-3 with nine saves. The next year he lost that job to Uqueth Urbina, but he still saved nine games with a 3.21 ERA but posted a 2-6 record.

During the first week of the 2002 season he was traded to the New York Mets for pitcher Bruce Chen. At the time it was believed Scott could help a weak Mets bullpen and possibly even be their future closer. He’ll always be remembered for wearing that thick silver chair around his neck, while on the mound.

He made his Mets debut on April 6th pitching the 7th inning in Atlanta in a 11-2 walloping of the Braves. The next night he blew a save opportunity, serving up an 8th inning RBi single to Mark Derosa. The Braves won the game in the 14th inning on a walk off HR by Marcus Giles off Mets pitcher Satoru Komiyama.

But in his first month, he would not allow another run & finished April with an 0.87 ERA & five holds. In the last week of May, he benefited with three Mets late comebacks to earn victories each time, getting his record to a best 5-2. As the season went on, he would win just one more game & take losses seven more times. In the set up role he would not earn another hold in the final two months.

He finished at 6-9 with two saves & 15 holds posting a 3.59 ERA in 68 appearances. Strickland did strike out 69 batters in 69 innings pitched. In 2003 he started out 0-2 but had a good 2.25 ERA before injuries led him to Tommy John surgery ruining his career. The Mets eventually released him.

After rehab & hard work, he returned two years later, to pitch four innings with the 2005 Houston Astros. He pitched in the minors a few more years but never made it back. 

In a six year career he was 12-21 with 3.34 ERA, striking out 243 batters while walking 112 batters & twenty saves. in 242 innings over 239 appearances.

Italian / American Baseball Commissioner: Bart Giamatti (1989)

Angelo Bartlett Giamatti was born on April 4, 1938 in Edgartown, Massachusetts on Martha’s Vineyard. His grandfather had emigrated from Naples, Italy in early 1900 & his father became an Italian language teacher at Mount Holyoke College. Bartlett grew up in Wakefield , Massachusetts outside of the Springfield area. He attended his junior year in high school overseas in Rome. He returned to attend Yale University, eventually becoming the Yale University from 1976 to 1986.

He was a lifelong die hard Red Sox fan who once said, all he ever wanted to be was “President of the American League”. In 1986 he became President of the National League overseeing the Mets win the World Series.


He suspended Pete Rose in April of 1988 after he shoved Umpire Dave Pallone. During the NLCS between the Dodgers & Mets he suspended L.A. pitcher Jay Howell after he was caught using pine tar. The executives in MLB loved the way Giamatti enforced rules, something he learned by fighting the unions at Yale.

Three years later in 1989, he became the Commissioner of Major League Baseball succeeding Peter Ueberroth. Giamatti helped the game become more fan friendly at ball parks, a strong belief he felt needed to be improved. He made the umpires strictly enforce the balk rule which had become very lax. He also helped support the issue of promoting minorities to positions of managers & executives in baseball.

In August of 1989 with all the scandals of Pete Rose going on, it was Giamatti who worked out a voluntary agreement with Rose. The Dowd report had been submitted to the Commissioner showing bank, phone & betting records proving Rose had bet on his own team while serving as manager.

Giamatti worked out a deal which ended the betting scandal for Rose by permanently banning him from the game avoiding any further punishment.

The one thing baseball has always frowned upon since the days of the 1919 Chicago Black Sox scandal, was gambling within the game. Giamatti was determined to maintain the integrity of the game.

Eight days later, Giamatti passed away from a massive heart attack at age 51 while at his home on Martha’s Vineyard. He was known as a heavy smoker & many people believed the stress of the Pete Rose scandal added to his heat attack. He had served just five months in office before his friend Fay Vincent took over the position.


The 1989 World Series was dedicated to him in his honor. The research center at the Baseball Hall of Fame was named the Giamatti Research Center.& The Little League complex in Bristol, CT, home town of ESPN is also named in his honor.

His son Paul Giamatti is a successful actor who has appeared in Donnie Brasco, Howard Stern’s Private Parts, My Best Friend’s Wedding, The Truman Show, Saving Private Ryan, Planet of the Apes, The Cradle Will Rock, Big Mommas House & John Adams.