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Showing posts from January, 2016

1999 NL Wild Card Mets Reserve Player: Jorge Toca (1999-2001)

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Jorge Luis Toca was born on January 7, 1975 in Villa Clara, Cuba. The six foot three, right hand hitting Cuban defector was signed by the New York Mets in 1998 as an amateur free agent. The first baseman /outfielder quickly got to the Mets big league club, as a September call up during their 1999 Wild Card season. He debuted on September 12th, getting a hit in his first MLB at bat, a single in a 10-3 Mets win at Dodger Stadium. He would play in just four games, going 0-3, being used mostly as a pinch hitter. In the Mets 2000 NL Pennant season, Toca was at AAA Norfolk  batting .272 getting another September call up. He got into eight games and batted .429 (3-7). His moment in the sun came on Saturday, September 30th in a game against the Montreal Expos at Shea Stadium. Toca hit a line drive bases loaded double to left center field off Javier Vazquez, clearing the bases to help lift New York to a 4-2 victory. The next day he got another pinch closing out the regular season with a

Remembering Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane / Jefferson Starship (1941-2016)

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This week Rock & Roll lost yet another classic legendary artist. The past few months have been rough in the Rock world as we have lost many great artist, some bigger than others but all have had an impact on music or more importantly to this site to centerfieldmaz. Paul Kantner was born March 17th, 1941 in San Francisco California. He attended a Catholic High School & then finished three years of College between the University of Santa Clara & San Jose State. At an early age he developed a love for science fiction & music. He dropped out of college to enter the music scene & sing protest songs, as he was a fan of Pete Seeger. Kantner was a very outspoken political anarchist & counter culture advocate. Early on he was an openly admitting drug user, particularly marijuana & psychedelics. Later in life he changed his tune saying "As you get older and accomplish more things in life in general, you realize that drugs don't help, particularly if y

Mid Sixties Mets Reserve Outfielder: Tommie Reynolds (1967)

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Tommie D. Reynolds was born on August 15th, 1941in Arizona, Louisiana. The six foot two right hand hitting outfielder was signed by the Kansas City A's in 1963. Reynolds played parts of three seasons with the Kansas City A's, seeing the most action in 1965 (90 games) batting just .237. In 1966 he played in the Pacific Coast League at Vancouver batting .248. That November he was drafted Rule V by the New York Mets. Reynolds would be the fourth outfielder for the 1967 Mets team, that finished up in tenth place at 61-101 under Wes Westrum (151 games) & Salty Parker (11 games). He debuted for the Mets on Opening Day 1967 entering the game in the 8th inning & playing left field. In the third game of the year he homered for the only Mets run against the Phillies at Connie Mack stadium. Reynolds struggled to bat near .200 most of the year. On June 18th, in a game at Shea Stadium against the Chicago Cubs, Reynolds hit a walk off tenth inning HR off future Met Cal Koo

Mid Sixties Mets Pitcher: Darrell Sutherland (1964-1966)

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Darrell Wayne Sutherland was born on November 14, 1941 in Glendale, California. The tall 6’ 4” lanky right hander, attended Stanford University, getting signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1963. The next year he was selected as a first year waiver pick by the New York Mets. The youngster went 10-1 at AAA Buffalo that season getting brought up to the Mets staff in late June.  On June 28th, 1964 Sutherland debuted against the Milwaukee Braves, getting knocked out in the first inning, allowing five earned runs walking two batters. On July 2nd he made a start at the Astrodome, pitching five solid innings allowing two runs, but the Mets only scored one run for him & Sutherland was given another loss.  He was placed in the bullpen the rest of the month, getting a start on July 23rd losing to the Reds in Cincinnati. By August 8th he was 0-3 & had given up a total of 26 runs in 26 innings pitched in his ten appearances (7.76 ERA). It was a classic example of a young pitcher b

Short Time 2000 NL Champion Mets Infielder: David Lamb (2000)

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David Christian Lamb was born June 6th 1975 in West Hills, California. The six foot two switch hitting infielder was signed out of high school at Thousand Oaks, California, by the Baltimore Orioles.  In 1998 he was drafted away by the Tampa Bay Devil Ryas & would play in 55 games for them batting .226 in 1999. The next year he was placed on waivers & picked up by the New York Mets. He played 109 games at AAA Norfolk 55 games at short, 38 games at third & 10 games at second, batting .225.  On July 5th he was called up to the Mets big league squad, coming in the 9th inning in an 11-2 win at Florida over the Marlins. In his next three games he came in as a late inning defensive replacement as well, getting no at bats.  On July 18th, Lamb got his only Mets start, it came in an inter League game in Toronto where he played short stop & batted ninth. In the 8th inning he got a base hit & scored on Lenny Harris double. (That night centerfieldmaz was at the game &am

Old Time New York Giants Short Stop: Al Bridwell (1908-1911)

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Albert Henry Bridwell was born January 4, 1884 in Friendship, Ohio. The five foot nine, left hand hitting infielder began his career with the Cincinnati Reds in 1904. In 1906 he was traded to the Boston Braves playing there for two seasons. He didn't hit much in either season & then got traded to the New York Giants. By the time he got to the Polo Grounds, he became Manager John McGraw’s shortstop for the next three & a half seasons. Bridwell was a perfect player in the McGraw mold, he was hardnosed, rough & came right at you with all he had. Although he had all the respect in the world for McGraw, his own temper once caused him to punch the manager in the nose. Because of the incident, Bridwell was suspended for two games. In 1908 Bridwell hit .285 (8th best in the league) & posted a .346 on base percentage (6th best in the league). He also stole 20 bases, hit 14 doubles & drove in 46 runs for the second place Giants, who were fighting for a pennant all

Late 2000's Mets Utility Player: Nick Evans (2008-2011)

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Nicholas Reginald Evans was born January 30, 1986 in Glendale, Arizona. The six foot two, right handed hitter was drafted out of high school in Phoenix, by the New York Mets in the 5th round of the 2004 draft. Evans was primarily a first baseman in the Mets organization, in 2007 he batted .286 with 15 HRs at A ball St. Lucie. In 2008 he was at AA Binghamton when he was brought up to the Mets in May to replace an injured Marlon Anderson. In his first MLB at bat he doubled off Colorado’s Jeff Francis, & then hit two more doubles in the same game. He was the first Met since Kaz Matsui in 2004 to have three extra base hits in his MLB debut. He got to play regularly for a week but after his hot start was batting .174 when he was sent back down in June. At Binghamton overall he would bat .311 with 14 HRs & 53 RBIs on the year, finding his way back up to the majors in the summer when Ryan Church got injured. On August 31st he hit his first career HR coming against the Florid

Short Time Mid Eighties Mets Pitcher: Bill Latham (1985)

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William Carol Latham was born on August 29, 1960 in Birmingham, Alabama. The six foot two inch lefthander, was first drafted by the expansion Seattle Mariners in 1977 but did not sign. Instead he pitched for Auburn University getting signed as an amateur free agent by the New York Mets in 1981. He won 12 games at the A – AA levels in 1983, pitching for Lynchburg & Jackson. I 1984 he was promoted to AAA Tidewater after seven games, going 11-3 with a 3.06 ERA. In 1985 he had a good Spring Training and found himself going North with the Mets big league team. On April 15th he made his MLB debut, giving up three runs on three hits against the Pirates, in Pittsburgh, taking a 4-1 loss. He then made a relief outing pitching two scoreless inning against the Phillies, but with such a talented staff was sent down to AAA Tidewater. He came back for one game on July 27th, having the best day of his brief MLB career. Latham pitched seven innings, striking out four Astros, allowing thr

YES pedes!!!! Yoenis Cespedes Signs Deal With Mets

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YesPedes!! centerfieldmaz has wanted this all along..........The New York Mets & Yoenis Cespedes have come to terms on a three year $75 million deal bringing the star slugger back to New York. The deal gives Cespedes $25 million a year which is the highest single season contract given to any player this off season. Although he took less years than he originally wanted he not only got that $25 mil. a year but an option to opt out after the first year as well as a no trade clause. Cespedes in the middle of the Mets line up means so much, his arm & speed in center field is just as important. The Mets are now the true favorite in the National League East & will certainly be right up there defending their NL Championship Title. With that pitching staff, Cespedes back & Mike Piazza going to the Hall of fame its once again a great time to be a Mets fan!!!
In Honor of the 2016 Queens Baseball Convention at O'Neill's Pub in Maspeth Queens this Saturday January 23rd, we honor posts of it's special guests Tim Teufel & Bobby Valentine. ( update- THE QBC HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO THE NYC BLIZZRD)

Former Mid 2000's Mets Pitcher: Matt Ginter (2004)

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Matthew Shane Ginter was born on December 24th, 1977 in Lexington, Kentucky. The six foot one, righty attended Mississippi State University. He was one of four first round pitchers chosen by the Chicago White Sox in the 1999 amateur draft. Ginter had pitched in the 1998 Baseball World Cup earning a save with a 5.40 ERA. He went through the White Sox minor leagues & by 2000 he was 11-8 at AA Birmingham posting a 2.25 ERA. He debuted in the majors that September actually earning a win against the Anaheim Angels in his first game, pitching a scoreless inning. In his next appearance he blew a save allowing four runs on two hits in just one inning. In 2001 he was picked as the best prospect in the Sox organization by Baseball America. He was called up in June & made twenty appearances as a middle reliever going 1-0 with a 5.22 ERA. He spent two more seasons in Chicago making 33 appearances in 2002 but just three the next year in 2003. That off season he was traded to t

Remembering Glenn Frey of the Eagles (1948-2016)

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It is with sadness & deep regret that centerfieldmaz reports the death of another legendary Rock & Roll artist. Glenn Frey a founding member of the Eagles, one of the most popular & successful American rock bands ever, has died at the age of 67. Frey passed away in New York City of pneumonia, rheumatoid arthritis & acute colitis while recovering from intestinal surgery. Grey was a versatile musician, singer, song writer whose contributions to classic rock & roll is astounding. Frey will be missed but never forgotten. Glenn Lewis Frey was born on November 6th, 1948 in Detroit Michigan. Frey began his musical career during the sixties Detroit music scene, getting a break to play guitar for Bob Seger. He eventually moved west to California where things were really happening. He & his girlfriend lived in an apartment above Jackson Browne & he would hear Browne writing songs below him. Frey always said he learned a lot about writing songs from