Jan 30, 2016

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

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 3-2 win at Montreal.

He made no post season appearances but did return in 2001 for 13 games, only batting .176 and not returning to the big leagues again.

Trivia: At the plate Toca held the bat very loosely & on more than one occasion had it fly out of his hands into the stands.

In 2003 his contract was purchased by the Pittsburgh Pirates but he was soon released. After minor league stints with four more teams he was found guilty of violating the minor league drug policy & was suspended. He was last seen playing in the Mexican League in 2008.

No comments: