Jan 8, 2016

Former Mets Player & Current Long Island Ducks Manager: Kevin Baez (1990-1993)

Kevin Richard Baez was born January 10,1967 in Brooklyn New York.

Baez rode his bike from Coney Island to play in the Gil Hodges Little League as a kid, making the All Star team. When asked what he wanted to do when he grows up, he said “be a ball player”.

He is another in the long line of baseball players to come out of Brooklyn’s Lafayette High School. Sandy Koufax, John Franco, Pete Falcone, The Aspromonte Bothers, Al Ferrara, plus Fred Wilpon, Larry King, Rhea Pearlman & Goodfella’s Paulie Sorvino. Baez went to Dominican College in Rockland County & was drafted in the 7th round of the 1988 draft by the hometown New York Mets.

All glove with no hit, would probably best describe the shortstops quick MLB career. Baez began his first two seasons at A ball going to AA in 1990 making his MLB debut that season in just five games batting.167.

He would spend the next eleven seasons in the minor leagues, hoping for another chance at the big leagues. Another cup of coffee in 1992 got him into six September games, where he hit .154 (2-13).

In 1993 he saw the most action of his career when he was called up after Tony Fernandez went to Toronto in early June. Baez got into 52 games but only hit .183 & lost his job to Tim Bogar. At short he made six errors in 180 chances good for a .967 fielding %.

Baez played at AAA Norfolk through the 2001 season, never making it back to the major leagues. After that he spent four years with Bud Harrelson on the Eastern end of Long Island with the Long Island Ducks of the in the Atlantic League. There he won a Championship in 2004 getting named Atlantic League All Star batting .256 with 40 RBIs & 36 runs scored in 98 games played.

He found a home there, and after coaching with the Mets in 2007, he has been a coach for the Ducks ever since. In December of 2010 he was named the new manager of the Ducks for the 2011 season. In his first year as manager, he guided Long Island to the Liberty Division championship after compiling the best record in the Atlantic League (78-47) and winning both the First and Second Half Liberty Division titles.
The team fell off in 2012 & then finished second in the 63-77 record in 2013. 

Baez posted a .248 minor league career average with 1371 hits 15 HRs & 595 RBIs. In the majors he hit .179 with 27 hits in151 at bats with ten doubles & seven RBIs in 63 big league games.

Retirement: Baez says he loves teaching the game to young kids & still teaches baseball clinic at Bayside Batting & Pitching in Queens on Fridays. I never laugh at a kid who says he wants to be a pro ball player, because that’s what I wanted no matter what the odds were.

Long Island Ducks: In 2016 Baez will be in his fifth year of managing the Long Island Ducks. It is his 13th season overall with the organization.

In his time as manager he has led the team to four half seasons as Liberty Division Champs & three straight Liberty Division Championships as well as the 2012 & 2013 Atlantic League Championships.

He is the only person to win the Atlantic League Championship as both a player & Manager. His bench coach is one f the teams owners & people responsible for bringing baseball to Eastern Long Island; legendary Mets short stop Bud Harrelson.

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