Jan 5, 2016

Late 2000's Mets Utility Player: Marlon Anderson (2005 / 2007-2009)

Marlon Ordell Anderson was born January 6, 1974 in Montgomery, Alabama. In high school the talented athlete starred in both baseball & football. He attended the University of Alabama where he was the Sun Belt Player of the Year. Anderson got drafted in the second round of the 1995 draft by the Philadelphia Phillies.

The five foot ten left hand hitting Anderson blew through the minor leagues making his MLB debut on September 8th 1998 against the New York Mets. He greeted New York by blasting a pinch hit HR off reliever Mel Rojas. Anderson played in Philadelphia for five seasons & was the Phillies regular second baseman for three of those years (1999-2001-2002).

His best year was 2001 as he batted .293 with 11 HRs 30 doubles & 61 RBIs. Placido Polanco replaced him at second in 2003 as Chase Utley was also on the horizon. Marlon signed with the Tampa Rays and hit .270 there with 6 HRs 67 RBIs & 19 stolen bases. He then moved on to spend one season in St. Louis with the Cardinals as a utility player hitting .237. He got to the World Series there in 2004, losing to the Boston Red Sox. Overall he was 2-12 in the post season. After winning the Championship he was signed by the New York Mets as a free agent for 2005.

Anderson made his Mets debut on Opening Day 2005 in Cincinnati going 0-1. He became the Mets primary pinch hitter in 2005, starting out the season going 5-9 as a pinch hitter through the first two weeks, batting .625.

On April 14th he started a 7th inning rally, with an RBI base hit off former Met John Franco while he was a member of the Houston Astros. He began May going 4-7 as a pinch hitter, scoring three runs in that period. He was most successful in the pinch hitting role as he batted over .300 in that spot. He made the best of his opportunities whenever he got chance, playing in the outfield at first & second base.

On June 11th during an interleague game against the Los Angeles Angels, he hit inside the park HR off Francisco Rodriguez, in the bottom of the 9th inning. The score was tied as he pinch hit bouncing one off the wall away from outfielder Steve Finley, Anderson slid safely into home sending the game to extra innings where the Mets won it. On July 6th he had two hits driving in two runs including an 8th inning game winning sac fly, helping Tom Glavine to a 5-3 victory. On July 24th he had an 8th inning two run pinch hit single off the Dodgers Scott Erickson, contributing to a 6-0 Mets win.

On August 7th, the Mets staged a three run home 7th inning in a game against the Milwaukee Brewers. Anderson tied up the game with a pinch hit single scoring Ramon Castro. The Mets went on to a 9-8 victory. On September 28th he hit two HRs in a big Met loss at Philadelphia. Then two days later, he hit a HR off Colorado's Byung Hyun Kim, in the 5th inning of a tie game, that ended up being the 3-2 game winner.

Overall in 2005 he hit .264 with 7 HRs 9 doubles 8 stolen bases & 19 RBIs in 123 games (235 at bats). Anderson was good natured and was usually seen with a smile on his face around the ballpark.

In 2006 he signed with the Washington Nationals getting a chance to play every day, as Met fans were sorry to see him leave. He hit .274 and got then got traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the end of the season.

In a September pennant race game against the San Diego Padres, Anderson went 5-5 hitting two HRs leading the Dodgers to victory. In the NLDS against his old Mets team mates, he was 4-13 driving in a run in Game #1. He started out 2007 in Los Angles, but after hitting just .231 after 23 games he was released.

He came back to the Mets that July of 2007. In his first game back with the Mets, he drove in two runs gathering up two hits, while playing left field in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. On August 1st he hit a three run HR & drove in four runs helping the Mets to a 8-5 win in Milwaukee. Over a five game hitting streak in mid August he drove in seven runs, including a three run HR off Cla Meredith at Shea Stadium against the San Diego Padres.

On August 29th he helped break up a 9th inning double play in Philadelphia with the bases loaded. After Sean Green hit a high chop, Anderson dove into Tadahito Iguchi but was called out for interference, resulting in a double play. Iguchi never touched the base & missed the tag. Replays also show Green would have easily beaten out the throw to first. The result was a Mets loss, completing a four game sweep.

Eventually the Mets lost their divisional lead & missed the playoffs by losing on the last day of the season. Overall Anderson did well again since coming back to New York, he hit .319 with three HRs seven doubles three stolen bases 25 RBIs & a .355 on base % playing in 43 games.

In 2008 he struggled after pulling a hamstring in May and never was able to regain form. He got hurt again on August 1st & missed the entire month returning on September 1st. On the season in 87 games he hit just .210 with one HR & nine RBIs.

After just four games in 2009 he was designated for assignment & retired from the game after playing a few game at Newark in the Independent League.

In his twelve year career he hit .265 with 848 hits 174 doubles 20 triples 392 runs scored 71 stolen bases & a .314 on base %. He played 680 games at second base, 135 games in the outfield & 36 games at first base.

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