Feb 4, 2016

Short Time 1999 Mets Wild Card Pitcher: Jeff Tam (1998-1999)

Jeffrey Eugene Tam was born on August 19, 1970 in Fullerton, California. The six foot one, right hander attended high school in Melbourne, Florida where he led the Florida Space Coast League in hits & RBIs.

He then attended Florida State University, playing for the Seminoles under legendary college baseball coach; Mike Martin.

In 1993 he was signed by the New York Mets as an amateur free agent. In 1994 & early 1995, he was a replacement player during the MLB strike, which barred him from membership in the MLB Players Association.

When play resumed, Tam went 0-2 at AA Binghamton. The next year there he went 6-2 with a solid 2.44 ERA which got him promoted to AAA Norfolk in 1997. He posted an ERA near five, but went 7-5 with six saves for the third place Tides.

In 1998 he notched 11 saves with a 1.83 ERA earning him a call up to the Mets big league club. Tam debuted on June 30th 1998, pitching the 5th inning of a 6-3 loss, in an interleague game against the Blue Jays in Toronto. In his fifth career game, he blew a save opportunity, allowing three runs to the Montreal Expos.

On July 12th, he pitched 1.2 scoreless innings against the Expos at Shea Stadium, earning his first career win. He would get credit for a hold on July 19th but was sent back down to the minors at the end of July, with a 3.97 ERA. He returned in September for five games, taking a loss to the Houston Astros in his last outing.

In 1999 Tam was placed on waivers & got picked up by the Cleveland Indians where he pitched just one game. By August he was placed on waivers by Cleveland & found himself back on the Mets.

He would pitch in middle relief for the 1999 Wild Card Mets, posting a 5.40 ERA in ten games, striking out eight batters in 11.2 innings. He did not pitch in the post season.

That November he signed with the Oakland A's as a free agent. Tam pitched as a reliever in Oakland for three seasons, making the playoffs each year winning two AL Western titles. In those years Tam went a combined 6-9 with six saves & a 3.27 ERA in 182 appearances. He pitched in two 2000 post season games as well.

In 2003 he signed on as a free agent with the Toronto Blue Jays going 0-4. He signed on with the Colorado Rockies but did not make their big league club.

In his six year career he went 7-14 with seven saves, 146 strike outs 98 walks in 251 appearances. In 2008 he pitched for the Independent League Bridgeport Blue Fish.

No comments: