Mar 30, 2016

One Of the Mets First Free Agent Signings: Tom Hausman (1978-1982)

Thomas Matthew Hausman was born on March 31, 1953 in Mobridge, South Dakota. He was a high school All State basketball player as well as a top right handed pitcher in Laverne California. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 9th round, of the 1971 draft. 

He won 13 games at A ball with the Newark Co-Pilots in the New York / Penn league in 1971. In 1972 & 1973 he won 12 games each season, posting winning records getting called up to the 1975 fifth place Milwaukee Brewers staff. 

 He debuted pitching in New York allowing two runs in 10-1 loss to the A.L. New York club. On the year he was 3-6 with a 4.10 ERA in 29 games pitched. After only appearing in only three games in 1976, he spent all of 1977 in the AAA Pacific Coast League.There he was 13-6 leading the league with 30 starts. In the winter of 1977 he became one of the first New York Mets free agent signings. 

He began the 1978 season at AAA Tidewater, and pitched well going 5-2 there with a 1.22 ERA in ten games. That performance got him a promotion to the Mets big league staff by July '78. He debuted with the Mets at Shea Stadium on July 7th wearing Jon Matlack’s old uniform number 32. He got the start against the Chicago Cubs, allowing six earned runs over 4.1 innings earning no decision in the 7-4 loss. He would win his next two starts including an eight inning shutout performance against Phil Neikro & the Atlanta Braves, at Shea Stadium on July 22nd. 

On August 23rd, he pitched another eight shutout innings against the San Francisco Giants but lost a 2-1 game to Bob Knepper. When the Giants came to Shea, the next week, he lost another 2-0 heart breaker to Knepper. Hausman would make ten starts for the ’78 Mets going into the 8th inning twice while allowing no runs in those two games. 

He finished at 3-3 with 16 strike outs & nine walks in 51 innings pitched posting a 4.70 ERA. That year at the plate he had three hits good enough for a .176 average driving in two runs as well. 

In 1979 he began the year at AAA Tidewater again, going 6-4 in 12 games with a 4.50 ERA getting called up in June. He lost his first four decisions, three as a starter & one where he pitched six innings of long relief. On June 18th, he lost in the 18th inning at the Astrodome, when Craig Reynolds ended the game with a walk off RBI base hit. On July 24th, he lost another extra inning game, in the 12 inning to the San Diego Padres. In the top of the 12th inning he served up a HR to Dave Winfield. 

Hausman was put in the bullpen & on July 8th, he earned his first save in win at Shea against the San Diego Padres. He then got another start & pitched a complete game victory against the San Francisco Giants on July 14th. He didn’t earn another victory until September 26th, his last start of the year. He pitched into the 9th inning at Wrigley Field, beating the Cubs in a 8-3 Mets win. On the 1979 season he was 2-6 with two saves, 33 strike outs & 19 walks posting a 2.75 ERA in 19 games. 

 In 1980 he began the year as a starter, he went 0-1 in April with a 7.27 ERA & was placed in the bullpen where he would spend the rest of the year. In June he would earn three wins in relief, the first two coming while pitching four strong innings of relief against the Pirates & Dodgers. He closed out June with a win, when Steve Henderson won a game with a 9th inning hit. On July 3rd he pitched five innings of one run ball in relief of Ray Burris, to earn a win in Montreal. 

In August he went 2-2 and by this time, had lowered his ERA down to 3.10 by the start of the month. Overall he appeared in career high 55 games (second on the staff to Jeff Reardon & Neil Allen) going 6-5 with a save, 53 strike outs & 26 walks posting a 3.98 ERA. He did allow 12 HRs & 125 hits in 122 innings pitched. 

 In the strike shortened 1981 season arm troubles began to ruin his career, he appeared in twenty games going 0-1. In 1982 he was with the Mets from May until early September, pitching in 21 games going 1-2 with a hold to his credit posting a 4.29 ERA. He was traded to the Atlanta Braves in September 1982 for Carlos Diaz.There he pitched in just three games for the NL Western Champions. 

 In his seven year career, Hausman was 15-23 with three saves, 180 strike outs 121 walks & a 3.80 ERA in 441 innings in 160 games pitched. He attempted come backs in the Pacific Coast League but it never worked out & he retired to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mar 29, 2016

First Mets Player To Hit A Grand Slam: "Hot Rod" Kanehl (1962-1964)

Roderick Edwin Kanehl was born on April Fool’s Day 1934 in Wichita, Kansas. The six foot one, right hand hitter was signed after high school by the A.L. New York club as an amateur free agent in 1954.

In his first year of pro ball he hit .316 but toiled at the lowest levels of the minors for four seasons. In 1958 he went to AA ball and batted .295 getting promoted to AAA the next season.

The next two years he spent at the AA & AAA levels going to the Kansas City A’s, Cincinnati Reds &; Minnesota Twins organizations. He hit over .300 in 1961 but still didn’t’ have a contract after the season. The expansion New York Mets gave him a shot to try out at Spring Training, probably due to Casey Stengel remembering him from the minor leagues.

After eight years in the minors, Kanehl played his heart out in Spring Training to earn a spot on the 1962 expansion Mets roster. He once jumped over a fence to attempt catching a fly ball, as his hustle and all out determination earned him the nick name “Hot Rod” Kanehl.

He became a favorite of manager Casey Stengel and made the team, despite the wishes of upper management. According to the book; Once Upon the Polo Grounds," General Manager George Weiss told Stengel 'I ain't seen him do anything in the field. Stengel replied 'You're full of baloney, he can run the bases."

Hot Rod began the Mets first month being used mostly as a pinch hitter & pinch runner. Kanehl debuted on April 15th in the second home game in Mets history, that day he was hitless as a pinch hitter. On April 28th he came in the game as a pinch runner in an inning where Frank Thomas, Charlie Neal & Gil Hodges had just hit three straight HRs.

With the Mets John DeMerit at third base & Kanehl on second base, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Chris Short threw a wild pitch. DeMerit scored & the always hustling Kanehl, scored right behind him. His run turned out to be the games winning run in the first ever Mets home victory. 

He became an early Mets fan favorite, claiming to have the first banner in the Polo Grounds read “We Love the Mets-Hot Rod Kanehl”. Kanehl did hit well enough to reach the .300 mark by mid May although he didn't have too many at bats.

On June 1st he hit his first career HR, it came at the Polo Grounds against the old New York Giants now visiting from San Francisco. The following month on July 6th, he hit the first grand slam HR in Mets history. On July 6th 1962 at the Polo Grounds, Kanehl stepped in as a pinch hitter, in the bottom of the 8th inning against the St. Louis Cardinals Bobby Shantz. Kanehl's blast cleared the bases as Jim Hickman, Elio Chacon & Joe Christopher all scored on the way to the Mets 10-3 win. Hot Rod hit well enough to get his average back up to .310 at the start of August.

In the final ten days of that month he drove in runs in five different games. He would never be a good hitter, by the end of the season his average fell to .248. He was certainly versatile on the field making him very valuable on a poor fielding team. He would play at seven different positions for the ’62 Mets, everywhere but at catcher & pitcher. He wasn’t a great fielder either, making 22 errors at second base (second in the league).

Playing at third base he made eight more errors in 63 chances, & made two more in the outfield. He slumped off from there finishing the season hitting .248 with 4 HRs 10 doubles 2 triples 8 stolen bases 27 RBIs & a .296 on base %.

In 1963 he was batting just .174 in early June then began to hit a bit before falling just around that .200 mark again by mid August. He finished the year at .241 with just one HR six doubles & nine RBIs playing in 109 games. Once again he played all seven positions and made fewer errors on the field.

In 1964 he made the team again, getting to play in the new Shea Stadium. In his first start of the year he drove in two runs in the Mets first win at the new Shea Stadium in the Mets 6-0 win over Pittsburgh.

At the start of May he hit safely in 16 of 19 games and at that point was batting over .400. His average fell from there bottoming out at .232 at the end of the season. In 98 games he hit one HR with seven doubles& 11 RBIs with a .256 on base %. It would turn out to be Kanehl’s last season in the major leagues.

In a three year career he batted .241 with 6 HRs 23 doubles 47 RBIs 17 stolen bases & a .277 on base %.

Kanehl was upset at his demotion saying "Baseball is a lot like life. The line drives are caught; & the squibbers go for base hits. It's an unfair game."

Retirement: In 1975 at the passing of Casey Stengel he was loyal to the very end, being one of the few Mets players to go to the funeral. In 2004 at the age of 70 Kanhel himself passed away in Palm Springs from a heart attack.

Mar 28, 2016

The St. Lucie Mets

As Spring Training winds down, lets take a look at the St. Lucie Mets who will be playing at Tradition Field once the big league club heads North.

Port St. Lucie is a city of approximately 175,000 people located in the mid eastern sections of Florida in St. Lucie County. The area has grown rapidly in the last decade.

The St. Lucie Mets began playing Advanced A ball in 1988, the same year Thomas White Stadium opened up & the New York Mets started playing their Spring Training games there. White was a real estate developer who along with sports writer Jack Champion helped bring the Mets to St. Lucie. The Mets moved on from their previous Spring Training spot of St. Petersburg, Florida.

That same year, the St. Lucie Mets went on to win the Florida State League Championship. Johnny Monell Sr. was the clubs second baseman, father of current Met Johnny Monell Jr.  

After two years the team became the Class A affiliate of the New York Mets & have been that way ever since. In 2004 the stadium's name was changed to Tradition Field, a 7160 seat venue. For a short lived time it was also called Digital Domain Park.

The St. Lucie Mets have won four more Florida State League titles : 1996 with future big leaguers Vance Wilson, Preston Wilson & Guillermo Mota. 1998 with players like Jason Tyner, Melvin Mora, Todd Hundley (12 games) & Grant Roberts.

The 2003 Champions featured David Wright who went on to a fine Mets career, Angel Pagan, Scott Kazmir & Tyler Yates. The last time the St. Lucie Mets won the FSL Championship was in 2006, although they did win a 2011 Divisional title.  

That team featured current Mets Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jeurys Familia, Wilmer Flores, Juan Lagares as well as Josh Edgin & Matt den Dekker.

Other current Mets who played at St. Lucie are Jacob deGrom, Lucas Duda, Ruben Tejasa & Dilson Herrera.

In 2015 Tradition Field hosted the FSL All Star Game. Current MLB Managers Clint Hurdle (1988-1989) & John Gibbons (1996-1997) both former Mets players have managed the St. Lucie team. Current Mets third base coach Tim Teufel managed the team in 2004-2005 & then again in 2008-2009. Gary Carter managed the 2006 squad.

The team mascot since 2013 is "Klutch" who replaced "Slider" who had been the mascot for 17 years before moving to the Kingsport Mets. A Floridian Mr. Met is also used as a team mascot.

Fictional Mets Infielder Chico Escuela ( of SNL) Visits Mets Spring Training (1979)

Bill Murray interviews (Garrett Morris) Chico Escuela

On March 27, 1979 original Saturday Night Live cast member; Garrett Morris joined the Mets at Miller Huggins Field for Spring Training. At the time the Mets were still holding Spring Training in St. Petersburg Florida. 

Morris was filmed being interviewed by Bill Murray as the fictional legendary Mets player: Chico Escuela uniform #5 (cinque). Escuela was famous for his spoof of the latin players of the time, who did not speak much English. His famous quote "baseball been berry berry good to me" began the previous year on SNL's weekend update.

Bill Murray & Ed Kranepool
It was said during the mock 1979 Spring Training interview, that Chico ( a nine time All Star second baseman) had given up his job at the Weekend Update Sports desk to make a comeback with the Mets at age 41. Chico had fictionally written a tell all baseball book; "Bad Stuff About the Mets" which ticked off some of the Mets  Players.

In good fun many Mets players are seen in the locker room greeting Chico Escuela at his locker. Short time Met; Nellie Briles who did not make the club out of Spring Training was interviewed about the fake book, as was Steve Henderson who said "As far as I am concerned Chico can pack his bags now".

Bruce Boisclair Chico Escuela & Ed Kranepool
Ed Kranepool does the biggest interview with Murray, after he grabs a throw away from Chico and turns his back on him. In the book Escuela claimed Kranepool borrowed his soap & never gave it back. He also said Tom Seaver took up two parking spaces, to which Kranepool says, not true.

It was a funny segment that was aired on Saturday Night Live on April 4th, 1979. Other Mets visible in the clip are Joel Youngblood, Bruce Boisclair, Dan Norman, Pat Zachary & pitching coach Rube Walker.

"baseball been berry berry good... to me"

Late 2000's Mets Utility Player: Mike Hessman (2010)

Michael Steven Hessman was born March 5th, 1978 in Fountain Valley, California. The six foot five inch, two hundred fifteen pound right hand hitter was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 1996. From 1997 through 2002 the big guy hit 19 or more HRs each season in the minor leagues.

 In 2001 & 2002 he blasted 26 HRs in each season. The power also came with low batting averages as well as a lot of strike outs, including six straight minor league seasons of 125 or more strike outs. 

In late August of 2003 he was brought up to the Braves big league club & in his second game hit a 9th inning pinch hit HR against the New York Mets. The HR came against Mike Stanton bringing the Braves within a run, although the Mets prevailed 6-5. He hit another HR two games later & it would be his last for the season. In 21 at bats he hit .286 with two HRs & three RBIs. 

 In 2004 he made the club out of Spring Training but was back down in the minors by July 1st hitting 2 HRs batting just .130. He spent two seasons in the minors, then signed on with the Detroit Tigers.

Hessman played in less than twenty games each season batting 296 in 2008. Previously in 51 at bats (17 games) during 2007 he hit 4 HRs and drove in 12 runs with the Tigers.
 In 2008 Hessman was a member of the U.S. Olympic & hit 34 HRs for the AAA Toledo Mud Hens. In an early September game he played all nine positions in a game for the AAA Toledo Mud Hens. In December of 2009 he signed with the New York Mets as a free agent. At AAA Buffalo, he hit .274 leading the Bison's with 18 HRs & tying for the team lead in RBIs along with Russ Adams with 58. Hessman was brought up to the Mets at the end of July 2010 debuting as a pinch hitter on July 27th.

The next day he got a start & Hessman drove in two runs with a double against the St. Louis Cardinals. Albert Pujols would drive in the winning run to defeat the Mets in extra innings.

On August 5th Hessman hit a three run HR against the Philadelphia Phillies although the Mets still lost the game 7-5. He never got his batting average back up over the .200 mark through the seasons. Overall he played in 32 games being mostly used as a pinch hitter for the Mets batting .127 with one HR & six RBIs. On the field he played eight games at third base & six games at first base. 

After the season he refused a minor league assignment & was granted free agency. He then went on to play the 2011 season in Japan for the Orix Buffaloes in their Pacific League.

In 2012 he signed with the Houston Astros & had to play in the minor leagues, as he hit 35 HRs with 78 RBIs, batting .231 at AAA Oklahoma City. In 2013 he played for the Cincinnati Reds & Detroit Tigers minor leagues.

In five MLB seasons he hit .188 with 14 HRs 8 doubles 33 RBIs & a .272 on base % in 109 games.

Former Mets Relief Pitcher: Scott Atchison (2013)

Scott Barham Atchison, was born March 29th 1976, in Denton, Texas. The six foot two, right hander attended Texas Christian University at Fort Worth, where he was earned four letters & was All Conference twice. He was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 49th round of the 1998 draft.

He spent seven years in the minor leagues, three at the AAA level with Tacoma. In 2004 he was 5-3 with seven saves, getting a call up to the Mariners.

Atchinson would make his MLB debut on July 31st, finishing up a 9-8 loss to the Angels in Anaheim. On August 5th he earned his first career win, as he pitched two innings at Tampa in a 4-2 over the Rays. In 25 games he was 2-3 with a 3.52 ERA in 25 games. He played in just six games for Seattle the next year.

After spending 2006 in the minors he signed with the San Francisco Giants where he appeared in 22 games. At the end of the year he refused assignment from the Giants to reports to Fresno & became a free agent.

In 2008 he signed with the Hanshin Tigers of Japan, pitching there for two seasons. In 2010 he signed as a free agent back in the majors with the Boston Red Sox. He went 2-3 there with 43 appearances in 2010 posting a 4.50 ERA. He played parts of three seasons with Boston, posting a 1.53 ERA in 2012, with a 2-1 record over 42 appearances.

In 2013 he signed with the New York Mets & made the club out of Spring Training at age 37. He made his Mets debut on Opening Day, pitching a scoreless 8th inning in the 11-2 win over the San Diego Padres. He was credited with three holds in April, but a rough outing in Colorado on April 18th, where he allowed three runs, while not recording an out blew his ERA to 4.22. An injury in mid May, held him down until July. He came back going to A ball St. Lucie, then to AA Binghamton.

On July 14th he returned to the Mets & continued to see late relief action. On August 6th, he earned a win against the Rockies, when Juan Lagares broke a 2-2 tie with an 8th inning RBI single. In the next two weeks he went 1-2 , including taking a 10th inning loss against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field.

In September he recorded five holds & took another 10th inning loss on September 28th, in a 4-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field. In 51 appearances he was 3-3 with ten holds, posting a 4.37 ERA striking out 28 batters, walking 12 & allowing four HRs in 45.1 innings.

He was granted free agency & signed with the Cleveland Indians in January 2014. He enjoyed success in Cleveland going 6-0 with two saves & a 2.75 ERA in 70 appearances.

In his eight year career he is 16-10 with three saves, 241 strike outs & 85 walks in 327 innings in 275 games.

Mar 26, 2016

The Girlfriends Of Matt Harvey 2013-2016

Lets take an amusing look at Matt Harvey's famous model girlfriends, that we know of since he's been with the Mets


Anne Vyalitsyna was born March 19, 1986 in Gorky Soviet Union Russia. Both of her parents are doctors, she began modeling at age 15. Her career quickly took off as she appeared in Glamour, Vouge, Elle & then Sports Illustrated Swim suit Issue every year since 2005.

She had appeared in music videos by Maroon 5 & Alanis Morisette as well as a cameo in Die Hard's A Good Day To Die Hard.

She dated Maroon 5's Adam Levine & in 2015 had a daughter with Adam Cahan SR. VP of Yahoo. She was Harvey's main chick during his rise to stardom & possibly was in the limelight most with him 2013-2014.

Ashley Sara Haas is a the brunette model whom Harvey dated after breaking up with Vyalitsna & after his Tommy John surgery in 2014.

They were seen on the NY Post Page Six but the relationship didn't last too long.

Asha Leo was born January 5th 1982 in Kingston Upon Thames, England. She attended the University of Arts College of Fashion & began modeling at age 13. She was also BBC America's red carpet host for the Brit List & their pop culture guru talking about trends in fashion, film & music. She now lives in Los Angeles & works for Access Hollywood.

She had been spotted with Harvey at Madison Square Garden at Knicks & Rangers game.

Matt Harvey with former model girlfriend Asha Leo .

Shannon Rusbuldt was born on Valentines Day 1985 in the United States. She is a New York runway model & has played the goddess of Water in the Vikings TV series.

She is very involved in charity work with the National MS Society (whom she is model for) Fashion Delivers & Project Sunshine
Harvey & Sharon were an item in Summer of 2014, being seen around Manhattan. Most famously on a karaoke date where Katy Perry interrupted the two by dropping by.

Ania Cywinska is a Polish model, very big with Sachs Fifth Avenue. She seems to be pretty steady with Matt Harvey since last Spring Training.

It seems Harvey has been a bit lower key with his social private life as well. The two are spotted together during the season & the post season of 2016.

Mar 25, 2016

Early 2000's Mets Relief Pitcher: David Weathers (2002-2004)

John David Weathers was born on September 25, 1969 in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. Weather was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 3rd round of the 1991 draft. The six foot three right hander was a journey man pitcher who pitched in the big leagues for 19 years. Weather is only the twentieth pitcher in history to appear in over 900 games.

His long career began in Canada, & after two brief seasons in Toronto he became a starter with the Florida Marlins going 8-12 in 1994. He eventually became a full time middle inning reliever by 1996, and would land in New York (A.L.) Cleveland, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, and Chicago (NL) until he landed in with the New York Mets in 2002.

He arrived via free agency and found a spot as a solid middle reliever having one of his best seasons going 6-1 with a 2.91 ERA. On Opening Day he got credit for the hold in the Mets 6-2 win at Shea Stadium against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In the month of April he made 12 appearances with three holds, a blown save & earning himself two victories. Weathers became a workhorse already having 12 holds in 44 appearances by the All Star Break.

In late July he got credit for two wins in a three day span in Chicago & at home against the Montreal Expos. In the final three months of the season he won three games, got credit for eight holds & only blew one save which came on September 24th at Pittsburgh against the Pirates. For the season Weathers struck out 61 batters in 77 innings posting a .667 winning percentage.

In 2003 he wasn’t as effective, as he dropped to 1-6 with a 3.08 ERA in 77 appearances, although he struck out 75 batters in 84 innings pitched. In 2004 after 32 appearances, he was 5-3 with an ERA of 4.28 in June when he was traded along with Jeremy Griffiths to the Houston Astros for Richard Hidalgo. For the remainder of the season he pitched in both Houston & Florida.

In 2005 he went to the Cincinnati Reds and found a spot as a quality closer for four seasons. In 2005 he was 7-4 with 15 saves & a 3.94 ERA. In 2007 he saved 33 games (7th in the NL) and led the league finishing up 60 games posting a 2-6 record with a 3.59 ERA. He was still active at age 40, pitching moving on to the Milwaukee Brewers going 1-3 with a 4.88 ERA in 2009 before retiring.

Lifetime Weathers pitched in 964 games in 1376 innings, going 72-87 with 75 saves 976 strike outs 604 walks and a 4.53 ERA.

Mar 24, 2016

Remembering Mets History & the Slogans: "The Magic Is Back " & "Catch The Rising Stars"

In 1980 the New York Mets ownership changed hands as the team was purchased by Fred Wilpon & Nelson Doubleday. 

One of the first things the Doubleday people did was, hire a Madison Avenue advertising company to promote the team. The firm of Della Femina, Travisano & Partners were paid a hefty $400,000 to come up with a new slogan to sell a Mets new image.

Jerry Della Femina, was a giant in the ad industry, also having a bestselling book under his belt, he spoke out right away for his new clients. 

He said attendance should rise by 50,000 just getting rid of M. Donald Grant & the De Roulet sisters. He said New York fans had to settle for a Reggie Jackson when the Mets started losing in the late seventies. If the Mets were where they were in ’69, a guy like Jackson couldn’t get arrested in New York. He also said going to a game in the Bronx baseball Stadium was a very unpleasant experience and Shea was a better & safer place to go. 

He promoted Lee Mazzilli as a guy with Bucky Dent looks that could actually hit. Of course the AL New York team got upset at these comments, even baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn stepped in and fined the Mets $5000.

This was at this time when the advertising firm came up with the classic slogan “The Magic Is Back” for the 1980 season. 

Obviously the Magic wasn’t back in 1980 as the Mets lost 91 games. In the strike shortened 1981 season they went 41-62, and in 1982 they lost another 94 games. The media laughed at the slogan as did some teams driving into the ball park. It didn’t do well. 

After 1983 the team changed it to another Della Femina advertising classic; “Catch the Rising Stars”. In the 1988 Mets Yearbook, there is a 25th Anniversary tribute to Shea. In is a picture dated around the mid eighties where the slogan atop Shea says "The Magic Is Real- Catch It."

As those words were painted atop the sides of Shea Stadium, a strange thing happened, in 1984, the Mets began to win & became contenders. 

Those Rising Stars did actually rise, most of the most of them right out of the organization and by 1986, they won another World Series.

Mar 23, 2016

Short Time Mets Pitcher: Jeremy Griffiths (2004)

Jeremy Richard Griffiths was born on March 22, 1977 in Fairview, Ohio. The big six foot six right hander was drafted in the third round of the 1999 draft by the New York Mets. He moved through the minors as a starting pitcher, in 2002 he was second on the staff at AA Binghamton to Paul Seibel going 8-6 with a 3.86 ERA.

In 2003 he was moved to AAA Norfolk where he was tied with Jason Middlebrook for the team lead in wins (7) pitching in 21 games, posting a 2.74 ERA.

He made his debut on June 5th, 2004 against the Milwaukee Brewers pitching two innings of shutout ball in the 7th & 8th innings. It would be the only time in his nine games pitched that season that he didn’t allow a run. He made his first start in an inter league subway series game, taking the loss getting pounded for five runs on seven hits in three innings pitched. 

He made one more start before being sent down, although it was his best outing.

Griffiths pitched seven innings allowing two runs on six hits, beating the St. Louis Cardinals at Shea Stadium. He returned in September and lost his last three consecutive starts of the year. Griffiths finished the year at 1-4 with a 7.02 ERA, allowing 32 earned runs in 41 innings. 

In June of 2004 while at Norfolk, he was 5-2 when he got traded along with David Weathers to the Houston Astros for Richard Hildago.

In Houston he only pitched one game, the last of his career, giving up five runs in four innings pitched. He was released in 2004 & then pitched briefly in the Mid Western Independent League.

Early Seventies Mets Reserve Catcher: Bill Sudakis (1972)

William Paul Sudakis was born on March 27, 1946 in Joliet, Illinois. The six foot one switch hitter, was nicknamed “Suds” getting signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1964 as an amateur free agent. 

Suds was originally known as a power hitting third baseman as he began his pro career, belting out 23 HRs at A ball Santa Barbara in 1966. In 1968 he was the Texas league co-MVP along with Jim Spencer, batting .298 with 16 HRs & 75 RBIs.

He got called up to the Dodgers making his MLB debut in September1968. In his first career game he hit a HR off the Phillies Dick Hall in the 8th inning of a 10-9 Dodger win. That rookie year he led the club in slugging percentage (471%), with three HRs & nine extra base hits in only 87 at bats. 

In 1969 he was named the Dodgers regular third baseman playing in 132 games batting .294 with 17 doubles five triples & 53 RBIs. He hit 14 HRs for two straight seasons coming in second on the team to Andy Kosco in 1969. He also had 17 doubles with 53 RBIs while batting .234. At third he made 21 errors in 391 chances for a .946 on base %. In 1970 along with his 14 HRs (second to Billy Grabarkewitz) he batted .264 with 44 RBIs, drawing 35 walks giving him a .352 on base %. At third base he improved to a .983 % making 14 errors in 178 chances.

For the 1971 season the Dodgers acquired Dick Allen to play third base, Allen hit .295 with 23 HRs & 90 RBIs. In the meantime a young future star named Steve Garvey, who was originally a third baseman, was on the horizon in the Dodger organization. 

The team tried to convert Suds to a catcher, but bad knees and a .193 batting average got him put on waivers by Spring Training 1972.

The New York Mets picked him up, and sent him to their AA Memphis farm club. Although he only hit .167, he came up to the big league club that July making his Met debut at Shea Stadium on July 11th playing at first base He drew a walk in four at bats that night & got a his first Mets hit the next day. 

He played first base in his first seven Mets games & then was sent back down to the minors through the month of August. He was used as a pinch hitter going 1-7 in the first half of September. On September 22nd, he hit a HR in his first start at catcher, driving in three of the four runs in a 5-4 loss to the Phillies. He closed out the season catching the final three games of the year, getting three hits.

In 18 games as a New York Met he hit .143 with one HR & seven RBIs. In that short time as a Met, Sudakis appeared on both a 1972 & 1973 Topps baseball card as a Mets player.

With the birth of the Designated hitter in 1973, he was traded to the Texas Rangers for Bill McNulty who never played a game for the Mets. Suds hit a career high 15 HRs in Texas, batting .255 in 82 games that year. In the off season he was traded to the A.L. New York club for future Mets closer Skip Lockwood.

In New York, he used to mimic the teams manager Bill Virdon who would try to flex his muscles while addressing the team. Sudakis who had pretty big arms himself, would stand behind Virdon & flex himself to the delight of his team mates. 

He also got into a famous fight with team mate Rick Dempsey at a hotel in Milwaukee in front of a bunch of surprised hotel guests. NY outfielder Outfielder Bobby Murcer, broke his finger trying to break up the fight between the two.

Over the next two seasons he would play in New York, California & Cleveland before the knee injuries cut his career short.

Sudakis' MLB career ended in 1975 at age 30, batting .234 lifetime with 362 hits 59 HRs 214 RBIs & 56 doubles.