May 2, 2016

Late Nineties Mets Utility Player: Mike Kinkade (1998-2000)

Michael Arthur Kinkade was born on May 6, 1973 in Livonia, Michigan. The six foot left handed hitting Kinkade attended Washington State University getting signed by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 9th round of the 1995 draft. In 1997 he was the Texas League MVP at AA El Paso batting .485 with a .488 on base %. At third base he made a whopping sixty errors. The next year he was traded to the New York Mets organization for Bill Pulsipher.

In 1998 at AAA Norfolk Kinkade batted .280 playing in 30 games after arriving that July. He got a September call up debuting on September 8th in Philadelphia, going 0-2 in a 16-4 loss to the Phillies. He would only make two other appearances that season, both as a pinch runner, scoring runs both times.

In 1999 he made the club out of Spring Training, getting his first career hit at Shea Stadium as a pinch hitter against the Florida Marlins. He doubled driving in two runs in the Mets 8-1 victory. He had a four game hitting streak at the end of April, being used mostly as a pinch hitter & outfielder by the Mets. On April 29th he hit his first career HR off the San Diego Padres Dan Miceli at Shea Stadium in the Mets 8-5 win.

Two weeks later he hit another HR, this one in Arizona. Overall he hit just .196 (9-46) with two HRs two doubles & six RBIs, getting sent back down to AAA at the end of May. At Norfolk he batted .308 at with 7 HRs 20 doubles seven stolen bases & 49 RBIs.

In 2000 the Mets sent him down to AA Binghamton where he hit well, .366 in 90 games . Then at the end of July he was traded, along with Melvin Mora, to the Baltimore Orioles for Mike Bordick. Bordick was the veteran short stop the Mets wanted to fill the injured Rey Ordonez' spot for the rest of the regular & post seasons.

Meanwhile Kincaide went on to play for the US Olympic Team that won a Gold Medal at Sydney, Australia that same year. He scored the second run in the semi final 3-2 U.S. victory over South Korea. Kincade saw action in 61 games in 2001 batting .275 for the Orioles, playing mostly in left field.

At the end of the season he signed on with the Los Angeles Dodgers and spent two seasons there, batting .380 in just 50 at bats in 2002.

In 2003 he hit five HRs & was hit by 16 pitches (5th in the league) while batting just .216 in 88 games for L.A. He would spend time in the Cleveland, Florida & Chicago Cubs organizations as well as play in Japan & with the Trenton Thunder never making it back to the big leagues.

In a brief six year career he hit .256 with 110 hits 13 HRs 20 doubles & 48 RBIs in 222 games played.

Retirement: In 2011 he is a coach for the Seattle Mariners minor league team the Everett Aqua Sox.

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