Justin Turner: Former Mets Infielder (2010 - 2013) to N.L. All Star

Justin Matthew Turner was born on November 23rd, 1984, in Long Beach California. 

The red headed six-foot infielder attended California State University at Fullerton, getting named freshman All American by Baseball America. He was named to the 2003 College World Series All-Tournament team as a short stop.

In 2005 he was drafted in the 25th round by the AL New York club but did not sign. The next year he signed with the Cincinnati Reds as a 6th round pick. Turner hit well in the minor leagues batting .300 or better in five of six seasons.  

In December of 2008 he was traded along with Ryan Freel to the Baltimore Orioles organization in exchange for Ramon Hernandez. He hit .300 at AAA Norfolk & and earned himself a September call up.

MLB Career: Turner made his debut entering a 10-0 loss to Boston in the 7th inning. He played in 12 games that month batting .167.

In 2010 he began the year with the Orioles going hitless in five games, he was demoted & placed on waivers. On May 25th he was picked up by the New York Mets.

Mets Career: In 2010 Turner batted .333 in 78 games at AAA Buffalo making an immediate impression for a Mets team with open spots at the big-league level. 

 At the start of the 2011 season, manager Terry Collins gave Brad Eamus the starting second base job out of Spring Training. After 14 games he was hitting .162 & was quickly gone.

Ater ten games at Buffalo, Justin was hitting .310 & brought up to the replace Eamus. He was the clubs main second baseman that year, as Daniel Murphy took over at first base to replace of the injured Ike Davis.

Rookie of the Month: On May 7th Turner came in the 8th inning as a pinch hitter of a tie game with the bases loaded. He singled off the Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Guerrier putting the Mets ahead for the win. 

Five RBI Game: On May 15th, while in the middle of an eight-game hit streak, Turner drove in five runs with a three run HR off Houston's Aneury Rodriguez, as well as a two run double, leading the Mets to a 7-4 win over the Astros in Houston. 

On May 19th, his fourth inning RBI single off the Nat's Livan Hernandez was the only run of the game, as he helped Dillon Gee to a 1-0 victory.

The next day in the first matchup of the subway series with the cross-town rivals, Turner drove in the first run of the game with a double off Freddy Garcia. Daniel Murphy would later hit a HR leading the Mets to a 2-1 win. 

Turner's incredible month of May had him drive in runs in seven straight games setting a Mets Rookie record. On May 25th he began another streak where he drove in runs in six straight games. He was named the May NL Rookie of the month as he hit .325 with 27 hits & 20 RBIs.  

He stayed over the .300 mark into June before tailing off although he still drove in 11 runs that month.

Walk Off Hit By Pitch:  On June 22nd, in an interleague game at Citi Field against the Oakland Athletics he singled in the 8th inning scoring Jose Reyes with the go ahead run. The A's tied it in the 9th but in the bottom of the inning Turner was hit by a pitch from Brad Ziegler with the bases loaded, which brought in the winning run. 

In July he began with a three-hit game in a subway series loss. On July 10th he had a four-hit game in a loss at San Francisco. On the next home stand, he started a ten-game hit streak, hitting safely in 14 of 15 games. 

Multi HR Game: On August 6th, Turner hit two HRs off the Braves Tommy Hanson while driving in four runs in an 11-7 New York win at Citi Field.

Walk Off Hit: On September 9th, Justin had a three-hit game with two runs driven in, including a walk off ground-rule double off Sean Marshall to beat the Cubs 5-4.  

On September 22nd with the Mets down to the Cardinals 6-2 in the top of the 9th inning, Turner began a big Mets rally by walking with the bases loaded. He later came in to score the tying run on a Willie Harris base hit, as the Mets went on to an 8-6 win. 

On the year Turner played in 117 games batting .260 with four HRs 30 doubles 51 RBIs & 49 runs scored. He drew 39 walks & was hit by ten pitches for a .334 on base % & .690 OPS.  

2012: He soon became a Terry Collins favorite, playing more of a utility role, as Ike Davis returned & Daniel Murphy took back over at second base. The versatile Turner played at second base (14 games) first base (11 games) third base (11 games) & short (10 games).

On April 26th Turner came to bat in the bottom of the 9th inning with the Mets down to the Florida Marlins 2-1 facing Heath Bell. He drew a walk scoring David Wright with the tying run & the Mets won it on Kirk Nieuwenhuis' single. 

He got to see more playing time when Ruben Tejada went down with injury, as he played shortstop in rotation with Jordanny Valdespin. But as luck would have it, Turner missed a month of action going on the DL from late May into late June.

Johan's No Hitter: When Johan Santana threw the first no hitter in Mets history, it was Turner who gave Johan a pie in the face during the post-game interview. 

It certainly did not seem like the right time for it. Although the good-natured, fun-loving Turner had always been the jokester in the Mets club house.  He was the guy who threw the pies in the faces during post-game celebrations & interviews.

On June 22nd, two days after his return from the DL, he doubled off the AL New York's Clay Rapada driving in two runs in a subway series 6-4 win. On July 6th he matched a career high with a four-hit game, coming against the Cubs in a 8-7 loss.

At the All-Star break Turner was batting .289 as the Mets finished off a successful first half of the season playing six games above .500 at 46-40.

To start the second half they lost 13 of their first 15 games setting the tone for a bad second half as they fell to fourth place. 

On August 25th he hit his first HR of the year, coming in a 3-1 win over Houston. On September 25th he hit his second HR, coming at Citi Field in a loss to the Pirates.

While being limited to just 94 games, he batted .269 with 2 HRs 13 doubles & 19 RBIs. He put up poor on base % (.319) with a .711 OPS.

2013: In his first game of the year, he collected three hits in a loss to the Padres. Thru his first 22 games he was batting .340. He fell into a slump falling to .266 by mid-June. He then suffered a intercostal strain which kept him out over a month. The injury affected his hitting all year.

On August 9th he drove in three runs, but the Mets still lost 5-4 in Arizona. His only two HRs of the year came in September games against Cleveland.

Overall, in 2013 Turner improved to a .280 batting average, he hit 2 HRs withn13 doubles & 16 RBIs while playing in 80 games. He posted a .319 on base % & .704 OPS.  

Defensively he again played at all infield positions as well as one game in left field. Turner was another good versatile player in the Mets fine history of utility players. But the Mets did not see a future with Turner & let him go to free agency where he signed with the LA Dodgers. His whole career turned around & he became a star player.

Quotes on leaving New York: “I don’t know what happened but obviously my career has kind of taken a turn for the better once I put the Dodger uniform on.”

Post Mets Career: In Los Angeles, Turner matured into a fine everyday player. In his first year there he hit a walloping .340 (in 288 at bats) with 7 HRs 21 doubles & 43 RBIs playing in 109 games. He got into his first post season where he went 0-2 in the NLDS loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

In 2015 Turner was the NL West Champion Dodgers main third baseman, he also played a few games at first, short & second base. He put up career highs in all offensive categories 16 HRs 26 doubles 60 RBIs 55 runs scored in 126 games with a .370 on base %. He batted .294 as well. 

2015 NLDS: He was salivating to get back at his old Mets teammates & in the 2015 NLDS he delivered. 

Turner led his Dodgers with ten hits in 19 at bats for a .526 average. He set an NLDS record with
six doubles, hitting at least one double in four of the five games.

In Game #2 at Dodger Stadium Turner hit a pair of doubles, one off Noah Syndergaard & another off Addison Reed, driving in a run in the Dodgers 5-2 win.

In Game #4 at Citi Field his two run double off Steven Matz helped Clayton Kershaw in his 3-1 win to bring the series to a deciding fifth game, which the Mets won.

In that off season he had knee surgery & signed a one-year deal to stay in Los Angeles.

In 2016 he was the Dodgers main third baseman &played in 151 games. He had his best season to that time, putting up big numbers. 

He hit 27 HRs (tied for the team lead) with 90 RBIs scored 79 runs while batting .275 & hitting 34 doubles (second in the NL) for the first of three straight 30 plus doubles seasons. He also had eight sac flies & was hit by 13 pitches (both 6th most in the NL). 

At third base he posted a .972 fielding % (4th best in the NL) making just nine errors.

2016 Post Season: In Game #1 of the NLDS against the Washington Nationals, Turner hit a two run off Matt Scherzer putting his team up 4-0 in a game they would win 4-3. 

He got two more hits in the Game #2 loss. In Game #4 he put the Dodgers ahead early with an RBI single off Joe Ross.

In the decisive Game #5, he tripled in the 7th inning, bringing in two big runs as the Dodgers went on to beat the Nat's 4-3 taking the series & advancing to the NLCS.
2016- NLCS: In the NLCS loss to the Chicago Cubs, he hit a solo HR off Jake Arrietta in the Dodgers Game #3 shut out win, as L.A took a 2-1 series lead.

In the 5th inning of Game #4, he came to bat with the bases loaded & hit a shot that went off the pitcher's glove and into left field scoring the only two Dodger runs in the 10-2 loss. In that post season he batted .286 with 2 HRs & 8 RBIs.

In the off season the Dodgers inked him to a new four-year deal. 

In 2017 he missed thirty games but put up 21 HRs with 32 doubles & 71 RBIs. He put up a career bests in on base % .415 & OPS .945. He was hit with 19 pitches (4th most in the NL) & drew 59 walks.

2017 All Star: Turner earned the final spot on the NL All Star roster with a record 20.8 million Final Votes. He went 0-1 in the AL's 2-1 win in South Florida.

2017 Post Season: In Game #1 of the NLDS Turner hit a three run HR off Arizona's Taijuan
Walker & added two RBI base hits for a Five RBI game in the 9-5 win. He hit
safely in all three games. 

Walk Off HR: In Game #2 of the NLCS vs the Cubs, Turner had an 5th inning RBI single tying up the game. He came to bat in the bottom of the 9th inning, with two men on & the score still tied at one. He blasted a three-run walk off HR off John Lackey bringing Dodger Stadium to a frenzy, as L.A. took two games to none series lead. He would drive in a run in the final two games as well.

2017 World Series: In the World Series loss to the Astros Turner hit just .160 (4-25) hitting a HR off Dallas Keuchel.

In 2018 he missed time due to a fractured wrist & another summer injury as well. He returned to win the August Player of the Month Award batting .402 with 6 HRs 11 doubles & 20 RBIs. Although he cooled off in September, he still batted .314 with 32 hits & 12 RBIs. He ended the year hitting .312 with a .912 OPS.

He followed that season up matching his career high 27 HRs & batting .290. On March 30th he drove in five runs in an 18-5 win over Arizona. On May 8th he had a career day hitting three HRs & driving in six runs in a 9-0 shut out of the Braves. 

Turner also hit HRs in two of his next three games as well. He added to his big month with a five-hit game on May 26th in Pittsburgh. He finished the month driving in two runs in a five-run comeback over the Mets at Dodger Stadium. He hit .342 in the moth with 5 HRs & 15 RBIs. That August he hit ten HRs driving in 19 runs & hit .330. He ended the year with a .924 OPS.

2018 Post Season: In the NLDS win over the Braves he hit safely in all four games batting .357
in the series. In Game #
2 of the NLCS in Milwaukee he came to bat in the top of the 8th inning with L.A. down 3-2. Turner hit a two run HR off Jeremy Jeffress leading the Dodgers to a 4-3 win. In the seven games series h batted .241. 

2018 World Series: Turner & the Dodgers got to their second straight World Series this time with a date with the Boston Red Sox. In the five-game series loss, Turner had three multi-hit games batting .333 although he had no RBIs. For Boston it was their fourth World Series win in the last 14 years.

In 2019 he batted .290 matching his career high 27 HRs for the second time. He hit 24 doubles & drove in 67 runs as the Dodgers won their seventh straight NL west title. For Turner it was his fourth straight post season. But this year they would be eliminated in the NLDS by the Washington Nationals.

2019 Post Season: Turner hit two HRs & drove in five runs batting .286 in the five games.

Trivia: In the Covid-19 shortened season he passed Zack Wheat for the all-time lead in hit by
pitches in Dodger History. In his Dodger career he was hit with 96 pitches.

2020 World Series Champion: That year he batted .307 in the short regular season & won the teams Roy Campanella Award. In the post season he collected his 64th post season hit passing Steve Garvey on the all-time Dodger list. Turner batted .250 hitting safely in 11 of 12 games post season games. 

In the World Series win over Tampa, Turner homered in back-to-back games. 

In Game #3 he connected off Charlie Morton in the 62 win & then in the Game #4 loss he homered off Ryan Yarbrough. In Game #6 he had to leave the game after testing positive for Covid.

2021 was the first season Turner's Dodgers did not win the West since his arrival in 2014. They did win a wild card but lost to the rival Giants in the NLDS. 

That regular season he matched his career high 27 HRs for the third time. He drove in 87 runs his second highest total of his career & hit 22 more doubles. With the bases loaded he hit .400 for the Dodgers.

Pitching Debut: On August 29th he made his pitching debut, throwing a scoreless, ten pitch inning in a 5-0 loss to the Rockies in L.A. He exited to a standing ovation.

2021 All Star: That season he was selected to his second All Star team. He collected his first All Sta hit, an 8th inning base hit off Matt Barnes in the 5-2 AL win in Colorado.

2021 Post Season: He began the post season with a HR against the Cardinals in Game #1 but only batted .118 overall in three series as the Dodgers got to the NLCS losing to Atlanta in four games.

In 2022 Turner played his last year with the Dodgers batting .278 with 13 HRs & 81 RBIs playing at third base & DH, making another post season. At the end of the year, he was granted free agency & signed with the Boston Red Sox. In his first year in Boston he had a career high 96 RBIs. He also hit 23 HRs, his fifth season with 20+ HRs & had his fifth thirty plus doubles seasons.

In his 15-year career, Turner is batting .288 with 187 HRs 33 doubles 9 triples & 282 RBIs. He has
513 walks for a .363 on 
base% & a .829 OPS. 

Family: In December 2017 Justin married Kourtney (Pogue) at a beachfront resort in Mexico.

The ceremony was officiated by former Dodger & broad caster Bret Saberhagen. The Turners live in Studio City California, outside Hollywood.

Charity: Justin & Kourtney founded the Jusutin Turner Foundation benefiting homeless veterans, children battling illness & youth baseball. For his efforts he received the 2022 Roberto Clemente Award.


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