Feb 28, 2018

Remembering Mets History (1977): Joe Torre Stars Out 7-1 As Mets Manager

May 31st, 1977: This was the start of some very dark years in Mets history, the Mets would fall into the depths of the NL East cellar, lose their star franchise hero; Tom Seaver, not sign any top free agents in the start of the free agent era & not have another winning season until 1984.

At this point in the year, 45 games in, the Mets were 15-30 & the front office parted ways with manager Joe Frazier. His replacement was Mets player, Brooklyn native Joe Torre. Torre was the Mets only Player/Manager in team history, although it was a short run.

Torre was just 36 years old & long away from his Hall of Fame managing days. His legacy as a Mets skipper would be 286-420 (.405%) in a five year span 1977-1981. But his first week went pretty good, here's a look back.

His first game as manager came on May 31st, 1977 in front of just 6,505 fans in a night game against the Montreal Expos. Craig Swan would pitch the Mets to a 7-2 victory as John Milner led the team with three RBI's coming on two run scoring singles. Jerry Grote, Bud Harrelson & relief pitcher Bob Apodaca also added RBI hits in Torre & the Mets 6-2 victory.

June 1st, 1977: The next night the Mets went to Montreal, it would be one of Tom Seaver's last starts as a Met. All the controversy surrounding his contract was coming to a head & there was a lot of buzz about Seaver & management around Stade Olympique on this night.

Seaver went about his business on the mound, obviously the whole trade rumor situation was affecting him, in 6.4 innings he gave up four runs, including a solo HR to Ellis Valentine, only striking out three. He still earned his fifth win (5-3) as catcher, John Stearns led the way with a grand slam HR. Lenny Randle scored two runs, one on a Dave Kingman hit & another on an Expo error. Joe Torre had his second win as manager.

June 2nd, 1977: The next night, Mets completed the short two game sweep over the Expos, as Jerry Koosman beat future Mets pitching coach; Dan Warthen 7-3. Warthen gave up six runs, including a Lee Mazzilli two run HR. Mazzilli would drive in three runs on the night, Felix Millan would bring in two, John Stearns & Koosman a run each.

June 3rd, 1977: The Mets returned to Shea, for a four game set with the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies of the late 70's were the elite team in the NL East, winning division titles in 1976-1977-1978 & 1980. In the first game Jim Lonborg out duled Jon Matlack in 1-0 Met loss. The next night, Torre's Mets returned to their winning ways, as Nino Espinosa pitched 7.1 innings of shut out ball & reliever Skip Lockwood closed out the rest of the game, beating Steve Carlton 2-0.

Sunday June 5th, 1977: This was a special doubleheader day at Shea & one of few highlights in the '77 season. The Mets would pull off a twin bill sweep, staring out with a walk off extra inning victory. Lenny Randle drove in two runs & John Milner another, but the Mets & Phils went to extra innings.

In the bottom of the 10th, the Phils had Tom Underwood on the mound. With one out Milner & Dave Kingman singled.

Joe Torre then placed himself in the game as a pinch hitter, the crowd of just over 30,000 rose to their feet & gave him a long standing ovation. The Shea crowd loved their new manager & it was certainly a moment to be remembered. Torre was intentionally walked to load the bases. Underwood then threw a wild pitch to John Stearns & Milner scampered home with the winning run, as the Shea crows went wild once again.

In the night cap, Dave Kingman led the charge with a long 4th inning, three run HR off veteran Jim Kaat, who go on to pitch in four different decades & become a successful broadcaster after his playing days. Craig Swan pitched another fine game earning his second win of the week & Skip Lockwood earned his 8th save, his fourth save of the week in Torre's regime.

Tuesday June 7th 1977: Two nights later would have Joe Torre get to a 7-1 start as Mets manager, as the Mets beat the two time reigning World Champion Cincinnati Big Red Machine 8-0. It was to be Tom Seaver's last start at Shea Stadium in a Mets uniform until 1983. It was his last win as a Met in that time as well. The trade, known as the Midnight Massacre was just eight days away.

Trivia: On that night Tom Seaver beat Reds pitcher; Pat Zachary, one of the players he would be later traded for.

The Mets were still in last place (22-31) & 11.5 games out of first place. That would be the closest they were to first place for the remainder of the year. Torre's Mets would finish last 64-98 a full 37 games back.

2018 Mets Reliever: Anthony Swarzak (2018)

 Anthony Ray Swarzak was born September 10th, 1085 in Ft. Lauderdale Florida. The six foot four right handed pitcher, was a star at Nova High, in Davie, Florida.

He was 11-1 with 120 strike outs in his sophomore year, getting him signed by the Minnesota Twins in the second round of the 2004 draft. He was named All County & All State at the highest levels. He followed that year up winning14 games in both his Junior & Senior years, while losing just three games in both years combined. He also struck out 142 & 145 batters respectively.

His minor leagues were impressive early on as well, as he was ranked one of Minnesota's top prospects until turning up dirty in a 2007 drug test, testing positive for pot. He went 5-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five games at AAA Rochester earning him a shot in Spring Training 2009 with the Twins.

He made his MLB debut on May 23rd getting a start against the Milwaukee Brewers where he pitched five scoreless innings earning a win. That year as a starter he went 3-7 posting a 6.25 ERA. He broke his foot after being struck by a line drive & spent the rest of 2010 at AAA. He returned to the big leagues again during the 2011 season. That year he began pitching in relief & would maintain that position for the rest of his career, except for four starts in 2014.

As for 2013 he posted a 2.91 ERA with a 3-2 record in 48 games. That year he had another dumb incident where he got injured while in his words "he was wrestling around a little bit". The next year his ERA jumped almost two runs & he was granted free agency at the end of the year.

He signed on with the Cleveland Indians & was released that June. His pitching coach there was his future Mets manager; Mickey Callaway. Callaway told him to get stronger & longer in his stride. He then went on to pitch in Korea, where he learned how to throw a slider & reworked his delivery.

In 2016 he signed with the AL New York club, pitching 26 games going 1-2 with a 5.52 ERA finishing up six games. Rather than accept a minor league demotion he chose free agency & signed with the Chicago White Sox.

With the slider now perfected he went 4-3 posting a 2.23 ERA striking out 52 batters in 48 innings in 41 games for the Sox. He was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for a minor leaguer at the end of July. He pitched well again, in 29 games with the Brew Crew he was 2-1 with a 2.48 ERA, 39 strike outs in 29 innings. On the season he was 6-4 with two saves posting a 2.33 ERA, striking out 91 batters in 77 innings of work.

The Mets were impressed & gave him a two year deal in December 2017. In his career he has pitched in 287 games going 23-30 with 402 strike outs, 160 walks in 561 innings of work, finishing up 45 games with two saves. He made his Mets debut in their second Spring Training game of 2018.

Parkland Shooting Tragedy: Swarzak grew up in Broward County, and had ties with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where the shootings took place. “I played against that school growing up, my sister went to that school."

"I had two cousins that graduated from that school. My heart, it aches for those families, for all of Broward County, for the United States. This is a sad time we are living in. We all have to find a way to rise above it. Love conquers all. It really does. It’s a really sad thing.”

Family: He & his wife Elizabeth donated food to the South Florida school days after the horrible incident occurred. He claims in an interview his wife is his rock & credits her with straightening out his life. Together they have a daughter, who loves to sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" & "God Bless America" at the ballpark.

Trivia: Swarzak's hobbies include fishing & golf. He is also a big foodie & loves Italian Food as well as a good steak. One of his favorite movies is "A Bronx Tale".

Feb 27, 2018

Remembering Mets History (2015): Noah Syndergaard Strikes Out Career High 13 Batters

Friday July 10th 2015: Terry Collins second place New York Mets were 45-42 just two games out of first place as they hosted Chip Hale's Arizona Diamondbacks (42-43).

28,243 showed up at Citi Field to see the Mets latest young pitching star; Noah Syndergaard (4-4) take the mound against Chase Anderson (4-3).

Starting Lineups

    In the 1st inning, Arizona scored a run on Paul Goldschmidt's sac fly. The Mets answered in the bottom of the inning as Ruben Tejada singled & with two outs Wilmer Flores walked. Lucas Duda & Michael Cuddyer followed with back to back HRs making it 4-1.

    On the mound Noah Syndergaard began striking out batters, one in each of the first four innings & then two in the 5th. He got stronger in the 6th striking out the side & the two more in the 7th. He would pitch eight complete innings, striking out one more in the 8th for a career high 13 strike outs.

    After the 1st inning he did not allow another run, and only gave up four hits while walking two. Jeurys Familia saved it for his 25th of the year.

    In his first 11 career starts he already had 72 strike outs in his first 66 innings pitched. He would finish his rookie year with 166 strike outs in 150 innings pitched & a 9-7 record with a 3.24 ERA.

    The Mets History of Spring Training In St. Petersbug (1962-1987)

    Before the New York Mets made their Spring Training home on the East Coast of Florida in Port St. Lucie, they called St. Petersburg on the West Coast their home. They opened up camp in their inaugural season of 1962,  & played 25 Spring Trainings there through 1987.

    AL Lang was a business man, turned politician & Mayor of St. Petersburg from 1916 to 1920. He was the first to see the potential the area had to have baseball teams from the cold North East winters, prepare for their seasons in sunny Florida. Lang was instrumental for making Florida the home of Spring Training & forming the Grapefruit League.

    In 1916 the St. Louis Browns practiced there for Spring Training. Eventually the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals & A.L. New York club all came to St. Petersburg. Over the next decade he was able to lure in nine of the then, twelve MLB teams.

    In 1947 the City of St. Petersburg opened up Al Lang Stadium named in his honor, The St. Louis Cardinals & the A.L. New York team were the first to play there. By 1951 the New York Giants joined the party. The A.L. team would play there through 1961, with the exception of 1951 season.  The Cardinals remained there until 1997, sharing the facility with the New York Mets during the eighties hey day of the two teams rivalry.

    In 1963 the former Crescent Lake Field was renamed Huggins - Stengel Field, named after former Manager; Miller Huggins & then current Mets skipper Casey Stengel. The Mets would practice there & then play their games down the road at Al Lang Stadium.

    The area grew through the years to the moder day city it has become. Early on former VP of the Mets Minor League Development & future Cardinal Manger; Whitey Herzog, recalls rarely seeing a woman unfer 50 years old & how the boys went crazy if they did. Former Italian American Player / Broadcaster; Joe Garagiolia remembered taking ferries over to Sarasota, since in St. Pete the only place to really go out at night was the famous Dog Track.

    Former Mets World Champion Short Stop Bud Harrelson remembers, being a 19 year old kid in Florida for the first time. Veteran Mets pitcher, Tracy Stallard took him to a dog track even though he still didn't drink or gamble, showing him the ropes of being a big leaguer.

    Former Mets coach & Manager Yogi Berra said he knew one of the dog track's owners & had a dog named after him- Yogi Berra.

    Bud Harrelson also recalls buying his Superman t-shirts at a small shop in St. Pete, I guess most famously the one he wore after the fight with Pete Rose in the 1973 NLCS.

    Eventually the area had many popular restaurants. Early sixties Mets slugger; Frank Thomas said when he was out to dinner with then Mets owner Joan Payson, she ordered a steak & when the waitress asked how she wanted she said- "cut off his horns, wipe him & bring it out".

    Mets Hall of Fame Pitcher; Tom Seaver remembers, Huggins - Stengel Field with it's wooden lockers, had an innocence of the 1950's. Seaver loved the surrounding area especially the Yacht Club.

    Former Mets manager played there as a member of the Cards & the Mets for many years. He said it was the only place where he ever hit three HRs in a game, including little league. Players remembered if a HR was hit into the Bay, a bunch of kids would dive into the water to chase it.

    Many great memories came from these years, this was the same place legendary fictional Mets stars Chico Escuela (SNL's Garret Morris) said "baseball been berry berry good to me in an interview with Bill Murray & Geroge Plimpton's Sid Fynch was born.

    It was also the place where in 1975 Cleon Jones got caught up in an affair which started the demise of his baseball career.

    Remembering Former Bronx Born Italian / American Player: Frank Malzone (1955-1966)

    Frank James Malzone was born on February 28, 1930 in the Bronx, New York. He attended to Samuel Gompers High School on Southern Blvd. off 149th St in the 1940’s. Malzone planned to be an electrician if his baseball career didn't work out.

    In 1947 the five foot ten, third baseman was spotted & signed, for $150 a month by the Boston Red Sox. He married his wife Amy while playing the minors at Oneonta, NY in 1949. They remained married until her death in 2006.

    served two years of Military service, during the Korean War in the early fifties before getting to the major leagues. 

    He was already 25 years old when he arrived in Boston for a 1955 cup of coffee with the Red Sox. Two years later, he was the Red Sox regular third baseman, and had a fantastic rookie season. He batted .292 (10th in the AL) while driving in a career high 103 runs (3rd in the AL). Malzone hit 15 HRs with 31 doubles five triples & posted a .323 on base % playing in 153 games. He made the All Star team, came in second to Tony Kubek in the Rookie of the Year voting & was seventh in the MVP voting as well. 

    He won his first Gold Glove at third base, the first year the Award was issued. He also became the first player in modern baseball history, to lead his position in games played (153), putouts (151), assists (370), errors (25) fielding & double plays. On September 24th, 1957 he tied an MLB record making ten assists. 

    In 1958 he followed up with another All Star season, batting .295 coming in second in the league with 185 hits. He hit 15 HRs with 30 doubles 87 RBIs while leading the league in games (154) & at bats (627). At third base he won his second Gold Glove, posting a .954 fielding %, leading the league in assists (378) games (154) & errors (27). 

     In 1959 he hit .280 having another All Star year, hitting a career high 19 HRs with 34 doubles (2nd in the AL) 169 hits (6th in the AL) & 92 RBIs (10th in the AL). Malzone won another Gold Glove in 1959, & was the last third baseman to win the award before Brooks Robinsons’ won an incredible 16 straight. 

    Trivia: In the first of two All Star games of that year, he batted 7th & drove in a run with a double off the Dodgers, Don Drysdale.

    Malzone also set another defensive record at the time for third baseman, as he led the league in double plays five straight seasons. As he entered the sixties he dropped in numbers the first two years of the decade. He helped a young Carl Yastrzemski make a transition in left field replacing Ted Williams.

    Quotes: Carl Yaz- “When I first came to the big leagues in 1961, Frank was the guy who took me under his wing. I struggled when I first came up, and he took care of me and stayed with me. He was a real class guy, a very caring guy, and I owe him a lot. You aren’t going to find too many people like him.”

    In 1962 had a career high 21 HRs with 95 RBIs & 20 doubles while batting .283. 
    He returned to have a good 1963 season as well, batting .291 with 15 HRs & 71 RBIs. Malzone spent eleven seasons as the Red Sox third baseman, winning three Gold Gloves making six All Star teams. After the 1965 season Malzone was released, he would be replaced by future Met & another Bronx born player; Joe Foy. 

    In his eleven seasons with the Red Sox the club never finished above third place & would finish seventh or worse in his final four years.

    Malzone signed with the Los Angeles Angels in what would be his final season as a player. In 82 games he batted just .206 & retired at age 35. In his 12 year career Malzone hit .274 with 1486 hits 133 HRs, 239 doubles, 21 triples, 337 walks 728 RBIs & a .315 on base % in 1441 games. 

    He posted a .955 career fielding average, making 196 errors in 4388 chances. He ranks in the top twenty in Red Sox history in hits, HRs, games played, doubles, runs, and RBIs. 

    Retirement: After his playing days, Malzone was a scout for the Red Sox for 35 years, and a long time consultant for player development. He was elected to the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 1995. Malzone & his wife resided in Needham just outside of the city of Boston. 

     "As far as my personal achievements with the game I would say when you play ten full years and make the All-Star team eight times that is quite an accomplishment for myself. The only thing that I regret is that I never got to play in the post-season."

    Malzone passed away, due to natural causes on December 30th 2015 at the age of 85.

    Feb 26, 2018

    Remebering Mets History: (1993) Dwight Gooden Shuts Out Colorado Rockies In the Franchise 1st Ever Game

    April 5th 1993: The 1992 Mets ended the season at a disappointing 72-90 in fifth place. It had only been six years since the 1986 Worlds Championship & four years since the teams last N.L. East title.

    In 1993 Howard Johnson, Sid Fernandez & Dwight Gooden were the only players left from the '86 Championship season. It all went so bad so quick. 1993 would be even worse as the Mets fell to seventh place winning just 59 games while losing 103. Dallas Green would replace Jeff Torborg as manager in May.

    But on Opening Day there is always optimism & with Dwight Gooden on the mound at Shea Stadium, it was a good day. 53,127 Mets fans poured into Shea Stadium as the Mets got started on the 31st year in team history.

    Today was a historic day for MLB as it was the first game in history for the new National League Colorado Rockies. The Rockies manager was former MLB player; Don Baylor. Baylor sent David Neid to the mound against Gooden. Nied would have a short five year career going 17-18 with a 5.06 ERA in 52 games. 

    Starting Lineups

    Today Dwight Gooden shined, as he pitched a complete game four hit shut out on his way to a 3-0 win. Gooden struck out just four batters while walking just one, throwing only 101 pitches. Gooden would go on to have his second straight losing season at 12-15 with a 3.45 ERA.

    He got into a jam in the 3rd inning, as a single a walk & hit by pitch loaded the bases with two outs for slugger Andres Galarraga. Gooden reared back & struck out Galarraga to end the threat. Gooden never faced more than three batters until the 9th inning.

    Singles by Galarraga & then Dante Bichette threatened, but Galarraga was thrown out as Bichette's pop up fell in for a single in short right field.

    In the 4th inning, Gooden & Vince Coleman both singled. Gooden scored on a Tony Fernandez base hit. In the 5th inning Bobby Bonilla hit a solo HR, he would hit a career high 34 that year & drive in 87 runs.

    In the home 6th, Coleman singled again & came home on Eddie Murrays single to left field.

    The Mets went on to a 3-1 win.

    Remembering Mets History: (2014) The First Team to Have Three Players With Lower Case "d"'s In the Line Up

     May 30th 2014: On this night, the Mets became the first team in MLB history to have three players in a line up to have their last name begin with a lower case "d".

    The previous year with the addition of Travis d'Arnaud on the team, the Mets equipment manager had to use a capitol "P" & turn it upside down for d'Arnaud's uniform. In 2014 he requested extra lower case letters from Majestic, knowing this was going to be a problem with guys like Jacob deGrom & Matt den Dekker around.

    Terry Collins' New York Mets (25-29) were in Philadelphia playing Ryne Sandberg's Phillies (24-28). The game began easy enough with Travis d'Arnaud starting at catcher, being the only lower case d in the line up. He would go 2-6 with an RBI on this long night.

    In the 6th inning with the score tied at 5-5, Matt den Dekker made a pinch hit appearance, the second lower case "d" of the night struck out & was done for the night.

    In the top of the 14th inning, with the score still tied & a depleted bench, Terry Collins put in his young soon to be Rookie of the Year pitcher, the six foot four Jacob deGrom to hit as a pinch hitter.

    Although he struck out, he secured the Mets with having three lower case "d" players to appear in a game. A record that may never be broken, even though most people wont know or care.

    The Mets lost this game in the bottom of the 14th as Reid Brignac singled home Marlon Byrd off Jenrry Mejia. The Mets used 21 players on the night, the Phils 19.

    Early Sixties Mets Reserve Catcher: Sammy Taylor (1962-1963)

    Samuel Douglas Taylor was born on February 27, 1933 in Woodruff South Carolina. The six foot two, left hand hitting catcher was signed by the Milwaukee Braves in 1956. After two seasons in their minor leagues he was traded along with Taylor Phillips, to the Chicago Cubs for Eddie Haas, Don Kaiser and Bob Rush.

     Taylor became the Cubs regular catcher in 1959, batting .269 with a career high 13 HRs, 13 doubles & 43 RBIs. In June of the 1959 he was involved in a strange play while behind the plate.

    The legendary Stan Musial walked on a ball four, wild pitch that got past Taylor. He argued the call, saying Musial had foul tipped the ball as it rolled to the backstop. Musial ran to second, Alvin Dark ran to the backstop to retrieve the ball. The ball wound up in the hands of the field announcer, a new ball was taken, and thrown into the outfield.

    As Musial tried for third; the old ball was retrieved then thrown to third base where Ernie Banks tagged out Musial. Behind the plate that season, he caught 109 games and committed a league leading ten errors. 

    In 1960, he was a second string catcher behind Ed Tappe, batting only .207 in 74 games. The next season, Dick Bertell took over as the Cubs main catcher, with Taylor as a aback up seeing action in 89 games; batting .238. On April 26, 1962 he got traded to the expansion New York Mets for Bobby Gene Smith. Taylor arrived at the Polo Grounds where the young Mets had played just 14 games in the team's history. At that point they were 2-12 already 8 1/2 games back. 

    On April 28th he appeared as a pinch hitter drawing a walk in a 8-6 loss to the Phillies. In his second game as a Met, Taylor got a hit. driving in a run, in a rare '62 Mets 8-0 win, also over the Phillies. On May 19th, he helped spark an 8th inning, four run Mets rally, as he singled in a run, off Milwaukee's Lew Burdette. Hot Rod Kanehl came in to run for him & scored the winning run on a Jim Hickman sac fly. 

    Eleven of his twenty RBIs came in the month of June, when he saw the most playing time (21 games) getting 13 hits, including a four game hit streak. On July 7th, Taylor had a big day, hitting HRs in both ends of a doubleheader at the Polo Grounds, in games against the St. Louis Cardinals. In the first game he hit a sixth inning solo shot off Larry Jackson, which was the first run in the Mets 4-3 win. In the second game he hit another solo shot, this one off Ray Washburn, although the Mets lost the game 3-2. It would be the last HR of Taylor's career & he would finish with just three on the season. 

    In July he went down with injury missing over a month of time, returning at the end of September. He spent the season in a revolving door of New York Mets catchers who tried out for a regular job in that position.

    Included in the cast were; Chris Cannizzaro, Choo Choo Coleman, Joe Pignatano, Hobie Landrith & Harry Chiti. Overall in 68 games Taylor hit .222 but led all the weak hitting catchers with three HRs & twenty RBIs. In 56 games behind the plate he threw out 33% of base runners attempting to steal & posted a .992 fielding %. 

    In 1963 he didn't get to the Mets club until late May, & would see action in 22 games through June, batting .257 with six RBIs. On July 1st he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds along with Charlie Neal, for another catcher; Jesse Gonder.

    After one month there, Taylor was sent to the Cleveland Indians for Gene Green. He played just four games in Cleveland & spent the next two seasons in the minor leagues before retiring from the game. 

    Taylor finished his brief six season playing in 473 lifetime game, hitting .245 with 309 hits 33 HRs 47 doubles, 147 RBIs & a .313 on base %.

    Feb 25, 2018

    Mets BackUp Catcher: Kevin Plawecki (2015 - 2018)

    Kevin Jeffrey Plawecki was born February 26th 1991 in Carmel, Indiana where his father coached his youth baseball teams. 

    The six foot two right hand hitter can play both catcher & at first base. After attending Westfield High School he went to Perdue University where he was a star baseball player.

    He set a freshman school RBI record there getting named Freshman All American. He got better through the years, getting named Big Ten Player of the Year & second team All American batting .359 with 20 doubles in 59 games. He was also voted Most Outstanding Player in the 2012 Big Ten Tournament. 

    Plawecki was the New York Mets first round draft pick (35th overall) in the 2012 amateur draft. His pick along with Gavin Cecchini were compensation for losing Jose Reyes to free agency.

    He spent 2012 with the Brooklyn Cylones batting .250. In 2013 he was with the A ball Savannah Sand Gnats & then a promotion to A ball plus St. Lucie where hit .294. He was gaining a lot of attention & was soon being called the Mets catcher of the Future even before Travis d'Arnaud's career took off.

     He spent the season at both AA Binghamton where he hit .326 & was pushed up to AAA Las Vegas. There he caught the another highly touted Mets prospect; pitcher Noah Syndergaard. The anticipation of the two players development toward the MLB careers was very exciting for the Las Vegas club. Both Players were named to the 2014 Futures Game for the United States Team, where Plawecki was named the starting catcher.

    Plawecki was at Spring Training 2015 & there was no rush to bring him up, as the Mets were comfortable with d'Arnaud & Anthony Recker as his back up. But everything changed in April, when d'Arnaud went down with a broken hand. Rather than go with the back up Recker, Plawecki was brought up sooner than planned.

    He made his debut on April 21st, getting the start catching Jonathon Niese in a 7-1 Mets win over the Braves at Citi Field. That day he went 2-4 collecting his first big league hits & scored two runs as well. On April 25th he hit his first career HR, it came in an inter league subway series game, off pitcher CC Sabathia where the Mets won 8-2.That day he had his first career multi RBI game.

    Quotes: Terry Collins: “He’s such a good prospect, we’re not going to just let him sit on the bench. Now, when Travis is ready to play like normal, we’ll have to make another decision, see how this is working.”

    On May 5th his 4th inning two run double, ended up being the game winner in Bartolo Colon's fifth win of the season, coming over the Baltimore Orioles. At the plate he struggled as his average fell to the low .200's by mid June, this may have been due to an on going sinus infection.

    As he recovered from that he raised his average up 35 points to the middle of July. On July 3rd his 9th inning sac fly scored Lucas Duda against the Los Angeles Dodgers & proved to be the games winning run. By the end of July the Mets had a different team, with the promotion of Michael Conforto, the additions of Yoenis Cespedes, Kelly Johnson & Juan Uribe the team was coring a lot more runs.

    Catcher Travis d'Arnaud also returned to the line up at the end of July & Plawecki was sent back down to AAA Las Vegas on August 10th. He returned in September with the expanded rosters.

    On September 10th, Plawecki hit a two run double in Atlanta & then scored on Bartlo Colon's RBI base hit. He added another RBI in the 8th inning giving Plawecki his second career three RBI game. On Sunday September 27th, the day after the Mets clinched the NL East in Cincinnati Plawecki hit his third HR of the season, a solo shot in the Mets 8-1 win.
    He ended the year batting .219 with 3 HRs 13 doubles & 21 RBIs in 73 games. Behind the plate he caught 26% of base runners trying to steal & posted a .998 fielding %.

    He showed great defensive abilities & the handling of the Mets young pitching staff, to some of whom he was familiar with from the minor leagues. He was added to the Mets post season roster but did not play.

    Family: In the off season he married his wife Tayler. Tayler was born in California, also went to Perdue & is a soccer alumni there.

    In the busy off season, he also had surgery on his paranasal sinuses to correct his dizziness.

    In 2016 he was expected to play second string to catcher behind Travis d'Arnaud, but things didn't turn out like expected. Travis went down with injury & struggled missing half the season. Plawecki struggled as well & Rene Rivera saw most of the playing time.

    On April 2nd, in his second start of the year Plawecki drove in both runs of a 2-1 Mets win over the Miami Marlins. His best hitting stretch came in early may where he hit in 11 of 14 games. He also drove in runs in four of five games and hit his only HR of the season. By mid June he was batting just .197 and was sent down to AAA.

    Overall at AAA Las Vegas he batted .300 with 8 HRs 11 doubles & 40 RBIs as the 51's main catcher throwing out 32% of would be base stealers.

    He did return to the Mets in September, overall playing in 48 Mets games batting .197 with 1 HR & 11 RBIs. Behind the plate he posted a .988 fielding % throwing out 23% of would be base stealers.

    He went into Spring Training '17 hoping to regain his form & was fighting for a catchers back up role.

    He began the season with the Mets as the team went with three catchers. On April 30th, as the Mets were getting beat up by the Nationals in D.C. 23-5. Plawecki was brought in to pitch. It was his the first time he pitched in a game since he was a teenager. He gave up four HRs, including the third HR of the game to Anthony Rendon.

    Drama: On May 5th after a Mets win over the Marlins in Miami, a photo of T.J. Rivera appeared on the Mets twitter page. In the background a dildo sex toy was spotted in Plawecki's locker.

    Quotes: "There are some good pranksters on this team. It's definitely awkward. It's weird, but at the same it is kind of funny, but by no means does it reflect who I am as a person."

    He batted just .125 by the end of May & was sent back to AAA Las Vegas. There he batted .328 with 9 HRs & 45 RBIs in 64 games. He returned  to the big league club, in late August & hit a two run HR in his first game back, in an 8-1 win over the Miami Marlins. In an August 29th 14-4 loss to the Reds he came in to pitch for the second time that season. In this outing he pitched a 1-2-3 inning.

    He saw ample action in September. He hit a HR on September 9th in a 6-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds. He hit his only other HR, in a 4-3 win over the Atlanta Braves. In 37 games (118 at bats) he improved his average to .260 with 3 HRs 5 doubles & 13 RBIs. Behind the plate he threw out 19% of base runners, catching in 29 games.

    In a three year career he played 158 games with 103 hits 7 HRs 20 doubles 45 RBIs & a .222 average. He has caught 144 games behind the plate with a .996 fielding % & tossing out 23% of would be base stealers.