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Showing posts from February, 2018

2019 Mets Front Office Advisor & Former 2018 Coach: Ruben Amaro Jr. (2018-2019)

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Ruben Amaro Jr. was born on February 12th 1965 in Northeast Philadelphia. His father Ruben Amaro SR. played in the Major Leagues for eleven years, with the St. Louis Cardinals (1958) Philadelphia Phillies (1960-1965) AL New York team (1966-1968) & California Angels (1969). Amaro is Russian Jewish, Cuban Mexican American. Ruben Jr. graduated from William Penn charter school where he played baseball as well as soccer. He attended Stanford University playing for the 1987 College World Series Championship team. He led the club in runs, triples & stolen bases. The outfielder was drafted by the California Angels in the 11th round of the 1987 draft. In December of 1991, he was traded along with Kyle Abbot to the Philadelphia Phillies for Von Hayes. By 1992 he was the Phillies main right fielder playing in 126 games but hit just .219 with 7 HRs 15 doubles & 34 RBIs. He began the Phillies 1993 NL Championship season at AAA getting back to the Phils in mid June. A few da

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

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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 p

Former Mets Backup Catcher: Mike Nickeas (2010-2012)

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Michael James Nickeas was Born on February 13, 1983 in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is the son of British professional soccer player, Mark Nickeas. Nickeas grew up in West Lake California & then attended Georgia Tech. University playing on their baseball team for three years. The six foot right handed hitting catcher was originally drafted by the Texas Rangers in 2004. In August of 2006 he was traded to the New York Mets in exchange for Victor Diaz.  After having success early in his career, especially during the Pan Am games & low levels of the minors, he struggled at both A ball St. Lucie & AA Binghamton. He was at Mets Spring Training as early as 2007, but didn't get near making the team. That year he played for Great Britain in European Baseball Championship making it's All Star team & winning a silver medal.  In 2008 he hit just .210 in the minors, in 2009 he fell to .164 playing in just twenty games as he suffered a broken finger. In 2010 he hi

Old Time Bronx Born New York Giants Player Who Was Banned From Baseball: Heinie Zimmerman (1916-1919)

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Henry Zimmerman was born February 9th, 1887 in the Bronx, New York. By the age of 14 he was working as a plumbers assistant to help his family earn money. He became a star player on the sand lots of New York City, before signing a contract with the Chicago Cubs in 1906.  Zimmerman became known as a dim witted eccentric in the baseball world & was also known for erratic play, as well as his erratic behavior. Once during a five game stretch in 1913, the umpire hating Zimmerman, was thrown out of three different games. He was also known as "the Great Zim".   After four years as a reserve infielder, he became the Cubs main second baseman in 1911, taking over for the injured Johnny Evers. Zimmerman made it to two World Series with the Cubs, winning the 1907 Series over the Detroit Tigers. In 1910 he got into five games, driving in two runs in the loss to the Philadelphia A's. He hit 17 triples (4th in the league) batted .307 (9th in the league) & drove in 85 ru

The Wild Story Of the Heavy Drinking New York Giants Pitcher: Bugs Raymond (1908-1910)

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Arthur Lawrence "Bugs" Raymond was born on February 24, 1882 in Chicago, Illinois. The five foot ten, right hander supposedly got his nickname due to his antics on & off the field. Raymond pitched in pro ball in 1904, making a brief debut with the Detroit Tigers, pitching five games going 0-1.  He went back to the minor leagues, and began throwing a spitball which was legal at the time. All of a sudden he won 35 games (35-11) for Charleston in the South Atlantic League in 1907. The St. Louis Cardinals bought his contract & he was back in the majors that season. In St. Louis he was the last place Cardinals top pitcher in 1908, winning 15 games on a team that only won 49 games in total. He struck out 145 batters (fourth in the NL), posted a 2.03 ERA (10th in the NL) but led the league in losses (25) and wild pitches (9).  On average Raymond gave up fewer hits per games than the great Christy Mathewson did in New York with the Giants. Bugs threw five shutouts of

Remembering the 1964 MLB All Star Game at Shea Stadium

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The 1964 All Star Game was held at Shea Stadium in Queens, New York. At the time the area was jumping with a new excitement; Shea Stadium was a brand new $29 million dollar ball park & one of baseball's most glamorous. It was designed by the standards of that day, to be the greatest ever built for baseball. It was huge compared to most of the smaller parks still in use at the time, with seating for 56,000 fans. It was billed as having great views of the play from every seat, since it had no columns or pillars in the sightlines, like the older parks. The walkway rafts & escaladers were considered modern at the time, as to exit fans more quickly. Shea had its most famous feature, the tremendous state of the art scoreboard, 175 ft. long & eight stories high. A large screen in center top, originally projected photos of the players coming to bat, this was way ahead of its time in 1964. Shea was like nothing baseball had ever seen, ushers dressed in Mets colored s

Remembering Mets History: (2016) Jeruys Familia Sets Franchise Save Record

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Wednesday August 31st, 2016: The hot New York Mets (69-64) hosted Don Mattingly's slumping Miami Marlins (67-66) in game three of an important four game series. Today the Mets learned that they will lost their second baseman Neil Walker for the rest of the season as he will need back surgery. With David Wright & Lucas Duda also gone for the year to back issues 3/4 of the Mets projected infield for 2016 was gone. But these Mets have stepped up & are making an exciting hopeful playoff run going into September. With the Mets win tonight, (their third straight) it marks their ninth win in eleven games, putting them within 1 1/2 games of the wild card. Bartolo Colon took the mound for his team leading 27th start of the year. Who would have though the oldest pitcher on the young staff would be leading the club in starts? In the top of the 2nd, sloppy Mets errors by Colon & Jose Reyes led to a Marlins run. But the resilient Mets answered back as Curtis Granderson le

Mets Bullpen Coach: Eric Langhill (2011-2018)

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Eric Joseph Langhill was born April 9th 1979 in Kirkland, Quebec.  Growing up on Canada he loved hockey, idolizing Patrick Roy while also playing baseball where he exceled as an avid Montreal Expo fan. The five foot nine Canadian catcher attended Des Moines Community College, then was drafted by his beloved Expos in the 34th round of the 1999 amateur draft.  He was a career minor leaguer playing two seasons in the Expos organization & then five in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, hitting just one career HR batting .210 throwing out 18% of would be base stealers.  In 2011 he joined Dave Racaniello as a Mets bullpen coach & has been there for seven seasons, joining the team in that role again in 2018. Drama: During Spring Training 2012 Langill was involved in a car crash in Port St. Lucie Florida after a team bowling event. He was charged with driving under the influence & spent a night in jail. The team suspended him for a week & then he was counseled by t

One Time Mets Pitcher & Coach: Chuck Estrada (1967)

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Charles Leonard Estrada was born on February 15, 1938 in San Luis Obispo, California. He was signed by the Milwaukee Braves out of high school and was sent to the new MLB, Baltimore Orioles in 1957. He began his 1960 rookie season in the bull pen but soon broke into the Orioles rotation. He ended up leading the A.L. in wins with 18, making two All Star games, and earning the Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award. He struck out 144 batters (5th in the AL) pitched over 200 innings and posted a 3.53 ERA. He had a successful sophomore season, going 15-9 with a 3.69 ERA but led the league with 132 walks. 1962 was a disaster for him as he led the league in losses (17) going 9-17 although his 3.93 ERA wasn’t all that bad. His career took a major downfall when he developed bone chips, as he eventually wound up back in the bullpen going 6-4 in only 25 games over the next two seasons. He was sent to the Los Angeles Angels who returned him back to Baltimore who then sent him to the Chi

Former New York Mets Reserve Infielder: Ronny Cedeno (2012)

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Ronny Alexander Cedeno was born Febraury 2nd, 1983 in Puerto Cabello Venezuela. He was signed by the Chicago Cubs in 1999 as an amateur free agent. After seven seasons at minor league ball the six foot infielder made it to the big leagues. He began 2005 as the Cubs replacement for Nomar Garciaparra but lost out to Neifi Perez. In 2006 he became the youngest Cubs Opening Day short stop since Shawon Dunston in 1986. Cedeno had a bad year both defensively (.956 fielding%) & at the plate, as he struck out 109 times walked just 17 times & hit .245. He lost his starting job to Ryan Theriot. He played two more season in Chicago with trips back down to the minors. He played in two NLDS in those years with the Cubs, seeing action in three games as a defensive replacement. In 2009 he signed with the Seattle Mariners byt was traded in July to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a six player deal that brought Jack Wilson & Ian Snell to Seattle. In 2010 he became the Pirates main short s