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

Michael James Nickeas was Born on February 13, 1983, in Vancouver, British Columbia. 

Soccer Father: He is the son of British professional soccer player, Mark Nickeas. Mark played for Liverpool, & Plymouth, then later for Vancouver & San Jose in the NASL. There his father played against Pele & the NY Cosmos & has a signed program from the game.

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. 

Nickeas attended Mets Spring Training as early as 2007 but didn't get near making any team. That year he played for Great Britain in European Baseball Championship making its 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 hit .283 at AA Binghamton with 15 doubles 5 HRs & 33 RBIs as the club's main catcher. He was promoted to AAA Buffalo & after seven games got a September call up to the Mets who still had faith in him. 

Mets Career: Nickeas made his MLB debut on September 4th in Chicago at Wrigley Field, getting the start behind the plate catching Jenrry Mejia. He went 0-2 that day, getting his first hit in his third game at Citi Field against Milwaukee. He played in five games going 2-10.

2011: This season he began the year with the Mets out of Spring Training, finishing up the 6-2 Opening Day loss behind the plate in the last three innings. 

Nickeas got his first start in Philadelphia in the fourth game of the season, going 0-5 at the plate. He then hit safely in five of six games.

First Career HR:
On April 21st Nickeas hit a 3rd inning solo HR off the Astros J.A. Happ at Citi Field for his first career HR. It came in a 9-1 Mets victory.

On April 27th he was sent back down to the minors at AAA Buffalo. There he played in 60 games behind Raul Chavez who played 78 games, hit just .199 but threw out 47% of would-be base stealers. 

Nickeas hit .214 while throwing out 40% of would-be base stealers. He returned to the Mets at the end of August and got to play in a dozen more games, finishing the year at .189 (10-53) with one HR one doubles & 6 RBIs. 

Behind the plate he posted a perfect .1000 fielding % making no errors in 124 chances, in twenty games. He threw out four of thirteen base runners trying to steal on him. 

Nickeas caught the third game of the season, going 0-4 in the Mets 7-5 win over Atlanta. 

On May 5th his two-run single off Arizona's Patrick Corbin, led to a Johan Santana 4-2 win over the Diamondbacks. 

Grand Slam HR: On May 26th, at Citi Field, Nickeas hit an 8th inning grand slam HR off former Met Dale Thayer in a 9-0 Mets win over the San Diego Padres. Johan Santana pitched the complete game shutout.

Nickeas struggled, batting just .168 at the end of June & he was sent down to AAA Buffalo. He hit .364 there in 22 games. He was brought back up in September finishing the year batting .174 with one HR three doubles 13 RBIs & a .242 on base %. 

In the 2013 off season, he was traded to Toronto in the R.A. Dickey / Travis d'Arnaud / John Buck deal.

Post Mets Career: He appeared in just one game with the Blue Jays, spending most of his time at AAA Buffalo where he batted just .166. 

In 2014 he hit .285 at AAA Buffalo in 49 games.

Retirement: Nickeas went back to college attending Georgia Tech, where he also became a volunteer & assistant coach.

Nickeas is now a baseball agent.

Family: Mike was married to his first wife Rebecca & lived in the Atlanta area. In 2021 he married his second wife Christa.


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