Former Mets Relief Pitcher & A Good Guy : Vic Black (2013-2015)

Victor Lawrence Black was born on May 23rd 1988 at Amarillo, Texas. The six foot four right hander attended Dallas Baptist, University where he was a star pitcher & the highest ever drafted player at the school. He was selected as a first round draft pick (49thpick overall) for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2009.

In 2009 he was 1-2 at State College in the New York Penn League, going to A ball West Virginia the next year. He was injured most of 2010 pitching in just two games going 2-1 with a 5.28 ERA. 

He moved up quickly going to AA Altoona in 2012 & getting to AAA Indianapolis by 2013. There he was 5-3 with 53 strike outs n 46 innings, posting a 2.51 ERA, making the All Star team.

Black was called up to the Pirates on July 25th, making his debut pitching the 8th inning in a 9-7 loss to the Washington Nats. He made three appearances with Pittsburgh, and was sent to the New York Mets, as the player to be named later in the Marlon Byrd & John Buck deal.

Black debuted with the Mets in Atlanta on September 2nd, 2013 making a mid-relief appearance in a 13-5 loss to the Braves. On September 8th, Black blew a save at Cleveland, when he relieved Daisuke Matusuzaka with the bases loaded & hit Asdrubal Cabrera with a pitch,, that resulted as the Indians winning run. 

From there Black pitched well, he recorded three wins & save against no losses the rest of the way. He also was credited with four holds, as a late reliever. In 12 innings he struck out 13 batters, walked four & posted a 3.46 ERA in 15 appearances.

Black was being looked at as the Mets set up man for 2014, but he had a rough Spring Training, posting a 5.79 ERA with ten walks in 9 ½ innings pitched. The hard throwing pitcher did not make the trip North, as he was sent to AAA Las Vegas.

There he was the 51's closer, earning seven saves with a 1.47 ERA in 17 games. That quickly got him back to the Mets big league club by the end of May.

Black returned on My 27th & earned a win in relief against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In June he took two losses as well as earning three holds as a set up man. By July 12th hed had seven holds to his credit, as he earned a win against the Miami Marlins pitching a scoreless 8th inning. 

Through August he was the main set up man before injuries shortened his season. He finished 2014 with 12 holds a 2-3 record & a 2.60 ERA in 41 appearances. He struck out 32 batters & walked 19 in 34 innings pitched.

At Spring Training 2015 Black was shut down after just two innings of work with weakness in his pitching shoulder. He began a rehab program pitching at St. Lucie (0-1 in two games) & then a relief stint at AA Binghamton. He spent most of the season suffering from a recurring herniated disc as well as arm fatigue. As the Mets were on to a National League Championship, Black was a fading memory. He struggled at AA Las Vegas & hoped for a September call up that never came. In stead he was placed on waivers & is currently a minor league free agent.

Quotes Vic Black from SI: “The last year — year-and-a-half — hasn’t gone according to plan,” “I was frustrated,” he said in a strained voice. “I was ready and I didn’t know what the Mets were doing. I couldn’t watch the games anymore. My goal — my understanding — was that it would be ‘New York next.’ And that didn’t happen.”

Citi Field is the best place ever. It really is.. I got to be a part of some cool games as soon as I got up there. The day I got traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates  my first game in New York — was Mike Piazza’s induction day. I’ve never seen 44,000 people in a stadium before. Never. In my life. I’ve never seen applause for 15 minutes before a game. Everyone is yelling. And we got the cool badge on the side of our hat. It was awesome.”

While with the Mets he leased an apartment in New York, was involved in the City even helping to create a baseball field in Staten Island.

Upon his release he thanked the Mets fans, being the true gentleman he is.............

“I didn’t play for 10 years, nor was I an All-Star or contributor to last season’s amazing run. But I’ll never forget my time playing for the greatest fans/city in baseball. From walking the streets of Manhattan, to riding the 7 line daily to Citi Field, I was given moments I’ll remember for my lifetime. You were kind in welcoming me to YOUR family and I’ll always have blue and orange running in my blood. New York captured my heart and nothing can ever take that away. You gave me a gift, experiences and moments I’ll cherish forever. I’m counting the days till my next visit in whatever capacity it may be. I love you New York!”


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