Vic Black: Former Mets Relief Pitcher (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 player ever drafted from the school. 

Black 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. 

In 2012 Black was an All Star at AA Altoona holding opponents to a .189 batting average. In 2013 he was promoted to AAA Indianapolis going 5-3 with 53 strike outs in 46 innings, posting a 2.51 ERA, making another All-Star team.

MLB Debut: On July 25th, Black was called up to the Pirates making his debut pitching the 8th inning in a 9-7 loss to the Washington Nat's. He made three appearances with Pittsburgh.

On August 29th Black was sent to the New York Mets, as the player to be named later in the Marlon Byrd & John Buck deal.

Met Career: On September 2nd, Black debuted with the Mets in Atlanta, 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 Matsuzaka with the bases loaded & hit Asdrubal Cabrera with a pitch that resulted as the Indians winning run. 

From there on Black pitched well, giving up just two earned runs in his last nine outings of the year. 

On September 15th, Black pitched a scoreless 12th inning against the Marlins at Citi Field. The Mets won the game on Travis d'Arnaud's walk off RBI single giving Black his first career win. 

Three days later, he earned a win as the Mets came back from 4-1 down to the Giants in the bottom of the 9th inning. He earned another win in his final outing of the year vs. Milwaukee becoming the first Mets since Hisanori Takahashi (2010) to win three straight games.

On the season, Black was 3-0 with four holds & a 3.47 ERA. In 12 innings he struck out 13 batters & walked four in 15 appearances.

2014: 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.

On May 27th, Black returned to the Mets & earned a win in relief over his former team, the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

Through June he took two losses, although he gave up just three runs in 13 appearances that month. 

On July 12th, he earned his second win when Eric Campbell singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 8th inning over the Marlins. Black's ERA was still at 1.69. 

In August he was the main set up man to Jenry Mejia before injuries shortened his season. 

Black finished 2014 going 2-3 with 12 holds & a 2.60 ERA in 41 appearances. He struck out 32 batters & walked 19 in 34 innings pitched. On the season he had stranded 25 of 26 inherited base runners, the best percentage in the majors.

2015: At Spring Training 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. Instead, he was placed on waivers & became a minor league free agent.

Quotes Vic Black from SI: ““I was ready & 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.”

Black known as an all-around good guy, leased an apartment in New York City when playing with the Mets. He was involved with NY City projects, even helping to create a baseball field in Staten Island.

Upon his release he thanked the Mets fans in a statement: “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!”

Retirement: Vic pitched in Independant baseball in the Can-Am League with Sussex County & the NJ Jackals.

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