Former Mets Player & Current Rockland Boulders Manager: Kevin Baez (1990-1993)
As a kid, Baez rode his bike from Coney Island to play in the Gil Hodges Little League where he even made the All Star team. When asked what he wanted to do when he grew up, he said “be a ball player”.
He is Baez is another ball player on a long list, to come out of Brooklyn’s Lafayette High School. It's alumni include, Sandy Koufax, John Franco, Pete Falcone, The Aspromonte Bothers (Bob & Ken), Al Ferrara, as well as known people such as Fred Wilpon, Larry King, Rhea Pearlman & Goodfella’s boss Paulie - Paul Sorvino.
Baez went to Dominican College in Rockland County & getting drafted in the 7th round of the 1988 draft by the hometown New York Mets.
All glove with no hit, would probably best describe the shortstops quick MLB career. Baez began his first two seasons at A ball going to AA in 1990 making his MLB debut that season in just five games batting.167.
He would spend the next eleven seasons in the minor leagues, hoping for another chance at the big leagues. Another cup of coffee in 1992 got him into six September games, where he hit .154 (2-13).
In 1993 he saw the most action of his career when he was called up after Tony Fernandez went to Toronto in early June. Baez got into 52 games but only hit .183 & lost his job to Tim Bogar. At short he made six errors in 180 chances good for a .967 fielding %.
Baez played at AAA Norfolk through the 2001 season, never making it back to the major leagues.
Baez posted a .248 minor league career average with 1371 hits 15 HRs & 595 RBIs. In the majors he hit .179 with 27 hits in151 at bats with ten doubles & seven RBIs in 63 big league games.
After his playing days, he spent four years with Bud Harrelson on the Eastern end of Long Island with the Long Island Ducks of the in the Atlantic League. There his team won a Championship in 2004, as he was named an Atlantic League All Star batting .256 with 40 RBIs & 36 runs scored in 98 games played.
After a brief coaching stint with the Mets in 2007, Baez found his home back with the Long Island Ducks.
Long Island Ducks: In December of 2010, he was named the new manager of the Ducks for the 2011 season, remaining there thru 2018. In seven years Baez took the Ducks to six championship series, winning two championship titles. Overall Baez spent 15 years with the Ducks organization.
Retirement: Baez says he loves teaching the game to young kids. He still teaches a baseball clinic at Bayside Batting & Pitching, in Queens.
Trivia: He is the only person to win the Atlantic League Championship as both a player & Manager. For most of those years, his bench coach was one of the teams owners & the person most responsible for bringing baseball to Eastern Long Island; legendary Mets All Star short stop Bud Harrelson.
In November 2018, Baez was named the Rockland Boulders manager for the 2018 season.