Former Italian / American Jersey Born Mets Pitcher Turned GM: Jerry Dipoto (1995-1996)

Gerald Peter Dipoto was born on May 24, 1968, in Jersey City, New Jersey. He is one of three children.
The Dipoto Family lived in a Jersey City apartment next door to his grandparents before briefly moving to Point Pleasant & then settling in Toms River, New Jersey. 

There he went to high school at Toms River High North. 

The big six-foot two right hander attended Virginia Commonwealth University, where he played baseball, getting drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the third round of the 1989 draft. 

He spent parts of five seasons in the minors, going 12-4 in his second year at A ball & the promotion to AA. In 1993 at AAA, he posted a 1.93 ERA in 34 games with a 6-3 record, getting him up to the big leagues.

MLB Career:  Dipoto was a pleasant rookie surprise for sixth place Cleveland in 1993, going 4-4 with 11 saves and posting a 2.40 ERA. In 1994 he struggled with injuries pitching in only seven games posting a 8.07 ERA. 

That November he was traded along with Paul Byrd & Dave Mlicki to the New York Mets in exchange for Jeromy Burnitz & Joe Roa.

Mets Career: Dipoto debuted with the Mets on Opening Day 1995 in Colorado. He relieved Bobby Jones in the 5th inning, retiring the Rockies Dante Bichette in the Mets 11-9 loss. 

On April 28th Dipoto was credited with a hold pitching a scoreless inning against the Cardinals & then earned his first save the next day. On May 14th Dipoto took an extra inning loss to the Expos when a base hit, wild pitch & Mark Grudzielanek's grounder brought in the winning run.

Jerry took two more losses in June before winning three straight decisions in July. He collected wins at Pittsburgh, Chicago & St. Louis all in relief. 

On September 3rd, he pitched 2.2 innings of scoreless relief in San Francisco to earn his first save. Later that month he earned another save while also pitching 2.2 scoreless against the Phillies.

Dipoto was used as a middle reliever with second place 1995 Mets, making 58 appearances going 4-6 with two saves & eight holds while posting a 3.78 ERA. He struck out 49 batters & walked 29 in 78.2 innings of work.

1996: On Opening Day 1996, Dipoto got the win in relief of Bobby Jones, as the Mets scored four runs in the bottom of the 7th inning beating the St. Louis Cardinals 7-6 at Shea Stadium.

He made 16 appearances in the next two month, blowing a save & taking a loss in Chicago on May5th. He gave up four runs on May 24th which brought his ERA up to 5.95. Another four-run game on June 7th brought the ERA to 6.65.

On June 21st, he pitched three scoreless against the Reds to earn a win & start a personal six game win streak. In the month of July, he went 3-0 with a memorable July 31st, victory where he earned the win on Chris Jones' walk off HR.

On September 1st he blew a save against the San Francisco Giants & then blew a save opportunity on September 13th against the Atlanta Braves when Mark Lemke hit a fielder's choice to score Jeff Blauser. He would get the win when the Mets Rey Ordonez & Lance Johnson drove in runs in the bottom of the 8th.

On the season Dipoto was 7-2 with three holds & three blown saves. He struck out 52 batters, walked 45 in 77 innings pitched & posted a 4.19 ERA in 57 games. Dipoto was one of only four pitchers on the fourth place 1996 Mets staff to have a winning record. His .778 winning % was best on the entire team. 

Toms River Little League Champs: While with the Mets, his hometown in Toms River, won another Little League World Series. Dipoto remembers; "I came aboard in the late 70's after Tom's River won. Then, when I was with the Mets, they won again, and the Mets invited the team to Shea Stadium. I remember I dropped in front of the kids and said to them, 'You guys are my little league'. "I remember one of the kids looked at me, and said 'Where's Todd Hundley's locker?"

That November the Mets traded him to the Colorado Rockies for Armando Reynoso. 

Post Mets Career: Dipoto went on to be the Colorado Rockies closer for two seasons posting a 5-3 record with 16 saves in 1997 and then a 3-4 record with a career high 19 saves in 1998. That year he finished 51 games (8th best in the league).

In 1999 he lost his closer job to Dave Veres, who recorded 31 saves. Dipoto became the Rockies set up man, recording 15 holds with a 4.26 ERA. He pitched with the Rockies through the 2000 season ending his eight-year career.

Career Stats: Dipoto was 27-24 with 49 saves, 352 strikeouts 221 walks & a 4.05 ERA in 495 innings pitched in 390 games.

Retirement- Front Office Work: After his playing days, Jerry became a scout for the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox. He moved on to the Arizona Diamondbacks, becoming the Director of Scouting and Player Personnel under GM Josh Byrnes.

In 2010 he replaced Byrnes as the Arizona D-backs interim GM until Kevin Towers was named. A year later in October 2011, he got the job, as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, General Manager.

The Angels finished third in the first two full seasons with Dipoto as GM. In 2013 they fell below .500 for the first time in a decade. 

The Halos rebounded in 2014 winning the AL West but lost the ALDS to the AL Champion Kansas City Royals.

That year there was issues between Manager Mike Scioscia & his coaches with the way stats were being distributed by the front office & to the players. Dipoto resigned on July 1st 2015. He briefly worked with the Boston Red Sox for the remained of the season.

In September 0f 2015 Dipoto was hired as GM of the Seattle Mariners.

The Mariners finished 2nd (86-76) just missing the 2016 wild card. They then fell below .500 in 2017 but rebounded to 89-73 with a third-place finish in 2018.

In the off season Dipoto & the front office traded Robinson Cano & star closer Edwin Diaz to the New York Mets for Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, Gerson Bautista & prospects Justin Dunn & Jared Kelenic.

After a fifth-place finish, the Mariners rose to third in 2020. They then had two second place finishes making the playoffs in 2022. 

The won the ALWC series over Toronto then lost to the eventual World Champion Astros in the ALDS.

Family: Jerry & his wife Tamie have three children. 

Dipoto is also a thyroid cancer survivor battling the disease back in 1994.


Popular posts from this blog

Remembering Bobby Ojeda's Tragic Boating Accident (1993)

Remembering Vixen Founder / Guitarist; Jan Kuehnemund (1961-2013)

Fictional Mets Infielder Chico Escuela ( of SNL) Visits Mets Spring Training (1979)

Remembering Mets History: (1977) The Felix Millan / Ed Ott Brawl In Pittsburgh

The 1970's Oakland A's Ball Girls- (MLB's First)