"Super" Joe McEwing: 2000 NL Champion Mets Utility Player (2000 - 2004)


Joseph Earl McEwing
was born October 17, 1972 in Bristol, Pennsylvania. Joe attended high school in Fairless Hills, Pa. in Bucks County.

He went to college in Randolph, New Jersey at County College of Morris.

The five-foot ten right hand hitter was drafted out of college, down in the 28th round of the 1992 draft, by the St. Louis Cardinals. It took him seven years in minor leagues before he got his chance in the big leagues.

 In 1998 he was still at AA Arkansas where he hit .354 & then got promoted up to AAA Memphis where he hit .334. He combined for 15 HRs & 92 RBIs that season.

MLB Career: In 1999 he made the St. Louis team after a strong Spring Training. He would play in 152 games as Tony Larussa’s all around guy, playing 96 games at second base & 66 games in the outfield. He came in fifth in the Rookie of the Year voting. McEwing hit a solid .275 with 9 HRs, 28 doubles, four triples & 44 RBIs.

Trivia: In Busch Stadium he was honored with "Little Mac Land" in a play on words to "Big Mac
Land" a section in the left field upper deck dedicated to Mark McGwire.


At the end of Spring Training in 2000 he was sent to the New York Mets for 47-year-old Jesse Orosco who was in camp trying out for a Mets roster spot.

Mets Career: In New York he became known as “Super Joe” to the fans & his team mates. Super Joe soon became a fan favorite, another Met folk hero & very popular around Shea Stadium.

Manager Bobby Valentine used him in the outfield (52 games), third base (19 games) second base (16 games) & at short (4 games). He was also used a pinch runner & pinch hitter.

 McEwing debuted on May 13th batting leadoff in a home game loss to the Marlins. He got his first Mets hit that day as well, a double. 

The next day he drove in a run with a double off Brad Penny. He later scored in the inning on Mike Piazza's grand slam HR in a 5-1 Met win.

On May 21st he hit one of his two HRs of the year, leading a Mets 7th inning comeback rally against the Arizona Diamond Backs. The Mets tied the game that inning & won it on Derek Bell's walk off base hit.

On July 17th, he hit his second HR, a two run HR off Pasqual Coco during a Mets series sweep in Toronto. He later drove in another run in the game on a fielder's choice. 

The next night he was credited with an RBI scoring Todd Zeile on a fielder's choice. Mike Piazza hit a grand slam in this game as well- (centerfieldmaz was in Toronto that night @the game. & met Piazza personally!)

On July 19th he helped the Mets come from behind with an 8th inning pinch hit base hit driving
in two runs, to put the Mets ahead in the 5-4 win. On that road that week he got a chance to play often & he made the best of it driving in runs in four straight games.

Trivia: McEwing was successful against pitcher Randy Johnson, earning him the moniker "the Little Unit".

In August he had two games against the Diamondbacks where he drove in two runs each time, both coming in Met wins. In September he played more of a defensive role, at the plate he was just 4-21 in 15 games.

Overall on the regular season hit .222 with two HRs but had 14 doubles & 19 RBIs in 87 games in the 2000 Mets N.L. pennant season.

2000 Post Season: In the post season he was primarily used as a pinch runner & defensive replacement. He was successful in those roles as he scored three runs.

2000 NLDS: In the NLDS Game #3 at Shea, he came in the game in the 12th inning to run for Mike Piazza. He remained in the game, singled in the bottom of the 12th inning, but the inning ended as Edgardo Alfonso was out at second base.

2000 NLCS:
In Game #1 of the NLCS he came in to run for Benny Agbayani in the 9th inning with New York up 4-0. He scored when Jay Payton hit a two run HR. 

In the Mets Game #2 win, McEwing came in to run for Robin Ventura in the 9th inning, with the score tied at 5-5. 

Jay Payton singled to centerfield, McEwing scored all the way from first on Jim Edmonds error in center. He was the winning run as the Mets went on to a 6-5 victory t go up two games to none.

2000 World Series:
In the World Series he appeared in three games, going 0-1 in Game #1 as a pinch hitter. 

In Game #3 at Shea Stadium, he came in to run for Benny Agbayani in the 8th inning, when Agbayani broke the 2-2 tie with a double off Orlando Hernandez. McEwing  scored the Mets fourth run on Bubba Trammell's sac fly. The Mets went on to the 4-2 win.

He made one more appearance in Game #4 as a pinch runner in the Mets 3-2 loss.

Quotes- Joe McEwing: "There's nothing like playing in NY. If you're the 24th or 25th guy, it's like being the second or third guy in other cities. I miss it every winter. I miss getting the paper in the morning, going for a sandwich & coffee & everyone in the deli congratulates you or asks you what happened the night before. There's always that buzz."

After the Pennant: In 2001 he had his best season hitting .283, posting a .342 on base percentage while leading the team in hits by pitches (10). He got into 116 games, hitting 8 HRs with 17 doubles, three triples 30 RBIs, 41 runs scored & stole eight bases.

On April 17th with the Mets down 5-3 in St. Louis, McEwing blasted a two-run top of the 9th inning HR off Steve Kline. The Mets would mount a 6-5 winning comeback.


On June 10th he hit his second HR & had a three RBI day in an interleague game at Tampa. 

Four days later he hit a HR off Andy Petite during the subway series & then drew a bases loaded walk off Ted Lilly two days later in an 8-7 Mets win.

On June 27th he led another comeback at Wrigley Field with a two run HR off Kerry Wood. He got himself over the .300 mark in July with a ten game streak, hitting safely in 15 of 18 games.

In an August series at Shea Stadium, against the Milwaukee Brewers he continued his hot hitting. He first drove in a pair of runs in a 3-0 win in the Opener. In the next game he hit a 7th inning HR breaking a 3-3 tie, with what turned out to be the winning run.

In the first game played after the 911 attacks, McEwing scored the first Mets run with a solo HR
off the Pirates: David Williams in Pittsburgh. In the 5th he doubled, driving in Jay Payton but was thrown out at third base, the Mets went on to a 7-5 win.


2002: Just like the fifth place Mets (75-86) struggled so did McEwing in 2002. He batted just .199 going 39-196. He hit 3 HRs with 8 doubles with 26 RBIs & scored 22 runs.

He got a chance to start in the third game of the season & hit a HR in the Mets 3-2 loss to the Pirates. Two days later in an 11-2 win at Atlanta he entered the game in the 7th inning & rove in a run with a double, going 2-3. 

On April 30th in Arizona, he hit a 3rd inning HR off Rick Helling with a runner on. Mike Piazza homered twice in this 10-1 Mets blow out. He had another multi-RBI game in San Diego on May 18th, while driving in runs in three straight games. After an RBI in May he drove in just one more run over the next three months. 

On August 27th, in Florida he had one his biggest days. In the top of the 1st, he hit a two-run single putting the Mets up 2-0. He added another hit & a sac fly in the 8th inning driving in the Mets 9th run in the 10-5 victory. He matched that season high three RBI's on September 13th in a Mets loss.

That was the last season he played for Bobby Valentine as the Mets let hm go after the season.

2003 He would play every infield & outfield position that season, posting a .995 fielding % while only making just one error. He played 55 games at second, 42 games at short, 5 in the outfield & one at first base for a Mets team that fell to fifth place at 66-95. 

At the plate he hit .241, walking 25 times posting a .309 on base%. In 119 games and 278 at bats
he only managed 12 extra base hits with 16 RBIs. 

That season his only HR came at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia which was in  it's last season before being demolished. Joe had grown up outside Philly & the Vet meant a lot to him, so the HR was a special one.

2004: This was his fifth and final season with the Mets. He saw action in just 75 games, batting .254. 

In early August he drove in five runs gathering up four hits in a series against the Brewers in Milwaukee. On August 3rd, he had a two-run single off Jeff Bennett, in the Mets big five run 6th inning. 

In the 8th he singled in another runoff Matt Wise, in the Mets 12-3 win. The next night he collected a triple & two run single in the Mets 6-5 win over the Brewers.

On August 12th, he singled off former Met David Weathers in the 7th inning, breaking a 1-1 tie at Shea Stadium. The run proved to be the game winner over the Houston Astros 2-1. 

Season Ending Injury: By August 19th his season was over as he went down with an injury. The
Rockies JD Closser slid into him at second base & he fractured his fibula. Later in the game Mets pitcher Braden Looper hit Closser in the leg with a pitch. McEwing appreciated his teammates pay back.

2005: During Spring Training the Mets released him. A young David Wright was particularly upset at the move, defending his friend.

Quotes David Wright: "It's like saying goodbye to a family member. If people saw me play & thought of Joe, I'd like him to be remembered in New York. I want his influence to mold my character so I can be like him".

Mets Career Stats: McEwing spent five years with the Mets playing in 502 games. He batted .243 with 255 hits 53 doubles 6 triples 15 HRs 131 runs scored 107 RBIs &  a 296 on base % with a .644 OPS.

Post Mets Career: By March 22nd he signed with the Kansas City Royals. There he played 83 games batting .239. 

At the end of Spring Training 2006, his contract was purchased by the Houston Astros. He played in just
seven games at the big-league level, spending 112 games at AAA where he hit .315 with ten HRs. He was signed by the Red Sox in 2007 & spent the year at AAA batting .268. He retired from playing in 2008 at age 35.

Career Stats: In a nine-year career, Super Joe was a lifetime .251 hitter, playing in 754 games, with 443 hits, 25 HRs 89 doubles 10 triples 33 stolen bases, 158 RBIs. & a .302 on base %.

Defensively, Super Joe played 256 games in the outfield, 238 at second base, 99 at short, 92 at third base, & 61 at first base.

Retirement: After his playing days he coached & managed in the Chicago White Sox organization.

In 2012 he became the White Sox, third base coach under former Mets teammate; Robin Ventura.

Super Joe was considered for the Mets managerial position after Terry Collins but did not get the position. He has said his ultimate goal is to manage in the major leagues.

From 2017-2020 he was the White Sox bench coach. From 2021-2022 he became the teams third base coach.

His coaching is very aggressive & likes to give runners a green light from third base. By the end of June 2022, thirteen white sox runners had been nailed at the plate. He still received support from his manager Tony LaRussa.

Also, that summer he got into a heated argument with Sox pitcher Lance Lynn. After the game they made light of it not giving the media anything more to dwell on.

Quotes- Lance Lynn: 'He kept on telling me fillet is better than rib eye. I'm more of a rib eye kind of guy & he's fillet & Ceasar salad. I just kept saying he was wrong & he went back to coaching third"

Quotes- Joe McEwing:
"First thing I'm a pescatarian, so I don't eat meat. I don't eat rib eye or fillet, I eat fish".

Family: Joe & his first wife Julia were married from 1999- 2013, they have three children together. He married his second wife Courtnie in October 2028, they live outside of the Philadelphia area.

Honors: Joe was inducted to the Irish Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013, along with former Met Rusty Staub.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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

Remembering Bobby Ojeda's Tragic Boating Accident (1993)

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

The Story of the New York Mets Logo

Legendary Mets Broadcaster Ralph Kiner- A Real Ladies Man Back In His Day