Randy Niemann: The Forgotten 1986 World Champion Mets Pitcher (1985 - 1986) Mets Coach (2009 - 2010)

Randall Harold Niemann was born November 15, 1955, in Scotia, California to Randall &Maxxine Niemann. Randy has two sisters.

The big six foot four, two-hundred-pound left hander, was drafted by the Expos then the Twins, but did not sign. In 1975 Randy did sign as the second-round pick of the AL New York club.

In 1977 he was traded to the Houston Astros for Cliff Johnson & Dave Bergman. In 1978 at AA Columbus, he posted a 2.05 ERA going 9-5 record for the Astros minor league team.

MLB Career: Niemann began 1979 at AAA Charleston but was called up in that May when pitcher Vern Ruhle went on the DL. He debuted on May 20th starting against the San Diego Padres. He pitched seven innings allowing just two runs but earned no decision in the 6-3 win. 

In his next start he threw a complete game, one run victory over Paul Moskau & the Cincinnati Reds. On June 4th, in his third start he shut out the NL Eastern Champion Phillies on six hits. Phillie manager said "How long can we lose to Rany Niemann. Our AA Readding farm club could beat him"

Later in the season after tossing his third shut out, he made a response referring to Ozark's comment- "Not bad for a double-A pitcher".

Overall Niemann appeared in 26 games, tossing three complete games, in only seven starts going 3-2 with a 3.76 ERA. In 1980 after the Astros acquired Nolan Ryan, Randy he became a middle reliever, seeing action in 22 games going 0-1 for the NL West Champion Astros. He did not pitch in the NLCS loss to Pittsburgh.

The next year he was injured his arm on different occasions while pitching in the minors & did not see any MLB action. He was also sent to the Pittsburgh Pirates as a player to be named later in the Phil Garner deal.

In 1983 after just eight games with the Pirates, his ERA ballooned to 9.22 ERA. He was sent back down to the minors, then that September he was traded to the Chicago White Sox for Miguel Dilone. 

In Chicago Randy pitched only five games at the MLB level. In March of 1985 he was traded to the New York Mets for minor leaguers Ken Reed & Gene Autrey.

Mets Career: At AAA Tidewater, Niemann was 11-6 with a 2.76 ERA getting a September call up to the Mets. On September 17th, he debuted for the Mets pitching two innings of relief in a 5-1 loss to the Phillies. 

He made four appearances that month, allowing no runs in five innings of work. 

1986 Championship Season:  In 1986, Niemann pitched in the third game of the season, coming in for the 12th inning of a tie game at Philadelphia. In the bottom of the 14th inning, he allowed two runs including the game winning hit to Steve Jeltz.

Two days later Niemann was charged with two runs in the top of the 13th inning against the St. Louis Cardinals, taking his second loss. 

From there on he would pitch 13.1 scoreless innings over his next 12 appearances. On May 18th, he pitched three innings of relief in Los Angeles earning the victory as the Mets beat the Dodgers 8-4. It was his first personal win in four years.

As the season went on, he pitched less as the very talented Mets starting staff gave little room for relivers. In Juny he was sent back down to AAA Tidewater.

On August 17th, he returned to the Mets & got a start against the Cardinals in the first of a Shea Stadium double header. He allowed just one run over six innings, earning his second win of the year in the 9-2 Mets romp. Thru the rest of the season, he earned three holds in eight more appearances.

Overall, he appeared in 31 games for the 1986 Mets, getting credit for six holds. Randy was 2-3 with a 3.76 ERA allowing 44 hits with 12 walks, while striking out 18 batters in 35 innings.

1986 Post Season: Niemann did pitch in the post season. In the book “The Bad Guys Won”, Randy is credited for dousing Mets GM Frank Cashen with champagne in the clubhouse after the victory clinching the pennant in Houston

Quotes- Mets GM Frank Cashen: "Those who contribute the least spray the most champagne".

Niemann also commented about the rowdy flight back to New York after the Mets won the pennant, following the intense NLCS Game #6 win in Houston.

Quotes- Randy Niemann: "It wasn't just guys destroying a plane. It was guys destroying a plane after an emotional roller coaster. There's a difference." 

After the Championship: Randy was let go to free agency & signed with the Minnesota Twins. In 1987 he spent most of the year at AAA Portland, pitching just six games with the Twins at the MLB level that June. 

Niemann ended his playing career soon after, at the age of 33, 

In eight seasons he was 7-8 with three saves, posting a 4.64 ERA with 102 strike outs & 82 walks in 200 innings pitched in 122 appearances.

Retirement & Coaching Career: In 1989 Niemann began coaching in the Mets organization. He began with Kingsport in the Rookie League, then moved on to Pittsfield in the NY/Penn. League. 

Mets Coach: In 1996 he was selected as bullpen coach under manager Bobby Valentine. That June, after an eight-game losing streak, he was one of the coaches fired by Mets GM Steve Phillips without the consent of Valentine. Phillips knew he couldn't fire the popular Bobby V because the fans would go crazy & want his head. Instead, Phillips fired the members of Bobby V's coaching staff. 

After the controversial firing, Neimann went from Mets minor league pitching instructor to a Mets rehab pitching coordinator thru 2011.

Niemann was the Mets AAA Norfolk Tides pitching coach from 2005-2008. In 2009 he replaced veteran, Guy Conti as Mets bull pen coach in a second go-round in that role.  In 2010 he remained in that role under manager Jerry Manuel.

Drama with K-Rod: In May, during a subway series game at Citi Field, he got into a heated argument with troubled Mets closer Francisco Rodriquez. The incident happened in view of the fans in between innings while in the bullpen. 

Afterwards, Niemann played down the incident claiming responsibility, although Rodriquez seemed to have been upset at the way he was being used by Manuel. Rodriquez soon made his own grave, when he was arrested for domestic abuse & was traded. 

Post Mets Career: After the 2011 season he cut ties with the Mets organization, ending a 24-year relationship.

In 2012 he was named the Boston Red Sox pitching coach under his friend, manager Bobby Valentine. In 2013 he was not retained under John Farrell's Red Sox tenure. 

In 2015 Niemann moved on to the St. Louis Cardinals organization, where he would coach the A ball Pal Beach team (2015-2017). 

In 2015 he won the GeorgeKissell Award for excellence in Player development. In 2018 he was promoted to their minor league pitching coordinator.

Honors: In 2016 he was on hand for the 30th Anniversary of the 1986 Championship team.

Family: In 1976 Randy married his first wife Joy (Simmons) together they had two sons & a daughter.


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