Ty Wigginton: The Last Mets Third Baseman Before the David Wright Era (2002 - 2004)

Ty Allen Wigginton was born on October 11, 1977, in San Diego, California. The stocky six-foot, 230-pound right hand hitting infielder attended UNC Ashville College where he still holds many hitting records. He became the first alumni to make the major leagues when he was drafted by the New York Mets in 1998 in the 17th round.

Wiggy hit over 20 HRs with 70 plus RBIs at A ball St. Lucie in 1999 & then did the same at AA Binghamton in 2000.

Mets Career: In 2002 he was brought up to the Mets in May, making his debut on May 16th striking out as a pinch hitter.  

He appeared in just six games as pinch hitter & pinch runner that May. On May 29th he collected his first career hit, a pinch-hit single off Randy Wolf in a 4-3 win over the Phillies.

He then was sent back down to AAA Norfolk where he batted .300, although he only had six HRs. Wigginton returned to the Mets in August. On August 4th, in his first game back, he had four hits & hit his first career HR, a three-run shot off John Patterson in a win over Arizona at Shea. On August 16th he hit another HR in a loss to the Dodgers.

He hit HRs in back-to-back games with the Marlins to start off September. On September 8th, he had a 1st inning two run double then added his fifth HR of the year in the 6th inning in an 11-3 Mets win at Philadelphia. Wigginton even raised his average up over .300 in his hot start.

He showed some promise hitting .302 with 6 HRs 8 doubles 18 RBIs 8 walks a .354 on base % & an .889 OPS in only 46 games (116 at bats).

2003: Wigginton became the Mets primary third baseman for Art Howe's fifth place Mets in 2003. On April 8th he hit his first HR of the year, driving in three runs leading the Mets to a 4-1 victory in Florida. 

Two days later he homered again in a loss to the Marlins. On April 25th, Wigginton singled off the Diamondbacks Miquel Batista putting New York ahead in a game they would win 4-2.

On May 2nd, he had his first four hit game, as e doubled twice & drove in two runs in a 9-3 win at Milwaukee. In mid-May he had back-to-back multi-RBI games in a series in Colorado, driving in three runs both games.  

On June 5th he hit HRs in both ends of a double header against the Brewers at Shea Stadium. He drove in three runs in each game, totaling six overall in the twin bill, although the Mets lost both games. 

On June 12th, he had another four-hit game. He doubled twice & drove in three runs in the Mets 11-0 in Arlington.

Mets One Hitter: On June 17th he hit his 5th HR of the year, it was one of four Mets runs in a combined Mets one hitter by Jae Seo, David Weathers & Armando Benitez.

In the middle of the month, he drove in runs in four of six games, while on a six-game hit streak. That month he had his best month batting .289 with 4 HRs & 17 RBIs.

On July 6th he doubled off the Reds Scott Williamson in the top of the 8th inning, tying up the game at 5-5. The Mets went on to a 7-5 victory.

From August 13th to August 21st, he had four multi-RBI games, all coming in Mets wins. On August 21st he hit a three run HR off the Padres Oliver Perez in San Diego, leading the Mets to a 5-1 win. The next day he hit another HR in Los Angeles off Hideo Nomo.  Overall that August he drove in 15 runs before slumping to finish off the season in September.

Trivia- Jiggy: Over the course of the summer, the fans adopted the song “Getting’ jiggy with It" changing the words to "Getting Wiggy with it” in his honor. 

That season Wigginton made the Topps Rookie team & came in eighth, one spot behind teammate Jose Reyes in the Rookie of the Year voting. Wigginton led the team in games played (156) RBIs (71) hits (146) doubles (36) triples (6) runs (73) & slugging percentage (.396). He also led the team in strikeouts (124). He hit 11 HR and batted .255.

 At third base he led the league in put outs with 117, posting a .962 fielding % making 16 errors (5th in the NL).

2004: On Opening Day he walked with the bases loaded off Russ Ortiz in the Mets 7-2 win in Atlanta. On April 8th he had a three-hit four RBI Day, with a two run HR off the Braves John Thompson in a 10-8 Mets loss. 

On May 9th he tied up the game with the Brewers with an 8th inning two run single off Dave Burba. The Mets won it in the extra innings on Kaz Matsui's ground rule walk off double.

On May 22nd, his two-run bottom of the 9th inning HR off Vladimir Nunez proved to be the game winner over the Rockies. At the end of the month, he homered in back-to-back games with the Marlins, both Mets losses.

On the Fourth of July he had one of his biggest days as a Met, hitting a pair of HRs driving in three runs, in the Mets 6-5 Subway series win. On July 15th his 9th inning single off Roberto Hernandez drove in the winning run as the Mets beat the Phillies at Shea Stadium. 

David Wright Era Begins: On July 21st the highly touted Mets prospect David Wright was brought up & would take over as the team's third baseman for the next 12 years, setting many of the club's all-time records. Wiggy’s days were numbered. On July 31st, after 86 games played, he was batting .284 with 12 HRs 23 doubles & 42 RBIs, when he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jeff Kepplinger, as well as the team of Kris & Anna Benson.

Mets Career Stats: In three seasons with the Mets Wiggy played in 288 games. He batted .270 with 270 hits 67 doubles 8 triples 29 HRs 131 RBIs a .27 on base % & a .767 OPS. He played 235 games at third base for the Mets - tenth most all time.

Post Mets Career: Wigginton didn’t play much in Pittsburgh hitting .220 the rest of the year playing in 58 games. The next season he hit .258 with 7 HRs & 25 RBIs in 57 games. He played behind Freddy Sanchez who batted .291.  

He was released in December 2005 & signed with the Tampa Devil Rays for 2006. There rebounded to rejuvenate his career, hitting 24 HRs with 25 doubles & 79 RBIs while batting .279 playing in 122 games.

In July 2007 he was traded to the Houston Astros mid-season for Dan Wheeler. He finished that season with 22 HRs 33 doubles & 67 RBIs batting .278 although he struck out 113 times. In his only full season with the Astros (2008) he batted .285 a career best as a full-time player. He hit 23 HRs with 22 doubles & 58 RBIs. He was popular in Houston & the fans were upset when the team let him go to free agency.

In 2009 he signed as a free agent with the Baltimore Orioles, there he batted .273 with 11 HRs 19 doubles & 41 RBIs in 122 games. That season he missed some time on the DL battling injuries.

In 2010 he hit 22 HRs with 73 RBIs, but his batting average dropped 25 points to .248, while playing in 154 games. 

2010 All Star: That year he made his first & only All-Star team. He did not get an at bat in the game coming in for defense in the 7th inning. The NL won the game 3-1 in Anaheim, California.

The slow footed Wiggy grounded into 23 double plays on the year (4th in the AL).

That December, he signed with the Colorado Rockies. On April 11th he got his 1000th career hit, a HR off the San Francisco Giants Matt Cain. It was also his first Rockies HR. That year he hit 15 HRs with 47 RBIs batting .242. 

In November 2011, his contract was purchased by the Philadelphia Phillies. That season he got a lot of playing time as Ryan Howard went down with injury for most of the early part of the season. Wiggy also got to play at third base & some games in the outfield. He saw action in 125 games batting .235 with 11 HRs & 43 RBIs for the third place Phils.

In 2013 he signed on as a free agent with the St. Louis Cardinals but only hit .158 & was released in July. The Miami Marlins also gave him a minor league deal for 2014 but he was released that March ending his career.

In his 12-year career Wigginton played for eight teams. The journeyman batted .261 with 1170 hits 169 HRs 245 doubles 14 triples & 594 RBIs.

He walked 371 times posting a .323 on base % & a .758 OPS. In his career he struck out over 100 times in a season three times, totaling 891 K's while playing in 1362 games.

Retirement: In 2015 he became a high school baseball coach in North Carolina. He was named the 2022 R&L County Coach of the Year.

Family: In December his wife Angela, went into unexpected labor while on the phone with the 911 operator. Ty helped deliver his son Cannon. 

Ty & Angela have three children, two sons & one daughter. 


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