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Showing posts from February, 2020

Michael Conforto's Olympic Gold Medal Winning Mom: Tracie Ruiz Conforto

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Tracie Lehuanani Ruiz Conforto was born February 4th 1963 in Honolulu, Hawaii. She started swimming from the start & soon became a champion. She won the 1979 Team Gold championship at the Pan American Games. Then went on to solo & duet golds at the 1983 Pan American Games. She later won a 1987 Gold there as well. In 1982 she was a World Champion in solo competition and would win six more from 1981-1986. She also won four titles in duet competition, dominating the sport. In 1984 at the Summer Olympics held in the United States, at Los Angeles, Tracie was a two time gold medal winner in synchronized swimming, a new addition to Summer Olympics that year. She won the medals in both solo competition & in a duet with Candie Costie. After a brief stint in body building she returned to swimming in the 1988 Olympics, only competing in solo competition, winning a Silver Medal for the US. In 1985 she married Michael Anthony Conforto, who had helped her t

Tony DeFrancesco: 2020 Mets First Base Coach

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Anthony John DeFrancesco was born April 24th 1963 in Suffern, New York. The Italian American Rockland, County native, attended Seton Hall University & was a ninth round pick of the Boston Red Sox in 1984.  DeFrancesco would play minor league ball for the  Red Sox & Cincinnati Reds from 1984 - 1992. He was a lifetime .232 hitter with 17 HRs & 167 RBIs in 567 career minor league games. Primarily a catcher who played briefly in the outfield, at third & first base. He retired from playing in 1992 & by 1994 was a minor league manager, winning the Sporting News Minor League Manager of the Year Award in 2003 with the Sacramento River Cats, in the Pacific Coast League. DeFrancesco spent one season as the Oakland A's third base coach (2008) before returning to Sacramento. In  2012 he got his only shot at MLB managerial experience, he headed the Houston Astros for 41 games replacing Brad Mills. His first win came against the New York Mets on April 24th. His re

Dan Norman: One of The Players the Mets Got In the Tom Seaver Trade (1977-1981)

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Daniel Edmund Norman was born on January 11, 1955 in Los Angeles, California. The six foot two switch hitting outfielder was drafted in the 15th round of the 1974 amateur draft by the Cincinnati Reds. He played through the Reds system next to outfielder Steve Henderson s getting promoted together through the minor leagues. In 1976 he hit 17 HRs batting .273 at AA Trois-Rivieres getting promoted to AAA Indianapolis the following year. On June 15, 1977 he was traded along with his pal, Steve Henderson as well as Doug Flynn & Pat Zachary to the Mets for Tom Seaver in the famous “Midnight Massacre” trade.  According to former WFAN Radio talk show host, Jody Macdonald; he thought Norman was going to be a star player. He told his dad, Joe MacDonald who was the Mets GM at the time to make sure he got Norman in the trade. Coming to New York Henderson got promoted right away to the Mets team while Norman was sent down to AAA Tidewater. There he batted .264 with 10 HRs & a .344

Anthony Recker: Former Mets Backup Catcher (2013-2015)

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Anthony Vito Recker was born on August 29th in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The six foot tow catcher attended Alvernia College in Reading, Pa. He was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 18th round of the 2005 amateur draft. Recker played in the minors for seven years before getting an MLB call up & actually considered retirement from the game. He & a friend made a pact they would join the FBI if Recker's career did'nt go anywhere back in the late 2000's. He did show some power in his minor league career hitting 15 plus HRs in both 2007 & 2009. His best year came in 2011 hitting .288 with 16 HRs & 48 RBIs, finally getting called up to the big leagues.. Recker debuted with the Oakland A's on August 25th in New York in a 22-9 debacle in which he caught the entire four & a half hour loss. He played in five games the rest of the season hitting .176. In 2012 he began the year with Oakland in hopes of making it as backup catcher, but he hit

Former Italian / American Hall of Fame Player: Ron Santo (1960-1974)

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Ronald Edward Santo was born on February 25th, 1940 in Seattle, Washington. The six foot right hand hitting third baseman, was signed by the Chicago Cubs in 1959 as an amateur free agent.   He played two pro seasons in the minors, before making the Cubs big league club during the 1960  season. By 1961 he was a regular, securing a spot as the Cubs third baseman for next thirteen seasons.  In that time he made nine All Star appearances & received voted for the league MVP six times. He would hit 20 or more HRs eleven times, including four straight seasons of 30 plus (1965-1967). He finished in the leagues top ten in that category seven times. He would drive in 90 runs or better eight straight seasons, with four 100 plus RBI seasons. He was second in the NL in RBIs three times (1964, 1968-1969) but never led the league. Santo did lead the league in walks four times, including three straight seasons from 1966-1968. He also led the league in sac flies & times on base three

Remembering Mets History: (1960's) The Shea Usherettes, Diamond Club Hostesses & Players Wives

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Back in 1964 when Shea Stadium opened during the midst of the New York's World Fair, it was a grand place.  It was a major tourist attraction & one of the biggest most beautiful ball parks in all of baseball. One of its most interesting & good looking attractions, were the Shea Stadium Usherettes & hostesses. An usherette is defined as a female hostess who greets & escorts a paying customer to their seat at a stadium or concert hall. The Shea Stadium Usherettes dressed like the airline stewardesses of the mid sixties, in seersucker suits, with knee high skirts, sexy but yet very professional looking.  Some of the designs captured a 1900th Century look. Some designs displayed bright blazers, striped jackets, derby hats,  Some wore the solid Mets color jackets & skirts with the Mets logo on their left breast. Others wore a blue & orange pinstripe style with bow ties. Both uniforms were usually accompanied by a hat. The Shea Stadium, Diamond Cl

The Sad Story of Jenrry Mejia (2010-2015)

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Jenrry Manuel Mejia was born on October 11th, 1989 in Tabara Arriba, Dominican Republic. At first he worked as a shoe shine boy, near the Santa Domingo air port, starting at age 11. He did not start playing baseball until he was 15 years old, realizing he could make a lot of money doing it. The six foot, right hander was signed by the New York Mets in 2007. In 2008 he went 2-0 with the Gulf Coast Mets pitching the league's only complete games shut out. He was promoted to A ball Brooklyn Cyclones where he went 3-2 holding the NY /Penn. League hitter to a .209 average against him (4th lowest in the league). In 2009 he went to St. Lucie & was an impressive 4-1 with a 1.97 ERA. He was promoted to the AA Binghamton Mets, where he was the youngest player at that level. He struggled going 0-5, then missed time with a strain in his finger. He was named to the Futures Game but missed out due to the injury. In 2010 he had a fine Spring Training & made the Mets bullpen rost