Nelson Figueroa: Former Mets Pitcher (2008 -2009) & SNY Analyst (2015 -2019)

Nelson Figueroa Jr. was born on May 18th, 1974, in Brooklyn, New York.

Famous High School Alumni: The six foot one, right hander went to Abraham Lincoln High School in Coney Island. The school has had some famous alumni including former Met Lee Mazzilli. Other notable names are Mel Brooks, Harvey Kietel, Lou Gossett Jr., John Forsythe, broadcaster Marv Albert, author Arthur Miller, singers Neil Sadaka & Neil Diamond, drummer Buddy Rich, & New York Knick Stephan Marbury.

Figueroa then attended Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts where he earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies while pitching on the baseball team. 

He was drafted by the hometown New York Mets in the 30th round of the 1995 draft, the 833rd pick overall.
 
Figueroa was 7-3 with the Kingsport Mets in the Rookie league in 1995, then 14-7 with a 2.04 ERA, at A ball with Capitol City in 1996. 

By 1998 he was traded off to the Arizona Diamondbacks along with Bernard Gilkey in exchange for Jorge Fabergas.

Figueroa pitched for the Arizona D-backs for three games in 2000. He then went to the Philadelphia Phillies (2001) going 4-5 with 3.94 ERA in 19 games. Next it was the Milwaukee Brewers (2002) where he was 1-7 with a 5.03 ERA. He then moved on to Pittsburgh (2004) going 0-3 in 10 games. 

In those four years he had 56 at bats with ten hits & six RBIs.

911: The tragedies of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, affected the New Yorke native Figueroa, who is also an artist. He helped design patriotic t-shirts sold for charity by MLB.

Figueroa eventually underwent surgery for a torn rotators cuff, then spent three seasons in the minor leagues. He would also pitch briefly in China & for Puerto Rico in three World Baseball Classics.

Mets Career: Nelson got back to the big leagues in 2008, getting signed by the New York Mets. He was a long shot to make the team, but a solid Spring got him a spot on the staff going North.

On April 2nd, he made his Mets debut, pitching a scoreless 7th inning in Florida in a 13-0 romp over the Marlins. He also appeared in two games in relief in the first week of the season.

On April 11th, he was called to help out an ailing staff making a start against the Milwaukee Brewers. His family was on hand at Shea Stadium watching from Billy Wagner’s private box as he went six innings allowing only two hits, and striking out six while earning the win.

On April 27th, he earned his second victory, coming against the Atlanta Braves, as he pitched 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, with three strike outs.

Over two appearances in May, he allowed nine earned runs over ten innings, taking losses both times. He was then designated for assignment on May 13th. 

In September he returned to the Mets bullpen, earning a relief win on September 1st. He finished the year at 3-3 with a 4.57 ERA appearing in 16 games.

2009: He signed a minor league contract with the Mets, then was called up to make an April 19th start against the Brewers. He pitched six innings & took a 4-2 loss. He was sent back down then recalled in August.

On
August 1st, he was shelled for six runs & ten hits by Arizona, to earn his second loss. Four days later he relieved Jonathan Neise in the 2nd inning, in a game against the Cardinals. He held them scoreless, thru the 6th inning, to earn the victory.

On August 31st, Figueroa beat the Cubs at Wrigley Field, allowing just one run & striking out a career high ten batters, in seven innings of work. But after that he suffered five straight losing decisions thru September. B

On the last day of the season, he pitched the best game of his career in what turned out to be his final Mets outing. At Citi Field, Nelson threw a four-hit shutout over the Houston Astros in front of 38,000 fans. He struck out seven & walked no one. 

He finished the year at 3-8 with a 4.09 ERA, 59 strike outs in 70 innings in 16 games pitched.

Post Mets Career: In 2010 he was placed on waivers then picked up by the Philadelphia Phillies where he made 13 appearances going 2-1 with a 3.46 ERA. 

He was placed on waivers again & picked up by the Houston Astros, He went 5-3 in Houston, earning a career high seven wins (7-4) over the course of the season.

In 2011 he began the year with the Astros staff going 0-3 in eight games. He was sent down to AAA Oklahoma in early May & released in August. He would bounce around to five different organizations, before retiring in 2012 at age 37.

Career Stats: In his career he went 20-35 with a 4.55 ERA, 337 strike outs & 203 walks in 499 innings pitched in 145 games.

Retirement & SNY Analyst: In 2015 Figueroa replaced the popular  (1986 World Champion Mets pitcher) Bobby Ojeda on the SNY network as an studio analyst.

One of the first greetings he got was big boo from comedian Jerry Seinfeld, who was a big supporter of Ojeda. Shortly afterward Seinfeld told Nellie that he was on his side too. With big shoes he had to fill, Nellie did a fine job at SNY and eventually became popular with the Mets fans.

He contributed to the SNY programs, Mets Hot Stove, Daily News Live, Loud Mouths & SNY tv. 

In December of 2015 he received a hip replacement. After four years in the studio, he was replaced by (2000 NL Champion Met) Todd Zeile in 2019.

Coach: In March of 2022, it was announced he would coach the Atlantic Professional League's new Staten Island FerryHawks baseball team. Thier manager would be former Met, Edgardo Alfonzo.

Family: Nelson, his wife Alisa both graduated from Brandeis University. They have a daughter, Rene& lived in Jersey City, NJ during the seasons, Nelson worked for the Mets. They also reside in San Diego & Arizona during the off seasons.

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