Showing posts from May, 2022

Mike Difelice: Former Italian/American Mets Backup Catcher (2005-2007)

Michael William Difelice was born on May 28, 1969 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The six foot two catcher, is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, getting drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the eleventh round of the 1991 draft. He didn’t hit for power or average but was always a fine defensive catcher. He threw out over 45% of would be base runners from 1994-1996 earning a quick cup of coffee with the 1996 St. Louis Cardinals. MLB Career: In 1997 he saw action in 93 games, sharing time with Tom Lampkin, batting .238 with 4 HRs & a career high 30 RBIs. In 1998 he was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the expansion draft becoming an original Devil Ray. He would spend three and a half seasons with Tampa throwing out over 40% of base stealers twice.  photo by centerfieldmaz- Spring Training 2007 He batted a career high .307 in 1999 (179 at bats). That season he also hit a career high six HRs, & repeated that the following season. On July 31st, 2001, he

Ray Daviault: The First Canadian Born Mets Player & Original Met (1962)

Raymond Joseph Robert Daviault was born May 27, 1934 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The right handed pitcher had ties with all three National League New York baseball teams at one time or another in his career.  The six foot one, right hand pitcher was originally signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954.  He pitched in their organization for six seasons mostly at the A ball levels or lower.  At the time he arrived he only spoke French. In 1960 he went to the San Francisco Giants organization & pitched there for two seasons. In 1960, he was a best 13-5 with a 2.76 ERA, at AAA Rio Grande Valley.  Daviault was a ten game winner (10-9) in 1961 for Tacoma, in the AAA Pacific Coast League, before getting drafted by the New York Mets in the 1961 expansion draft. Original Met: Daviault was an original 1962 Met & became the first Canadian born player to don a Mets uniform. He became known as "Frenchy" due to his Quebec upbringing. He was remembered as a good natured guy wit

Remembering Joe Pignatano: The Longest Serving Coach in Mets History (1968-1981)

Joseph Benjamin Pignatano was born on August 4, 1929, in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up less than a mile from Coney Island, where the A ball Brooklyn Cyclones now play, on West 15th Street. As a boy on the streets of Brooklyn  all Piggy did was play was baseball. It was either was hard ball, stickball or softball. In 1948 he tried out for the Brooklyn Dodgers and was one of just two players who got selected. He was sent to Cairo, Illinois to play, then was given a check, released and sent home.  With no money in his pockets, he slept at a Chicago train station, until a cop felt sorry for him & put him up for the night at a local hotel. When he got home, his mother called the Dodgers wanting to know why her boy was tossed out on the street. No one had an answer & as a result he was given another chance. This time he played better at the tryout, was offered a contract & he signed a deal. He played minor league ball until 1951 when he went into the military, serving

Remembering Mets History (1998): The Mets Acquire Mike Piazza

Friday May 22nd, 1998: The ground work on this massive Mets deal, was laid a week earlier when the Los Angeles Dodgers traded Mike Piazza & Todd Ziele to the Florida Marlins in exchange for Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla, Charles Johnson & Jim Eisenreich. It is considered one of the worst deals in Dodger history. It all happened as the end result of contract disputes with L.A. & Piazza since he was to be a free agent at the end of the season. The Florida Marlins had won the World Series the previous year & wanted to cut salary. They would shed over $22 million on this trade alone. The Marlins had a big league fire sale, dumping all their big salaried players.  In acquiring  Mike Piazza, it would give them a big chip to trade for more top prospects.  After the 1997 Marlin Championship, The New York Mets acquired  Al Leiter, for pitching prospect A.J. Burnett. At this point in time, both teams GMs were on good terms, making it easier leading up to the Piazza deal.

Remembering Mets History (1998) The Mets Catching Problem Before the Arrival Of Mike Piazza

When the Bobby Valentine era began in late 1996, there were signs of good things to come. In Valentine's first full year at the helm, the Mets won 88 games, the most wins they had had in seven years. It was also the first time they went over .500 since 1990. In 1998 they won 88 games again, this time finishing second but still missing out on the wild card spot. There were a couple of more pieces Valentine & the Mets needed to complete their team to make a deep post season run. On May 22nd, 1998 Mike Piazza arrived & the Mets had their superstar player, a future Hall of Famer. In Piazza's first full season the Mets won 97 games & made the post season. Piazza hit 40 HRs & drove in 124 runs.  In 2000 he led the Mets to the NL Pennant.  But before the greatest hitting catcher of All Time arrived, the Mets were in turmoil at the catchers position. Todd Hundley had been the Mets All Star catcher & had the position locked up since 1992. By 1996, he had set

As The Mets Loose Max Scherzer to Injury- Lets Recap His 2022 Mets Season

April 8th, 2022: Max Scherzer made his Mets debut in the second game of the 2022 season, pitching against his former team the Washington Nationals in D.C. In his debut, Max went six innings, allowing three runs, a 4th inning two run HR to Josh Bell being the biggest hit he gave up on the day. Scherzer struck out six & walked one on the day, earning his first Mets victory. His next start came on April 13th , in Philadelphia. He was even better tonight, although he pitched just five innings, he struck out seven, allowing just one run, on five hits, while walking three. The Mets scored nine runs; Pete Alonso homered & drove in five runs on the night. Brandon Nimmo also homered as Scherzer went to 2-0. On Tuesday April 19th , Scherzer made his Citi Field debut. It came in the second game of a Tuesday double header against the San Francisco Giants. The Mets won the opener 5-4 on a Francisco Lindor walk off base hit. In the nightcap, Scherzer delighted the Mets fans, as he struck ou