Showing posts from October, 2023

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, i n his first game  back, he had four hits & hit his first career HR, a three-run s

Mark Johnson: 2000 NL Champion Mets Utility Player (2000-2002)

Mark Patrick Johnson  was born on October 18, 1967, in Worcester, Massachusetts.  Dartmouth QB: The big six-foot  230 pounder attended Dartmouth University playing football there as the team's quarterback. He set many school passing records there (later broken by Jay Fielder) in the two years he was their starting QB. Johnson was also a gifted baseball player & switched to full time baseball by his junior year. getting drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1990. His minor league career didn’t take off until 1994 when he hit 23 HRs with 85 RBIs at AA Carolina. Johnson joined the Pirates big league team in 1995 batting just .208 in 79 games, but in 221 at bats he did hit 13 HRs. In 1996 he became the Pirates main first baseman playing in 127 games; he hit 13 HRs again but this time had 343 at bats. He hit 24 doubles driving in 47 runs posting a .345 on base % batting .274. Over the next two seasons he only appeared in ten games at the major league level. He was placed on wa

Randy Tate: Mid Seventies Mets Pitcher (1975)

Randall Lee Tate was born October 23, 1952, in Florence, Alabama. He was a star athlete in his hometown high school, later attending Calhoun Community College in Decatur, Georgia. The tall six-foot three right hander was drafted by the New York Mets in the fifth round of the 1972 draft. His first season with the Marion Mets was tough, as the 19-year-old went 0-9 having control issues which plagued his career. In 1973 at A ball Pompano Beach he went 4-10, then in 1974 was 9-11 between A ball & AA.  Teammate Mike Bruhert taught him how to throw his fast ball differently & things got better for him. Tate even through a seven inning no hitter at AA that season. He was promoted to AAA Tidewater &did well enough to join the Mets on a 1974 winter tour of Japan. During that series he impressed Manager Yogi Berra so much, he was added to the Mets 1975 pitching staff.  Tate  was expected to do a lot for the Mets and was thrown into the 1975 starting rotation as an inexperienced ro

Remembering Frank Howard "The Capitol Punisher": Former Mets Coach (1982-1983 /1994-1996) & Manager (1983)

Frank Oliver Howard was born on August 8, 1936, in Columbus Ohio. His father was also a large man who worked as a railroad machinist & his mom, a homemaker. He was the third of six family children. Howard worked as a laborer at age 14, where the big kid handled a jack hammer. Howard attended Ohio State University playing both baseball & basketball. He was drafted by the NBA Philadelphia Warriors but chose to play baseball instead. He was signed by the Dodgers in 1958 who had just relocated to Los Angeles.  Trivia: He earned the nickname “Hondo” after John Wayne's character in the film of the same name.  The six-foot seven inch tall, 255-pound Howard would become one of the biggest players of his era. Howard was an intimidating presence at the plate & his long HRs had him being compared to Babe Ruth. MLB Career: Howard tore up the minors winning an MVP Award earning him an MLB cup of coffee with the Dodgers in 1958. In his second at bat he homered off Robin Roberts

Steve Trachsel: 2006 N.L. Eastern Champion Mets Pitcher (2001 - 2006)

Steven Christopher Trachsel was born on Halloween 1970, in Oxnard California. His parents were Betty & Roy Trachsel, a banker. Steve was the oldest of three children, which included a brother & sister. He first attended Fullerton College then transferred to Long Beach State University, getting to the College World Series there.  In his college days he had issues learning to deal with his emotions while on the mound. The six foot three, right hander was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the eighth round of the 1991 draft.  In 1992 he pitched at AA Charlotte getting promoted to AAA Iowa where he went 13-6 in 1993. As he was getting ready to pitch Game seven of the championship he was called up to the big leagues. MLB Career: He got a September call up four days after his AAA team won the Championship. He got the September 19th start against the Marlins, where he gave up just two runs in seven innings of solid work but took a 2-1 loss to Chris Hammond. In three appearances he we