#FlashbackFriday: The Time a Met was traded for himself

So I never knew of this story but once I randomly stumbled upon it, I decided to do some more looking into it. In 1962, Cleveland and the Mets struck up a deal that would send the right handed catcher Harry Chiti over to New York.

At the time of the trade, the Mets sent over cash to cover Chiti’s contract. The catcher would appear in 15 games for the Metropolitans and in 41 at-bats, he would own a .195/.233/.220/.452 slash line. He hit just one double with 0 home runs or RBI’s that year, which would also end up being his final year of Baseball.

While I’m not sure if this was literally just a rental for 15 games or the Mets just said “we’re not doing this anymore”, the Mets would end up sending Chiti back to Cleveland however would never make a Major League appearance with the club.

Try to keep in mind that 1962 was the inaugural season for the New York Mets, so I’m sure the team was trying their hand at a ton of players just to keep their head afloat. Of course they lost like a million games, but you know what I mean.

Chiti never had any kind of claim to fame on the diamond but he will forever be known as the first Major League Baseball player to be traded for himself.

Photo: Historic Images Outlet

#FlashbackFriday Mets Edition: Happy Harper Day!

Originally composed on December 6, 2018.

By Thomas Hannon

Brodie Van Wagenen has already made quite a splash in grabbing two all-stars and trading away players who many fans believe were past their prime.  While I personally do not think that Cano is the answer and acquiring Diaz is the bigger piece of the puzzle in regards to our long term needs. Mentioning long-term needs, Bryce Harper needs to play in Flushing, Queens. The reasoning for this is simple, we have great pitching, young talent and we only have to pay while not having to trade off any top tier prospects for him. 

Many people are suggesting that Harper will probably look for a contract at around $300 million over ten years. While last year he seemed to stumble, his stats show that it may have just been a fluke and a bounce back year is in 2019 is more than likely. He’s 26 years old and entering the prime of his career while already being a multiple time all star.

During his career, Harper has a slash line of .279/ .388/ .512/ .900. in the spacious park in Washington D.C.

Those are the stats posted on MLB.com and he has done this playing in a pitchers park 81 games a season. Harper, a young and very established feared hitter, is the piece of the puzzle the Mets need to go out and pay top dollar for. 

Yes, $30 million per season is a lot of money and yet the upside could be incredible. Imagine Harper and Cespedes in the same line up as Conforto and Nimmo. Harper has also said that he is open to moving to first base if it will help the team that he signs with. 

Lets just dream for a moment and think of this as the top of the line-up. 

  1. Nimmo
  2. Cano
  3. Frazier
  4. Harper
  5. Cespedes

And then fill in the rest for now. This would be an amazing top 5 lineup for any team so why not our beloved Mets? Lets see how far BVW is willing to go, and the catcher he decides to go with. Yes fellow Mets fans, I have hopes and dreams.

#FlashbackFriday Mets Edition: Mets trade for Piazza

On May 22nd, 1998, the Mets made a surprising acquisition when they got together with the Florida Marlins and pulled off a trade for All-Star catcher Mike Piazza. The Mets traded off outfielder Preston Wilson, pitcher Geoff Geotz, and pitcher Ed Yarnall for one of the most elite catchers in Major League Baseball history.

The Marlins had just acquired Piazza from the Dodgers, 7 days prior to the deal with the Mets. When Piazza was asked about the trades he had this to say “I have gone from a player who thought he would spend his whole career with one organization to a player who’s been with three organizations in a week.”

“I just want to be in one place for more than a week and settle down” Piazza told reporters. “I’ll be with three teams in a week. Isn’t that bizarre? It’s like rotisserie baseball”

“I’m very excited to be with the Mets and playing in New York City.”, Piazza said. I’m enthusiastic about helping the Mets get into the playoffs anyway I can”

Steve Phillips had this to say, “Certainly, we are ecstatic… He will instantly give credibility to the lineup and he will instantly give credibility to Mets fans that the organization is committed to making the playoffs and advancing toward the World Series.”

OTD in Mets History: Franco heads for Houston

Born on this date:

• Bob Moorhead (1938)

• Charlie Greene (1971)

• Robert Carson (1989)

Died on this date:

• Ed Bouchee (2013)

Transactions:

New York Mets released Rich Sauveur on January 23, 1992.

Philadelphia Phillies signed Yorkis Perez of the New York Mets as a free agent on January 23, 1998.

Houston Astros signed relief pitcher John Franco of the New York Mets as a free agent on January 23, 2005.

New York Mets signed free agent relief pitcher Ricardo Rincon on January 23, 2008.

Cleveland Indians signed relief David Aardsma of the New York Mets as a free agent on January 23, 2014.

Source: MetsUnlimited.com

OTD in Mets History: Cora joins Beltrán

Born on this date: Wayne Kirby (1964)

Died on this date: Tommie Agee (2001)

Transactions:

New York Mets trade Mark Carreon and Tony Castillo to the Detroit Tigers for Paul Gibson and Randy Marshall in 1992.

New York Mets trade Yudith Ozario, Erik Hiljus, and Eric Ludwick to the St. Louis Cardinals for Bernard Gilkey in 1996.

New York Mets sign free agent infielder Alex Cora, previously of the Boston Red Sox, in 2009.

New York Mets trade Brian Stokes to the Los Angeles Angels for Gary Matthews jr. in 2010.

New York Mets sign free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes in 2016.

New York Mets sign free agent reliever Antonio Bastardo, previously of the Pittsburgh Pirates, in 2016.

#FlashbackFriday Mets Edition: Olerud sets Mets franchise record

New York Mets first baseman John Olerud had a historical year for the franchise in 1998 as he ended up hitting .354/.447/.551/.998 with an OPS+ of 163 (League average is 100), he also slugged 39 doubles and 19 home runs while driving in 96 runs in 160 games played.

Before he reached New York, Olerud played for the Toronto Blue Jays where former manager Cito Gaston tried to get Olerud to hit for more power by having him take the approach of trying to pull the ball. He would hit a career high 24 home runs with the Blue Jays while also leading the league with a .363 batting average as well as a .473 on-base percentage and a 1.072 OPS during the ’93 campaign.

However after his career year in Toronto, Olerud began to regress and eventually he would find himself wearing the Orange & Blue after being traded to the Mets for Robert Person before the start of the 1997 season. This is when the Mets coaching staff encouraged Olerud to revert to his natural approach at the plate and start to use all parts of the diamond.

It paid off in 1998, the big yet soft spoken first baseman with a smooth stroke and a slick glove, set a New York Mets franchise record when he finished the year batting .354, topping a record held by legendary Mets outfielder Cleon Jones originally set in 1969. Olerud also set the Mets on-base percentage record at .447 that same season.

Unfortunately, Olerud would fall short to Colorado Rockies’ great Larry Walker by 9 points as Walker would eventually win the batting title with a .363 average during that ’98 season.

Olerud, a Washington state native would eventually sign with the Seattle Mariners prior to the 2000 season however his three seasons with the New York Mets should never go forgotten. Quiet… but one of the best leaders to don the uniform.

Also read: #FlashbackFriday Mets Edition: Edgardo Alfonzo goes 6-6 vs Astros

#FlashbackFriday Mets Edition: Edgardo Alfonzo goes 6-6 vs Astros

On August 30th, 1999, the Mets delivered a whoopin’ to the Astros in a 17-1 contest in which Mets starter Masato Yoshii picked up the W. A legend in the eyes on many fans, Alfonzo started the game off by homering off of a hanging curveball by Astros starter Shane Reynolds. It would go down as Alfonzo’s 21st home run of the year.

After a single in his next at-bat off of Reynolds, Alfonzo would go deep for the 22nd time of the season in the fourth, this time off of reliever Brian Williams. The home run was a 2-run bomb that was laced into the second deck of the Astrodome, driving in Rickey Henderson, the greatest lead-off hitter ever to play the game.

Astros pitcher Sean Bergman then gave up Iggy’s third home run of the game, 23rd of the season, in the sixth inninng. The Venezuelan native Alfonzo later lined a singled into left in the 8th inning for his fifth hit of the game, the hit would come off of Bergman.

Edgardo got his final knock in the 9th inning off of Trevor Williams with Todd Pratt and Benny Agbayani on first and second. Alfonzo would proceed to classically double to right field as he tends to do, driving in back-up catcher Todd Pratt.

That evening, the Mets number 2 hitter tied a club record with most home runs in a game, the last to do it… Gary Carter, ’85. He also set a club record with 16 total bases, eclipsing Darryll Strawberry, also in ’85.

Now as a 35 year old fan, this was one of the greatest games I’ve watched and Alfonzo goes down as my favorite second baseman to don the Orange & Blue. Watching him go opposite field was a thing of art and Fonzie was one bad ass artist when it came to creating a masterpiece.

#FlashbackFriday: This Date in Mets History

  • Let’s take a look at some of the transactions and life events that involved Mets and former Mets.
    • Infamous yet elite defensive shortstop Rey Ordoñez signs a deal with the Mets in 1994.
    • Left Handed Reliever Rich Rodriguez signed as a Free Agent in 2000.
    • Elmer Dessens left the Mets to sign with the San Francisco Giants in 2011.
    • The Mets signed Brandon Lyon in 2013.
    • Tyler Clippard elected to sign with the Diamondbacks over the Mets in 2016.
    • Mike Bishop died on this date in 2005. R.I.P.

    #FlashbackFriday Mets Edition: The Mets make history in Japan

    In the year 2000, sports history was made after the first official Major League Baseball game was played outside of North America. The Mets would play the Cubs in a two game series in the Tokyo Dome in Japan, where each team alternated home field advantage between the two game set.

    The Tokyo Dome was sold out with all 55,000 seats being occupied with the fans blowing the lid off of the stadium.

    Mets Lineup

    1. Rickey Henderson -LF

    2. Darryl Hamilton – CF

    3. Edgardo Alfonzo – 2B

    4. Mike Piazza – C

    5. Robin Ventura -3B

    6. Derek Bell – RF

    7. Todd Zeile – 1B

    8. Rey Ordonez – SS

    Mike Hampton, the former 20 game winner with Houston made his debut in a Mets uniform, after joining the Mets the previous off-season with right fielder Derek Bell for the outfield speed demon Roger Cedeno and a young pitching prospect by the name of Octavio Dotel.

    Hampton was known for being a nimble little left handed pitcher who knew how to get outs by working the corners and with his above average change up that had the tendency to keep the opposition off-balance.

    Hampton would go ahead and pick up his first loss as a Met in this historical game to the Cubs, 5-3. The former Astro would end up only going 5 innings while walking an outstanding 9 Cubs and only striking out one. Darryll Hamilton would hit a sacrifice fly driving in Rey Ordonez off of Jon Lieber to give the Mets their first run in Tokyo, Japan.

    In the bottom half of the 8th, Mets legend Mike Piazza hit a 2-run blast, cutting into the Cubs lead. However, it wasn’t nearly enough to give the team the victory. The game was eventually protested due to Jeff Huson being listed as a reserve for the Cubs, however Huson was not on the Cubs 25-man roster.

    Bobby Valentine was quoted saying “I didn’t really want to do it, I didn’t want to protest over such a silly thing, but the game is a major investment for the team and a win is a win”. Following the game’s finish, Valentine withdrew his protest as he came to realize that Jeff Reed was listed on the roster twice and Huson was accidentally left off causing some confusion.

    Rick Reed would win game two of the monumental series with the help from a Benny Agbayani Grand Slam.

    #ThrowbackThursday Mets Edition: Pat Mahomes (Exclusive Interview)

    By Gem Tablak

    Recently I was able to reach out to former Met, Pat Mahomes, who was nice enough to answer some questions for us Mets Junkies that just can’t seem to get enough.

    Before we get into the interview with Mr. Mahomes, let’s take a look at his career before getting to New York.

    Mahomes was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 6th round of the 1988 draft. He made his MLB debut on April 12th in 1992 against a heavy hitting Texas Rangers club going 6 innings in a no decision.

    After a few rough years in Minnesota & even 1 in Boston, Mahomes opted to play in Japan during the 1997 & 1998 seasons. He suited up for the Yokohama BayStars during his time in Japan.

    In 99, he was able to strike a deal with the Mets where he eventually ended the season with an 8-0 record, helping the Mets advance into the Playoffs via the Wild Card.

    He eventually only pitched 2 seasons (1999 & 2000) with the Mets where he had an impressive 13-3 record pitching over 150 innings

    For me personally, I was a big fan of Mahomes. He always seemed to come into the game when the Mets were pressed on pitching & he delivered while pitching over his 2 years with the Mets. He always seemed to have the demeanor that the team came first & he was ready to take the ball whenever the Mets needed him to.

    Interview with Pat Mahomes 

    MetsJunkies: Firstly I’d like to thank you for taking the time to speak with us Mets Junkies that can never get enough. As well as Congratulations with Patrick Mahomes II unbelievable college success & we definitely wish him the best in his career.

    MetsJunkies: How did you go from pitching in Japan in 1998 to receiving a contract from the Mets before the 99 season?
    Pat Mahomes: Spent a year and a half there. We won the Japan series and I was ready to come home. My agent talked to the Mets and I liked the fit

    MetsJunkies: What was it like when you came back from Japan? Was there a lot pressure on you or did you feel you’ve already ran the gauntlet?

    Pat Mahomes: Not really pressure. I knew I had to bring my A game and what better place than New York

    MetsJunkies: Late in 1999, you ended off the season going 8-0 helping the Mets to play offs, how did it feel to be such a big contribution & part of the pen down the stretch run?

    Pat Mahomes: It was a blast. A great team all around. We should’ve won it all

    MetsJunkies: Who was your favorite player to room with while traveling & why?

    Pat Mahomes: No roommate but I was with my hero Rickey Henderson everyday

    MetsJunkies: Was there a prankster of the team?

    Pat Mahomes: Definitely Kurt Abbot

    MetsJunkies: Can you give us a scouting report of yourself in hindsight?

    Pat Mahomes: A gunslinger and a pitcher who was willing to do whatever had to be done to win. I kept the clubhouse loose

    MetsJunkies: Do you have a favorite moment as a Met?

    Pat Mahomes: Probably the game in the playoffs when Pratt hit the game winning HR

    MetsJunkies: Congratulations with young Patrick II’s success, I’m not very much into college football but I happened to flip a game on just in time to watch him sling something like a 65 yard pass. His athleticism probably doesn’t surprise you but is there an aspect to his game that surprised you & caught you off guard, in a good way of course.

    Pat Mahomes: How quick he picked up the position

    MetsJunkies: Can we get a scouting report on your son Patrick II?

    Pat Mahomes: Gamer. Eager to learn and loves to compete. Can make all the throws and is passionate about the game. Lays it on the line every game

    On behalf of the Mets Junkies website, Mr. Mahomes it’s an honor to just be able to speak with. I honestly enjoyed watching you in Mets Orange & Blue, sir. Thank you for taking time away from your schedule to answer questions for us Mets Junkies.

    Also read: #MetsCrushMonday: Patrick Mahomes II