Vinny Rottino – His New York Mets Career 2012

vinny-rottinoThe Mets signed Vinny Rottino to a minor league contract prior to the 2012 season.  After starting the season with the Buffalo Bisons, the Mets Triple A affiliate, Rottino was called up to the big club in May.  He made his Met debut on May 4 against the Arizona Diamondbacks as a pinch hitter for pitcher Dillon Gee, for the record he grounded out to second base.  He would go on to appear in 18 games for the Mets, playing outfield first base an third, before being placed on waivers and claimed by the Cleveland Indians on June 27.  At the time of his release he was hitting .182 with 2 home runs and 5 RBIs.

On May 26th, he hit his first career home run, a solo shot in the Mets 9-0 victory over the San Diego Padres.  Two days later he hit a 2-run shot against the Philadelphia Phillies.

White with the Mets Rottino wore number 33.

Vinny Rottino also played for the following teams:

Milwaukee Brewers – 2006-2008
Florida Marlins – 2011
Cleveland Indians – 2012

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Leo Foster – His New York Mets Career 1976,1977

leo-fosterThe New York Mets acquired Leo Foster from the Atlanta Braves on April 4, 1975 in exchange for catcher Joe Nolan.  A light hitting utility infielder Foster was initially assigned to the Mets Triple A affiliate the Tidewater Tides where he spent the entire 1975 season hitting .247 with 2 home runs and 25 RBIs.  He returned to Tidewater to start the 1976 season and was hitting.296 when he was promoted to the big club making his Mets debut on August 1st.  He started the game at shortstop against the Philadelphia Phillies and went 1 for 3 with an RBI.  Foster finished out the season in New York and despite hitting just .203 he managed to drive in 15 runs in 59 plate appearances including a 5 RBI performance against the Cubs on September 7th, a game in which he also hit his first home run with the Mets.

In 1977 Leo Foster split time between New York and Tidewater appearing in 36 games for the Mets. With the Mets, he hit .227 driving in 6 runs in 81 plate appearances.  In the off-season, the Mets traded Foster to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for pitcher Jim Burton.  He spent the 1978 season in the Red Sox minor league system but did not return to the majors and retired from playing after the season.

In 60 games for the Mets over two seasons he hit .216 with a homer and 21 RBI’s.

While with the Mets Leo Foster wore number 1 before switching to number 19.

Leo Foster also played for the Atlanta Braves – 1971,1973,1974

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David Cone – His New York Mets Career 1987-1992, 2003

david-coneOn March 27, 1987, the Mets completed one of the greatest trades in franchise history when they traded Ed Hearn, Rick Anderson and Mauro Gozzo to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for Chris Jelic and right handed pitcher David Cone.  While Hearn, Anderson and Gozzo didn’t amount to anything Cone went on to become one of the best pitchers in Met history winning 80 games over the next six seasons.

But Cone’s Met career did not get off to a great start as he lost his Met debut on April 11, 1987 when he pitched three innings of relief and allowed the winning run to score in the ninth inning.   After his first four appearances, all out of the bullpen, his record was 0-1 and his ERA was 4.66 but he was averaging a strikeout an inning.  Despite his bad start the Mets decided to move him to the starting rotation.  Cone proved to be an effective starter over his next six starts, he posted a 2-1 record.  His first victory as a Met came on May 12th against the Cincinnati Reds when he pitched a complete game allowing four hits and two earned runs.  However just as Cone was beginning to hit his stride he was sidelined for two months after breaking a finger on his left hand while trying to bunt.   He returned in the middle of August and finished the season with a 5-6 record and a 3.71 ERA.

1988 would turn out to be Cone’s best season with the Mets. After starting the season in the bullpen, where he won two games in seven appearances he was moved to the starting rotation in May.  He made his first start on May 3rd and pitched a complete game shutout.  Cone would go on to finish the month of May winning all five of his starts while allowing just three earned runs.  For his efforts, he was named the National League Pitcher of the Month.  From that point on Cone was the Mets top starting pitcher as the Mets dominated the National League and coasted to their second National League Eastern Division title in three seasons.  He won his final eight starts of the year to finish with a 20-3 record and a 2.22 ERA with 213 strikeouts.   In any other year Cone would have been a shoe in for the National League Cy Young Award but he finished third in the voting behind Danny Jackson of the Reds who finished with a 23-8 record and Orel Hershiser who also finished with a 23-8 record but managed to set a MLB record with 59 consecutive scoreless innings.

In the postseason against the Los Angeles Dodgers Cone was tabbed to pitch game two, but he got roughed up and allowed five runs in two innings.  He bounced back to pitch a complete game five hitter in game six to send the series to a decisive seventh game.  Unfortunately, the Mets lost game seven and the series.

Cone got off to rough start in 1989, his record was just 4-5 in the first half of the season, but he turned things around in the second half.  From July 3rd to the end of the season his record was 10-3.  He finished the season with a 14-8 record and 3.52 ERA.

Cone would go on to win 14 games over each of the next two seasons while also managing to lead the National League in strikeouts both years.   On the final day of the 1991 season against the Philadelphia Phillies, Cone put his name in the record books by striking out 19 batters to tie the National League mark held by former Met Tom Seaver and Hall of Famer Steve Carlton.

In 1992 Cone started the season 9-4 and was named to his second all-star team.   But with Cone enjoying his best season since 1989 and the Mets out of the pennant race they traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays on August 27th in exchange for Jeff Kent and Ryan Thompson.  Cone was going to be a free agent after the season and the Mets were fearful they would not be able to resign him.  General Manager Al Harazin figured it would be better to get something for Cone than nothing at all in the off-season.  It would be a trade the Mets would come to regret as he would go on to help the Blue Jays win the 1992 World Series, then he would win a Cy Young with the Royals in 1994 before moving on to the New York Yankees where he won three World Series titles and even pitched a perfect game.  In his final appearance for the Yankees in game four of the 2000 World Series against the Mets Cone pitched just 1/3 of an inning but managed to get Mike Piazza out at a crucial spot in the game. The Mets would lose 3-2 and eventually the series.

David Cone spent the 2001 season with the Boston Red Sox.  After sitting out the 2002 season the Mets invited David Cone to spring training in 2003. Not much was expected of Cone but he surprisingly made the team.  In his first start for the Mets on April 4th he looked like his old self pitching five innings of shutout ball to earn the win.  But that would be the only highlight for Cone in 2003.  He lost his next three decisions and with his record at 1-3 with 6.50 ERA Cone decided to retire.

In 187 games for the Mets David Cone won 81 while losing 51 with a 3.13 ERA.

While with the Mets David Cone wore number 44 from 1987-1991 before switching to number 17.  When he returned to the Mets in 2003 he wore number 16.

David Cone also played for the following teams:
Kansas City Royals – 1986,1993,1994
Toronto Blue Jays – 1992,1995
New York Yankees – 1995-2000
Boston Red Sox – 2001

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Juan Acevedo – His New York Mets Career 1997

juan-acevedoOn July 31, 1995, the Mets traded all-star pitcher Bret Saberhagen to the Colorado Rockies.  One of the players they received in return was right-handed pitcher Juan Acevedo.  However, Acevedo would not appear in a game for the Mets until 1997.

He made his Met debut on June 18, 1997 against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.  He entered the game in the 7th inning and pitched 2 1/3 of scoreless relief allowing 1 hit while striking out 3.  However, the Mets would lose the game 3-2.

Acevedo would finish the season with the Mets appearing in 25 games, all but two were out of the bullpen.  He put up respectable numbers, finishing with a 3-1 record and 3.59 ERA.  He started two games in September and won both.

Following the season, the Mets traded Acevedo to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for left-handed pitcher Rigo Beltran.

While with the Mets Acevedo wore number 39.

Juan Acevedo also played for the following teams:
Colorado Rockies – 1995,2001
St. Louis Cardinals – 1998,1999
Milwaukee Brewers – 2000
Florida Marlins – 2001
Detroit Tigers – 2002
Toronto Blue Jays – 2003
New York Yankees – 2003

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Jackson Todd – His New York Mets Career 1977

jackon-toddAfter spending four seasons in the Mets minor league system, right-handed pitcher Jackson Todd finally got the call to majors in 1977.  Todd made his Major League debut on May 5, pitching one inning of scoreless relief in the Mets 7-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Todd would go on to pitch in 19 games for the Mets splitting time between the bullpen and starting rotation.  As the starting pitcher on May 19 Todd earned his first major league victory, he allowed three earned runs over 7 2/3 innings.  Todd finished the season with a 3-6 record and 4.77 ERA in 71 2/3 innings.

1977 would be Todd’s only season with the Mets; he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies prior to the 1978 season. 

While with the Mets Jackson Todd wore number 30.

Jackson Todd also played for the Toronto Blue Jays – 1979-1981.

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Ken Takahashi – His New York Mets Career 2009

ken-takahashiAfter playing 14 seasons for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in his native Japan left-handed pitcher Ken Takahashi signed as a minor league free agent with the Mets prior to the 2009 season. He started out the season pitching for the Buffalo Bisons; the Mets triple A affiliate before getting the call to New York.  When Takahashi made his Mets debut on May 2, 2009 he became just the third player since World War II to make his Major League debut at the age of 40. For the record, he pitched 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief in the Mets 6-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Takahashi finished out the season pitching out of the Mets bullpen; he appeared in 28 games and recorded a 0-1 record with a 2.96 ERA in 27 1/3 innings. His only decision occurred on May 13 against the Atlanta Braves when he surrendered a home run to Martin Prado in the 12th inning,

The Mets released Takahashi following the season and he returned to Japan to finish out his career.

While with the Mets Ken Takahashi wore number 36.

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Bruce Bochy – His New York Mets Career 1982

bruce-bochyCatcher Bruce Bochy was acquired from the Houston Astros on February 11, 1981.  He spent the entire 1981 season playing for the Tidewater Tides, the Mets Triple A affiliate where he hit .227.  He returned to Tidewater in 1982 where he played most of the season before being called up to the Mets in August.

Bochy made his Mets debut on August 21against the Atlanta Braves as their starting catcher, he went 1 for 2 at the plate.  He finished out the season with the Mets appearing in 16 games. He hit .306 with 2 home runs and 8 RBIs. 

Following the season, he was released by the Mets and eventually signed with the San Diego Padres where he finished out his playing career.

While with the Mets Bochy wore number 9.

Bruce Bochy also played for the following teams:
Houston Astros – 1978-1980
San Diego Padres – 1983-1987

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Michael Cuddyer – His New York Mets Career 2015

michael-cuddyerLooking to bolster their offense the Mets signed free agent Michael Cuddyer as a free agent prior to the 2015 season.  Cuddyer, a 14 year veteran who won the National League batting title with Colorado in 2013, was the Mets opening day leftfielder and cleanup hitter.  For the record, he went 1 for 4 in the Mets win over the Washington Nationals. 

Unfortunately, Cuddyer never really got on track and struggled for most of the season finishing with a .259 average with 10 home runs and 41 RBIs.   He hit his first home run as a Met on April 12 in the Mets 4-3 win over the Atlanta Braves. His most productive game occurred on August 26th against the Philadelphia Phillies, he went 3 for 5 with a homer and 3 RBIs in the Mets 9-4 victory. 

Despite Cuddyer’s struggles the Mets did win the National League Eastern Division and advanced to the playoffs.  But by that time the playoffs rolled around Cuddyer was no longer the Mets everyday leftfielder.  As the Mets advanced to the World Series he appeared in 6 playoff games and hit just .091 (1 for 11).  His only hit came during game 1 of the National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs.

Despite having one year left on his contract Cuddyer retired following the 2015 season.

While with the Mets Cuddyer wore number 23.

Michael Cuddyer also played for the following teams:
Minnesota Twins – 2001-2011
Colorado Rockies – 2012-2014

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Brian Stokes – His New York Mets Career 2008,2009

brian-stokesOn November 28, 2007, the Mets purchased the contract of pitcher Brian Stokes from the Tampa Bay Rays.  Stokes started the 2008 season with the New Orleans Zephyrs, the Mets Triple A affiliate.  He went 10-8 with the Zephyrs before being called up to New York in August.  He made his Met debut on August 9th as the starting pitcher against the Florida Marlins, he allowed 4 runs over 5 2/3 innings in game the Mets won 8-6. 

He remained with the Mets for the remainder of the season pitching out of their bullpen.  He finished the season 1-0 with a save and a 3.51 ERA.   His only save occurred on August 13 when he pitched the final four innings in the Mets 12-0 win over the Washington Nationals.  His only victory came against the Philadelphia Phillies on August 27.

Stokes spent the entire 2009 season with the Mets, appearing in 69 games out of the bullpen and posted a 2-4 record with a 3.97 ERA. 

The Mets traded Stokes to the Los Angeles Angels on January 22, 2010 in exchange for outfielder Gary Matthews Jr.  In 93 appearances for the Mets over two seasons Stokes went 3-4 with 1 save a 3.52 ERA.

While with the Mets Stokes wore number 43.

Brian Stokes also played for the following teams:
Tampa Bay Rays – 2006,2007
Los Angeles Angels – 2010

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Bobby Gene Smith – His New York Mets Career 1962

bobby-gene-smithThe Mets drafted Bobby Gene Smith from the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1961 expansion draft.  Smith started out the 1962 season with the Mets and appeared in 8 games before being traded to the Chicago Cubs on April 26 in exchange for Sammy Taylor.  In his brief stint with the Mets Smith hit .136 (3-22) with two RBIs. Both his RBIs came on one swing of the bat on April 23rd against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  He tripled home two runs in the Mets first win in franchise history.

While with the Mets Smith wore number 16.

Bobby Gene Smith also played for the following teams:

St. Louis Cardinals – 1957-1959,1962
Philadelphia Phillies – 1960,1961
Chicago Cubs – 1962
California Angels – 1965

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