Chico Fernandez – His New York Mets Career 1963

Chico FernandezOn May 8, 1963, the Detroit Tigers traded Chico Fernandez to the Milwaukee Braves who then turned around and traded him to the Mets in exchange for Larry Foss.  Fernandez made his Met debut on May 11 when he pinch hit for Al Moran, he struck out.  Fernandez finished out the season with the Mets playing shortstop, third and second base. He appeared in 58 games and batted just .200 with 1 home run and 9 RBIs.  His only home run was hit on May 16 against the San Francisco Giants.

The Mets traded Fernandez to the Chicago White Sox on April 23, 1964 in exchange for Charley Smith.

While with the Mets Fernandez wore number 7.

Chico Fernandez also played for the following teams:
Brooklyn Dodgers – 1956
Philadelphia Phillies – 1957-1959
Detroit Tigers – 1960-1963

Jeff Conine – His New York Mets Career 2007

Jeff ConineLooking for an extra bat off the bench as they attempted to reach the postseason for the second straight season, the Mets acquired Jeff Conine from the Cincinnati Reds on August 20, 2007.   A 16-year veteran and former All-Star Conine was a career .280 hitter with some pop in his bat who helped the Florida Marlins win two World Series titles.

Conine made his Mets debut on August 22 pinch hitting for pitcher Aaron Sele.  He hit an RBI single in the Mets 7-5 loss to the San Diego Padres.  He would appear in 21 games for the Mets and hit just .195 with five RBIs as the Mets suffered through one of the worst collapses in baseball history and failed to reach the postseason.

Conine retired following the 2007 season.

While with the Mets Conine wore numbers 28 and 19.

Jeff Conine also played for the following teams:
Kansas City Royals – 1990,1992,1998
Florida Marlins – 1993-1997, 2003-2005
Baltimore Orioles – 1999-2003,2006
Philadelphia Phillies – 2006
Cincinnati Reds – 2007

Carlos Muniz – His New York Mets Career 2007,2008

Carlos MunizDuring the month of September 2007, the Mets were in a freefall as they tried to hold off the Phillies in their pursuit of a second straight Eastern Division title.  The bullpen was in shambles and they looked for help anywhere they could find it, one of the people they looked toward was Carlos Muniz. After spending 5 seasons in the Mets minor league system right-handed pitcher Carlos Muniz made his Major League debut on September 25, 2007, he pitched 1 1/3 innings of relief and allowed 2 earned runs.  He made one more appearance two days later, pitching a scoreless 9th inning in the Mets 13-0 win over the Florida Marlins. But unfortunately, the Mets lost the next day to complete one of the worst collapses in baseball history.

Muniz spent the 2008 season shuffling between triple A New Orleans and New York.  He appeared in 18 games out of the Mets bullpen and posted a 1-1 record with a 5.40 ERA in 23 1/3 innings.  His one victory came on July 12 against the Colorado Rockies. 

Muniz spent the next two seasons pitching in the Mets minor league system before leaving to pitch in Mexico.  In 20 games over two seasons for the Mets Muniz posted a 1-1 record with a 5.61 ERA. 

While with the Mets Muniz wore number 38 in 2007 and 32 in 2008.

Pat Zachry – His New York Mets Career 1977-1982

Pat ZachryOn June 15, 1977, the New York Mets traded their most popular player in franchise history, Tom Seaver.  In return they received four players, Dan Norman, Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson and right-handed pitcher Pat Zachry. The year before Zachry had won the National League Rookie of the Year as a member of the Cincinnati Reds.  Zachry would pitch six seasons for the Mets but would never make Met fans forget Tom Seaver.

Pat Zachry made his Met debut on June 17, 1977 against the Houston Astros.  He pitched six innings and allowed four runs all but one earned and suffered the loss in the Mets 7-1 defeat.  Zachry would finish the season with a 7-6 record and 3.76 ERA in 19 starts.

In 1978 Zachry enjoyed his finest season with the Mets, he started out the season 10-4 and was named to the National League All-Star team, he did not appear in the game.  However, following the All-Star break Zachry was lost for the season when he fractured his foot.  The injury occurred on July 24 in a fit of rage.  After giving up a hit to Pete Rose to extend his hitting streak to 37 games, Zachry was pulled from the game.  When he reached the dugout he angrily attempted to kick a batting helmet but missed and kicked the dugout step instead and fractured his left foot.

In 1979, an elbow injury limited him to just 7 starts, though he did manage to post a 5-1 record.  In 1980 despite being named the National League pitcher of the month for July, a month that saw him go 4-0, he suffered through a 6-10 season though he did post a very respectable 3.01 ERA.  It would be the first of three straight losing seasons including a 1981 season in which he led the league with 14 losses.  During his final season with the Mets in 1982 he did flirt with pitching the first no-hitter in franchise history against the Chicago Cubs on April 10.  He lost his bid with two outs in the 8th inning.   It was the highlight of his season, a season which saw him lose his spot in the starting rotation.

Following the season the Mets traded Zachry to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  In his six seasons with the Mets Pat Zachry posted a 41-46 record with a 3.63 ERA.

While with the Mets Zachry wore number 40.

Pat Zachry also played for the following teams:
Cincinnati Reds – 1976,1977
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1983,1984
Philadelphia Phillies – 1985

Dale Thayer – His New York Mets Career 2011

Dale ThayerThe Mets signed right-handed pitcher Dale Thayer as a free agent prior to the 2011 season.  After starting the season in the minors he made his Met debut on May 28th against the Philadelphia Phillies.  He pitched one inning and gave up one run as the Mets lost 5- 2.  He appeared in three more games before being shipped back to the minors.  He returned to the Mets in September to finish out the season.  He appeared in a total of 11 games and posted a 0-3 record with a 3.49 ERA.

Following the season Thayer signed as a free agent with the San Diego Padres.

While with the Mets Thayer wore numbers 46 and 36.

Dale Thayer also played for the following teams:
Tampa Bay Rays – 2009,2010
San Diego Padres – 2012-2015

John Christensen – His New York Mets Career 1984,1985

john christensenJohn Christensen was drafted by the New York Mets in the second round of the 1981 amateur draft.  After spending three seasons in the minors where he batted over .300 he was brought up to the Mets as a September call up in 1984.  In his Met debut on September 13th, he pinch hit for Darryl Strawberry with the Mets trailing 9-1 and manager Dave Johnson deciding to wave the white flag.  For the record, Christensen walked.  He would appear in just five games for the Mets in 1984 batting .273 (3 for 11) with 3 RBIs.  

Christensen made the Mets Opening Day roster out of spring training as a fourth outfielder but struggled immensely and was demoted back to the minors in the middle of July after hitting just .190.  He did manage to hit 3 home runs and drive in 13, the highlight coming on June 12th when he hit a 2-run home run in the top of the 11th inning to give the Mets a comfortable 7-3 lead.  He continued to struggle back at Triple A Norfolk, hitting just .212, but was brought back to Queens in September to finish out the season.  In 51 games for the Mets in 1985 Christensen hit just .186. 

He was traded by the Mets in the off-season along with Calvin Schiraldi, Wes Gardner and LaSchelle Tarver to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Bob Ojeda, John Mitchell, Tom McCarthy and Chris Bayer.   

His final numbers with the Mets included a .194 average with 3 home runs and 16 RBIs in 56 games. 

While with the Mets Christensen wore number 35 in 1984 and number 7 in 1985.

 

John Chrsitensen also played for the Seattle Mariners in 1987 and the Minnesota Twins in 1988.

 

 

 

 

Lance Johnson – His New York Mets Career 1996-1997

Lance JohnsonThe Mets signed Lance Johnson to be their leadoff hitter and centerfielder prior to the 1996 season.  In his first season in New York, he far exceeded everyone’s expectations as he had perhaps the greatest offensive season in franchise history.  Johnson a career .285 hitter went on to rewrite part of the Met record book in 1996.  He led the Mets with a .333 average, which was also 4th best in the league and at the time the second highest in franchise history, Cleon Jones hit .340 in 1969.  He became the first player in Met history to record over 200 hits.  His 227 hits not only led the National League it also obliterated the franchise record of 191 by Felix Millian in 1975.  He also set the franchise records for triples (21), runs scored (117) and total bases (327).  He also stole 50 bases, which was just eight shy of Mookie Wilson’s club record 58.  He also drove in 69 runs, an impressive number coming from a leadoff hitter.    For his efforts, he was named to the National League All – Star team where he could easily have been the game’s MVP – he went 3 for 4 with a double and stolen base.

Needless to say, expectations were high for Johnson entering the 1997 season.  He did put up some decent numbers in 1997 but injuries, mainly shin splints, hampered him for much of the season.  He was hitting .306 when the Met brass sensing that his 1996 season was more an aberration than the norm decided to include him in a six-player trade with the Cubs in August.  The Mets acquired pitchers Turk Wendell, Mel Rojas and outfielder Brian McRae for Johnson, Manny Alexander and Mark Clark.  It turned out the Mets knew what they were doing when they traded Johnson, as he never again approached the numbers he put up in 1996.  He retired following the 2000 season.

In 1 ½ seasons with the Mets Lance Johnson appeared in 232 games and hit .326 with 10 home runs and 93 RBIs.

While with the Mets Johnson wore number 1.

Lance Johnson also played for the following teams:
St. Louis Cardinals – 1987
Chicago White Sox – 1988-1995
Chicago Cubs – 1997-1999
New York Yankees – 2000

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Del Unser – His New York Mets Career 1975-1976

Del UnserThe Mets acquired Del Unser from the Philadelphia Phillies along with John Stearns and Mac Scarce in exchange for Tug McGraw, Don Hahn and Dave Schneck on December 3, 1974.

A steady and reliable hard-nosed player Unser quickly became a fan favorite as the Mets everyday centerfielder.  After hitting .300 for most of the season he finished the season with a .294 average, the highest on the team.  He also hit 10 home runs and drove in 52.  His best day of the season came on July 29th; he went 4-6 with three RBIs. 

Unser returned to the Mets in 1976 but struggled at the plate.  With his average at just .228 the Mets traded him to the Montreal Expos in the middle of July.  He was traded with Wayne Garrett in exchange for Pepe Mangual and Jim Dwyer.  

In his one and a half seasons with the Mets Unser hit .271 with 15 home runs and 78 RBIs. 

While with the Mets Unser wore 25. 

Del Unser also played for the following teams:
Washington Senators – 1968-1971
Cleveland Indians – 1972
Philadelphia Phillies – 1973,1974, 1979-1982
Montreal Expos – 1976-1978

Tyler Clippard – His New York Mets Career 2015

tyler cippardLooking to bolster their bullpen for the stretch run in 2015, the Mets acquired right-hander Tyler Clippard from the Oakland A’s on July 27th.  He made his Met debut the following day pitching a scoreless 8th inning in the Mets 4-0 win over the San Diego Padres.

Serving as a set-up man for closer Jeurys Familia Clippard posted a 4-1 record with 2 saves and a 3.06 ERA in 32 appearances as the Mets went on to win the National League Eastern Division.

He earned his first save as a Met on August 2nd when he pitched a scoreless 9th inning in the Mets 5-2 victory over the Washington Nationals.  With the win the Mets pulled to within 1 game of the first-place Nationals.

Clippard struggled during the postseason as the Mets marched all the way to the World Series.   He appeared in 8 games during the postseason and posted a 0-1 record with a 6.75 ERA.  His one loss came during the 4th game of the World Series against the Kansas City Royals. He gave up 2 runs in 1/3 of an inning.

Following the season Clippard signed as a free agent with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

While with the Mets Clippard wore number 46.

Tyler Clippard also played for the following teams:
New York Yankees – 2007,2016,2017
Washington Nationals – 2008-2014
Oakland A’s – 2015
Arizona Diamondbacks – 2016

Manny Alexander – His New York Mets Career 1997

Manny AlexanderThe New York Mets acquired Manny Alexander on March 22, 1997 from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Hector Ramirez. Alexander who was once considered the heir apparent to Cal Ripken Jr in Baltimore would play 54 games for the Mets in 1997 mainly as a utility infielder. Alexander made his Mets debut on April 2, 1997 against the San Diego Padres when he replaced 2nd baseman Carlos Baerga. In his first at bat as a Met he singled to centerfield.

Injuries hampered much of his time with the Mets and he hit just .248 with 2 home runs and 15 runs batted in before he was traded to the Chicago Cubs on August 8 along with Mark Clark and Lance Johnson in exchange for Turk Wendell, Brian McRae and Mel Rojas.

While with the Mets Alexander wore number 6.

Manny Alexander also played for the following teams:
Baltimore Orioles – 1992,1993,1995,1996
Chicago Cubs – 1997-1999
Boston Red Sox – 2000
Texas Rangers – 2004
San Diego Padres – 2005,2006

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