Todd Zeile – His New York Mets Career 2000,2001,2004

Todd ZeileOver the course of his 16-year career Todd Zeile played for 11 different teams including two stints with the Mets.   When the Mets initially signed Todd Zeile prior to the 2000 season it came as a surprise to many not because he wasn’t a solid major league player but because he was signed to play first base to replace the departed John Olerud.  The problem was that Todd Zeile was not a first baseman.  He had played sporadically at the position during his career but played mainly third base after starting his career at catcher.    Nevertheless, Zeile proved to be a steady defensive first baseman, not flashy but got the job done, while putting up solid offensive numbers.  In his first year in New York Zeile hit .268 with 22 home runs and 79 RBIs, including a 13-game hitting streak in June, and helped the Mets reach the World Series for the first time since 1986.

In the postseason Zeile had a horrendous NLDS against the San Francisco Giants, he hit just .071.  However, in the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals he caught fire.  He hit .368 with a home run while driving in a team best eight runs as the Mets defeated the Cardinals in five games.  His eight RBIs were the most by a Met player in postseason series in franchise history.

He continued his hot hitting in the World Series against the Yankees.  Zeile hit .400 but only drove in 1 run as the Mets lost the series in five games. In game one Todd Zeile hit what appeared to be a two-run home run that would have given the Mets an early lead, but the ball bounced off the top of the wall, though replays showed it might have been interfered with by a fan.  Zeile was only credited with a double and base runner Timo Perez was thrown out at the plate.  Instead of being up 2-0, the game remained scoreless and the rest as they say is history.

Zeile returned for the 2001 season, but his power numbers dipped dramatically. He hit only 10 home runs while driving in 62 and led the team in strikeouts with 102 as the Mets struggled for most of the season.  Based in large part to his power deficiency the Mets decided to trade Zeile to the Colorado Rockies in the off-season along with Benny Agbayani in exchange for Alex Ochoa, Ross Glad and Craig House.

Zeile would play one season in Colorado before moving on to play for the Yankees and Expos in 2003.  The Mets than decided to give Zeile another chance and signed him as a free agent prior to the 2004 season, in what proved to be his last season as a player.  Zeile played in 137 games in 2004 but hit just .233 with 9 home runs and 33 RBIs as the Mets suffered through a terrible season.  However, Zeile did manage to reach a significant milestone in his final season by recording his 2000th career hit.  In his last game as a professional on October 3rd, the last game of the season, the Mets allowed Zeile to play one final game as a catcher.  In his last at bat of his career, he hit a three-run home run.

In three seasons with the Mets Zeile appeared in 441 games and hit .259 with 41 home runs and 176 RBIs.

While with the Mets Zeile wore number 9 in 2000 and 2001 and number 27 in 2004.

Todd Zeile also played for the following teams:
St. Louis Cardinals – 1989-1995
Chicago Cubs – 1995
Baltimore Orioles – 1996
Philadelphia Phillies – 1996
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1997,1998
Texas Rangers – 1998,1999
Florida Marlins – 1998
Colorado Rockies – 2002
New York Yankees – 2003
Montreal Expos – 2003

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