Desi Relaford was claimed by the Mets off waivers from the San Diego Padres following the 2000 season. Relaford joined the Mets as a backup utility infielder in 2001. After a slow start, Relaford busted out in a game on April 26th against the Brewers going 4 for 4 with a homer and a double. From that point on he became a fan favorite due in large part to his hustle and hardnosed play. He finished the season with a .302 average, 8 home runs and 36 RBIs and even led the Mets in stolen bases with 13. But perhaps he is best remembered for his appearance on the mound. On May 17, 2001, the Mets were being blown out by the San Diego Padres by a score of 15-3. Having already used five pitchers in the game Met manager Bobby Valentine gave the ball to Relaford to pitch the top of the 9th. Relaford excited what was left of the sparse crowd pitching a 1-2-3 inning. He even struck out a batter with a fast ball that was clocked in the low 90‘s
Despite his success with the Mets, 2001 would be his only season in New York. Looking to solidify their starting pitching the Mets traded Relaford along with Tsuyoshi Shinjo to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for pitcher Shawn Estes following the season. He would play another five seasons in the majors before retiring after the 2007 season.
While with the Mets Relaford wore number 8.
Desi Relaford also played for the following teams:
Philadelphia Phillies – 1996-2000
San Diego Padres – 2000
Seattle Mariners – 2002
Kansas City Royals – 2003,2004
Colorado Rockies – 2005
Texas Rangers – 2007