Ryan Church was acquired from the Washington Nationals along with Brian Schneider in exchange for Lastings Milledge prior to the 2008 season. Playing right field Church got off to a fast start in 2008 and quickly became a fan favorite. Over the first two months of the season he was clearly the Mets best player and seemed a shoe in to represent the Mets in the All-Star game. He was hitting over .300 with 8 home runs and 30 RBIs in the middle of May. But his season quickly changed at the end of May when he suffered a concussion while trying to break up a double play against the Atlanta Braves. It was his second concussion in three months as he also suffered one in Spring Training. From that point on he would spend two stints on the disabled list with post-concussion syndrome and when he was healthy he was not the same hitter. He finished the season hitting .276 with 12 home runs and 49 RBIs. The Mets were widely criticized for mishandling Church following his second concussion.
Church once again got off to a fast start in 2009, hitting .313 during the month of April. But then he began to struggle once again and the Mets decided it was time to cut ties with him. On July 10th, the Mets traded him to the Atlanta Braves for outfielder Jeff Francoeur, who was also struggling. Both teams rolled the dice thinking each player would benefit from a change of scenery.
Over two seasons Ryan Church appeared in 157 games and batted .278 with 14 home runs and 71 RBIs. He also became a footnote in Mets history as he was the last batter in the history of Shea Stadium in 2008. For the record, he flew out to centerfield.
While with the Mets Church wore number 19.
Ryan Church also played for the following teams:
Montreal Expos – 2004
Washington Nationals – 2005-2007
Atlanta Braves – 2009
Arizona Diamondbacks – 2010
Pittsburgh Pirates – 2010