Alex Trevino – His New York Mets Career 1978-1981,1990

Alex TrevinoAfter spending five seasons in the minors, Alex Trevino made his Major League debut on September 11, 1978 when he replaced John Stearns at catcher in the 9th inning, He would go on to appear in 6 games for the Mets and batted .250 (3 for 12).  He recorded his first big league hit on September 29 a 6th inning single in the Mets 5-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs.  The next day he went 2 for 4.

Trevino spent the entire1979 with the Mets playing mostly catcher but also seeing time at 3rd and 2nd base.  He hit .271 with 20 RBIs.   On June 11 he drove in 2 runs in the Mets 3-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds.   His most productive game came on August 14 when he went 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs in the Mets 18-5 win over the Atlanta Braves.

In 1980 he appeared in 106 games and batted .256 with 37 RBIs.  On June 28 his 8th inning single tied the game against the Philadelphia Phillies.  The Mets would win in the 9th inning, He also drove in 2 runs in the Mets 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 12.

In 1981 jet appeared in just 56 games and batted .262 with 10 RBIs.  Following the season, he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds along with Greg Harris and Jim Kern in exchange for George Foster.

Trevino returned to the Mets when they signed him as a free agent on August 3. 1990.  He appeared in 9 games and batted .300 (3 for 10) with 2 RBIs before being placed on waivers in September. 

In 256 career games for the Mets Trevino batted .262 with 69 RBIs.

While with the Mets Trevino wore number 29 from 1978-1981 and number 9 in 1990.

Alex Trevino also played for the following teams:
Cincinnati Reds – 1982-1984, 1990
Atlanta Braves – 1984
San Francisco Giants – 1985
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1986,1987
Houston Astros – 1988-1990

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Frank Taveras – His New York Mets Career 1979-1981

Frank TaverasEleven games into the 1979 season the Mets acquired shortstop Frank Taveras from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for fellow shortstop Tim Foli and minor leaguer Greg Field.  As the Mets everyday shortstop and primary leadoff hitter Taveras appeared in 153 for the Mets in 1979 and hit .263 with a home run and 33 RBIs.  He tied the Mets single season record of 9 triples in a season and set the teams single season record with 42 stolen bases. A record that would be broken three years later by Mookie Wilson with 58.   His only home run came on August 18th against the Cincinnati Reds was just the second of his career and would be the last one he would hit. It was notable because it was also the only home run he hit that went over the fence.  

Taveras returned in 1980 and appeared in 141 and batted a career best .279 with 25 RBIs and 32 stolen bases, second to Lee Mazzilli’s 41.  He enjoyed five four hit games with his most productive game coming on August 5th against the Montreal Expos when he also drove in three runs.  He was also named the National League player of the week for the week ending May 25 when he hit .667 (16 for 24) with four RBIs and four runs scored.

His numbers dipped in 1981 as he hit just .230 with 11 RBIs and 16 stolen bases.  Following the season, the Met traded Taveras to he Montreal Expos in exchange for pitcher Steve Ratzer.

In 378 games over three seasons Taveras batted .263 with a home run and 69 RBIs while stealing 90 bases.

While with the Mets Taveras wore number 11.

Frank Taveras also played for the following teams:
Pittsburgh Pirates – 1971,1972,1974-1979
Montreal Expos – 1982

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Mike Howard – His New York Mets Career 1981-1983

Mike HowardOutfielder Mike Howard made his Major League debut with the Mets on September 12, 1981 against the St. Louis Cardinals. He entered the game in the 8th inning replacing Mike Jorgensen in right field.  He doubled in his first career at bat and finished the game 1 for 2 as the Mets lost 4-2 in 13 innings.  The next day he was the starting right-fielder and drove in the only two runs in the Mets 4-2 loss to the Cardinals.  Howard would appear in 14 games for the Mets and batted .167 with 3 RBIs

After starting the 1982 season in the minors, Howard returned to the big club in August.  He finished out the season with the Mets and batted .178 with a home run and 3 RBIs in 33 games. His first career home run came on September 24, a solo shot in the 9th inning that provided the only run in the Mets 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Howard was the Mets Opening Day right-fielder in 1983 and drove in the Mets first run of the season with a 7th inning single.  It proved to be the only run the Mets needed as they won 2-0 against the Phillies It would be his only appearance for the Mets in 1983 as he was shipped backed to the minors two weeks later.  Howard spent the next two seasons in the minors before retiring from baseball.

In 48 games over three seasons with the Mets Howard batted .182 with a home run and 7 RBIs.

While with the Mets wore number 5.

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Rusty Staub – His New York Mets Career 1972-1975, 1981-1985

Rusty StaubOne of the most popular players in franchise history Rusty Staub had two successful stints with the Mets.  The Mets first acquired Staub from the Montreal Expos on April 6, 1972 in exchange for Tim Foli, Mike Jorgensen and Ken Singleton.

Staub singled in his first at bat as a Met on April 15, 1972 but injuries limited him to just 66 games for the season. But he did manage to hit .293 with 9 home runs and 38 RBIs. In 1973 he played an integral part as the Mets won the National League Eastern Division by hitting .279 with 15 home runs and 76 RBIs, the most on the team, while also setting a franchise record with 36 doubles. But it was in the postseason where he cemented his legacy in Met history. In the NLCS against the Cincinnati Reds Staub hit 3 home runs, 2 in game 3game 3, and drove in 5 runs as the Mets upset the Reds in 5 games to win the National League Pennant. Unfortunately, he also injured his shoulder when he crashed into the outfield wall. The injury hampered his ability to throw but not his ability to hit. In the World Series against the Oakland A’s, Staub was the Mets leading hitter with a .423 average and also led the team with 6 RBIs. In game 4 he hit a home run and drove in 5 runs as the Mets won 6-1 to even the series at 2 games apiece.  Unfortunately, it was not enough as the Mets lost the series in 7 games.

Rusty had a very similar season in 1974 once again leading the team in RBIs with 78 but hit just .258. 1975 turned out to be his best season with the Mets, he set a franchise record with 105 RBIs, a record that would stand for 15 seasons until Darryl Strawberry broke it with 108 in 1990.

Despite his success the Mets traded Staub to the Detroit Tigers in the offseason along with minor leaguer Bill Laxton in exchange for pitcher Mickey Lolich and outfielder Billy Baldwin.

It was a trade the Mets would come to regret as Staub went on to become one of the most productive run producers while Lolich had a mediocre season for the Mets and then retired.

Rusty returned to the Mets in 1981 as a free agent and would play 5 seasons with the Mets before retiring after the 1985 season.  In his first season back with the Mets Staub played first base and hit .317 with 5 home runs and 21 RBIs.  In 1982 he served as a player/coach and split time between the outfield and first base but hit just .242 with 3 home runs and 28 RBIs. 

From 1983 to 1985 Staub served primarily as a pinch hitter and became the most preeminent pinch hitter in the league.

In 1983 he tied the Major League record for most consecutive pinch hits with eight. He also tied the single season Major League record with 25 pinch hit RBI’s. In 1984 Staub hit just one home run, but that one home run put him in exclusive company as he became just the second player to hit a home run before his 20th birthday and after his 40th birthday, the other player was Hall of Famer ty Cobb.

Rusty Staub retired following the 1985 season. In his 9 seasons with the Mets Staub appeared in 942 games and hit .276 with 75 home runs and 399 RBIs.  He was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame in 1986.

Following his playing career Staub spent 10 seasons in the Mets broadcast booth

While with the Mets Staub wore number 4 from 1972 to 1975 and number 10 from 1981 to 1985.

Rusty Staub also played for the following teams:
Houston Astros – 1963-1968
Montreal Expos – 1969-1971, 1979
Detroit Tigers – 1976-1979
Texas Rangers – 1980

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Neil Allen – His New York Mets Career 1979-1983

Neil AllenIn the infancy of the modern closer role Neil Allen served in that capacity for the Mets from 1979 to 1983. But he will go down in Mets history not for the 69 games he saved but for being the central piece in arguably the greatest trade in Mets history. On June 15, 1983 Neil Allen was traded to the St Louis Cardinals along with fellow pitcher Rick Ownbey for a first baseman by the name of Keith Hernandez. Yes, the Keith Hernandez who would go on to be the leader of the 1986 World Championship team.

Neil Allen was drafted by the Mets in the 11th round of the 1976 amateur draft. Initially a starting pitcher he made his Major League debut with the Mets on April 15th, 1979 against the Philadelphia Phillies, he would suffer the loss allowing 3 runs over 6 innings. Allen would go on to lose five straight decisions before the Mets moved him into the bullpen. Allen found a home in the Mets bullpen where he won 6 games and saved another 8 over the remainder of the season.

Neil Allen became a permanent member of the Mets bullpen in 1980 eventually becoming the teams closer. He saved 59 games over the next three seasons, often keeping the fans on the edge of their seats. His best season came in 1980 when he saved 22 games.  He was twice named National Player of the Week, first for the week ending on July 6, 1980 when he saved 2 games and posted a 0.00 ERA in three appearances.  The second time came in 1981 for the week ending on August 23 when in 3 appearances he saved 2 and won the other.

In 1983 the Mets were experimenting with returning Allen back into a starter when Cardinals General Manager Whitey Herzog called them to see if they would be interested in Keith Hernandez and the rest as they say is history.

In five seasons with the Mets Allen appeared in 223 games and posted a 25 and 40 record with 69 saves and a 3.54 ERA.

While with the Mets Allen wore number 46 from 1979-1980 and number 13 from 1981-1983.

Neil Allen also plated for the following teams:
St. Louis Cardinals – 1983-1985
New York Yankees – 1985, 1987, 1988
Chicago White Sox – 1986, 1987
Cleveland Indians – 1989

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Jeff Reardon – His New York Mets Career 1979-1981

Jeff ReardonBefore he became one of the games top closers Jeff Reardon served as a middle reliever for the Mets. He made his Major League debut with the Mets on June 17, 1979 against the Atlanta Braves. He pitched one inning and was the winning pitcher. Following the game, he was sent back down to the minors. He was recalled in August and finished out the season with the Mets. He recorded his first career save on September 28 against the Cardinals.

Reardon spent the entire 1980 season with the Mets. He appeared in 61 games, the most on the staff, and posted an 8-7 record with 6 saves and 2.61 ERA. He returned to the Mets in 1981 but was traded in the middle of May along with Dan Norman to the Montreal Expos in exchange for outfielder Ellis Valentine. At the time Reardon was 1-0 with 2 saves with a 3.45 ERA. It would go down as one of the worst trades in franchise history. Valentine a former All-Star never regained his stroke with the Mets and Reardon would retire with 367 saves, at the time the second most in baseball history.

Jeff Reardon appeared in 97 games for the Mets, all out of the bullpen. His record was 10-9 with 10 saves and a 2.65 ERA.

While with the Mets Reardon wore number 45 in 1979 and 1980 and number 44 in 1981.

Jeff Reardon also played for the following teams:
Montreal Expos – 1981-1986
Minnesota Twins – 1987-1989
Boston Red Sox – 1990-1992
Atlanta Braves – 1992
Cincinnati Reds – 1993
New York Yankees – 1994

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Wally Backman – His New York Mets Career 1980-1988

Wally BackmanA hardnosed gritty player Wally Backman symbolized the feistiness and tenacity of the great Met teams of the mid 80’s especially the 1986 World Championship team.

Wally Backman started his Met career as a September call up in 1980 and would spend parts of the next four seasons with the Mets. During that span he showed signs of promise but could never stick with the big club, injuries also played a factor. When not playing in New York Backman spent much of the time with the Mets Triple A affiliate the Tidewater Tides. It was with Tidewater where Backman caught the eye of manager Davey Johnson who liked his style of play. When Johnson was named the manager of the Mets in 1984, he immediately made Backman his starting second baseman and leadoff hitter. He became a fan favorite due to his hardnosed style of play, leading the league in dirty uniforms. Backman would hit .280 while also stealing 32 bases as the Mets surprised many and won 90 games for their first winning season since 1976.

In 1985 he hit .273 with 1 home run and 38 RBIs and led the team in stolen bases with 30. During the month of August, he enjoyed a 14-game hitting streak.

In 1986, Backman’s struggles against left-handed pitching forced Davey Johnson to platoon him with Tim Teufel. But he still managed to hit a career best .320 while batting in the number two spot in the lineup setting the table for the Mets big hitters, Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter and Darryl Strawberry, as the Mets ran away and hid in the National League and won the World Series.

During the 1986 League Championship Series, he hit just 0.238 but was in the middle of some of the most pivotal moments.  In game 3, with the Mets trailing 5-4 entering the 9th inning Backman led off with a bunt single.  He beat out the bunt when he lunged past Astros first baseman Glenn Davis.  Two batters later he scored on Len Dyktra’s walk off home run.  In game 5 with the game tied in the 12rh inning, he led off with an infield single and would eventually come around to score the winning run on Gary Carter’s single.  During the World Series against the Boston Red Sox, he hit .333 (6 for 18) and drove in one run.

Backman’s production began to fall off in 1987 and by 1988 and with the emergence of Gregg Jefferies and Keith Miller from the Mets minor league system he became expendable. He was traded to the Minnesota Twins following the 1988 season in exchange for three minor league prospects.

Backman hit .283 over his 9-year career with the Mets, playing in 765 games.

In 2010, Wally Backman returned to the Mets organization as manager of the Brooklyn Cyclones, their single A minor league affiliate.  He went on to manage their double A affiliate the Binghamton Mets.  He also managed their Triple A affiliate in both Buffalo and Las Vegas from 2012-2016.

While with the Mets Backman wore number 28 in 1980 and number 6 from 1981-1988.

Wally Backman also played for the following teams:
Minnesota Twins – 1989
Pittsburgh Pirates – 1990
Philadelphia Phillies – 1991,1992
Seattle Mariners – 1993

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Terry Leach – His New York Mets Career 1981,1982,1985-1989

Terry LeachTerry Leach, a right-handed pitcher who pithed side-armed, was originally signed by the Mets as a minor league free agent on July 27, 1980. A year later he made his Major League debut on August 12, 1981 when he pitched one inning of relief in the Mets 7-4 win over the Chicago Cubs, He allowed 3 hits and 2 runs.  He finished out the season with the Mets and appeared in 21 games, all but one out of the bullpen, and posted a 1-1 record with a 2.55 ERA.  He earned his first Major League win on September 9 against the Pittsburgh Pirates when he pitched 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.  In his only start of the season on August 15 against the Philadelphia Phillies he pitched 5 innings and allowed 3 hits and 1 unearned run.  He got a no-decision as the Mets won 3-1.

He started the 1982 season in the minors before getting brought up to New York in June.  Once again, he appeared in 21 games, all but one out of the bullpen, and posted a 2-1 record with 1 save and a 4.17 ERA.  His only start came on October 1 was a memorable one.  He pitched a complete game shutout and allowed only 1 hit and struck out 7 in 10 innings of work as the Met won 1=0.

Leach spent the entire 1983 season in the minors pitching for the Tidewater Tides.  He posted a 5-7 record with 6 saves and a 4.46 ERA.  Following the season, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs, He started the 1984 season in the Cubs minor league system before being traded to the Atlanta Braves.  He didn’t last long in the Braves organization.  He was released by the Braves on May 25 and was immediately picked up by the Mets.  He finished out the season in the minors.

He started the 1985 season in the minors before once again getting called up the New York in June.  This time he appeared in 22 games 4 as a starter, and posted a 3-4 record with 1 save and a 2.91. His best performance came on August 22 when he pitched a compete game 3 hit shut out against the San Francisco Giants.

Leach started the 1986 season with the Mets but made only 6 appearances, all out of the bullpen, before being shipped back to the minors.  He posted a 0-0 record with a 2.70 innings in 6 2/3 innings.

 He spent the entire 1987 season with the Mets and enjoyed his best season with the Mets.  He started the season in the bullpen before a rash of injuries in the Mets starting staff he was forced to join the rotation.  In 12 starts he posted a 7-1 record, He finished the season with an 11-1 record and 3.22 ERA.  His best appearance came on July 2 when he pitched a complete game shutout against the Cincinnati Reds

Leach pitched exclusively out of the bullpen in 1988 appearing in 52 games.  He finished with a 7-2 record with 3 saves and 2.54 ERA in helping the Mets win the National League Eastern Division title.  In the postseason he appeared in 3 games and did not allow any runs in 5 innings of relief.  But the Mets lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games.

In 1989 he appeared in 10 games before being traded to the Kansas City Royals on June 9.  At the time of the trade his record 0-0 with a 4.22 ERA.

In 176 games for the Mets over 7 seasons Leach posted a 24 and 9 record with 7 saves and 3.11 ERA.

While with the Mets Leach wore number 43 in 1981 and 1986 and number 26 from 1985 to 1986.

Terry Leach also played for the following teams:
Kansas City Royals – 1989
Minnesota Twins – 1990-1991
Chicago White Sox – 1992-1993

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Greg Harris – His New York Mets Career 1981

Greg HarrisAfter spending 4 seasons in the minors right-handed pitcher Greg Harris made his Major League debut with the Mets on May 20,1981 against the San Francisco Giants.  As the starting pitcher, he threw 6 innings and allowed 4 hits and 2 runs but earned a no decision as the Mets won 4-3.  He earned his first career win in his next start against the Philadelphia Phillies. For the season, he appeared in 16 game, 14 as a starter, and posted a 3-5 record with a save and a 4.46. ERA.  His one save came on August 10 when he pitched a scoreless 13th inning to preserve the 7-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Following the season Harris was traded to the Cincinnati Reds along with Alex Trevino and Jim Kern for George Foster.

While with the Mets Harris wore number 20.

Greg Harris also played for the following teams:
Cincinnati Reds – 1982,1983
San Diego Padres – 1984
Montreal Expos – 1984,1995
Texas Rangers – 1985-1987
Philadelphia Phillies – 1988,1989
Boston Red Sox – 1989-1994
New York Yankees – 1994

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Ray Searage – His New York Mets Career 1981

Ray SearageAfter spending three seasons in the minors, left-handed pitcher Ray Searage made his Major League debut with the Mets on June 11,1981 against the Cincinnati Reds.  He pitched the final two innings and allowed 3 hits and no runs but the Mets lost 5-2.  Searage would have to wait another 2 months to make his next appearance as the next day the players went on strike and would not return until August.   

On August 11th, he earned his first career win against the Chicago Cubs when he pitched 2 scoreless inning of relief.  On September 9th he earned his first career save when he retired all 5 batters he faced to preserve the Mets 5-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Overall Searage appeared in 26 games, all out of the bullpen.  He posted a 1-0 record with 1 save 3.68 ERA. 

Following the season, the Mets traded Searage to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Tom Veryzer.

While with the Mets Searage wore number 44.

Ray Searage also played for the following teams:
Milwaukee Brewers – 1984-1986
Chicago White Sox – 1986,1987
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1989,1990

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