Ray Knight – His New York Mets Career 1984-1986

Ray KnightFormer All-star third baseman Ray Knight, was suffering through a down season when the Mets acquired him from the Houston Astros on August 28, 1984. At the time of the trade he was hitting just .223.

Knight finished out the 1984 season with the Mets appearing in 27 games; he hit .280 as the Mets made a late season push to make the playoffs only to come up short.  Knight returned to the Mets in 1985 and struggled mightily hitting just .218 with 6 home runs and 36 RBIs.  Based on his poor performance the Mets attempted to trade Knight during the off-season but could not find any takers, they even entertained the idea of releasing him.  But Knight got off to a fast start in 1986 hitting 6 home runs during the first month of the season.  With his new-found power surge the Mets decided to keep him, a move that they would not regret. He finished out the season hitting .298 with 11 home runs and 76 RBIs as the Mets ran away with the National League’s Eastern division. But it was during the postseason in which Knight made a name for himself and solidified his place in franchise history. 

After hitting just .167 during the NLCS against the Houston Astros, Knight hit .391 with a home run and 5 RBIs during the World Series vs. the Boston Red Sox.  Of his 9 hits two stand out, the first being his single off Calvin Schiraldi in the 10th inning of game six.  With the Mets down to their last out and trailing by two runs, Knight singled to centerfield to pull the Mets to within a run.  He would eventually come around to score the winning run on Mookie Wilson’s ground ball which went through the legs of Boston’s Bill Buckner.  The next night during game seven his seventh inning solo home run gave the Mets the lead, a lead they would not relinquish as they went on to win their second World Series title.  For his efforts Knight was named MVP of the series. 

Despite his new-found cult status among Met fans Knight and the organization could not agree on a contract for the 1987 season and he left as a free agent to sign with the Baltimore Orioles.  During his two plus seasons in New York Knight hit .271 with 18 home runs and 118 RBIs. 

While with the Mets Knight wore number 22. 

Ray Knight also played for the following teams:
Cincinnati Reds – 1974, 1977-1981
Houston Astros – 1982-1984
Baltimore Orioles – 1987
Detroit Tigers – 1988

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Ronn Reynolds – His New York Mets Career 1982,1983,1985

Ronn ReyoldsAfter three seasons in the Mets minor league system catcher Ronn Reynolds finally made his Met debut on September 29, 1982.  He started the game and went 0 for 2 before being removed for a pinch hitter.  He would appear in just one more game in 1982 and finished the season 0 for 4.  Reynolds started the 1983 season in the minors with the Tidewater Tides, the Mets top farm club, before being recalled at the end of April.  He appeared in 24 games, 23 as the starting catcher, but hit only .197 in 66 plate appearances and was shipped back to Tidewater in the middle of June.  He got his first hit on May 8th against the Cincinnati Reds.  Reynolds finished out the season in Tidewater; in fact, he would not make another appearance with the Mets until 1985.  After starting the season with Tidewater, playing in just three games, he was promoted to New York to be the backup catcher to Gary Carter.  Although he spent the entire season with the Mets he appeared in only 28 games and batted just .209 in 43 at bats.

Following the season, the Mets traded Reynolds to the Philadelphia Phillies. 

In 54 games for the Mets over three seasons Reynolds batted .195 with 3 RBIs

While with the Mets Reynolds wore number 8 in 1982 and 1983 and number 9 in 1985.

Ronn Reynolds also played for the following teams:
Philadelphia Phillies – 1986
Houston Astros – 1987
San Diego Padres – 1990

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Kelvin Chapman – His New York Mets Career 1979,1984,1985

Kelvin ChapmanAfter spending three seasons in their minor league system Kelvin Chapman earned his way on to the Major League roster following a phenomenal spring training in 1979.  He made his debut as the Mets starting second baseman.  He got his career off to a fast start, singling in his first at-bat, and hitting safely in his first three games.  But than his bat went cold and with his average at just .150 he was demoted to the minors in the middle of May. Chapman spent the remainder of the season in triple-A before returning to the big club as a September call-up.

Chapman spent the next four seasons playing exclusively for the Tidewater Tides, the Mets top minor league club.  He finally returned to big club in 1984 serving as a part-time player and pinch hitter and put up decent numbers, hitting .289 with 3 home runs and 23 RBIs.  Chapman returned to Mets in 1985 but once again struggled at the plate and was demoted back to the minors halfway through the season with his average at just .174.

The Mets released Chapman following the 1985 season ending his pro baseball career.  Chapman appeared in a total of 172 games for the Mets and hit .223 with 3 home runs and 34 RBIs.

While with the Mets Chapman wore number 10 in 1979 and number 11 in 1984 and 1985.

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Larry Bowa – His New York Mets Career 1985

Larry BowaThe Mets signed veteran shortstop Larry Bowa as a free agent on August 20, 1985.  Bowa was a former All-Star and proven winner who the Mets were hoping could lend some veteran leadership during the stretch run as they battled the St Louis Cardinals for the National League Eastern title.

Bowa would appear in 14 games for the Mets and batted just .105 (2 for 19) with two RBIs as the Mets fell short in their attempt to win the division.

Bowa retired following the 1985 season.

While with the Mets Bowa wore number 2.

Larry Bowa also played for the following teams:
Philadelphia Phillies – 1970-1981
Chicago Cubs – 1982-1985

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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.

 

 

 

 

Rick Aguilera – His New York Mets Career 1985-1989

Rick AguileraIf it wasn’t for a little roller hit behind the bag by Mookie Wilson that went through the legs of Bill Buckner, Rick Aguilera would be known as the pitcher who lost game six of the 1986 World Series. Fortunately for Aguilera the Mets pulled the game out and won the series and he is now remembered as a very good pitcher who won 37 games in five seasons for the Mets mostly as their number five starter.

In his Mets debut on June 12, 1985 Rick Aguilera pitched two innings of scoreless relief against the Philadelphia Phillies to earn his first big league victory.  He appeared in 21 games, 19 as a starter, in 1985 and finished the season with a 10-7 record. He followed that up with an identical 10-7 record during the Mets World Championship season in 1986.

During the postseason in 1986 Aguilera pitched out of the bullpen and as previously stated was on the mound during the tenth inning of game six of the World Series. With the scored tied and the Mets having no margin for error as they trailed the series 3 games to 2, Aguilera gave up two runs to the Boston Red Sox.  In the bottom of the inning the Mets were down to their final out before staging one of the most remarkable comebacks in baseball history.  The Mets won the game and went on to win the series in seven games.

Injuries limited Aguilera to just 18 games in 1987 but when healthy he managed to post an 11 and 3 record.  The Mets moved Aguilera to the bullpen in 1988 where he went 0-4 in just 11 games in another injury plagued season. In 1989 Aguilera pitched exclusively out of the bullpen posting a 6 and 6 record with 7 saves before the Mets traded him along with David West, Kevin Tapani, Tim Drummond and Jack Savage to the Minnesota Twins for Frank Viola, the American League’s reigning Cy Young Award winner.

Rick Aguilera pitched in 114 regular season games for the Mets posting a 37 – 27 record with 7 saves and an ERA of 3.58.  He was also a fine hitter, hitting three home runs during his Mets career.

While with the Mets Aguilera wore number 38 in 1985,1986 and 1989 and number 15 in 1987 and 1988.

Rick Aguilera also played for the following teams:
Minnesota Twins – 1989-1999
Boston Red Sox – 1995
Chicago Cubs – 1999,2000

 

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Wes Gardner – His New York Mets Career 1984,1985

Wes GardnerWes Gardner was drafted by the Mets in the 22nd round of the 1982 amateur draft.  In 1984 after going 1-2 with 20 saves and posting a 1.61 ERA in 40 relief appearances for the Mets top minor league club the Tidewater Tides, he was promoted to New York.  He made his Met debut on July 29th against the Chicago Cubs pitching one inning of scoreless relief.  Gardner would go on to appear in 21 games for the Mets finishing the season with a 1-1 record and 1 save, but with an astronomical ERA of 6.39 in 25 1/3 innings.  His one victory came against the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 5th when he pitched two scoreless innings.

Gardner started the 1985 season in Tidewater, but was recalled in the middle of May.  But his second tour with the Mets would be brief.  After allowing six runs in two innings in his second appearance he was shipped back to Tidewater.   With the Mets in the middle of a pennant race Gardner was brought back up in September.  He appeared in 7 games down the stretch and gave up only one run in 9 innings. 

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

In 30 relief appearances for the Mets he posted 1-3 record with 1 save and 6.03 ERA in 37 1/3 innings.

While with the Mets Gardner wore number 27.

Wes Gardner also played for the following teams:
Boston Red Sox – 1986-1990
Kansas City Royals – 1991
San Diego Padres – 1991

Terry Blocker – His New York Mets Career 1985

Terry BlockerTerry Blocker was drafted by the Mets in the first round of the 1981 amateur draft with the 4th overall pick.  He worked his way through the Mets minor league system and was considered by many in the organization to be a future star. But it didn’t work out that way.  After making the team out of spring training in 1985 Blocker struggled and was often overmatched at the plate.  He appeared in 18 games and hit just .067 (1 for 15).  His one hit came on June 2 against the San Diego Padres in one of his rare starts in left field.

But then on June 9 his Met career literally came to a crashing halt.  Playing the outfield during the second game of a doubleheader Blocker collided with Danny Heep on a fly ball in one of the more horrific collisions in Mets history.  The play resulted in an inside-the-park grand slam and ended Blocker’s season. 

After recovering from his injuries, he was sent back down to the minors and for the next two seasons he played for the Tidewater Tides.  The Mets finally cut ties with Blocker following the 1987 season by trading him to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for pitcher Kevin Brown. 

While with the Mets Blocker wore number 21.

Terry Blocker also played for the Atlanta Braves in 1988 and 1989.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Paciorek – His New York Mets Career 1985

Tom PaciorekTom Paciorek was acquired from the Chicago White Sox in the middle of the 1985 season in exchange for minor leaguer Dave Cochrane.  Paciorek was a 13-year veteran outfielder, who had spent the majority of his career as a bench player.  He made his Mets debut on July 19 against the Atlanta Braves and went 1-3.  He would go on to appear in 46 games for the Mets mainly as a pinch hitter but also splitting time between the outfield and first base.  As the Mets battled the Cardinals down the stretch Paciorek got many key hits, but despite his heroics the Mets fell short in their pursuit to win the National League Eastern Division.  He hit .284 with a home run and 11 RBIs while with the Mets.

1985 would be his only season with the Mets.  Paciorek signed as a free agent with the Texas Rangers in the off-season. 

While with the Mets Paciorek wore number 44. 

Tom Paciorek also played for the following teams:
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1970-1975
Atlanta Braves – 1976-1978
Seattle Mariners – 1978-1981
Chicago White Sox – 1982-1985
Texas Rangers – 1986,1987

Billy Beane – His New York Mets Career 1984,1985

Billy BeaneDrafted in the first round of the 1980 amateur draft Billy Beane was considered by many in the Mets organization to be a can’t miss prospect.  Unfortunately for the Mets and for Beane he missed and never lived up to his five-tool potential. 

Beane worked his way through the Mets minor league system but never consistently put up the numbers expected of him.  He was given a shot at the Major League level as a September call up in 1984.  He made his big-league debut on September 13, 1984 as a pinch hitter for George Foster and grounded back to the pitcher.  Beane finished out the season appearing in five games and batted just .100 (1 for 10).  He was given one more chance the following September, this time he appeared in 8 games and batted .250 (2 for 8) with 1 RBI.

During the off-season, the Mets who were growing weary of waiting for Beane to blossom traded him to the Minnesota Twins along with Bill Latham and Joe Klink in exchange for Tim Teufel and Pat Crosby.   In 13 games for the Mets Beane batted .167.

While with the Mets Beane wore number 43 in 1984 and 35 in 1985.

Billy Beane also played for the following teams:
Minnesota Twins – 1986,1987
Detroit Tigers – 1988
Oakland A’s – 1989