Pete Walker – His New York Mets Career 1995,2001,2002

Pete WalkerAfter spending 5 seasons in the Mets minor league system right-handed pitcher Pete Walker made his Major League debut with the Mets on June 7, 1995 against the San Francisco Giants.  Walker pitched 1 1/3 innings of relief and allowed 1 earned run 2 hits as the Mets lost 9-8.  He would go on to pitch in 13 games for New York, all out of the bullpen, and posted a 1-0 record with 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings.  His won win came on the last day of the season when he pitched a scoreless 11th inning in the Mets 1-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves. 

Following the season Walker was traded to the San Diego Padres. He returned to the Mets as a free agent on December 28, 2000.  He spent the 2001 season in the minors before getting called up to New York in September.  He appeared 2 games and posted a 2.70 ERA in 6 2/3 innings.  Walker appeared in 1 game for the Mets in 2002 before being picked up off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays.  In his one appearance, he allowed he allowed 1 run in 1 inning of relief in the Mets 7-5 loss to the Montreal Expos on April 20.

In 16 total appearances for the Mets in part of 3 seasons Walker posted a 1-0 record with a 4.26 ERA.

While with the Mets Walker wore number 49 in 1995 and number 43 in 2001 and 2002.

Pete Walker also played for the following teams:
San Diego Padres – 1996
Colorado Rockies – 2000
Toronto Blue Jays – 2002,2003,2005,2006

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Damon Buford – His New York Mets Career 1995

Damon BufordDamon Buford, the son of former Baltimore Oriole great Don Buford who famously led off the 1969 World Series by hitting a home run off Tom Seaver, was acquired by the Mets on July 28th, 1995 from the Orioles along with Alex Ochoa in exchange for Bobby Bonilla.  He made his Met debut the next day as their starting leftfielder and went 1 for 3 at the plate.

Buford finished out the season playing 44 games for the Mets, splitting time between all three outfield positions.  He hit just .235 with 4 home runs and 12 RBIs with his best game coming on September 13th when he hit two home runs and drove in three in the Mets 10-5 win over the Houston Astros.

Following the season, the Mets traded Buford to the Texas Rangers in exchange for minor leaguer Terrell Lowery.

While with the Mets Buford number 2. 

Damon Buford also played for the following teams:
Baltimore Orioles – 1993-1995
Texas Rangers – 1996,1997
Boston Red Sox – 1998,1999
Chicago Cubs – 2000,2001

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Bobby Jones – His New York Mets Career – 1993-2000

Bobby J JonesThe New York Mets drafted right handed pitcher Bobby Jones in the first round of the 1991 amateur draft with a compensation pick they received when Darryl Strawberry signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a free agent. After spending three seasons in the minors where he won 25 games, Bobby Jones made his Met debut on August 14, 1993 against the Philadelphia Phillies.  He pitched 6 innings allowing just one earned run for his first major league win.  He would finish out the season 2 – 4 with a 3.65 ERA.  In his last start of the season Jones pitched 10 innings of shutout ball and struck out 9 batters against the St, Louis Cardinals, a game the Mets would win 1-0 in 17 innings.

Bobby Jones made the Mets starting rotation out of Spring Training in 1994 as their number 3 starter.  He would go on to have a solid season for the Mets winning 12 games, 2nd to Bret Saberhagen’s team best 14, in the strike shortened season.  Now firmly entrenched in the Mets starting rotation Jones was named the opening day starter in 1995, he would go on to lead the team with 10 wins, unfortunately he also led the team with 10 losses.  He followed that up with a 12 and 8 season in 1996.   

1997 would be Bobby Jones’ best season in the majors. After starting the season 3 and 2 he reeled off 8 straight victories and was named the National League Pitcher of the Month for May.  During the month, Jones won all 5 of his starts while posting a 1.15 ERA.  He would finish the season with a career best 15 wins.  Along the way, he made his first and only All-Star game appearance where he pitched one inning and retired the side in order striking out 2 including future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr.  

After posting a 9 and 9 season in 1998, Jones suffered through an injury plagued 1999 appearing in only 12 games winning just 3.  The Mets advanced to the playoffs in 1999 but Jones was left off the postseason roster.  He returned in 2000 as the Mets number 5 starter.  Despite a 5.06 ERA he managed to win 11 games and helped the Mets reach the postseason for the second consecutive season 

In the National League Divisional Series against the San Francisco Giants, Jones was tabbed to pitch game 4 with the Mets leading the series 2 games to 1.  Bobby Jones would go on to pitch arguably the greatest game in Mets history, throwing a complete game one hit shutout. He retired the side in order in 8 of the 9 innings.  With the win the Mets clinched the series and advanced to the National League Championship Series.   Even though the Mets would eventually advance to the World Series it would be Bobby Jones’ last victory in a Met uniform.  Following the season Bobby Jones signed with the San Diego Padres as a free agent, where he pitched two more seasons before retiring.   

In 8 seasons with the Mets Bobby Jones pitched in 193 regular seasons games and posted a 74 and 56 record with a 4.13 ERA.

While with the Mets Jones wore number 28.

Bobby Jones also played for the San Diego Padres in 2001 and 2002.

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Aaron Ledesma – His New York Mets Career 1995

Aaron LedesmaAfter spending 5 seasons in the Mets minor league system, infielder Aaron Ledesma finally got the call to the big leagues on July 2, 1995.  In his first Major League at bat he pinch hit for pitcher Eric Gunderson and singled.  He would go on to appear in 21 games for the Mets, playing first, third and shortstop before being sent back to the minors in August.  He hit .242 with 3 RBIs.

Following the season, he was traded to the California Angels.

While with the Mets Ledesma wore number 11.

Aaron Ledesma also played for the following teams:
Baltimore Orioles – 1997
Tampa Bay Devil Rays – 1998,1999
Colorado Rockies – 2000

Rico Brogna – His New York Mets Career 1994-1996

Rico BrognaThe Mets acquired first baseman Rico Brogna from the Detroit Tigers on March 31, 1994 in exchange for Alan Zinter.  After starting the 1994 season in the minors Brogna made his Met debut on June 22 against the Atlanta Braves, he went 0-3 as the starting first baseman.  Brogna took over as the Mets everyday first baseman and became one of the team’s best hitters.  He was hitting .351 with 7 home runs and 20 RBIs when the 1994 season was shut down due to the player’s strike. 

Brogna returned in 1995, homering on Opening Day against the Colorado Rockies, it was the first home run hit at Coors Field.  Brogna would become the Mets everyday first baseman and was the Mets most productive hitter leading the team in every major offensive category.  He finished the season with a .289 average and 22 home runs and 76 RBIs while also playing a gold glove caliber first base.

In 1996 Rico Brogna was hitting .255 with 7 home runs and 30 RBIs when his season was shut down in the middle of June with a labral tear in his right shoulder.  1996 would be Brogna’s last season with the Mets as he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies on November 27, 1996 in exchange for pitchers Ricardo Jordan and Toby Borland. 

Overall Rico Brogna appeared in 228 games and hit .291 with 36 home runs and 126 RBIs. 

While with the Mets Brogna wore number 26.

Rico Brogna also played for the following teams:
Detroit Tigers – 1992
Philadelphia Phillies – 1997-2000
Boston Red Sox – 2000
Atlanta Braves – 2001

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Mike Birkbeck – His New York Mets Career 1992,1995

The Mets signed right-handed pitcher Mike Birkbeck as a free agent on January 2, 1992.  He pitched most of the 92 season in the minors with the Tidewater Tides before getting called up to New York at the end of August.  He made his Met debut on August 31 as their starting pitcher against the Atlanta Braves.  In what would be his only appearance of the season for the Mets he allowed 7 runs and 12 hits over 7 innings and suffered the loss.

Following the season Birkbeck left the Mets as a free agent only to return to New York in 1995.  After starting the season in the minors, he was called up in the middle of May.  He made four starts for the Mets and pitched reasonably well but failed to win a game and was released on June 13.  He finished with a 0-1 record and 1.63 ERA in 27 2/3 innings.

In five starts for the Mets over two seasons Birkbeck posted a 0-2 record with a 3.12 ERA.

While with the Mets Birkbeck wore number 49 in 1992 and number 36 in 1995.

Mike Birkbeck also played for the Milwaukee Brewers from 1986-1989.

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Edgardo Alfonzo – His New York Mets Career 1995-2002

Edgardo AlfonzoEdgardo Alfonzo made his Major League debut with the Mets on April 26, 1995 and would go on to play eight seasons with the team becoming one of the most popular players in team history as evidenced by his being voted the greatest 2nd baseman in Mets history by the fans as part of their 40th Anniversary Celebration.

After two good yet unspectacular seasons in 1995 and 1996 Alfonzo broke out in 1997 hitting a team best .315.  But his best season with the Mets came in 1999 when he established himself as one of the top hitters in the game.  He hit 27 home runs and drove in 108 while helping the Mets reach the postseason for the first time since 1988.  He also set the Mets single season record for runs scored with 123.   On August 30th against the Houston Astros Alfonzo had a career day by becoming the first player and to date the only player in franchise history to go 6 for 6 in a game.  He hit three home runs and drove in five and became the first player since the legendary Ty Cobb to go 6 for 6 with three home runs in a game.

In 1999 Edgardo Alfonzo also established himself as one of the games best defensive players. After playing most of his career at 3rd base Alfonzo moved to 2nd base and committed just five errors for a .993 fielding percentage. Many believe he should have won the gold glove but he was beaten out by Pokey Reese of the Reds.

In order for the Mets to make the postseason in 1999 the Mets were forced to play a one game playoff against the Cincinnati Reds.  Alfonzo hit a two run home run in the first inning of the game which proved to be all the runs the Mets needed as they went on to win 5-0.

Alfonzo continued his hot hitting in his first postseason game against the Arizona Diamondback hitting two home runs including a grand slam while driving in five runs.  In all he hit three home runs and drove in six in helping the Mets defeat the Diamondbacks in the NLDS.  He continued his great hitting in the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves with another home run and five RBI’s but the Mets lost to the Braves in six games.

In 2000 he continued his stellar play and earned his first All-Star selection by hitting a career best .324 with 25 home runs and 94 RBI’s in helping the Mets reach the World Series for the first time since 1986.

Alfonzo’s production started to suffer in 2001 and 2002, due in large part to back problems and the Mets let him walk as a free agent following the 2002 season much to the chagrin of many Mets fans including this one.  But it turned out to be the right move as his production continued to decline. 

Edgardo Alfonzo did try to make a comeback with the Mets in 2006 signing with their Triple A affiliate the Norfolk Tides but the bid fell short and Alfonzo never made it back to the big leagues. 

In his eight seasons with the Mets Alfonzo hit .292 with 120 home runs and 538 RBI’s in 1086 games.

In 24 postseason games Alfonzo hit .240 with 4 home runs and 17 RBI’s.

While with the Mets Edgardo Alfonzo wore number 13 in tribute to his fellow countryman Dave Concepcion from Valenzuela.

Edgardo Alfonzo also played for the following teams:
San Francisco Giants – 2003-2005
Los Angeles Angels – 2006
Toronto Blue Jays – 2006

 

Reid Cornelius – His New York Mets Career 1995

Reid CorneliusThe Mets acquired right-handed pitcher Reid Cornelius from the Montreal Expos in exchange for David Segui on June 8, 2005.  Cornelius immediately reported to the minors where he appeared in 10 games for the Norfolk Tides, before being brought up to New York in August.  He made his Met debut as the starting pitcher on August 3rd against the Cincinnati Reds.  He allowed 3 earned runs over 6 innings and was the losing pitcher.  He won his next start on August 8th against the Philadelphia Phillies, allowing 4 earned runs over 5 2/3 innings.

He would finish out season in the Mets rotation appearing in 10 games and posting a 3-7 record with a 5.15 ERA.

Following the season the Mets traded Cornelius to the Cleveland Indians along with Ryan Thompson in exchange for Mark Clark.

While with the Mets Cornelius wore number 47.

Reid Cornelius also played for the following teams:
Montreal Expos – 1995
Florida Marlins – 1999,2000

 

Brook Fordyce – His New York Mets Career 1995

Brook Fordyce.jpgAfter spending 6 seasons in the Mets minor league system catcher Brook Fordyce finally got the call to join the big club in 1995.  He made his Major League debut on Opening Day as a pinch runner for David Segui.  Fordyce would make 3 more appearances for the Mets, all as a pinch hitter.  In his final plate appearance for the Mets on May 12 he hit a double for his first major league hit.  The Mets than placed him on waivers and he was claimed by the Cleveland Indians.

In 4 games for the Mets Fordyce batted .500 (1 for 2).

While with the Mets Fordyce wore number 5.

Brook Fordyce also played for the following teams:
Cincinnati Reds – 1996-1998
Chicago White Sox – 1999,2000
Baltimore Orioles – 2000-2003
Tampa Bay Devil Rays – 2004

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Tim Bogar – His New York Mets Career 1993-1996

tim-bogarTim Bogar was selected by the Mets in the 8th round of the 1987 amateur draft. After spending 6 years in the minors Bogar finally reached the majors in 1993 making his major debut on April 21, 1993 as a pinch hitter for Dwight Gooden, for the record he struck out.  Bogar would spend the rest of the season serving mainly as a utility infielder.  Appearing in 78 games he hit .244 with 3 home runs and 25 RBIs.  The highlight of his season came on August 14 against the Philadelphia Phillies, he went 4 for 4 with 2 home runs and 4 RBIs.  He also made history during the game becoming the first player in Mets history to hit an inside the park and an outside the park home run in the same game.  Unfortunately for Bogar he injured his hand sliding into home on his inside the park home run and would miss the remainder of the season.

Bogar returned to the Mets in 1994 but struggled at the plate for most of the season. In 50 games, he hit just .154 with 2 home runs and 5 RBIs.  In August, he was demoted to the minors.

In 1995 Bogar had his best season at the plate, in 78 games he hit .290 with 1 home run and 21 RBIs.  His home run came on June 23rd against the Atlanta Braves, it was a 3-run shot in the Mets 9-3 victory.

In 1996 Bogar appeared in 91 games, playing all four infield positions, but struggled at the plate.  He hit just .213 with 6 RBIs.  Following the season the Mets traded Bogar to the Houston Astros in exchange for Luis Lopez.

In 4 seasons with the Mets Bogar appeared in 297 games and hit .242 with 6 home runs and 57 RBIs.

While with the Mets Bogar wore number 23 from 1993-1995 and number 11 in 1996.

Tim Bogar also played for the following teams:
Houston Astros – 1997-2000
Los Angeles Dodgers – 2001