Dave Mlicki – His New York Mets Career 1995-1998

RDave Mlickiight-handed pitcher Dave Mlicki pitched in 122 games for the Mets from 1995-1998 and posted just a 24-30 record with 1 save and a 4.15 ERA.  But he will forever hold a soft spot in the hearts of Mets fans because of one magical night on June 16, 1997 at Yankee Stadium.   On that night the Mets faced their cross-town rivals the New York Yankees in the first ever regular season game between the two teams.   The Yankees were the defending World Series Champions but on that night Mlicki owned them.  He pitched a complete game shutout and struck out 8 batters as the Mets won 6-0.  Though the Mets would lose the next two games, for one night they owned bragging rights in the Big Apple.

The Mets acquired Dave Mlicki on November 18, 1994 from the Cleveland Indians along with Paul Byrd, Jerry Dipoto and Jesus Azuaje in exchange for Jeromy Burnitz and Joe Roa.   Mlicki started the season in the bullpen and made his Met debut on April 29, 1995.  He pitched a scoreless 10th inning and struck out 2 batters and was the winning pitcher as the Mets defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4 in 11 innings.  He was moved to the starting rotation in May.  He earned his first win as a starter on May 18 against the Houston Astros.  He allowed 1 earned run over 7 innings as the Mets won 8-1.  On August 7 he struck out 10 batters in 7 innings against the Florida Marlins. For the season Mlicki posted a 9-7 record with a 4.26 ERA in 29 appearances, 25 as a starter.

In 1996 Mlicki appeared in 51 games, all but 2 out of the bullpen, and posted a 6-7 record with 1 save and a 3.30 ERA.  He earned his only save of the season on June 21 when he pitched the final 3 innings in the Mets 9-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

He returned to the starting rotation in 1997 and led the Mets with 32 starts, He finished with an 8-12 record with a 4.00 ERA.  Due in large part to his victory over the Yankees he was named National League Player of the Week for the week ending June 22.

Mlicki appeared in 10 games for the Mets in 1998 all as a starter and posted a 1-4 record with a 5.68 ERA.  His only victory came on May 5 when he pitched a complete game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Met traded Mlicki to the Los Angeles Dodgers along with Greg McMichael on June 4 in exchange for Hideo Nomo and Brad Clontz.

While with the Mets Mlicki wore number 38.

Dave Mlicki also played for the following teams:
Cleveland Indians – 1992-1993
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1998,1999
Detroit Tigers = 1999-2001
Houston Astros – 2001,2002

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Dennis Cook – His New York Mets Career 1998-2001

Dennis CookAfter helping the Florida Marlins win the 1997 World Series Dennis Cook was traded to the New York Mets and for the next 3 ½ seasons he served as a left-handed specialist out of their bullpen.

In his Mets debut on Opening Day 1998 Cook pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. He would pitch in 73 games, the most on the team, and posted an 8-4 record with 1 save and a 2.38 ERA. He followed that up with a 10-5 season in 1999 while also saving another 3 games as the Mets reached the postseason for the first time since 1988. During the postseason Cook appeared in 4 games and did not allow a run in 3 innings of work.

In 2000 Cook appeared in 68 games and won 6 while losing 3 but his ERA ballooned to 5.34. The Mets once again reached the postseason this time reaching the World Series. In six appearances during the 2001 postseason Cook did not give up a run over three innings.

Cook returned to the Mets bullpen in 2001 but was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies along with Turk Wendell in exchange for Bruce Chen and Adam Walker midway through the season. At the time of the trade his record was 1-1 with 4.25 ERA.

In 4 years with the Mets Dennis Cook appeared in 255 games and posted a 25-13 record with 6 saves and a 3.86 ERA.

While with the Mets Cook wore number 27.

Dennis Cook also played for the following teams:
San Francisco Giants – 1988,1989
Philadelphia Phillies – 1989,1990,2001
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1990,1991
Cleveland Indians – 1992,1993, 1995
Chicago White Sox – 1994
Texas Rangers – 1995,1996
Florida Marlins – 1997
Anaheim Angels – 2002

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Jeff Tam – His New York Mets Career 1998,1999

Jeff TamAfter spending 5 seasons in the minors right-handed pitcher Jeff Tam made his Major League debut with the Mets on June 30, 1998.  He pitched an inning of scoreless relief in the Mets 6-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.  He appeared in 15 games, all out of the bullpen, and posted a 1-1 record with a 6.28 ERA in 14 1/3 innings.  His only win came on July 12, 1998 against the Montreal Expos.  He pitched 1 2/3 innings and allowed no runs while striking out 1.

Tam started the 1999 season in the minors before being placed on waivers where he was picked up by the Cleveland Indians on June 18.  He appeared in 1 game for the Indians before once again being placed on waivers.  The Mets reclaimed him on August 11 and he went on to appear in 9 games. He finished the season with a 0-0 record and 3.18 ERA.

Following the season, he was granted free agency and he signed with the Oakland A’s.  In 24 games over 2 seasons he posted a 1-1 record with a 1.91 ERA.

While with the Mets Tam wore number 36 in 1998 and number 38 in 1999.

Jeff Tam also played for the following teams:
Cleveland Indians – 1999
Oakland A’s – 2000-2002
Toronto Blue Jays – 2003

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Preston Wilson – His New York Mets Career 1998

Preston WilsonThe stepson of Mookie Wilson, one of the most popular players in franchise history, Preston Wilson was drafted by the Mets in the first round of the 1992 amateur draft. Wilson worked his way through the Mets minor league system as one of the team’s top prospects before making his Major League with the Mets on May 7, 1998. The Shea Stadium faithful gave him a warm welcome and he rewarded them by singling in his first at bat and finishing the game 3 for 4 with an RBI as the Mets beat the Cardinals 4-3. He followed that up with another three-hit performance the next day. He then went hitless in his next six games.

On May 22 Wilson was traded to the Florida Marlins along with minor leaguers Geoff Goetz and Ed Yarnall in exchange for a fellow named Mike Piazza.

In 8 games for the Mets Wilson hit .300 (6 for 20) with 2 RBIs.

While with the Mets Wilson wore number 11.

Preston Wilson also played for the following teams:
Florida Marlins – 1998-2002
Colorado Rockies – 2003-2005
Washington Nationals – 2005
St. Louis Cardinals – 2006,2007
Houston Astros – 2007

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Benny Agbayani – His New York Mets Career 1998-2001

Benny AgbayaniAfter being drafted by the Mets in the 30th round of the 1993 amateur draft outfielder Benny Agbayani, a native of Hawaii, worked his way through the Mets minor league system before making his debut with the Mets on June 17,1998 against the Montreal Expos. Agbayani entered the game as part of a double switch and struck out in his first at bat. Two days later he started against the Florida Marlins and singled to lead off the game for his first Major League hit. He appeared in just 11 games for the Mets in 1998 and did not leave much of an impression hitting just .133 and was quickly sent back to the minors.

It appeared that his Major League career was over before it started, but Mets manager Bobby Valentine, who was always a fan of Agbayani, gave him a second chance in 1999. He was called back up from the minors on May 11, 1999 and this time made the most of the situation by hitting a home run in his first game back against the Colorado Rockies. He would go on to hit 6 home runs over the next 16 games and quickly became a fan favorite. Agbayani gave the Mets no reason to send him back to the minors and he finished the season helping them reach the postseason for the first time since 1988 with 14 home runs and 42 RBIs.

After a mediocre spring training in 2000 Agbayani was in danger of being shipped back to the minors. But with the Mets slated to play their first two games of the season in Japan against the Chicago Cubs and not in need of a fifth starter for a few weeks, Benny Agbayani made the opening day roster. Agbayani once again took advantage of the situation. In the second game of the season with the Mets in danger of starting the season 0-2 Agbayani hit a grand slam in the 11h inning to give the Mets the victory. The Mets brass decided to keep Agbayani on the Major League roster and he would go on to hit 15 home runs with 60 RBI’s and once again helped the Mets reach the postseason for the second straight season.

In the 2000 postseason Agbayani cemented his place in Mets history by hitting the game winning home run in the bottom of the 13th inning against the San Francisco Giants in game three of the National League Divisional Series, a series the Mets would win in four games. He then helped the Mets reach the World Series by hitting .353 with 3 RBIs in the NLCS against the St Louis Cardinals. The Mets postseason run came to an end in the World Series against their cross-town rivals, the New York Yankees. The Mets lost the series in five games, but in their only victory Agbayani drove in the winning run with a double in the bottom of the 8th inning of game three.

Benny Agbayani returned to the Mets in 2001 but injuries limited his effectiveness as hit only 6 home runs while driving in 27 runs. The Mets traded Benny Agbayani on January 21, 2002 as part of a three-team trade which landed him in Colorado. Agbayani struggled with the Rockies and was placed on waivers. He was picked up by the Red Sox and finished the season in Boston, but 2002 would be his last season in the majors. After spending the 2003 season in the Kansas City Royals organization, he finished his career in Japan playing for his old Met manager Bobby Valentine with the Chiba Lotte Marines.

While with the Mets Agbayani wore number 39 in 1998 and number 50 from 1999-2001

Benny Agbayani also played for the following teams:
Colorado Rockies – 2002
Boston Red Sox – 2002

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Al Leiter – His New York Mets Career 1998-2004


Al Leiter
Al Leiter

After winning the 1997 World Series the Florida Marlins conducted a fire sale and traded off all their high-priced stars. One of the beneficiaries of sale was the New York Mets who acquired left-handed pitcher Al Leiter. For the next seven seasons Al Leiter was a workhorse who served as the ace of the Mets pitching staff.


In his first season with the Mets in 1998 Leiter posted a 17-6 record with a 2.47 ERA, the third best in the National League. He also led the Mets with 174 strikeouts.

During the 1999 season he won just 13 games but won the most important game of the season. In a one game playoff against the Cincinnati Reds to determine the National League Wild Card Leiter pitched a complete game two hit shutout to send the Mets to the postseason for the first time since 1988.

In 2000 Leiter started the season 10-1 and was named to the National League All-Star team. Along the way he was also named the National League pitcher of the month for June. He finished the season with a 16-8 record and once again led the team with 200 strikeouts as the Mets returned to the postseason. The Mets made it all the way to the World Series where they faced the New York Yankees. Leiter started games 1 and 5 and pitched effectively but the Mets lost both games and the series. In 15 2/3 innings he struck out 16 and posted a 2.87 ERA. In game five, with the Mets one loss away from losing the series, Leiter gave it everything he had and left it all on the field. He pitched into the 9th inning yielding just two runs, but finally ran out of gas and lost the game.

After back to back .500 seasons Leiter posted a 15-9 record in 2003 and then won another 10 games in 2004.

2004 would be his last season with the Mets. The Mets sensing that he was nearing the end of line allowed him to leave as a free agent. The Mets were proven right as Leiter struggled in 2005 pitching for the Florida Marlins and New York Yankees.

In his seven seasons with the Mets Leiter posted a 95-67 record with a 3.42 ERA and 1,106 strikeouts. He currently ranks 6th in franchise history with his 95 victories.

While with the Mets Leiter wore number 22.

Al Leiter also played for the following team:
New York Yankees – 1987-1989, 2005
Toronto Blue Jays – 1989-1995
Florida Marlins – 1996,1997,2005

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Tony Phillips – His New York Mets Career 1998

Tony Phillips.pngLooking to make a playoff push in 1998 the Mets acquired veteran Tony Phillips from the Toronto Blue Jays at the trading deadline on July 31.  He made his Met debut the next day as their leadoff hitter and leftfielder against the Los Angeles Dodgers, he went 0 for 4 with a walk as the Mets won 2-1.   Phillips served as he Mets leadoff hitter for the remainder of the season and appeared in 52 games.  He batted .233 with 3 home runs and 14 RBIs.

On August 6 he went 4 for 5 with a home run and an RBI in the Mets 9-8 over the San Francisco Giants.  On September 5 his 2-run home run in the 8th inning proved to be the game winner in the Mets 5-4 win over the Atlanta Braves.  He also homered 2 days later in the Mets 8-7 win over the same Braves.

Following the season Phillips left as a free agent and signed with the Oakland A’s

While with the Mets Phillips wore number 6.

Tony Philips also played for the following teams:
Oakland A’s – 1982-1989,1999
Detroit Tigers – 1990-1994
California Angels – 1995
Chicago White Sox – 1996,1997
Anaheim Angels – 1997
Toronto Blue Jays – 1998

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Tim Spehr – His New York Mets Career 1998

Tim SpehrThe Mets signed veteran catcher Tim Spehr to replace injured catcher Todd Hundley as a free agent on January 8, 1998.  He made his Met debut as their Opening Day catcher in 1998 and singled in his first two at-bats as the Mets won 1-0 over the Philadelphia Phillies in 14 innings.  He went onto play in 21 games for the Mets before a fractured wrist placed him on the disabled list.  At the time he was hitting just .137 with 3 RBIs.  When he was healthy enough to play there was no longer a place for him on the roster as the Mets had traded for All-star and Future Hall of Famer Mike Piazza to play catcher.  The Mets sold Spehr to the Kansas City Royals on August 31, 1998.

His most productive game as a Met occurred on April 19 when he drove in 2 runs in the Mets 14-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

While with the Mets Spehr wore number 33.

Tim Spahr also played for the following teams:
Kansas City Royals – 1991,1997-1999
Montreal Expos = 1993
Atlanta Braves – 1997

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Armando Reynoso – His New York Mets Career 1997,1998

Armando ReynosoThe Mets acquired right-handed pitcher Armando Reynoso from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for Jerry Dipoto on November 27, 1996. He made his Met debut on April 15, 1997 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. As the starting pitcher, he threw 5 scoreless innings and allowed 6 hits to earn the victory. He started out the season 5-0 and would go on to start 16 games for the Mets before injuries shut down his season in the middle of July. At the time, he was 6-3 with a 4.53. His best outing came on June 5 against the Florida Marlins when he pitched a complete game shutout.

Reynoso started the 1998 season the disabled list and did not make his season debut until July 24 against the Chicago Cubs. He pitched 8 shutout innings to earn the win. He won his first 5 decisions and would go on to post a 7-3 record with a 3.82 ERA.

Following the season Reynoso was granted free agency and signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In his 2 seasons with the Mets he compiled a 13-6 record with a 4.23 ERA.

While with the Mets Reynoso wore number 40.

Armando Reynoso also played for the following teams:
Atlanta Braves – 1991,1992
Colorado Rockies – 1993-1996
Arizona Diamondbacks – 1999-2002

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Ralph Milliard – His New York Mets Career 1998

Ralph MilliardRalph Milliard, a utility infielder from Curacao, briefly played with the Florida Marlins in 1996 and 1997, before being traded to the Mets on February 6, 1998 along with Al Leiter in exchange for A. J. Burnett, Jesus Sanchez and Robert Stratton. Milliard spent the 1998 season with the Norfolk Tides, the Mets Triple A affiliate, where he hit .259 with 15 home runs and 52 RBIs before making his Mets debut on September 5th as a pinch runner. He would go on to play in ten games for the Mets the rest of the season, mainly as a pinch runner and defensive replacement. In his only plate appearance with the Mets he struck out as a pinch hitter for pitcher Jeff Tam on September 8th against the Philadelphia Phillies, a game the Mets lost 16-4.

Following the season, the Mets traded Milliard to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for pitcher Mark Corey. He spent the next three seasons playing in the minors for the Reds, San Diego Padres and Cleveland Indians before retiring following the 2001 season.

While with the Mets Milliard wore number 26.

Ralph Milliard also played for the Florida Marlins in 1996 and 1997.

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