Mike Kinkade – His New York Mets Career 1998-2000

mike kinkadeThe Mets acquired utilityman Mike Kinkade from the Milwaukee Brewers on July 31, 1998 in exchange for pitcher Bill Pulsipher.  He initially reported to the minors before getting called up to Mets as a September callup.  He made his Major League debut on September 8th as a late inning replacement in the Mets 16-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.  He went 0 for 2 at the plate.  He made two more appearances both as a pinch runner.

Kinkade made the Mets Opening Day Roster in 1999.  He served primarily as a pinch hitter and fourth outfielder.  He recorded his first Major League hit on April 12th, a pinch-hit double that drove in two runs in the Mets 8-1 win over the Florida Marlins.  He hit his first career home run on April 29th against the San Diego Padres, a solo shot in the Mets 8-5 win.  However, with his average at just .196 Kinkade was demoted to the minors in May. He spent the remainder of the season with the Triple A Norfolk Tides where he hit .308.  He did appear in one game for the Mets in September.

In 2000 Kinkade appeared in two games for the Mets in July, he went 0 for 2. On July 28th, he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles along with Melvin Mora in exchange for Mike Bordick.

Over three seasons with the Mets Kinkade appeared in 33 games and hit .180 with 2 home runs with 6 RBIs.

While with the Mets Kinkade wore number 33.

Mike Kinkade also played for the following teams:
Baltimore Orioles – 2000,2001
Los Angeles Dodgers – 2002,2003

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Todd Pratt – His New York Mets Career 1997-2001

TTodd Prattodd Pratt a backup catcher who had previously played for the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs was out of baseball for a year when the Mets signed him as a free agent on December 23, 1996. After hitting .301 with the Mets Triple A affiliate, the Norfolk Tides, Todd Pratt made his Mets debut on July 4th, 1997 and supplied plenty of fireworks. In his first at bat in the majors in two years Pratt hit a two-run homer on his way to a 2 for 3 night with 3 RBIs in the Mets 6-2 victory over the Florida Marlins. He would continue his hot hitting over his first ten games batting .379 with 2 home runs and 8 RBIs. He would finish out the season hitting .283 with 2 homers and 19 RBIs.

Over the next four seasons as the Mets backup catcher Todd Pratt became a fan favorite due in large part to his timely hitting, strong defense and intensity and emotion. In his five seasons with the Mets Pratt hit .265 with 17 home runs and 87 RBIs in 276 games, with his best season coming in 2000 when he hit a career high 8 home runs.

But it was during the postseason where Pratt cemented his legacy in Met history. During game four of the 1999 National League Divisional Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Pratt started in place of the injured Mike Piazza. With the game tied in the bottom of the 10th inning Todd Pratt hit a home run over the center field wall at Shea Stadium to give the Mets the victory and the series. It was just the fourth time in baseball history that a playoff series ended on a home run. With the win, the Mets advanced to the National League Championship Series for the first time since 1988.

In the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves Pratt continued to make a name for himself in Mets postseason history. With the Mets trailing the series 3 games to 1 they pulled out all the stops in game 5 to save their season. In the longest game in postseason history the two teams battled for 15 innings in a steady rain. After the Braves took a one run lead in the top of the 15th the Mets rallied to load the bases in the bottom of the frame. Pratt stepped up to the plate and worked out a walk to force in the tying run. With the game now tied Robin Ventura stepped up to the plate and promptly hit a game winning grand slam or so he thought. Before Ventura could reach 2nd base Pratt stopped and lifted Ventura in the air preventing him from rounding the bases. Since the winning run had already scored it didn’t matter that Ventura didn’t and he was credited with a “Grand Slam Single.” Than in game six, another epic game in which the Mets battled back from a 6-run deficit, Todd Pratt drove in what appeared to be the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th inning, but unfortunately the Mets could not hold on to the lead and lost the game and the series in 11 innings.

With his numbers declining in 2001, he was hitting just .163, the Mets traded Todd Pratt to the Philadelphia Phillies on July 23rd in exchange for fellow catcher Gary Bennett.

While with the Mets Pratt wore number 43 in 1997 before switching to number 7 from 1998-2001.

Todd Pratt also played for the following teams:
Philadelphia Phillies – 1992-1994, 2001-2005
Chicago Cubs – 1995
Atlanta Braves – 2006

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Mike Bordick – His New York Mets Career 2000

Mike bordickWhen shortstop Rey Ordonez was lost for the season with a broken arm, the Mets were in desperate need of a new one to take his place.  Luckily for them the Baltimore Orioles had fallen out of the race and were willing to trade their all-star shortstop Mike Bordick.  The Mets acquired him on July 28, 2000 in exchange for Melvin Mora, Mike Kinkade, Pat Gorman and Lesli Brea.   Bordick had represented the Orioles at the 2000 All- Star game and was enjoying a solid season, at the time of the trade he was hitting .297 with 16 home runs and 59 RBIs.

In his first game with the Mets on July 29 he hit a home run in his first at-bat and helped the Mets defeat the Cardinals 4-3.  Bordick finished out the season as the Mets everyday shortstop but unfortunately, he could not match the earlier success he had with the Orioles. In 59 games, he hit .260 with 4 home runs and 21 RBIs.

The Mets reached the postseason in 2000 and made it all the way to the World Series, however Bordick struggled immensely.  In 13 postseason games for the Mets Bordick hit just .121 (4 for 33) and failed to drive in any runs.

Following the season Bordick returned to the Orioles as a free agent thus ending his brief tenure with the Mets. 

While with the Mets Bordick wore number 17.

Mike Bordick also played for the following teams:
Oakland A’s – 1990-1996
Baltimore Orioles – 1997-2002
Toronto Blue Jays – 2003

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Rick White – His New York Mets Career 2000-2001

Rick WhiteThe Mets acquired right-handed reliever Rick White along with Bubba Trammell from the Tampa Bay Devils on July 28, 2000 in exchange for Paul Wilson and Jason Tyner.  At the time, the Mets were looking to solidify their bullpen as they made a push to reach the postseason for the second season in a row.  White was the winning pitcher in his first appearance as a Met on July 29, he pitched one inning of scoreless relief against the St. Louis Cardinals.  White finished out the season with a 2-3 record and 1 save and helped the Mets win the National League Wild Card for the second year in a row.

In the postseason White won game three of the NLDS against the San Francisco Giants by pitching two innings of scoreless relief as the Mets won the game in 13 innings.  The Mets would reach the World Series but lost to the Yankees in five games. 

White returned to the Mets in 2001 and pitched to similar results. Between two stints on the disabled list he posted a 4-5 record with 2 saves and a 3.88 ERA.  Following the season Rick White left the Mets and signed as a free agent with the Colorado Rockies.

In his two seasons with the Mets he won 6 games while losing 8 with 3 saves and a 3.86 ERA. 

While with the Mets White wore number 51. 

Rick White also played for the following teams:
Pittsburgh Pirates – 1994,1995, 2005
Tampa Bay Devil Rays – 1998-2000
Colorado Rockies – 2002
St. Louis Cardinals – 2002
Chicago White Sox – 2003
Houston Astros – 2003, 2007
Cleveland Indians – 2004
Philadelphia Phillies – 2006
Cincinnati Reds – 2006
Seattle Mariners – 2007

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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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Vance Wilson – His New York Mets Career 1999-2004

Vance WilsonAfter two brief cups of coffee with the Mets in 1999 and 2000 catcher Vance Wilson was promoted to the Mets in July of 2001 and would stay with the big club for the next four seasons serving as backup to All-star Mike Piazza.   His greatest strength to the Mets was his ability to throw out base runners and he was used primarily as a late inning defensive replacement.  From 2001 to 2003 Wilson. was one of the top catchers in the league in throwing out base runners, averaging 45%.

Offensively he was no match for Mike Piazza, arguably the best hitting catcher in the history of the game, but Wilson did manage to put up some respectable numbers.  In 2003, he posted career bests with 8 home runs and 39 RBI’s. and hit a career best .274 in 2004.   

Following the 2004 season the Mets traded Vance Wilson to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for infielder Anderson Hernandez.  In 286 games with the Mets from 1999-2004 Wilson hit .254 with 17 home runs and 92 RBIs.  He also threw out 44% of would be base stealers.

While with the Mets Wilson wore number 3.

Vance Wilson also played for the Detroit Tigers in 2005 and 2006.

 

 

 

 

Jon Nunnally – His New York Mets Career 2000

Jon NunnallyLooking for a left-handed power bat off the bench the Mets acquired Jon Nunnally from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Jermaine Allensworth prior to the 2000 season.  At the time Nunnally was a journeyman outfielder who at times showed potential but could never really get his career off the ground.  He made his Met debut on Opening Day 2000 where he went 1 for 2.  Unfortunately, from that point Nunnally struggled and could never find any consistency at the plate.  With his average on the interstate at .189 the Mets sold his contract to the Orix Buffaloes of the Japanese League on June 8th.  Nunnally returned to the states in 2001 but never made it back to the Majors as he bounced around the minors before finally retiring after the 2006 season. 

In 48 games for the Mets Nunnally batted .189 with 2 home runs and 6 RBIs.   

While with the Mets Nunnally wore number 26.

Jon Nunnally also played for the following teams:
Kansas City Royals – 1995-1997
Cincinnati Reds – 1997,1998
Boston Red Sox – 1999

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Todd Zeile – His New York Mets Career 2000,2001,2004

Todd ZeileOver the course of his 16-year career Todd Zeile played for 11 different teams including two stints with the Mets.   When the Mets initially signed Todd Zeile prior to the 2000 season it came as a surprise to many not because he wasn’t a solid major league player but because he was signed to play first base to replace the departed John Olerud.  The problem was that Todd Zeile was not a first baseman.  He had played sporadically at the position during his career but played mainly third base after starting his career at catcher.    Nevertheless, Zeile proved to be a steady defensive first baseman, not flashy but got the job done, while putting up solid offensive numbers.  In his first year in New York Zeile hit .268 with 22 home runs and 79 RBIs, including a 13-game hitting streak in June, and helped the Mets reach the World Series for the first time since 1986.

In the postseason Zeile had a horrendous NLDS against the San Francisco Giants, he hit just .071.  However, in the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals he caught fire.  He hit .368 with a home run while driving in a team best eight runs as the Mets defeated the Cardinals in five games.  His eight RBIs were the most by a Met player in postseason series in franchise history.

He continued his hot hitting in the World Series against the Yankees.  Zeile hit .400 but only drove in 1 run as the Mets lost the series in five games. In game one Todd Zeile hit what appeared to be a two-run home run that would have given the Mets an early lead, but the ball bounced off the top of the wall, though replays showed it might have been interfered with by a fan.  Zeile was only credited with a double and base runner Timo Perez was thrown out at the plate.  Instead of being up 2-0, the game remained scoreless and the rest as they say is history.

Zeile returned for the 2001 season, but his power numbers dipped dramatically. He hit only 10 home runs while driving in 62 and led the team in strikeouts with 102 as the Mets struggled for most of the season.  Based in large part to his power deficiency the Mets decided to trade Zeile to the Colorado Rockies in the off-season along with Benny Agbayani in exchange for Alex Ochoa, Ross Glad and Craig House.

Zeile would play one season in Colorado before moving on to play for the Yankees and Expos in 2003.  The Mets than decided to give Zeile another chance and signed him as a free agent prior to the 2004 season, in what proved to be his last season as a player.  Zeile played in 137 games in 2004 but hit just .233 with 9 home runs and 33 RBIs as the Mets suffered through a terrible season.  However, Zeile did manage to reach a significant milestone in his final season by recording his 2000th career hit.  In his last game as a professional on October 3rd, the last game of the season, the Mets allowed Zeile to play one final game as a catcher.  In his last at bat of his career, he hit a three-run home run.

In three seasons with the Mets Zeile appeared in 441 games and hit .259 with 41 home runs and 176 RBIs.

While with the Mets Zeile wore number 9 in 2000 and 2001 and number 27 in 2004.

Todd Zeile also played for the following teams:
St. Louis Cardinals – 1989-1995
Chicago Cubs – 1995
Baltimore Orioles – 1996
Philadelphia Phillies – 1996
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1997,1998
Texas Rangers – 1998,1999
Florida Marlins – 1998
Colorado Rockies – 2002
New York Yankees – 2003
Montreal Expos – 2003

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David Lamb – His New York Mets Career 2000

Utility infielder David Lamb was claimed off waivers by the Mets from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays prior to the 2000 season.  After starting the year with the Norfolk Tide, Lamb was promoted to the big club in July.  He made his Mets debut on July 5 as pinch hitter for Melvin Mora, for the record he struck out.  Lamb would appear in six more games for the Mets mainly as a defensive replacement before being sent back down to the minors at the end of July where he spent the remainder of the season.  Lamb did start one game during his brief tenure with the Mets on July 18 against the Toronto Blue Jays.  It was during this game where Lamb recorded his only hit with the Mets.

In seven games for the Mets Lamb batted .200 (1 for 5).  Following the season, he signed with the Anaheim Angels as a free agent.

While with the Mets Lamb wore number 26.

David Lamb also played for the following teams:
Tampa Bay Devil Rays – 1999
Minnesota Twins – 2002

 

 

 

 

 

Kurt Abbott – His New York Mets Career 2000

TKurt Abbotthe Mets signed utility player Kurt Abbott as a free agent prior the 2000 season.   Abbott, a seven year veteran, made his Mets debut on April 5, 2000 pinch hitting for pitcher Rich Rodriguez.  After popping up to shortstop, Abbott remained in the game playing centerfield and doubled during his second at bat.

Abbott’s time with the Mets very uneventful.  He would go on to appear in 79 games for the Mets, playing primarily shortstop.  He batted .217 with 6 home runs and 12 RBIs.   During the postseason, he went 1 for 13.  His only hit coming off of Andy Pettite during game 5 of the World Series.

2000 would be Abbott’s only season with the Mets. He was granted free agency and signed with the Atlanta Braves prior to the 2001 season, his last in the majors.

While with the Mets Abbott wore number 20.

Kurt Abbott also played for the following teams:
Oakland A’s – 1993,1998
Florida Marlins – 1994-1997
Colorado Rockies – 1998,1999
Atlanta Braves – 2001

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