Pat Mahomes – His New York Mets Career 1999-2000

Pat MahomeThe Mets signed right-handed pitcher Pat Mahomes, who had been pitching in Japan, as a free agent on December 21, 1998.  He started the 1999 season in the minors where he went 4-1 in six appearances before joining the Mets in May.  He made his Met debut on May 15 against the Philadelphia Phillies.  He entered the game in the 4th inning with the Mets trailing 5-0 and pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief allowing the team to mount a comeback.  The Mets went on to win 9-7 and Mahomes was credited with the victory. 

Mahomes made 39 relief appearances in 1999 and posted an 8-0 record with a 3.68 ERA and helped the Mets win the National League Wild Card.  On August 1 against the Chicago Cubs he not only was the winning pitcher he also drove in the winning run with a 13th inning single.

He made one appearance in the National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.  He appeared in game 2, the only game the Mets would lose in the series and pitched 1 2/3 innings and allowed 1 run. 

Mahomes made three appearances in the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves.  During game 6 he entered the game in the 1st inning after Al Leiter gave up 5 runs.  He stopped the bleeding and went on to pitch 4 innings of scoreless relief to keep the Mets in the game.  The Mets fought back but lost the game and the series 10-9 in 11 innings.   

He returned in 2000 and appeared in 53 games.  He finished with a 5-3 record with a 5.46 ERA.   He started 5 games and went 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA.  The Mets won the National League Wild Card and made it all the way to the World Series but Mahomes did not see any action in the postseason.

Following the season Mahomes was granted free agency and signed with the Texas Rangers.  In 92 games for the Mets he posted a 13-3 record with a 4.74 ERA.

While with the Mets Mahomes wore number 23.

Pat Mahomes also played for the following teams:
Minnesota Twins – 1992-1996
Boston Red Sox – 1996,1997
Texas Rangers – 2001
Chicago Cubs – 2002
Pittsburgh Pirates – 2003 

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Jerrod Riggan – His New York Mets Career 2000,2001

Jerrod RigganThe Mets signed right-handed pitcher Jerrod Riggan as minor league free agent on July 9, 1998.  He made his Major League debut with the Mets on August 29, 2000 when he pitched 2 innings of relief against the Houston Astros.  He allowed 3 hits and 2 unearned runs as the Mets lost 11-1.  It would be his only appearance on the season as he was shipped back to the minors.


Riggan appeared in 35 games for the Mets in 2001, all out of the bullpen.  He posted a 3-3 record with a 3.40 ERA in 47 2/3 innings,  He earned his first career win on August 18 when he pitched a scoreless inning of relief in the Mets 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Following the season Riggan was traded to the Cleveland Indians along with Alex Escobar, Matt Lawton, Billy Traber and Earl Snyder in exchange for Roberto Alomar and Mike Bacsik.

While with the Mets Riggan wore number 34 in 2000 and 38 in 2001.

Jerrod Riggan also played for Cleveland Indians in 2002 and 2003.

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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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Mike Hampton – His New York Mets Career 2000

MIke HamptonOn December 23, 1999 New York Mets General Manager Steve Phillips gave Met fans an early Christmas present when he acquired Mike Hampton from the Houston Astros. Hampton was coming off a 22-4 season and was considered by many to be the final piece to the puzzle in the Mets quest to get to the World Series after coming short in 1999. However, the Mets were taking a slight gamble in acquiring Hampton. Hampton was scheduled to be a free agent following the season and the Mets ran the risk of losing him. But at the time the Mets figured it was a risk worth taking.

The left-hander made his Met debut on March 29, 2000 as the Mets opened the season against the Chicago Cubs in Japan, the first regular season game played outside of North America. Hampton got his Met career off to a rocky start as he allowed 9 walks over 5 innings and suffered the loss. In fact, Hampton would go on to lose his first three decisions before settling in and getting comfortable pitching in New York. Hampton would finish the season with a 15-10 record while leading the team with a 3.14 ERA. His 15 wins were second only to Al Leiter’s 16.

The Mets reached the postseason for the second consecutive year as the National League Wild Card winner. It was in the postseason where Hampton made his mark in Met history. After defeating the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS the Mets faced off against the St Louis Cardinals in the NLCS with a birth in the World Series at stake. Mike Hampton opened the series against the Cardinals by pitching 7 shutout innings in the Mets 6-2 victory. Hampton followed that up by pitching a complete game shutout in game 5 to clinch the pennant for the Mets. For his efforts Hampton was named the MVP of the NLCS. In two games Hampton pitched 16 shutout innings while striking out 12.

Unfortunately, his strong pitching didn’t carry over to the World Series. Hampton was given the ball to start game two after the Mets lost game one to the Yankees. Hampton struggled over 6 innings allowing four runs as the Mets lost the game 6-5. The Mets would eventually lose the Series in five games.

Following the season, the Mets worst fears came to fruition as Hampton left and signed as a free agent with the Colorado Rockies. Hampton infuriated many Met fans and New Yorkers as he left town claiming that the reason he was heading to Colorado was the superior school system for his kids and not the 8 years 121-million-dollar contract which at the time was the most lucrative contract for a pitcher in baseball history.

It turned out to be a blessing in disguise that Hampton left New York. Hampton lasted just two seasons in Colorado and posted an overall record of 21 and 28. The Rockies traded him to the Atlanta Braves where he enjoyed two decent seasons before a plethora of arm injuries sidetracked his career. Hampton would miss two full seasons, 2006 and 2007, before returning to the majors.

While with the Mets Hampton wore number 32.

Mike Hampton also played for the following teams:
Seattle Mariners – 1993
Houston Astros – 1994-1999, 2009
Colorado Rockies – 2001,2002
Atlanta Braves – 2003-2005, 2008
Arizona Diamondbacks – 2010

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Rickey Henderson – His New York Mets Career 1999-2000

Rickey HendersonRickey Henderson was approaching 40 years of age when the Mets signed him as a free agent on December 16, 1998. With his combination of speed and power he was considered by many to be the greatest leadoff hitter in baseball history, but he also had a reputation of being a “hot dog” with a penchant for wearing out his welcome for each team he played for, evidenced by the fact that he switched teams eight times in twenty seasons. Needless to say, Met fans had some trepidation about Rickey Henderson.

But their fears were quickly assuaged after Henderson got off to a fast start. He hit .313 over the first ten games of the season, including a 4 for 4 performance in which he hit two home runs on April 7th. With Henderson as their leadoff hitter the Mets jumped out to 7-3 record. Henderson would go on to play in 121 games for the Mets in 1999, 114 as their leadoff hitter and leftfielder. He led the team in hitting with a .315 average while hitting 12 home runs with 42 RBIs and 37 stolen bases. His .423 on base percentage was also the second highest on the team to John Olerud’s .427, not bad for a 40-year-old player.

The Mets finished the 1999 season tied with the Cincinnati Reds for the National League Wild Card, meaning the two teams would have to play a one game playoff for the final National League postseason spot. Henderson led off the game with a single and scored on Edgardo Alfonzo’s two run homer. After two batters the Mets had a lead they would not relinquish. Henderson would hit a home run in the top of the 5th inning to extend the lead, as the Mets went on to win 5-0 to reach the postseason for the first time since 1988. Henderson continued his strong season in the National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He hit .400, including a 3 for 5 performance in game three, with six stolen bases and a .500 on base percentage, as the Mets won the series in four games to advance to the National League Championship Series. His six stolen bases set a record for most in a NLDS series.

But in the NLCS Henderson struggled, as did most of the Mets hitters. He hit just .174 (4 for 23) in six games, as the Mets lost the series. But it was his alleged actions in game six which left a bitter taste in the mouths of Met fans. Trailing the series 3 games to 2 and needing to win game six to extend their season, the Mets fell behind 5-0 in the first inning and eventually fell behind 7-3. But they battled back to eventually tie the game in the 7th inning with help from Henderson who doubled home a run and scored on a single by John Olerud. Henderson was taken out of the game in the 8th inning as part of a double switch. After the Mets lost the game in eleven innings on a bases loaded walk, it was reported in all the tabloids the next day that Henderson and Bobby Bonilla were playing cards in the locker room instead of supporting their team by staying on the bench. It was a bitter pill for most Met fans to swallow and when he got off to a slow start in 2000, hitting just .219 after 31 games, they let him know it. With the boos getting louder at Shea Stadium it was obvious that Henderson had once again worn out his welcome and the Mets decided to part ways by releasing him on May 13th. Henderson’s final numbers with the Mets were a .298 average, 12 home runs, 44 RBIs and 42 stolen bases.

Henderson would play out the 2000 season with the Seattle Mariners, and would play three more years before retiring after the 2003 season. Though according to Henderson, he didn’t actually retire he just was not given another chance to play. In 2009, his first year of eligibility, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame becoming the tenth former Met player to be so honored.

Rickey Henderson did serve as the Mets first base coach in 2007, joining the staff when Jerry Manual took over as manager in June. He finished out the season but was not asked to return in 2008.

While with the Mets Henderson wore number 24.

Rickey Henderson also played for the following teams:
Oakland A’s – 1979-1984, 1989-1995, 1998
New York Yankees – 1985-1989
Toronto Blue Jays – 1993
San Diego Padres – 1996,1997,2001
Anaheim Angels – 1997
Seattle Mariners – 2000
Boston Red Sox – 2002
Los Angeles Dodgers – 2003

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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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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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