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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Matt Ginter – His New York Mets Career 2004

Matt GinterThe Mets acquired right-handed pitcher Matt Ginter from the Chicago White Sox on March 27, 2004 in exchange for Timo Perez.  After starting the 2004 season in the minors Ginter made his Mets debut on May 16 against the Houston Astros.  As the starting pitcher he faced off against Roger Clemens and allowed 2 runs, 1 earned, over 5 2/3 innings and earned a no-decision in the Mets 3-2 13 inning victory.  In his next start on May 21 against the Colorado Rockies, he earned his first win as a Met despite giving up 5 runs over 5 innings. 

Ginter would appear in 15 games for the Mets, all but one as a starter, and posted a 1-3 record with a 4.54 ERA. 

2004 would be Ginter’s only season with the Mets as he was traded to the Detroit Tigers on April 2, 2005 in exchange for minor leaguer Steve Colyer.

While with the Mets Ginter wore number 13

Matt Ginter also played for the following teams:
Chicago White Sox – 2000-2003
Detroit Tigers – 2005
Cleveland Indians – 2008

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Jose Parra – His New York Mets Career 2004

The Mets signed right-handed reliever Jose Parra as a free agent on January 20, 2004.  After starting the season in the minors Parra made his Met debut on June 19, 2004 against the Detroit Tigers.  He pitched a 1/3 of an inning and allowed 2 hits in the Mets 4-3 victory.  Over the next month he would pitch in 13 games posting a 1-0 record with a 3.21 ERA over 14 innings.  His only victory came on July 15 against the Philadelphia Phillies when he pitched a scoreless 11th inning in the Mets 3-2 victory, He was placed on the disabled list on July 21 with a strained right hip flexor ending his season.

Following the season, he was released by the Mets.

While with the Mets Parra wore number 46.

Jose Parra also played for the following teams:
Minnesota Twins – 1995,1996
Los Angeles Dodgers = 1995
Pittsburgh Pirates – 2000
Arizona Diamondbacks – 2002

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Scott Erickson – His New York Mets Career 2004

Scott EricksonThe Mets signed right-handed pitcher Scott Erickson as a free agent on February 5, 2004.  A hamstring injury delayed his season and he didn’t make his Met debut until July 19 against the Florida Marlins.  He pitched 6 innings and allowed 8 hits and 2 runs, 1 earned.  He left the game with a 5-2 lead but the Mets bullpen could not hold the lead and the Mets lost 6-5.  His second start against the Montreal Expos was a disaster he lasted only 2 innings and gave up 6 earned runs as the Mets lost 19-10.   It would be his last appearance in a Mets uniform as he was traded to the Texas Rangers on July 31. 

In 2 starts for the Mets Erickson posted a 0-1 record with a 7.88 ERA. 

While with the Mets Erickson wore number 19.

Scott Erickson also played for the following teams:
Minnesota Twins – 1990-1995
Baltimore Orioles – 1995-2000, 2002
Texas Rangers – 2004
Los Angeles Dodgers – 2005
New York Yankees – 2006

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Tom Wilson – His New York Mets Career 2004

The Mets signed catcher Tom Wilson as a free agent on May 12, 2004.  He made his Met debut on June 16th against the Cleveland Indians as a pinch hitter for pitcher Mike Stanton; he grounded into a fielder’s choice.  He appeared in 3 more games for the Mets before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 17,2004.  He started one game on June 27th against the Yankees and recorded his only hit as a Met, a second inning single.

While with the Mets Wilson wore number 6.

Tom Wilson also played for the following teams:
Oakland A’s – 2001
Toronto Blue Jays – 2002,2003
Los Angeles Dodgers – 2004

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Gerald Williams – His New York Mets Career 2004,2005

Gerald WilliamsGerald Williams, a 12-year veteran outfielder, was signed by the Mets as a free agent on April 23, 2004.  He immediately reported to the AAA Norfolk Tides where he hit .305 with 7 home runs.  He was called up to New York in June and made his Met debut on June 9 in an interleague game against the Minnesota Twins. As the starting leftfielder, he homered off Johan Santana the eventual AL Cy Young Award winner but the Mets lost 5-3.    He would appear in 57 games for the Mets 2004 and hit .233 with 4 home runs and 11 RBIs.  His most productive game came on August 19th against the Colorado Rockies when had 3 hits including a two-run home run as the Mets won 10-3.

Williams started the 2005 season in the minors before being called up in June.  As a fourth outfielder and pinch hitter he appeared in 39 games.  He hit .233 with 1 home run and 3 RBIs.  His only home run came on August 13 in the Mets 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

2005 would not only be Williams last with the Mets it was his last in the Majors.  In 96 games with the Mets he hit .233 with 5 home runs and 14 RBIs.

While with the Mets Williams wore number 6 in 2004 and 21 in 2005.

Gerald Williams also played for the following teams:
New York Yankees – 1992-1996,2001,2002
Milwaukee Brewers – 1996,1997
Atlanta Braves – 1998,1999
Tampa Bay Devil Rays – 2000,2001
Florida Marlins – 2003

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Mike Stanton – His New York Mets Career 2003,2004

Mike StantonThe Mets signed left-handed reliever Mike Stanton as a free agent on December 16, 2002.  Prior to joining the Mets Stanton spent the previous six seasons playing for the Yankees where he played an integral part in helping them win three World Series titles.  The Mets planned to use Stanton in the same manor the Yankees did, as a left-handed setup man.

Stanton made his Met debut on April 3, 2003 pitching a scoreless 8th inning in the Mets 4-1 win over the Chicago Cubs.  Stanton would go on to appear in 50 games and post a 2-7 record with 5 saves and a 4.57 ERA.  His first win as a Met came on April 25 when he pitched 2 scoreless innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Stanton returned in 2004 and set the Mets single season record for appearances by a pitcher with 83.  A record that was broken in 2008 by Pedro Feliciano.  Stanton went 2-6 with a 3.16 ERA.  On August 3 against the Milwaukee Brewers, he became the second pitcher in Mets history to strikeout 4 batters in one inning. The other being Derek Wallace.

Following the season, the Mets traded Stanton back to the Yankees for Felix Heredia.  While with the Mets Stanton appeared in 133 games and posted a 4-13 record with 5 saves and a 3.68 ERA.

While with the Mets Stanton wore number 32.

Mike Stanton also played for the following teams:
Atlanta Braves – 1989-1995
Boston Red Sox – 1995,1996,2005
Texas Rangers – 1996
New York Yankees – 1997-2002,2005
Washington Nationals – 2005,2006
San Francisco Giants – 2006
Cincinnati Reds – 2007

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Jeff Duncan – His New York Mets Career 2003,2004

Jeff DuncanThe Mets drafted outfielder Jeff Duncan in the 7th round of the 2000 amateur draft.  He would make his Major League debut with the Mets on May 20, 2003 as a pinch hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies, he hit into a fielder’s choice.  He played in three more games before returning to the minors.   Duncan returned to New York in mid July and got off to a fast start, he hit .400 during his first 11 games back in the majors, 12 for 30.  During that span, he also hit his first Major League home run, a solo shot against the Philadelphia Phillies on July 12.  Unfortunately, he would struggle the remainder of the season.  In 56 games, he hit just .194 with a home run and 10 RBIs.

Duncan started the 2004 season with the Mets, but after hitting just .067 in 13 games, mainly as a pinch hitter, he was sent down to the minors.  He remained in the Mets organization before being released on August 10, 2005.

In 69 games for the Mets Duncan hit .182 with 1 home runs and 11 RBIs.

While with the Mets Duncan wore number 61 in 2003 and number 10 in 2004.

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Tom Glavine – His New York Mets Career 2003-2007

Tom GlavineAfter years of tormenting them as a member of the Atlanta Braves, Tom Glavine took his talented left arm to New York and signed as a free agent with the Mets prior to the 2003 season.   Most Met fans had mixed emotions over the signing.  True they were getting a two-time Cy Young award winner and future Hall of Famer but they were also getting someone they grew to hate over the years as a member of their hated rival. 

Glavine didn’t exactly endear himself to Met fans early on as he was shellacked in his first game as Met.  On Opening Day 2003 he lasted just 3 2/3 innings while giving up 8 hits and 5 runs.  Things didn’t exactly pick up from that point as he struggled for most of the season, finishing with a 9 and 14 record and 4.52 ERA.  It was the first time since 1988 that Glavine posted a losing record and failed to win 10 games. The highlight of his first season in New York came in September when his brother Mike was brought up from the minors and they became the first brothers to play for the Mets.

In 2004, Glavine started the season pitching like his old self.  He started out with a 7-3 record with a 2.03 ERA and was named to the National League All – Star team.  Included in his fast start was a one hit shutout against the Montreal Expos on May 23rd.  However, he struggled during the second half of the season and once again finished with a losing record, this time 11-14.  It did not help matters that he was involved in a car accident while riding in a taxi and lost his front teeth.

His third season in New York turned out to be the opposite of his second.  In 2005, he started with a 5 and 7 record with a 4.93 ERA.  However, he managed to turn his season around in the second half and finished with a 13 and 13 record while lowering his ERA by nearly a run and a half. 

2006 turned out to be his best season with the Mets not only personally but for the team as well.  The Mets ran away and won the National League Eastern Division while Glavine led the team with 15 wins.  During the months of May and June, he was 8 and 0 and with his record at 11-2 was selected to his second National League All-Star team while with the Mets.  During the postseason, he won his only start in the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, pitching six shutout innings.  In the NLCS against the St Louis Cardinals, he won the opening game of the series once again pitching shutout baseball, this time for seven innings.  But he lost the critical game five, which would have given the Mets a 3-2 series lead.  The Mets would lose the series in seven games.

Tom Glavine’s original contract with the Mets was up following the 2006 season, but sensing the Mets had unfinished business after failing to achieve their goal of a World Series title in 2006, Glavine resigned with the Mets for another year.  But by the end of the season Mets fans had wished that Tom Glavine had never worn a Met uniform.  Things were initially going well for the Mets and Glavine.  They were cruising to their second straight division title and Glavine was enjoying another solid season.  Along the way Glavine became the 23rd pitcher and just the 6th lefthander to win 300 games.  He accomplished the feat on August 5th against the Chicago Cubs.  But then it happened, with the Mets in the midst of the worst September collapse in baseball history Glavine pitched two of the worst games of his career.  First on September 25th he allowed six runs over five innings as the Mets lost to the Washington Nationals 10-9.  Than on the last day of the season with the Mets needing a victory to either win the division or force a one game playoff against the Philadelphia Phillies Glavine completely imploded.  He lasted just 1/3 of an inning allowing 5 hits, 2 walks and 7 earned runs.  The game was over before it started and the Mets season was lost. 

At that point Met fans were willing to drive Glavine to the airport as he left town.  Glavine returned to Atlanta where he pitched a half season before an arm injury ended his career,

In five seasons with the Mets Tom Glavine finished with a 61-56 record and 3.97 ERA.

While with the Mets Glavine wore number 47.

Tom Glavine also played for the Atlanta Braves from 1987-2002 and 2008. 

Tom Glavine was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.

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Ricky Bottalico – His New York Mets Career 2004

Ricky BottalicoThe Mets signed right-handed reliever Ricky Bottalico, a former All-Star with the Philadelphia Phillies, as a free agent on February 4, 2004.  After starting the season in the minors with the Norfolk Tides, Bottalico made his Mets debut on May 5th against the San Francisco Giants. He pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief in the Mets 8-2 victory.  He would appear in 60 games for the Mets in 2004, all out of the bullpen as a middle reliever.  He posted a 3-2 record with a 3.38 ERA in 69 1/3 innings.  He also struck out 61 batters.  His first win as a Met came on May 18 against the St Louis Cardinals, he pitched the final two innings in the Mets 5-4 victory.

Following the season Bottalico was granted free agency and he signed with the Milwaukee Brewers.

While with the Mets Bottalico wore number numbers 34 and 20.

Ricky Bottalico also played for the following teams:
Philadelphia Phillies – 1994-1998, 2001, 2002
St. Louis Cardinals – 1999
Kansas City Royals – 2000
Arizona Diamondbacks – 2003
Milwaukee Brewers – 2005

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