With the exception of the pie in the sky speculation that the Mets are trying to pry outfielder, Justin Upton from the fangs of the Arizona Diamondbacks, it has been rather quiet news week in Mets land.
So since I have had a lot of time to think of topics to write about , it occurred to me that today would mark the 13th day of the 13th year of this millennium. So I thought what would be better ( couldn’t get much worse) to recount the 18 men who have at one time or another donned the number 13 for the Mets.
We start with Roger Craig. Craig was allegedly the original ace of the Mets rotation during their infancy. In his first season with the Mets he went an abysmal 10-24. The next season Craig would go on an unprecedented 20 plus game losing streak. Finally on August 8th 1963 – in a bid to reverse his bad fortune, he switched to the number 13 b3cause maybe if he changed to a unlucky number it would negate his bad luck – it didn’t and he finished 1963 with a record of 5-22.
No Met would wear the number 13 for another eighteen years when then Mets closer, Neil Allen would wear that uniform for a two and half years when he is dealt to the Cardinals for one of the best defensive first basemen ever to wear a Mets uniforn, Keith Hernandez.
The number 13 would remain dormant until 1985 when future Pirates manager, Clint Hurdle – then a utility man for the Mets would wear in for one season.
Lee Mazzilli would wear the number 13 in 1986 when he returned to the Mets as the prodigal son and helped the Mets win their second World Series title. Lee would wear the number 13 until he was put through waivers in late 1989.
After Maz the number 13 was an often used number in the years that followed. It seemed like every journeyman and coach would be assigned that number.Men such as middle reliever, Jeff Musselman (from ’89-’90) reserve catcher, Rick Cerone ( in ’91), reserve outfielder, Rodney McCray and utility infielder, Steve Springer ( both in ’92), as well as coach Steve Swisher ( in ’93) and reliever Jonathan Hurst ( in ’94).
But in 1995 the number 13 would be used by one man for seven seasons. That man was one of the best all around second basemen in Mets history – Edgardo Alfonzo.
After Alfonzo left the Mets via free agency because both he and ownership couldn’t agree on a contract, the number 13 would once again be assigned to ham and eggers such as reserve shortstop, Jorge Velandia ( in ’03), starting pitcher, Matt Ginter ( in ’04) and reserve first baseman, Brian Daubach ( in ’05).
In 2006 the Mets signed Billy Wagner – the fire balling reliever from the Philadelphia Phillies. Wagner help the Mets get to the post season in ’06 but he would injure his shoulder in August ’08 which enabled the second straight Mets late season collapse and it sidelined him for almost a year.
After Wagner was dealt to the Red Sox in late ’09 for AAAA outfielder, Chris Carter, reserve infielder, Alex Cora would pick up the number 13 torch for most of the 2010 season until he was released that August.
Third string catcher. Mike Nickeas would retain the number 13 from September of 2010 until he was sent down in August of 2011.
The last player to wear the number 13 for the Mets is none other than reserve infielder, Ronny Cedeno this past season. Cedeno remains unsigned by the Mets at the time of this writing, and there is no guarantee that a Mets player will wear the number 13 during the ’13 season.
So there you have it all 18 men to ever wear the number 13 for the Mets Some were really good – most were mediocre, but all are part of the fabric of this teams history.
And with that said… HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!
Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:
One of the most dangerous men to ever wear a Mets uniform – outfielder, Kevin Mitchell turns 51 (1962).
Middle reliever from ’09-’10, Elmer Dessens is 42 (1971).
The New York Mets selected reserve catcher, Francisco Estrada in fifth round of free agent draft on January 13, 1971.
The New York Mets selected outfielder, Herm Winningham in first round (ninth pick overall) of free agent draft on January 13, 1981. He would be one of the key prospects that the Mets included in the package that would make Gary Carter a Met.
The New York Mets selected Randy Milligan in first round (third pick overall) of free agent draft on January 13, 1981. He had a brief stint with the Mets in ’87 before being traded to the Pirates for a package that included catcher, Mackey Sasser.He would end his Major League career in 1994 with the Expos.
The New York Mets traded minor league infield prospect, Mike Davis to the Boston Red Sox for starting pitcher, starting pitcher, Mike Torrez on January 13, 1983. By the time Torrez came to the Mets in ’83 he had spent almost 16 years in the majors, and he had the reputation as a solid starting pitcher. However by the time he donned a Mets uniform , Torrez was way past his prime. In one and a half seasons with the Mets, Torrez would go a combined 11-22 with an E.R.A of 4.47.
The Los Angeles Dodgers signed middle reliever, Lee Guetterman of the New York Mets as a free agent on January 13, 1993.
The New York Mets signed free agent middle reliever, Rob MacDonald on January 13, 1996.
The New York Mets signed free agent Masato Yoshii on January 13, 1998. Yoshii was a pretty decent pickup for the Mets. In 2 seasons with the Mets, Yoshii went 18-16 with a4.17 E.R.A.
Mo Vaughn has been know to put 13 dozen orders of raw oysters down in a single serving !!