Tuesday, October 6, 2009
#513) YORKIS PEREZ
Yorkis Perez joined the New York Mets when he was claimed off waivers from the Atlanta Braves on March 31, 1997. The team did not wait long after obtaining him to get Yorkis on the mound in a Mets uniform. Actually it was this brevity that lead to a bit of an issue with Perez and the club. The left hander was called from the bullpen on Opening Day 1997 in San Diego. Yorkis had only been signed the day before and flew all the way to California from his home in Florida. He arrived at the ballpark just two hours before game time. Pete Harnisch, the Mets opening day pitcher had surrendered his third straight home run during the fifth inning of the game. Bobby Valentine, the manager scrambled for a replacement. Yorkis was sent into the contest with only 10-15 warmup pitches thrown. (Just half of his normal amount.) Perez told the NY Daily News, "It happened so fast. There were three home runs and I had to face the next guy. They didn't tell me." Yorkis only lasted a third of an inning himself, but threw again the next day. It was only after that the diagnosis came of a bruised rotator cuff.
Yorkis did not return to action until August 22nd of that season. He appeared in a total of nine games from the bullpen to finish the year. After never really regaining his effectiveness he was granted free agency and signed with the Philadelphia Phillies on January 23, 1998.
My friend, John Guzman got Yorkis Perez to sign his card in the set for me during a trip to the Dominican Republic on July 19, 2009.