Thursday, October 8, 2009
#534) MEL ROJAS
Mel Rojas was traded by the Chicago Cubs with Turk Wendell and Brian McRae to the New York Mets in exchange for Lance Johnson, Mark Clark, and Manny Alexander on August 8, 1997. He was never a very popular Mets reliever and routinely was booed loudly at Shea Stadium. This treatment was the result of his ineffectiveness on the mound. On September 8, 1998 the Mets lost to the Philadelphia Phillies by a score of 16-4. Mel allowed three home runs in his two innings of work. That game concluded a stretch where he had given up 16 runs in just 10-1/3 innings. Rojas was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on November 11, 1998 in exchange for Bobby Bonilla.
His finest moment came before joining New York and at the hands of his future teammates. On May 11, 1994, Rojas struck out three batters on nine pitches in the ninth inning of a 4-3 Cubs win over the Mets. Mel became the nineteenth National League pitcher to accomplish this rare nine strike/three-strikeout half-inning feat.
Mel Rojas signed his card in the set for my friend, John Guzman during his trip to the Dominican Republic. I added it to the collection on October 8, 2009.