Saturday, December 12, 2009
#470) RICKY OTERO
Ricky Otero was selected by the New York Mets in the 45th round of the 1990 Amateur Draft. His path to the major leagues took a very unique turn during the spring of 1995. Otero who had never played a single game as a major league player was in the middle of the work stoppage caused by the player's strike. The Mets had placed Ricky on their 40-man roster to avoid him being claimed by another club during the Rule V Draft. Because of that he was ineligible to participate in minor league camp during spring training. The native Puerto Rican was now in the position to find a way to provide for himself in the United States without any source of income. Luckily for Otero the strike was resolved, and he began the delayed season with New York. Ricky made his major league debut in a Mets' uniform on Opening Day, April 26, 1995. On May 28th he was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk after struggling to hit at the major league level.The Mets summoned Otero back on July 7th when Jeff Kent was placed on the disabled list. However, it was a short stay as he played his last major league game of 1995 on July 22nd. Ricky would appear in a total of 35 games for New York before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Phil Geisler on December 14, 1995.
Otero is the shortest man in Mets' team history rumored to be only 5 feet 5 inches tall. (He is officially listed as 5 feet 7 inches.)
Ricky Otero signed his card in the set for my friend, Benny Ayala from his home in Puerto Rico on November 27, 2009.