Wednesday, December 23, 2009
#472) JERRY DIPOTO
Jerry Dipoto was traded with Dave Mlicki, Paul Byrd and Jesus Azuaje from the Cleveland Indians to the New York Mets in exchange for Jeromy Burnitz and Joe Roa on November 18, 1994. He pitched from the Mets bullpen for the next two seasons producing an 11-8 record, with four saves and a 3.98 ERA. Jerry was traded by New York to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for Armando Reynoso on November 27, 1996.
Jerry's greatest challenge however came far away from the pitching mound. In March of 1994, DiPoto's cancerous thyroid and six lymph nodes were removed. Jerry was back pitching for the Cleveland Indians three months after his surgery. He described himself as "totally sapped" of his normal strength. "I don't know if it is the smartest thing, but it can be done." said Dipoto. As a resurgent pitcher in spring training of 1995, the new Mets pitcher joked, "It looks like I had a little grapple with a stranger. It's much better now. After the surgery I had that Herman Munster staple look." Unfortunately another surgery would end the right-hander's pitching career. A bulging disc in his neck forced an operation that was unable to correct the pain, and Dipoto announced his retirement on March 7, 2001.
After his playing career Jerry became a major league scout for the Boston Red Sox. Then moved on to become the Director of Scouting and Player Personnel for the Colorado Rockies followed by a Vice President position with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2006.
Jerry Dipoto beautifully signed his card in the set from an autograph request sent to his home on January 9, 2009.