Sunday, December 6, 2009
#582) TODD ZEILE
Todd Zeile became a member of the New York Mets when he signed as a free agent on December 17, 1999. He was signed to a three year contract which brought him in to play first base and fill the void left by John Olerud's departure to Seattle. Todd had been primarily a third baseman the season before with limited time at first base. "This time it is a matter of choice," Zeile was quoted. "I can play third base in a number of cities, or I could weigh the chance to play in New York with a chance to win and voluntarily make the choice." It was a good decision as the Mets would become the National League Champions in 2000 with Todd batting .302 during the postseason.
Zeile was traded to the Colorado Rockies with Benny Agbayani in exchange for Alex Ochoa, Craig House, and Russ Gload on January 21, 2002. Actually a three team deal that also brought Jeromy Burnitz back to New York. Todd himself returned to the Mets on January 28, 2004. He signed once again as a free agent in what was his last season in the major leagues.
In his final game Zeile was inserted as the starting catcher. He had began his career at the position and had not caught in the major leagues for 14 years prior to the appearance on October 3, 2004. It was the second-longest span between appearances behind the plate to Gabby Street. Gabby had been 19 years removed when he caught a final game while managing the St. Louis Cardinals in 1931. Todd homered in his final at-bat and helped Tom Glavine to the victory that day at Shea Stadium.
After baseball Todd has become a motion picture producer forming his company, Green Diamond Entertainment. Their first feature, "Dirty Deeds" received additional financing from Mike Piazza, Al Leiter, Tom Glavine, Cliff Floyd, with Jeremy and Jason Giambi. Zeile has also made several acting appearances in both film and television.
Todd Zeile signed his card in the set for me from an autograph request sent to his home address on December 5, 2009.