Thursday, January 14, 2010
#383) KELVIN TORVE
Kelvin Torve was signed by the New York Mets as a free agent on December 13, 1989. The longtime minor leaguer had finally gotten his major league debut with the Minnesota Twins the year before, but his Mets debut was as memorable. Kelvin was a September call up in 1990, "Nothing out of the ordinary. I just got there and saw a locker with my uni it it, No. 24." Torve would recall to Mets By The Numbers, "I didn't give a second thought to it. I don't know who assigned the number, it might have been Charlie Samuels but I'm not sure. I guess they didn't give it much thought either." Problem was that the "24" jersey had not been worn by another Mets player since it graced the back of the legendary Willie Mays almost 20 years earlier. Owner Joan Payson had promised the "Say Hey Kid" that it would not be worn again, but the club had never officially retired it. Public outcry by the Shea Stadium faithful about the oversight became great. After the homestand, Kelvin was told of the mistake and issued another jersey number. This time a much safer No. 39. It was later brought to Torve's attention that he had hit better than .500 during the games while wearing "24". He replied, "Hopefully I did OK in it, because I know Willie Mays did it proud as well."
After a second September call up, Kelvin was released by the Mets on December 13, 1991. He chose to play the next two seasons with the Orix Blue Wave of the Japanese professional baseball league. One of his teammates there was a rookie named Ichiro Suzuki.
Today he works as a salesman for a packaging company and coaches at Carolinas Baseball Center (CBC) in Davidson, North Carolina.
Kelvin Torve signed his card in the set from an autograph request sent to his home on January 14, 2010.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)