Friday, February 19, 2010
#439) DAVE TELGHEDER
Dave Telgheder was selected by the New York Mets in the 31st round of the free agent draft on June 5, 1989. He made his major league debut at Shea Stadium on June 12, 1993. Throwing the final inning in relief of Dwight Gooden during a 3-0 Mets victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. The Mets team would lose 100 games that year, but Telgheder personally had a fine 6-2 record. "You learn from it," Dave would explain, "You learn how much it sucks, and you do not want to do it anymore." The right-hander started the 1994 season with New York, but after struggling in four straight appearances in April was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. He finished the season there used entirely as a starting pitcher. Dave compiled a 8-10 record and 3.40 ERA in 23 starts. His assignment to the minors proved quite important as Major League Baseball went on strike and that season was never completed.
With the ongoing work stoppage the 1995 spring training camp could have provided a dilemma for Telgheder. As he was not on the Mets' 40-man roster it was not required by the Player's Union for him to strike. Major League Baseball's plan was to start the exhibition season using replacement and minor league players. "If the only way for me to get back is to play (with replacements), then I don't want to do it." Dave was quoted. Mets' management was angered by his stance. "The team I want to play for is on strike." Telgheder continued, "There's no way I will play (with replacements) once the season starts. I'll be in Norfolk enjoying myself on the beach, playing some golf and pitching." To his word he did not participate and when the major leaguers returned from the strike on April 25, 1995, he was again pitching for the Triple-A Tides. In August of that season, Telgheder was recalled to New York and pitched in seven games. He was granted free agency at the close of the year and signed with the Oakland Athletics on November 21, 1995.
Dave retired from professional baseball in 1998 and worked with his family on their apple orchard in his hometown of Middleton, New York. Later, he took a position with the local Minisink Valley High School as a business teacher.
As a boy he had played youth baseball for the "Humn' birds" club. In 2007 he became a Little League camp instructor. "It's a lot of fun," Dave said, "This is a pure as it gets. What's great about this is that you get to follow these kids down the road in the paper. Maybe one of them will even make the majors."
I created Dave Telgheder's card in the set from a cut signature given to me by my friend Tom Tessier on April 30, 2009.