Wednesday, June 9, 2010
#396) CHRIS DONNELS
Chris Donnels was selected by the New York Mets organization in the first round (24th overall pick) of the free agent draft on June 2, 1987. The team was playing the Dodgers in Los Angeles a few days later, and took advantage of that to introduce the Loyola Marymouth University product to the media. "This is very exciting. I've been jumping around since I heard," Donnels said. "It's exciting to meet all the guys. I'm really interested in getting out and playing. I'm not really used to a layoff."
Chris made his major-league debut as a New York Met on May 7, 1991. He was the starting third baseman in the victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Shea Stadium that day. A crowd of 44,744 were on hand to see it. "It's nice to have all these people come out to see me," Donnels joked. More likely the draw was seeing Darryl Strawberry appear in New York wearing a Dodgers uniform for the first time. Chris singled in a run during his first at-bat and received a loud ovation. Following a bare-handed grab of a bunt the rookie was given a standing ovation by the hometown crowd. "That gave me a thrill," Donnels said. "It was great enough to make the play, then the crowd appreciated it."
Splitting time between New York and Triple-A Tidewater he would appear in 82 total games for the Mets. Dave Magadan's broken wrist created the best opportunity for Donnels to play in 1992. Chris was unable to consistently hit and finished with a disappointing .195 batting average. He was selected by the newly formed Florida Marlins as the 67th pick in the expansion draft on November 17, 1992.
After his baseball career, Donnels became a scout working for iScouts, Inc., an independent organization owned by former major-leaguer Mike Pagliarulo.
Chris Donnels signed his card in the set from an autograph request sent to his home on March 6, 2009.