Sunday, July 25, 2010
#602) JORGE VELANDIA
Jorge Velandia was traded by the Oakland Athletics to the New York Mets in exchange for (future American League All-Star outfielder) Nelson Cruz on August 30, 2000. He would make his debut with the major-league team as a late season call up on September 6th of that year. Velandia appeared in 15 games to close the campaign, but mainly as a defensive replacement. The Venezuelan born infielder did not collect a hit in his seven at-bats during that time.
He was a knowledgeable player that continued to show a much greater glove than bat during his time in the Mets organization. Jorge would spend much of his time with Triple-A Norfolk, but returned to New York in both of the next two years. Playing in nine games in 2001, and 35 more in his last season. Velandia left the Mets when he became a free agent and signed with the Atlanta Braves on November 14, 2003.
After his active playing career, Jorge became the hitting coach for the Williamsport Crosscutters in 2010. "A lot of people play professionally for a long time and end up hating the game," Valendia shared. "That's not me at all. I feel lucky to have played all this time, because the competition is so hard. Now I'm excited for the next step."
Jorge Velandia signed his card in the set for me following the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and Indianapolis Indians game at Victory Field on June 5, 2009.