Friday, August 6, 2010
#185) RANDY STERLING
Randy Sterling was selected by the New York Mets in the first round of the free agent draft on June 5, 1969. The 18 year-old right-handed pitcher from Key West, Florida was the fourth overall pick that year. A highlight of his fine high school career included a Florida State Championship with the Conchs and once striking out 24 batters during an 11-inning no-hit victory over Miami Edison. "When I was in Little League I used to come over and watch games, and to me at that time it was like coming over to watch a big league game," Sterling remembers about the die-hard baseball community in which he lived. "You'd see the big league games on TV, but you'd actually, as a Little Leaguer, dream of putting on a Conch uniform rather than putting on a Dodgers or Yankees uniform."
During a seven year minor-league career, that included three seasons at Triple-A Tidewater, he would post a record of 60-56 with a 3.40 ERA. His major-league debut came with the Mets on September 16, 1974. Randy was given the starting assignment that day facing the Expos in Montreal. Sterling threw 5-2/3 innings and was officially credited with the win during a 3-2 New York victory. It was one of only three games in which Randy would appear in the big leagues. The last of which came on September 28th and was his only appearance at Shea Stadium. He ended with a 1-1 record, 9.2 innings pitched, and a 4.82 ERA.
After his baseball career was over, Sterling returned to Key West and became the head of the city's Parks and Recreation Department. He was honored for his Key West High School accomplishments when the Conchs retired his uniform number in 2005. He is a member of the competitive fishing team aboard the Reel Conch, which includes his son, Captain Randy Jr. and Erica Hughes Sterling. "I've fished most of my life and I've always been competitive," Randy said in 2008. "My six years on the Mets were the most competitive. Each year professional sports become more competitive, but the past six years being a team with my son, Shane, and Erica, in fishing tournaments, competition has taken on a whole new meaning."
Randy Sterling signed his card in the set for me from an autograph request sent to the Parks Department Office on December 12, 2008.