Tuesday, October 19, 2010
#254) JERRY MORALES
Jerry Morales was originally signed by the New York Mets on June 23, 1966 as an international free agent at the age of 17. The young man from Puerto Rico was selected from the Mets by the San Diego Padres during their inaugural draft on October 14, 1968. He would make his major-league debut with the Padres during their first season.
Jerry returned to the Mets on October 31, 1979. The Detroit Tigers traded Morales along with Phil Mankowski in exchange for Richie Hebner on Halloween day. He brought his signature basket catch to Shea Stadium for his Mets debut on April 10, 1980. Jerry started in centerfield and collected two RBI during a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Morales appeared in 94 games for New York that season. Pinch-hitting in 39 of those and finishing the year with a collective .254 batting average. He was granted free agency on October 31, 1980. Exactly one year from when he joined the team.
After retiring from playing in 1983, he became a roving minor-league hitting and outfield instructor for the Chicago Cubs. Morales followed that with jobs as a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers, as well as major-league coaching positions with the Montreal Expos, and Washington Nationals.
I created the set card for Jerry Morales from an autographed index card given to me by my good friend, Jessie on October 16, 2010.