Monday, June 27, 2011
#743) SHAWN GREEN
Shawn Green was traded from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the New York Mets in exchange for Evan MacLane on August 22, 2006. The 33-year-old outfielder waived his no-trade clause in order to get the deal done. "I'm definitely excited for the opportunity," said Green. "I really like the Mets' chances to go to the postseason and have a chance at the World Series."
Shawn was reunited with longtime friend, Carlos Delgado on the Mets roster. The two men had a close history that dated back to their minor-league days. So when the Shea Stadium fans welcomed Green with a standing ovation in his first plate appearance—Carlos approved. "It was pretty nice," Delgado said. "I guess Shawn Green and Mike Piazza are the only two people who have gotten standing ovations on their first days."
The left-handed slugger was a popular acquisition, and maybe even more so to many Jews in the city. "For me it's an important thing, the Jewish community here," Shawn offered. "I definitely want to be a part of it and am excited to be a part of it and hopefully I can make them proud." Born near Chicago and raised near Los Angeles, Green was not active in his faith until reaching the major-leagues with the Blue Jays. He became a member of the Toronto Jewish community during his rise to baseball stardom. Becoming dedicated enough to end a 415-game playing streak by sitting out Yom Kippur in 2001 while a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Shawn contributed to the 2006 National League Eastern Division Champions in New York. He appeared in 34 games and collected four home runs, 15 RBIs and a .257 batting average. All marks were below his career averages, but his performance in the postseason was much improved. Green combined for a .313 batting average while driving in four runs in the nine games he played during the Division and League Championship Series.
Green returned to the Mets for the 2007 campaign, but was placed on the disabled list on May 29th after fouling a ball off his foot. The injury was ruled as a chip fracture on the base of the first metalarsal of the right foot and sidelined him until June 11th. He rebounded with a .291 batting average for the year, but was part of a club that stumbled to close the season. Shawn himself hit well down the stretch, batting .407 in 59 plate appearances during September.
He was granted free agency for 2008, but chose to retire from baseball. "I wanted to stay here with my family," Green said from his California home. "Not travel around the country anymore. I enjoyed playing a lot. I enjoyed New York. But for me, it was time to be home."
Shawn left the game just three home runs shy of the all-time mark for Jewish players set by Hank Greenberg with 331.
In 2011, he became an author and published the book, "The Way of Baseball, Finding Stillness at 95 mph." It chronicles his use of eastern philosophy in approaching the game. "I wrote a book about it and I still don't always follow it," Green said. "I hope baseball fans will say, 'Wow, that's a new way to look at things,' and maybe it will light a fire in them."
Shawn Green signed his card in the set for my good friend, Jessie during a book signing held at Book Revue in Huntington, NY on June 6, 2011.