Saturday, July 16, 2011
#389) KEITH HUGHES
Keith Hughes was traded along with Cesar Mejia from the Baltimore Orioles to the New York Mets in exchange for John Mitchell and Joaquin Contreras on December 5, 1989. The left-handed hitting outfielder remembers his first visit to Shea Stadium during his first major-league call up. It came as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1987. Keith was called on to pinch-hit against Terry Leach. "Almost hit a home run," Hughes recalled. "but Darryl Strawberry caught it in right field."
Hughes joined the Mets' Triple-A team in Tidewater for the 1990 season. Posting fine numbers there for the Tides with 10 home runs, 53 RBIs, and a .309 batting average in 117 games. He was rewarded with a September call up to New York. Used as a pinch-hitter with the Mets he was unable to register a hit in his nine at-bats to finish the year. "Unfortunately, when I got my chance to pinch-hit I did not do well." Keith said. "I was actually on my honeymoon in Bermuda when I received word from my agent that I had been released—not a surprise." Hughes left the Mets on November 13, 1990.
Keith would play for minor-league teams in Columbus, Portland, and Indianapolis before another chance came at the big-leagues. He joined the Cincinnati Reds during May of the 1993 campaign. "Was unexpected." explained Hughes. "It was a gift from God. I was supposed to have gotten released at the end of spring training, but God orchestrated a spot on the AAA roster for me." The three games for the Reds would be the last of his major-league career.
He ended his playing time with a season in Triple-A Omaha, and then became a coach in the Kansas City organization in 1995. Hughes was a coach with the Wilmington Blue Rocks for two years, and served as a scout for the Royals another six years after that. Keith left baseball to return home to the Philadelphia area. Allowing him to enjoy time with family and develop a successful career in sales.
Keith Hughes signed his card in the set from an autograph request sent to his home on July 14, 2011.