Tuesday, July 5, 2011
#651) GRAEME LLOYD
Graeme Lloyd was signed by the New York Mets as a free agent on January 24, 2003. The tall left-handed veteran was brought in to help the bullpen. "I know I will be battling for a job," said the former Yankee pitcher. "I have to show what I have, and hopefully that's good enough to go north with the team...I have a lot left in baseball and I want to redeem myself."
Graeme did make the roster, and had his Mets debut on March 31, 2003. He threw a scoreless eighth inning of the 15-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Opening Day at Shea Stadium. The shoulder injury that had limited the southpaw's effectiveness the previous two years seemed to be behind him. Lloyd became an important part of the bullpen when Mike Stanton went on the disabled list and he pitched well. Graeme produced a streak of 9-2/3 scoreless innings during appearances from May 29th to June 22nd.
With many of the Mets veteran stars injured it appeared that the club was headed towards a youth movement for the 2003 season. On July 28, 2003, New York traded the 36-year-old reliever to the first place Kansas City Royals in exchange for Jeremy Hill. The Mets then replaced Graeme on the roster with minor-leaguer Jaime Cerda. Lloyd left with a record of 1-2, and 3.31 ERA in 35-1/3 innings of work.
Since his retirement from pitching, Graeme has been very involved in building the game of baseball in his native Australia. "I remember the P.A. announcer saying I was the first Austrlian to pitch in the big leagues," Lloyd said. "There were like 24,000 Oakland fans who stood up and gave me a cheer. I still remember my knees knocking. It was just an amazing experience."