Thursday, August 25, 2011
#372) BLAINE BEATTY
Blaine Beatty was traded to the New York Mets along with Greg Talamantez from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Doug Sisk on December 7, 1987. The lefthander was assigned to Double-A Jackson where he had a fine season at 16-8 with a 2.46 ERA in 1988. Beatty was with a Mets system which was full of talent at both the major and minor-league level. So he pitched the next entire season at Triple-A Tidewater before being recalled to New York when rosters expanded at the close of the major-league schedule. Blaine had just taken six days leave from the team to return home and witness the birth of his son in late August. "I was a young man, a young father, and all that in the same week," Beatty fondly recalls.
Blaine made his big-league debut as a New York Met on September 16, 1989. "It was like I almost couldn't breathe," Beatty recounts. "Walking out to the mound that night felt like slow-motion, but once I started to throw things went fine. I thought, 'This is what I've trained to do." He threw a scoreless seventh-inning during the Mets 10-1 loss to the Montreal Expos at Olympic Stadium. It was the first of two opportunities that Beatty had to pitch for New York before the end of the season. The second was his first starting assignment, and had him facing the Pirates in Pittsburgh. Over five innings he would only allow one run, but not factor into the decision of the eventual 5-2 Mets victory.
It was not until September 17, 1991 that he would make his first appearance on the Shea Stadium mound. A ballpark he remembers as his favortie to pitch in. Blaine spent the entire 1990 season on the disabled list following surgery to his left elbow, and would have to pitch another year with the Tidewater Tides before getting his second opportunity in the majors. The southpaw made five relief appearances and registered a 2.79 ERA during those. In the following winter the Mets traded Beatty to the Montreal Expos for Jeff Barry on December 9, 1991.
His two successful stints with the Mets would suprisingly prove to be his only time in the majors. "It's one of those things, they had great pitching staffs, Fernandez, Bobby Ojeda, and then Frank Viola," Blaine said. "Looking back, I don't really know why they traded for me from the Orioles."
A long minor-league career followed that had the Beatty family traveling to many teams over almost two decades. Five different ball clubs in his last season alone. So it was only natural for Blaine to transition into a coach at the conclusion of his pitching career. He first joined the Erie Seawolves in 1999, then returned to the Mets organization in that role, and has now enjoyed success in the Baltimore Orioles system for many years. "Being a part of the development to establish the work habits and ethics involved in being a professional and carrying those on to the major league level," as Coach Beatty describes it.
Blaine Beatty signed his card in the set for my friend, Pol Heiney before the Wilmington Blue Rocks and Frederick Keys game at Harry Grove Stadium on August 17, 2011.
"I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13)