Tuesday, September 27, 2011
#412) MARK DEWEY
Mark Dewey came to the New York Mets when they purchased his contract from the San Francisco Giants organization on May 9, 1991. Dewey had been pitching for the Triple-A Phoenix Firebirds at the time of the acquisition. "There was a sense of apprehension as I had been with the Giants my entire professional career," Mark remembered. "And, at the same time a lot of excitement over the prospect of playing in New York as a member of the home team."
The 26-year-old would spend the rest of his first season in the organization with the Triple-A Tidewater Tides. He earned a 12-3 record, nine saves, and 3.34 ERA in 48 appearances of relief. Dewey was given an invitation to major-league training camp the next spring. A good showing in Florida placed him on the 1992 New York Mets Opening Day roster. He made his debut with the team on the second game of the new season at Busch Stadium. Mark threw two innings of scoreless relief during a 9-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on April 7th.
His first home game appearance did not come until April 12th. He had visited Shea Stadium previously as a member of the Giants in August of 1990. "The Mets were in the playoff race," said Dewey. "I remember the atmosphere being electric and thinking, 'What a great place to play baseball'." Now wearing the blue and orange of New York, he went 2-1/3 innings of scoreless relief in a 8-2 home loss to the Montreal Expos. In between the strong showings were appearances where Mark allowed several runs. That inconsistency found Dewey shuttling between the Mets and Triple-A Tides for most of the 1992 campaign. "I was in New York back to Tidewater, up to New York...This happened three or four times during the season," Mark shared. "It was disappointing, but I am thankful for Jeff Torborg, Mel Stottlemyre, Clint Hurdle, Bob Apodaca, Steve Phillips, Al Harrison, and Gerry Hunsicker for giving me an opportunity to pitch for the Mets."
Dewey had at times drawn criticism for his strong Christian beliefs while in San Francisco. "Every clubhouse in every city and at every level presents its difficulties for a man seeking to live in the glory of the Lord Jesus." Mark said. "New York/Shea was no different in that sense. However, there was a relatively large number of Christians on that team who were older than I was (both in chronological years and in their walk with the Lord). We prayed together on a regular basis, often before the game in the old Jets locker room, and would meet for Bible studies as well. That was wonderful."
By the end of the year Dewey had made 20 appearances for a 1-0 record, 33-1/3 innings, and a 4.32 ERA. The Mets determined that Mark would not be a part of the major-league bullpen the next season and he was claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 11, 1993.
Following big-league stints with both the Pirates and Giants, Dewey would return to the Mets organization as a coach in Kingsport for the 2000 season. "I thought that coaching would allow me to get back into the game I love and satisfy my desire to be in pro ball again." Being around the competition and throwing batting practice every day "stoked the flame to pitch". Mark would return to pitching again both in Australia and then at Triple-A Nashville until a back injury ended his attempt to return to the major leagues.
Mark came back to his Michigan home and planted and pastored a church from 2003-2008. During that time he also served as the local high school's pitching coach. Dewey joined Emory and Henry College in that role for 2009. Becoming the Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League's pitching coach in 2010. Mark and his wife are the proud parents of 12 children. "Five years into our marriage, we discussed how the Bible says children are a blessing of the Lord, and that we should be excited about every child He gives us," Dewey said. "So far, He has given us 12."
The righthander was honored with induction into the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.
Mark Dewey signed his card in the set from an autograph request sent to his home on January 24, 2009.
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus," -Romans 8:1