Wednesday, December 21, 2011
#523) ARMANDO REYNOSO
Armando Reynoso was traded from the Colorado Rockies to the New York Mets in exchange for Jerry DiPoto on November 27, 1996. The Mexican-born righthander made his Mets' debut at Shea Stadium on April 15, 1997. He started and tossed five innings of the 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers that day.
Reynoso recorded an even better performance on June 5th at Shea. Armando pitched his first complete game shutout leading the Mets to a 6-0 win over the Florida Marlins. "I've had a lot of good games," Reynoso said after the game. "But this is the best. Maybe someday I'll throw a no-hitter. That would be better." He faced 30 batters and matched a club record by inducing five double plays. "When I go out to the mound I feel big confidence," he explained. "because I know I have big defense."
On June 17th, he suffered his first loss as a member of the Mets. The finesse pitcher got off to a bad start facing the New York Yankees, and was trailing 4-0 in the second inning. A Luis Sojo line drive struck Armando on the inside of his left knee. "I could just feel my knee explode," Reynoso said. "I thought it was bad. I felt a lot of pain at that moment." He admitted to soreness in his previously repaired shoulder once being placed on the disabled list. Shoulder and elbow surgeries took their toll and ended his year as well as the start of the 1998 campaign.
Reynoso returned to the mound for the Mets on July 24, 1998. The rejuvenated hurler reeled off five consecutive victories upon his return to a six-man starting rotation. "I think that this team, this organization has been so patient with me when I came back. I have to prepare for anything," offered Armando. "I prefer starting." He pitched effectively through the conclusion of the year ending his second shortened season in New York with 11 starts, a 7-3 record and 3.82 ERA.
Armando left the Mets when he signed a free agent contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks on December 2, 1998. The move allowed him to play ball closer to his native Mexico. "The two years in New York were very tough. I missed my family so badly." Reynoso revealed. "When you get hurt and you're not contributing to the team, it doesn't feel good. It's not about the money."
Diamondback Charities teamed with the pitcher to create "Armando Reynoso Field" in Somerton, Arizona. The baseball facility became the third park created through the "Diamonds Back" Youth Field Building Program on September 12, 2002.
Reynoso was named the bullpen coach for Team Mexico during the 2009 World Baseball Classic, and was enshired into the Salón de la Fama del Beisbol Professional de México in 2010.
Armando Reynoso signed his card in the set for my friend Hal during the Major League All-Star Game Fanfest on July 9, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.