Saturday, January 28, 2012


Mickey Lolich was traded to the New York Mets along with Billy Baldwin from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Rusty Staub and Bill Laxton on December 12, 1975. The lefthander had been the Most Valuable Player of the 1968 World Series while with the Tigers. Lolich at first vetoed the trade, but later reconsidered and signed a two-year deal with New York. "I had been in Detroit for 13 years," Mickey said. "I was comfortable there and I didn't want to leave." Negotiations with Mets' general manager, Joe McDonald and club president, M. Donald Grant changed his mind. "I'll be a starting pitcher here," the 35-year-old Lolich explained. "I think with a four-man rotation like the Mets have, we're gonna scare a few people, especially in Pittsburgh. I think it's the best four-man rotation in the National League."

Mickey was always far from the build of the typical ballplayer. "I'm over 200 and somewhere below 300," he once said. "Weight is always a big deal to everybody, but it's the arm and not the belly that you pitch with. I'm the roly-poly, I'm the beer belly, but I'm the hero to that guy watching me on TV—the all-time left-handed strikeout pitcher."

The biggest challenge for the veteran was not on the field. It was the decision to leave his wife and three children to live at the Lolich home in Washington, Michigan. "If I adjust and the family adjusts," he said in April about playing beyond 1976. "I'll play one more year. If not we'll retire. The longest we've been apart is two weeks. Now it'll be months."

The southpaw admitted it felt strange to put on the Mets uniform after so many years with the Tigers. He made his New York debut at Shea Stadium on April 11, 1976. Mickey lasted just two innings in the 7-6 loss to the Montreal Expos. Surrendering three runs (two of which were unearned) on three hits. Actually it was his fourth start before Lolich was able to register his first Mets victory. He struck out nine Atlanta Braves hitters in a 3-1 win on April 28th. "It feels super," said Mickey afterward. "I just wish it had come sooner. I might have been pressing a little bit. But I'm glad now that I've won this one. The first one always seems the hardest."

An anemic Mets offense plagued most of the lefty's starts. He was shutout four times and lost several other games where New York scored only one run. "I'm a completely different pitcher now than before," Lolich was quoted in August. "I throw more sinkers, more off-speed pitches and try to let the hitters do themselves in. My strikeouts are down to four or five a game. I could have a better record, but I've blown some leads too. I've been getting the ball up too much all year. But from every point of view except the win-loss record, it's been a satisfying season so far and I'd like to be here next season."

Mickey finished the year with an 8-13 record, 120 strikeouts, and a solid 3.22 ERA in his 31 starts. Despite the success, Lolich ultimately chose to retire from baseball in 1977. He was unable to deal with the distance from Michigan that pitching in New York presented. "I enjoyed playing there," he later said. "To me, the Mets were a super organization. I lived upriver, near Nyack, and that was nice. But it was the first time I was separated from my family and when the season ended, I figured, hell, this is a good to to retire."

Lolich became an automobile salesman that winter. After spending the next summer playing first base for the VFW team in the Romeo, Michigan recreational softball league he amazingly returned to the major-leagues with the San Diego Padres in 1978. He officially retired from the game for the final time following the 1979 season.

Back in Michigan he successfully founded Lolich Doughnuts in Lake Orion. He operated the business for 18 years before selling it in 1997. "I don't do anything...I've finally found something that I'm good at," Lolich said in 2010. "I tried making donuts but they all had holes in them. Now I watch the grass grow." Mickey and his wife are actively involved in many charities and the lefthander is a regular coach for the Detroit Tigers Fantasy Camp.

Mickey Lolich signed his card in the set for my friend Tom Carlon at the Tigers Fantasy Camp in Lakeland, Florida on January 21, 2012.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Kevin Appier was signed by the New York Mets as a free agent on December 11, 2000. The reigning National League Champions were forced to fill the void of their exiting ace pitcher, Mike Hampton. The Championship Series MVP signed a record-setting contract with the Colorado Rockies. Appier was inked to a four-year deal with the Mets just days later. "New York is a very exciting city," Kevin said from the baseball winter meetings in Dallas. "You can't get a bigger stage than that. If we do great, that's only better. I'm glad to have the opportunity."

"Right from the beginning, we knew Kevin Appier would be right in the mix of pitchers we were trying to pursue," Mets general manager Steve Phillips said. "Obviously we had interest in the Hampton and (Mike) Mussina fronts, but those ran parallel with discussions with Kevin. We feel fortunate to get a pitcher of his caliber."

Appier's unorthodox delivery and pregame bullpen rants preceeded him. "It's extremely, extremely, extremely important to me to give everything," He explained. "So I'm crazy-intense out there. Being that way and being able to draw everything I have into my work, I think that's been a key in the success that I have had."

Kevin made his Mets debut on April 4, 2001 at Turner Field facing the Atlanta Braves. He went six strong innings in a wild game that the Braves won in the bottom of the ninth inning. "It's just two down, 160 to go." said Appier after the game.

The righthander got the distinction of pitching the home opener at Shea Stadium on April 9th. A sellout crowd of 53,640 were on hand to see the raising of the 2000 National League Championship banner. Behind seven innings from Appier, and Mike Piazza's two home runs, the Mets answered with a 9-4 victory over the Braves. "The crowd was amazing," Kevin said. "This was like my in-person introduction to New York and to get a win is very sweet."

Appier would pitch well enough the first half of the season, but suffer poor run support in many of his outings. In seven of his first 12 starts, the Mets scored three or fewer runs. Resulting in a 3-5 record. "I think I've got my rhythm back," Kevin said. "If I hit my spots and get action on my fastball, I can get the job done. That's been happening lately." Things would begin to turn around for the veteran in July. He finished the year going 7-2 in his last 17 starts, and saved his best game of the season for October 6th at Shea. Kevin threw eight shutout innings, while striking out a season-high 11 batters during the Mets 4-0 victory over the Montreal Expos. It would be his final start of the year, and his last as a New York Met.

Kevin finished 2001 with a 11-10 record, 172 strikeouts, and a 3.57 ERA. He was the team leader with 206.2 innings pitched, and 33 starts. The Mets traded Appier to the Anaheim Angels in exchange for slugger, Mo Vaughn on December 27, 2001. "To add a hitter like Mo is something we never envisioned," Mets GM Phillips said the day of the deal. "In typical years you don't have a chance to get a player of Mo's caliber."

Appier would pitch for the Angels during their 2002 World Series Championship. He retired from baseball in 2006, and spends time on his 450-acre working farm in Paola, Kansas. Kevin tends to black angus cattle, horses and crops there. The former ace enjoys keeping to himself and chooses not to own a cell phone. He feels that baseball is something in his past. "I'm a victim of a child's imagination," Appier said. "When I was a kid, that's what I thought about. I said, 'I wanted a ranch'. I never imagined camels, but that's my wife's thing. She really likes camels and I thought it would make a nice gift. I've been haunted by it ever since."

I created Kevin Appier's card in the set from an autographed index card purchased from Kyle's Sportscards on November 20, 2011.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Darren Bragg joined the New York Mets when he was signed as a free agent on January 9, 2001. The left-handed hitting outfielder was brought in on a minor-league contract. He suffered a hamstring injury during spring training camp that cost three weeks of playing time. It was decided best to assign Darren to the Triple-A Norfolk Tides to begin the 2001 season.

The major-league veteran had a clause in his contract allowing him to ask for his release if not on the big-league roster before May 1st. "I'm fine," Bragg responded on April 30th when asked if he was leaving the Tides. "I'm not going anywhere." The Mets rewarded both his patience and performance by promoting him to the Mets on May 15th. In 32 games for Norfolk, he had four home runs, seven RBIs, five stolen bases, and was batting for a hefty .333 average.

Wearing uniform number 56 (in honor of his football hero Lawrence Taylor) the Watertown, Connecticut native made his Mets debut at Shea Stadium on May 16, 2001. "I've always tried to go all out," said Darren. "I'll run into walls. I'll jump into stands if that's what it takes. Like LT. He didn't let much stop him. That's the way I want to play the game." He was inserted as the lead-off hitter facing the San Diego Padres and delivered a double in his first at-bat.

Bragg's best performance in a Mets uniform came on May 24th. He collected four hits and scored three runs in the New York 11-3 victory over the Florida Marlins at Shea. Darren's defense was also on display earlier with a diving catch in right field. "That was my best play of the night," beamed Bragg after the win. "I saved a run. That was big. If that was the only thing I did all night, I'd be happy.....The four hits makes it better." His batting average stood at a stellar .343 during those first nine games with New York.

The next nine games were a stark contrast to his initial success. Darren collected just three hits in his next 23 at-bats. Seeing his average on the season fall to .263. On May 31st while facing Philadelphia, Bragg misjudged a high pop fly in left field. It fell for a base hit and allowed the Phillies to rally for an eventual 6-3 victory at Shea. "That's the first time I'ver ever lost a ball and not caught it." Darren said. "Sometimes I lose it and recover in time. I wasn't able to recover on that one." With injured outfielder, Benny Agbayani set to return, the Mets chose to designate the outfielder for assignment on June 7th. "I thought I could help this club and I still do," Bragg said. "In this game nothing really catches you by surprise."

The New York Yankees claimed Darren on June 12th. He returned days later to Shea Stadium, but this time in the visitor's dugout during the Subway Series. "The Yankees were my team growing up," said Bragg. "I couldn't ask for a better scenario." He appeared as a pinch-hitter on June 16th and flew out to left field. Darren was designated for assignment by the Yankees on June 30th. Bragg was resigned by the Mets and brought to major-league spring training camp in 2002. Unable to find a spot in the club's outfield he was given the chance to join the Atlanta Braves that April.

After his 11-year playing career ended, Bragg became a hitting coach for the Dayton Dragons in 2007. Serving later in the Cincinnati Reds organization as an outfield coordinator for the minor-leagues. He has continued teaching the game to younger players by establishing The Hit Club in Thomaston, Connecticut.

I created Darren Bragg's card in the set from an autographed index card purchased from Kyle's Sportcards on November 20, 2011.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


John Christensen was selected by the New York Mets in the second round of the free agent draft on June 8, 1981. The Fullerton, California native enjoyed a successful baseball career at Cal State University. A game that he loved to play, but could never sit to watch more than two innings of on television.

Christensen was promoted to New York as a late-season call-up after posting a strong .316 batting average and 15 home runs for the Triple-A Tidewater Tides. He made his major-league debut at Shea Stadium on September 13, 1984. The right-handed hitting outfielder came in as a pinch-hitter and late-inning replacement for Darryl Strawberry during the 14-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The talented Strawberry provided a definite challenge for John. The Mets were quite covered in right field with the young slugger. "I know he's got the job and he's going to be out there for a long time," said Christensen. "But if I let that affect me, it will only hurt me." John ended his brief first stint in the big-leagues with five game appearances over which he drove in three runs and registered a .273 batting average.

On April 1, 1985, Christensen became forever linked to Mets lore. Sports Illustrated Magazine featured a story by George Plimpton titled, "The Curious Case of Sid Finch". In the account a trio of young Mets prospects were asked to hit off a very unorthodox and secret pitcher. John was prominently featured as the first batter to face Sid Finch. "As for hitting the thing, frankly, I just don't think it's humanly possible." Christensen was supposed to have said. "You could send a blind man up there, and maybe he'd do better hitting at the sound of the thing." The story proved to be an elaborate April Fool's Day prank.

He did make the major-league roster for the start of the 1985 season. Only in an unfamiliar role of a reserve player. "Being the type of player John is, he's very competitive and wants to be in the game at all times," explained teammate, Gary Carter. "Being a platoon player is not his first choice." Perhaps it was the unfamiliarity of the assignment, but Christensen struggled for consistency at the plate when his opportunities came. "I am happy to be here but my confidence is down." John said to the Los Angeles Times in June. "When I go to the plate, I want to do so well that I do just the opposite."

In 51 games he struggled to a .186 batting average with three home runs and 13 RBIs. Christensen was traded along with Calvin Shiraldi, Wes Gardner, and LaSchelle Tarver to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Bob Ojeda, John Mitchell, Tom McCarthy, and Chris Bayer on November 13, 1985.

John would play in the major leagues again with both the Seattle Mariners and Minnesota Twins before retiring after the 1989 season.

I created John Christensen's set card from a signed index card purchased on November 20, 2011.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Danny Garcia was selected by the New York Mets in the fifth round of the free agent draft on June 5, 2001. The Pepperdine University star began his professional baseball career with the newly formed Brooklyn Cyclones on July 1st. "For his first seven contests with Brooklyn, Garcia made a key play in every game." recalls Ed Shakespeare of the The Brooklyn Paper. Danny and his aggressive style of play quickly advanced through the Mets minor league system. "Just hard-nosed," Garcia explained. "I'm not the type of player who's going to have three days where I run hard and the other four days not run hard."

The Mets rewarded Danny when rosters expanded, and promoted him from Triple-A Norfolk. He made his big-league debut at Shea Stadium on September 2, 2003. Daniel Garcia, Sr. traveled from southern California to New York and witnessed the event. He was in the stands when his son singled in his first major-league at-bat during the Mets 3-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves. "I'm just glad that all the work in the winter and all the swings I've taken and all the preparation is paying off," Danny said afterward. "I knew it would." He also had an opportunity to show his grit to the hometown crowd by hanging in at second base during a contested double-play. Marcus Giles attempting to break up the play slid hard into Garcia, who was able to still make an accurate throw for the out. "That's what I do," said Danny while receiving treatment from the trainer following the game. "If he's standing there, I'd do the same thing. I told him that."

Danny's favorite day as a New York Met came during an afternoon contest at Shea on September 10th. "It was the day I hit my first double and first major-league home run off Mark Redman of the Marlins." Garcia shared. "After the game, I was scheduled to take a limo to Brooklyn to throw out the first pitch of their Championship Game. It was a surprise to me that Steve Correa (a college friend also drafted by the Mets) was able to catch my first pitch. What a day. A dream come true." The Cyclones granted Danny the honor due to his distinction of becoming the first player in their history to reach the major leagues. An accomplishment celebrated again with a bobblehead giveaway at KeySpan Park in 2004.

Garcia appeared in 19 games for the Mets to close the 2003 season. During 56 at-bats he hit two home runs, drove in six runs, but only managed a .214 batting average. A fact that might have led to his beginning the 2004 season back with the Norfolk Tides. "I don't have anything that really stands out," Garcia told the Bergen Record. "But I can do a lot of things if you give me a whole season. Everybody talks about how valuable an experience it was, and it's completely true. When things are new you are not comfortable in your environment."

José Reyes suffered a hamstring injury that forced him to the disabled list in late April. The Mets recalled Garcia to play second base during the infielder's absence. Danny delivered in a starting role by going 6-for-12, with one home run, and four RBIs during his first week back in New York.

Garcia continued to impress the Mets staff with his hustle, but slumped at the plate following a thumb injury. Danny saw his playing time diminish due to the emergence of Ty Wigginton as the everyday second baseman. The Mets wanted to see him continue to develop through regular action. To accomplish this they returned the young player to Norfolk on June 9th. "It never feels so great to go down, but I completely understand," Garcia said. "I think there's good both places."

It was a brief move that only lasted until August. Danny's return to New York would continue through the end of the season. In total he appeared in 58 games and contributed three home runs, 17 RBIs, and a .232 batting average during 2004. The Mets were unable to find a permanent roster spot for him, and he was released on March 16, 2005.

Danny played in the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees systems before joining the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League in 2007. Following his playing career, Garcia was able to remain in baseball as a trainer. He was named the Mariners minor league system's Coordinator of Sports Science and Performance in 2010. Working with Peak Performance Project he became part of an innovative conditioning program with Seattle.

Danny Garcia signed his card in the set from a request sent to the Seattle Mariners on January 13, 2012. Adding the date of his fondest memory at Shea Stadium.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Jerry Koosman joined the New York Mets when he signed as a free agent on August 27, 1964. The left-handed pitcher was an engineering student when he was drafted into the Army in 1962. During his service years, Koosman was playing baseball with Queens native John Luchese, whose father happened to be an usher at Shea Stadium. John was the team's catcher, and wrote to his dad about the talented pitcher. After the tip was passed on to Mets farm director, Joe McDonald the southpaw farm boy from Appleton, Minnesota was offered a contract.

"Kooz" was far from impressive in his first minor-league season. In fact the Mets organization had decided to release him in 1966. The only thing standing in the way was a $50.00 loan the Mets had given him for a road accident while traveling to spring training. McDonald had arranged for the debt to be repaid from Koosman's future paychecks. So the Mets granted a reprieve. The hard-throwing southpaw learned to throw a slider from pitching coach Frank Lary, and his fates were immediately changed. "I caught on to it right away," remembers Jerry. That season he was 12-7 at Class A Auburn with 174 strikeouts and a league-leading 1.38 ERA.

Koosman made his major-league debut with the New York Mets on April 14, 1967. Throwing from the bullpen he tossed 2.2 innings of scoreless relief at Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia during a 5-1 loss to the Phillies. He would appear in a total of nine games for New York that year, but spent most of the year at Triple-A Jacksonville.

The 1968 campaign was the first for new Mets manager, Gil Hodges. He chose to add the young Koosman into his starting rotation. Jerry rewarded that decision with an amazing first full season in the majors. Kooz was selected to the first of his two Major League All-Star Games representing New York. The lefty established a new club record with 19 victories, seven shutouts, and recorded a 2.08 ERA. He would fall one vote short of Cincinnati Reds catcher, Johnny Bench in the 1968 National League Rookie of the Year ballot.

Jerry paired with right-handed pitcher, Tom Seaver to create a formable top of the rotation. They became the cornerstone of the "Miracle Mets" team that brought the franchise their first world championship. Koosman states his greatest moment of a legendary Mets career came during Game 5 of the 1969 World Series at Shea Stadium. "There was so much noise, you couldn't hear the crack of the bat to judge how well the ball was hit," says Jerry. "Your first glance, you see the outfielder go back and you pray it isn't out of the ballpark." The flyball from Baltimore Orioles second baseman, Dave Johnson's bat nestled into the glove of Cleon Jones and the Mets became World Champions. Actually the club won all six of the postseason games started by Koosman.

It would be 1973 before the Mets would return to the postseason. Once again it was pitching that propelled a club that finished with the lowest winning percentage of any team in baseball history. "I don't know what we ever did to turn it around," Jerry said. "We only won 82 games." It was during an August team meeting held by the very business-like chairman M. Donald Grant that a Mets motto was born. "He told us, 'You've got to believe,' and then he left and closed the door, Tug McGraw starts yelling, 'Ya gotta believe! You gotta believe!,' " Koosman recalls. "He was making fun of him, but he said it with such emphasis that it kind of stuck. We kept saying it to each other." The club would finish strong and defeat the 1973 Cincinnati Reds club to advance to the World Series. Kooz was once again strong at Shea Stadium during the Fall Classic. "I'll be sitting in the dugout," Jerry told Sports Illustrated Magazine. "and the crowds will get going and I'll feel a chill up and down my spine." New York would battle a powerful Oakland A's team, but lose the deciding Game 7 in California.

Despite his career success, Koosman always seemed to be lost in the shadow of future Hall of Famer, Tom Seaver. "I'm perfectly satisfied with the role he played and the role I played," Jerry said in 2008. "I'm satisfied if I don't get any publicity." In what was possibly his best personal performance he went on to record 21 victories, and a 2.69 ERA during the 1976 season. Further establishing him as one of the greatest men in New York Mets history.

On December 8, 1978, he was traded to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for Jesse Orosco and Greg Field. That ended a 12-year career that saw 140 wins, 1,799 strikeouts, and a 3.09 ERA. "I was sad to leave New York, but New York was in a rebuilding process at the time," says Koosman. "I wanted to move on and play for a club that had a chance to win."

Jerry was inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame in 1989.

Koosman returned to engineering after retiring from baseball in 1985. Purchasing Mesa Technologies, Inc and moving the business to Wisconsin. Working at Mesa, he received a patent for a Clean-In-Place Automated Food and Beverage Dispenser. Better described as a self-cleaning soft-serve ice cream machine.

In his spare time Jerry enjoys ice fishing and golf. He was honored at the closing ceremonies for Shea Stadium on September 28, 2008. "It was a great day, just wish the Mets had won that last game but it was a fun day. I got to see a lot of the guys from the past." said Kooz.

Jerry Koosman signed his card in the set from an autograph request sent to his home on January 7, 2012. Adding "The 5th Game of the WS '69" in celebration of his greatest moment at Shea Stadium.

Friday, January 6, 2012


I am breaking from the normal format of the blog to share a fun development. This morning found me doing what I often do. Reading about our Mets online. The New York Times is a terrific source of information so they always get a look. Rich Sandomir wrote an article today titled, "Mr. Met Keeps His Head Up" and amazingly it mentioned this blog! (We are on the second page online and page B13 of the printed paper) What a tremendous surprise since I have never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Sandomir. He exhibited his wisdom in covering the Mr. Met story and not forgetting the legendary Daniel Reilly. Just glad that we were able to help in keeping his tale alive.

I can not thank my good friend, Jessie Burke (member of the Mets Underground) enough for his efforts in helping me locate Mr. Reilly. Without that this would never of happened.

Thanks to all the Mets fans who read this blog, and the many that have assisted in making this collection possible. What a neat way to begin the year of the Mets 50th Anniversary!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Rick Reed joined the New York Mets when he signed as a free agent on November 7, 1995. The once overweight once-a-week sandlot pitcher from Huntington, West Virginia defied the odds and earned a shot at the major-leagues. Reed weighed 225 pounds when first signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1986. He worked to lose 30 pounds and pitched his way through the organization. Rick won the first game of his big-league career on August 8, 1988. The 1-0 victory came as a spot start facing the Mets at Three Rivers Stadium. "I've dreamed my whole life of just getting the chance to pitch to the Mets, because they're such a great team. " the rookie said afterward. "I shut them out for eight innings? It can't be real."

Reed could only manage limited time at the major-league level. He passed through three organizations before accepting the role of a replacement player for the Cincinnati Reds during the strike of 1994. The stigma would remain with him and eventually end his days in Cincy. "Water under the bridge now. I did it to help my parents. I told the Reds I wouldn't play in a regular-season game." Rick said in 2010. "Spring training broke and I went to Indianapolis. The strike was over. I don't think it's as much of a big deal as all this steroid stuff."

In New York the finesse pitcher hit his stride. Beginning with the 1997 season, Reed became a mainstay in the Mets' starting rotation. He developed the reputation of "a poor man's Greg Maddux". The right-hander registered double digit wins in each of his first four years in Flushing. He won the National League Player of the Week Award on May 4, 1997. When Rick was selected to represent the Mets during the 1998 Major League All-Star Game he said, "I think I can appreciate this more than anyone else." His ten year struggle through the minor leagues was far behind him.

On June 8, 1998, he joined the list of Mets pitchers to toss near no-hitters. Reed took a perfect game into the seventh inning facing the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Shea Stadium. "It seemed like after I threw my first pitch they were really into the game." Rick said. A Wade Boggs double ruined the bid which ended as a three-hitter and a 3-0 New York win.

Rick was on the mound in another big moment at Shea the next season. He faced the Pittsburgh Pirates on October 2, 1999 and pitched what might have been his best game ever. Reed hurled a three-hit shutout, while striking out a career-high 12 batters. Rick even delivered a two-run single himself as the Mets won 7-0 to force a tie with the Cincinnati Reds for the National League wild-card lead on the second to the last day of the season. "After the Reds game, I started pacing from the locker room, to the trainer's room, to the weight room," Reed shared. "I had to be calmed down....The butterflies in my stomach were growing. They were big ones." The effort contributed to the Mets first appearance in the postseason since 1988.

The Mets bested that the next year when they repeated as the National League Wild Card entry in 2000. This time they advanced to the World Series facing the New York Yankees. Reed was the starting pitcher for Game Three of the Subway Series. "Just to stand out on that mound would have been thrilling enough." Rick explained. "But to pitch your first game and your team getting the win, that's the biggest thrill of all." The 4-2 victory at Shea Stadium was the only Mets win of the series.

Reed left the New York Mets when he was traded to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for Matt Lawton on July 30, 2001. "I wish I could've ended my career in New York." Rick shared in 2010. "When I was traded, I was tore up. I can say it now that I'm not playing. That's how much we loved New York. Did I compete when I went to Minnesota? Absolutely. But there's no place like New York."

After his pitching career, he returned to his alma mater, Marshall University. He became the baseball team's pitching coach in 2005. "I was away from my kids more than when I played," Reed said. That fact resulted in his leaving the position to become a full-time dad. Rick and his wife, Dee have a son and daughter. "I used to miss playing, but right now they are keeping me so busy I don't have time to miss it."

I created Rick Reed's card in the set from an signed index card given to me by my good friend, Jessie on December 10, 2011.