Thursday, November 12, 2009
#208) LEO FOSTER
Leo Foster joined the New York Mets when he was traded from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Joe Nolan on April 4, 1975. He made his Mets debut at Shea Stadium in a game facing the Philadelphia Phillies on August 1, 1976. Nicknamed "Bananas" Foster he played two seasons in New York before being traded to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Jim Burton on March 28, 1978.
Leo's major league debut with the Atlanta Braves was a tough day by anyone's standards. A fine fielder during his career, he committed an error on the very first ball hit to him at shortstop. Then in his first major league at-bat he grounded into a double-play. His final plate appearance of the day would be even more challenging. The first two Braves hitters of the ninth inning had reached base against the Pirates when Leo stepped to the plate. Pittsburgh pitcher, Nelson Briles staked to an eight run lead went right after the rookie. Foster responded with a hot smash down the third base line. The third baseman fielded the ball, stepped on the bag and relayed the throw to second base, who relayed to first base to complete the third out. Leo was out by an eye lash, but had hit into the first ever triple play in Three Rivers Stadium history on July 9, 1971.
Foster has a baseball field named in his honor in his hometown of Covington, Kentucky.
Leo Foster signed his card from an autograph request sent to his home on November 12, 2009.