Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Terry Blocker was selected by the New York Mets organization in the first round (4th overall pick) of the 1981 Amateur Draft. The junior from Tennessee State University also was a part of their football and basketball teams. "It's the most exciting moment of my life, but I haven't really proven anything yet." Blocker told the New York Times from his home in Columbia, SC. "If everything works out and barring injury, I hope to be in the majors in a few years."

Terry played well in the Mets minor league system. Moving his way up to a full season of Triple-A baseball in 1984. He was a part of the club's major league roster leaving spring training camp the next season. Blocker made his big league debut as a pinch-runner when the Mets defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 at Shea Stadium on April 11, 1985. Terry would get his first at-bat as a pinch-hitter the next day facing the Cincinnati Reds in New York. Grounding out to Reds' pitcher, Mario Soto to lead off the seventh inning. It was the only official at-bat that he would receive in his four appearances before the Mets returned him to the Tidewater Tides when Ray Knight was activated from the disabled list on April 20th.

Blocker was recalled back to New York on May 13th when Darryl Strawberry tore the ligament between the thumb and index finger of his right hand during a diving catch against the Philadelphia Phillies. Strawberry required surgery and was sidelined for two months. Terry was added to the roster as a reserve outfielder for the time Darryl would be gone. Blocker got his first career base hit as the starting left fielder during the Mets 7-3 victory over the San Diego Padres at Jack Murphy Stadium on June 2nd.

Terry's major league season ended on June 9th after colliding with right fielder Danny Heep in pursuit of a fly ball to center field. Blocker injured his left knee and was forced to the 15-day disabled list. When he returned it was to finish the season with the Tides.

Blocker was among the league leaders at the Triple-A level for the next few years until being traded to the Atlanta Braves on November 11, 1987. "The Mets finally gave me a break," he said from Braves spring training camp in 1988. "The Mets have been stacked with so much talent in the outfield. They saw I could be consistent, but there was no room for me."

Terry returned to major league baseball as a replacement player during the strike of 1995. He was a member of the Atlanta Braves spring training camp in West Palm Beach when tragedy struck. Blocker became a Pentecostal deacon following his baseball career. While witnessing to teammate Dave Shotkoski the two men formed a friendship. Walking home one night, Shotkoski was robbed and murdered on the sidewalk to his motel. Terry spent the next 48 hours on the streets of West Palm, asking questions and doing whatever he could to locate the killer. Acting on a tip given to them by Blocker the police made an arrest that led to the eventual conviction of the murderer. Terry refused the $10,000 reward offered by the Atlanta Braves and West Palm police. "That was not my motivation," Blocker said, "I was looking for satisfaction of a different kind. A life was taken, but now I have the opportunity to go out and tell people about this experience I had. Maybe it will help other people come to the kingdom of God."

I created Terry Blocker's card in the set from an autographed index card obtained from his home address on December 18, 2007.

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