This one is bound to raise some eyebrows, I’m sure.
Why in the world would I commemorate the 21st Day Until Pitchers And Catchers Report with someone who appeared in merely 91 ballgames as a Met, and most of it as a pinch-hitter?
All I can say in my defense is, you had to be there.
Without question, Cleon Jones and Carlos Delgado are better choices for #21 honors. But my memories of Jones are fuzzy, since I was only four years old in his last full season as a Met. And my memories of Delgado are much too clear. Kevin Elster was a candidate, but there was something creepy about him that made me uncomfortable (beyond his admission to sleeping with his bat). Elliott Maddox very nearly made the headline, but how could I honor someone who sued my beloved / behated Shea Stadium? Gerald “Ice” Williams also nearly made it, but it turned out that he was, in fact, Gerald “Ice” Williams.
So the choice was Rajsich — not for what he was, but for what he was supposed to be.