The Endy Chavez Encore and 10 Other Double-Duty Mets

A recent NYDN article indicated that the Mets have “discussed” a reunion with OF Endy Chavez. FWIW, I am in favor of this deal and hope it gets done. One of my reasons for this is that if Endy dons the orange and blue again, he becomes an interesting part of Mets History—players who have had two tours of duty with the Mets.

Technically, this would be Endy’s third go round with the Mets. First he was in their farm system from 1997-2001. He returned and played for the big club from 2006 through the end of the 2008 season before departing to Seattle in the massive three-team, twelve player deal that December.

So how have other encore performances worked out for the Mets? We’re glad you asked!
1. Rusty Staub (1972-75, 1981-85): This is the best recycled player the franchise has had to date. After a four year stint with the Mets where he hit 62 homers and drove in 307 runs, the Mets shipped Le Grande Orange to Detroit for Mickey Lolich after the 1975 season, easily one of the worst deals in franchise history. Six years later, Frank Cashen undid that move and Staub returned to the Mets as a free agent. In 1983, he tied an NL record with eight straight pinch-hits and in that same season also tied the Major League record of 25 RBIs by a pinch hitter. He lasted until 1985, providing veteran leadership for a team on the rise. One of the more beloved Mets, he was later elected into the Mets Hall of Fame.
2. Lee Mazzilli (1976-82, 1986-89): Boy, I seem to blog about Maz often and for good reason: he has a fascinating history as a Met. His first stint from 1976 through 1981 coincided with one of the worst periods in team history. He was dealt to Texas before the 1982 season for Ron Darling and Walt Terrell, a deal largely credited (by me at least) in sparking the franchise’s resurgence. In 1986 the Mets picked him back up on waivers from the Pirates and he played an important part of their championship team. He hit .306 the next year and his career with the Mets continued until 1989.
3. Dave Kingman (1975-77, 1981-83): Dave clubbed 62 home runs for the Mets, some of them legendary, during his first two and a half seasons with the club. He also struck out 344 times in 1,208 ABs, couldn’t field a lick and was a surly clubhouse presence. He was shipped to San Diego as part of the June 15 1977 “Midnight Massacre.” The Mets re-acquired him before the 1981 season for Steve Henderson, another one of the trade principles from that fateful June evening. It was more of the same: Kong hit 52 homeruns and struck out 334 times in 1,136 at bats. His personality hadn’t changed and the Mets were glad to see him go after the 1983 season.
4. Tom Seaver (1966-76, 1983): The Worst Trade in Mets History (a.k.a the Midnight Massacre) sent their Franchise Player to Cincinnati in 1977. (Kingman went to San Diego in a separate deal that same night). Cashen undid that move by trading back for him in 1983. Tom lasted a season with the Mets, going 9 and 14 before being exposed a free agent compensation draft and getting claimed by the White Sox. I will always wonder why the Mets couldn’t have traded a prospect or two to the Sox instead and kept him. Seaver later moved to Boston and created a “what if” scenario, as an injury kept him off the Bosox active roster during the 1986 World Series.
5. Kevin McReynolds (1987-1991, 1994): Forgot this one? Kevin came to symbolize all that was wrong with the late 1980’s Mets and was run out of town in 1991. His replacement was Vince Coleman, who came to symbolize all that was wrong with the early 1990’s Mets until he was run out of town after the 1993 season—to Kansas City for McReynolds. K-Mac hit .256 during the strike-shortened 1994 season and then called it a career.
6. Jason Isringhausen (1995-99, 2011): Nice story last year, but is probably moving on again. His first go round with the Mets is worth a post in itself.
7. Tim Foli (1970-71, 78-79): Ah, Crazy Horse. Traded for Staub and then had his contract purchased by the Mets from the Giants in 1978. Later traded again, this time to Pittsburgh in early 1979 for Frank Taveras; a move that I loved at the time. He helped Pittsburgh win a World Series the next year.
8. Mike Jorgensen (1970-71, 1980-83): Traded with Foli and Ken Singleton for Staub prior to the 1972 season. Came back to the Mets in 1980 with Ed Lynch in a deal for Willie Montanez (not a bad trade!) The Mets sold his contract to Atlanta in 1983 on the same day they acquired Keith Hernandez from the Cardinals. Nice Upgrade.
9. Bill Pulsipher (1995-98, 2000): Can’t miss prospect that missed. Twice.
10. Bobby Bonilla (1992-95, 1999): Hard to believe, but his second stint with the Mets was worse than his first. The Mets are now paying him a million a year until around 2025.

Honorable Mentions: Kelly Stinnett, Alex Trevino, Ray Sadecki, Al Jackson, Bob L. Miller and David Cone.

Did I miss anyone?

A Mets fan since 1971, Dan spent many summer nights of his childhood watching the Mets on WOR Channel Nine, which his Allentown, PA cable company carried. Dan was present at Game 7 of the 1986 World Series and the Todd Pratt Walkoff Game in 1999. He is also the proud owner of two Shea Stadium seats. Professionally, Dan is a Marketing Manager in the Bulk Materials Handling industry. He lives in Bethlehem PA with his wife and son, neither of whom fully get his obsession with the Mets.
  1. Reese Kaplan November 18, 2011 at 1:02 pm
    I’d forgotten the second stint of Kevin McReynolds, but it’s a pretty comprehensive list. Nice work!

    It’s bugging me, but I keep thinking there’s another catcher that falls into this category…

  2. Mike November 18, 2011 at 1:05 pm
    Jeremy Burnitz!

    ed: also Roger Cedeno

  3. Walnutz15 November 18, 2011 at 1:07 pm
    Roger Cedeno
    Lenny Harris
    Marlon Anderson

    *shudders at all 3*

    Big pass on Endy Chavez – time to let that ship sail in the night. He’ll be 34 by Opening Day…and really, just let it go already.

  4. TheDZA November 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm
    I still cannot for the life of me get over that Bonilla contract…who signs anybody and then pays them a million a year for 10+yrs long after they are done?

    Oh yeh – The Mets…

  5. Arbitol November 18, 2011 at 4:49 pm
    “I still cannot for the life of me get over that Bonilla contract…who signs anybody and then pays them a million a year for 10+yrs long after they are done?

    Oh yeh – The Mets…”

    Somebody who earns a guaranteed 11% per year on his securities investments and can borrow money at a significantly lower rate. The split-strike conversion strategy can’t lose.

  6. Arbitol November 18, 2011 at 4:51 pm
    I think you’re significantly overstating the extent to which McReynolds was a problem on the late 80s Mets. He came close to winning an MVP in ’88 and was reasonably productive in other years.

    The problem was that Kevin Mitchell, for whom K-Mac had been aquired, was a much better player.

    • dan capwell November 18, 2011 at 5:34 pm
      True, but if you get a chance read “The Worst Team Money Could Buy.” Some interesting stuff about Kevin and an exercise bike!

      Kevin didn’t like the press too much either, which didn’t help his rep. I thought he deserved better and compared to Vince Coleman he looked pretty good in 1994.

  7. izzy November 18, 2011 at 5:20 pm
    mike jacobs
    bob miller
    david cone
    hubie brooks
    • Piazza November 18, 2011 at 10:10 pm
      I wish they could have kept Al Jackson around for the remainder of the ’69 season so he could have gotten to be a champion. A very talented pitcher surrounded by talentless catchers that couldn’t catch pitches and talented fielders that wouldn’t field. Had four shutouts for a team that won 40 games.
  8. izzy November 18, 2011 at 5:26 pm
    i missed cone on the op. sorry
  9. dan capwell November 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm
    Some good comments so far–I had completely forgotten about Jeromy Burnitz. I saw him hit a homer as a Williamsport Bill all the way out of the Reading Phillies stadium.

    Brooks and Cedeno **sigh**

  10. Lawrence Baron November 19, 2011 at 6:11 pm
    I saw on TV Jeromy Burnitz hit baseball off the those smoke stacks in right center field stands at the All American Ballpark in Cincinnati. It might of been on the 4th of July holiday.A cannon shot. You might of seen it on ESPN. We Have Hitters,and some starting pitching,we need some better Starting pitchers,get some reliable relief pitchers,a 2-4 years of good drafts for relief pitching,and draft some hitters who can field,and catch. then we will be good. It takes wise and lucky decisions. It seems the best ball players were from 6ft to 6ft 4 over the history of baseball. Is this true or not ?
  11. izzy November 20, 2011 at 12:25 pm
    Pedro Feliciano went to Japan for a year. Does he count?
    Brady Clarke
    Clint Hurdle
    Pete Walker
    Josias Manzanillo
    Jeff McKnight
  12. R.J. Lehmann November 20, 2011 at 2:52 pm
    It’s inaccurate to say Coleman was Kevin McReynolds’ “replacement.” They played in the same outfield in 1991. If anything Coleman was Straw’s replacement. And then McReynolds was traded back to the Mets in exchange for Coleman in 93.