Ty Wigginton finished his eighth Major League season earlier this month. He first came to the big leagues in 2002 with the New York Mets. Like Daniel Murphy, Wigginton performed well in limited duty in his first year. In 116 at-bats, Wigginton hit .302 with 6 home runs and 18 RBI. Also like Murphy, Wigginton couldn’t perform at that level once he was handed the opportunity to play everyday.
Over the full season in 2003, Wigginton hit .255 with 11 home runs and 71 RBI. Although he showed signs of improvement in 2004, David Wright was knocking on the door and waiting to take over at third base. So, under the mistaken belief that they were just a trade or two away from being a part of the playoff picture, the Mets traded Wigginton and a pair of minor leaguers to Pittsburgh for Kris Benson and Jeff Keppinger.
Wigginton has continued to move around, playing for Tampa Bay, Houston and Baltimore since leaving the Pirates.
Wiggy was popular in New York because he was aggressive and he hustled. He was primarily a third baseman for the Mets, though he spent some time at first and second and even a few games in the outfield. Third base was his best position, thought he was no better than average.
In July 2004, I hated to lose Ty Wigginton more than I hated to lose Scott Kazmir. Looking back, the trade helped Wigginton, who would not have had as much playing time if he had stayed in New York.
This finished off the lot of 8×10 photos I bought this month. Unless something more interesting shows up in the mail, tomorrow I’ll start looking at some recently acquired autographs of some forgotten 2009 Mets.