Mike Hessman, minor league home run king

Mike Hessman, who appeared in 32 games with the 2010 New York Mets, hit a grand slam last night for his 433rd career home run in affiliated minor league baseball. That broke an 80-year-old record held by Buzz Arlett.

Hessman, who is now 37, hopes to get into coaching after he retires at the end of this season.

Posted in Autographs, Baseball Cards, Uncategorized

Mets Autograph of the Week: Mike Hessman

Veteran minor league slugger Mike Hessman signed a contract to play in the Houston Astros organization last week. The team’s director of player development, Fred Nelson, called the 33-year-old infielder/outfielder “a great big strong power guy, a blue-collar grinder,” according to Houston Chronicle reporter Zachary Levine.

Hessman was never a top prospect. A 15th round draft pick out of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif., Hessman played eight years in the minor leagues before making his Major League Debut with the Atlanta Braves in 2003.

In his second major league game, Hessman pinch hit for Matt Franco in the ninth inning and hit a solo home run off of New York Mets reliever Mike Stanton for his first big league hit. (The Mets held on to win the game 6-5.)

But most of Hessman’s 16 year pro career has been played in the minor leagues. From 2005-2009, he was a Toledo Mud Hen. According to his Wikipedia page, Hessman set a career record for home runs as a Mud Hen in 2007. He won a Bronze Medal as part of the 2008 U.S. Olympic baseball team.

Hessman joined the New York Mets organization in 2010, spending most of the season with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons. He was called up to the big leagues at the end of July, when injuries to Rod Barajas and Jason Bay left the Mets short-handed. Hessman pinch-hit in the first game after his call-up on July27th and started at first base the next day in a four-and-a-half hour, 13-inning loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Continue reading “Mets Autograph of the Week: Mike Hessman”

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Nightly Newsstand: May 1, 2011

Automatic Telegraph Reciever
Photo credit: cliff1066™

Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell was suspended for two weeks, fined an undisclosed amount and will have to undergo sensitivity training as a result of his alleged disgraceful conduct last weekend before a game in San Francisco, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

For those who were curious about how the alleged incident started, Gwen Knapp of the San Francisco Chronicle offers some details provided by another fan who made a lower-profile complaint to the Giants, Braves and Major League Baseball.

McDowell seems to have gotten off very lightly compared to some. For example, Ozzie Guillen was suspended for two games last week because he posted something through Twitter during a game after he had been ejected. On the other hand, Derek Lowe made his start today for the Braves just days after being arrested on a DUI charge. I won’t say that McDowell should have been fired, but I don’t think I can figure out Major League Baseball’s disciplinary policy.

Speaking of controversial figures, Patrick Flood offers some thoughts on Francisco Rodriguez and how we, as fans, should react to him. When K-Rod was introduced before the home opener and the two times I’ve seen him pitch, I’ve been silent. I don’t believe in booing players on my own team except for clear lack of effort, but I can’t bring myself to cheer for Rodriguez after last August.

Here’s another entry for the “R.A. Dickey is amazing” file: Tyler Kepner of the New York Times writes about Dickey’s baseball bats, which are named after swords from “Beowulf” and “The Hobbit”.

ESPN’s David Bearman offers hope to fans of teams that were not in first place today – May leaders don’t always finish on top. Granted, that doesn’t do much to convince me that the Mets can come back and win the NL East…

At Mets Police, Shannon Shark is having fun searching YouTube for old Mets commercials.

Continue reading “Nightly Newsstand: May 1, 2011”