Mets Opening Day Starters Who Had The Briefest MLB Careers

An article by posted on January 22, 2014

Collin Cowgill

Since 1980, The following ten position players had the briefest Major League careers and started for the Mets on Opening Day.

10 – Ryan Thompson – Thompson was the Opening Day Center Fielder in 1994 and appeared in 416 Major League games. He played in 9 Major League seasons (1992-1996, 1999-2002) with the Mets, Indians, Astros, Yankees, Marlins, and Brewers. He was a career .243 hitter with 52 HR and 176 RBI. He played 283 games with the Mets over 4 seasons (1992-1995) and in 1994, he hit .225 with 18 HR and 59 RBI in 98 games.

9 – Benny Agbayani – Benny was the 2001 OD Left Fielder and played in 383 MLB games (322 as a Met) over 5 seasons (1998-2002) with the Mets, Rockies, and Red Sox. He was a career .274 hitter with 39 HR and 156 RBI. In 2001, he played in 91 games, batting .277 with 6 HR and 27 RBI.

8 – Tim Spehr – Was the 1998 Opening Day Catcher and appeared in 363 games over 8 MLB seasons (1991, 1993-1999) with the Royals, Expos, Rangers, Braves, and Mets. Tim was a career .198 hitter with 19 HR and 72 RBI and appeared in 21 games with the Mets in 1998, his only season with the team, batting .137 with 0 HR and 3 RBI.

7 – Brian Giles – Brian was the Opening Day Second Baseman in 1983 and played in 287 major league games (199 with the Mets) over 6 Major League seasons (1981-1983, 1985-1986, 1990) with the Mets, Brewers, White Sox, and Mariners. Brian was a career .228 hitter with 10 HR and 50 RBI. In 1983, Brian played in 145 games batting .245 with 2 HR and 27 RBI.

6 – Ron Gardenhire – The future manager of the Minnesota Twins was the Mets Opening Day Shortstop in 1982. Ron played in 285 MLB games, all with the Mets from 1981-1985 and was a career .232 hitter with 4 HR and 49 RBI. In 1982, Ron played in 141 games, batting .240 with 3 HR and 33 RBI.

5 – Barry Lyons – Was the 1990 Opening Day Catcher. He appeared in 253 MLB games over 7 seasons (1986-1991, 1996) with the Mets, Dodgers, Angels, and White Sox. He was a career .239 hitter with 15 HR and 89 RBI. He played 212 games with the Mets and in 1990, he played in 24 games and hit .235 with 3 HR and 9 RBI.

4 – Eric Valent – Valent the Mets OD Right Fielder in 2005 and played in 205 Major League games over 5 seasons (2001-2005) with the Phillies, Reds, and Mets. He was a career .234 hitter with 13 HR and 37 RBI. In 2005, he played in 28 games, batting .186 with 0 HR and 1 RBI.

3 – Collin Cowgill – Was the 2013 Mets Opening Day Center Fielder and the only player on our list that is still active. As of the end of the 2013 MLB season, Collin has played in 147 MLB games over 3 seasons (2011-2013) with the Diamondbacks, A’s, Mets, and Angels. He is a career .236 hitter with 6 HR and 34 RBI. In 23 games with the Mets in 2013, he hit .180 with 2 HR and 8 RBI.

2 – Mike Howard – Was the 1983 Opening Day Right Fielder and played 48 MLB games over 3 seasons (1981-1983) all with the Mets. He was a career .182 hitter with 1 HR and 7 RBI. Opening Day was his only and last appearance in 1983, going 1 for 3 with 1 RBI, scoring his final MLB hit off future Hall of Famer Steve Carlton.

1 – Brad Emaus – One of Sandy’s very first acquisitions, Rule 5 Pick Brad Emaus was the Mets Opening Day Second Baseman in 2011 and his brief MLB career lasted 14 games, all with the Mets. He hit .162 with 0 HR and 1 RBI.

(Photo: Online Sports 500)

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About the Author ()

Roger is a lifelong Mets fan since 1981, now married with kids and still knows that there is no such thing as a bad day at the ballpark with your child. Growing up, he wanted to be either the Second Baseman for the Mets - or their statistician. Follow him at @BigMetsFan1. email me at metsfanontwitter@aol.com

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