Travis Taijeron hit 135 home runs across seven minor league seasons, but on Friday, he clubbed his first in a major league uniform.
The 28-year-old rookie dug into the box to lead off the second for the Mets against Amir Garrett and promptly parked a longball over the left field fence.
An all-or-nothing type hitter, Taijeron hasn’t had much success at the dish since debuting on Aug. 26, but went 2-for-4 out of the five hole for New York on Friday.
”I think it’s really cool. I think it’s one of the coolest things in sports,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. ”I salute the fact that those guys get opportunities and I think it’s great that he comes up here and hits a homer, because no matter what he ever does the rest of his life, he’s hit a home run in the big leagues and not too many guys have.”
In his third year with Triple-A Las Vegas this season, Taijeron launched 25 homers and drove in 78 runs at the time of his call-up.
Though he probably wouldn’t be with the Mets this season if they hadn’t sustained so many injuries, Taijeron wants to make sure this isn’t his last one in the majors.
”It felt really good,” Taijeron said. ”It’s a good feeling always, the first one, and hopefully more to come.”
Taijeron, who was drafted in the 18th round of that year’s draft is finally getting to recognize his dream. While he was set to be a minor league free agent at the end of the season, and still can be cut loose by the team, he tries to keep a positive outlook.
“In baseball, it’s easy to get down,” Taijeron said earlier this season. “You get three out of 10 hits and you can think negatively about that, but that’s a hall-of-famer, so you’ve got to take the positives from the game and make it fun. Otherwise you’re always going to get down all the time.”