Interview with Former Met Frank Catalanotto

Photo Courtesy of Rob Cuni

Mets Merized Online has certainly had its share of interviews since its inception in 2005.  We’ve interviewed Mets insiders like Brian Costa and Adam Rubin, we’ve interviewed former coaches like Jerry Manuel and Rick Peterson, and we’ve even interviewed current and former Mets players like Angel Pagan, Josh Thole, Ron Swoboda and Brain McRae.  You may as well add this interview to the list of player interviews Joe!

Former Met Frank Catalanotto was kind enough to answer a few questions for MMO about retirement, his future, and other baseball related questions.

Brandon Butler:  Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

Frank Catalanotto: I played for 14 years in the major leagues with the Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, Milwaukee Brewers and the New York Mets. I am currently retired and I am launching a sport supplement and vitamin company within the next few months. I also help coach the Italian National Team.

Brandon Butler: There are players who have had a point in time when they decided they wanted to play baseball for a living. Some have said this at a young age, some have said it in High School, and others still decided in College. When did you decide you wanted to play baseball for a living?

Frank Catalonotto: When I was a young kid in little league I remember telling everybody that I wanted to be a major league baseball player when I grow up. Baseball was all I wanted to do.

Brandon Butler: What was your experience like for the Mets, even though your time was limited with the club?

Frank Catalonotto: Playing with the Mets was awesome. I’ve always wanted to play at home in New York so I could sleep in my own bed, be with my children and commute to work. It was great having friends and family at every game. The Mets organization was great to me but I wish I would have been with the team longer.

Brandon Butler: You’ve played with guys like Carlos Delgado and Roy Halladay. What was it like playing along side those guys?

Frank Catalonotto: Playing with some of the greatest players in the game is special. Watching them work everyday was a treat. I learned a lot from guys like Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Delgado. They both are students of the game and have a lot of baseball knowledge. They both helped me with picking up on the tendencies of the pitchers. They were real good at figuring out if a pitcher was tipping his pitches and I would always pick their brains and learn from them. Playing with Roy Halladay was great also. He is by far the hardest worker I’ve ever seen in the major leagues. His focus and determination was second to none and you couldn’t help but be motivated by the way he went about his business. His work ethic rubbed off on the rest of his teammates.

Brandon Butler: During your career, you faced many pitchers. Can you name one that you struggled the most against?

Frank Catalonotto: There were many pitchers that I struggled against during my career, but the toughest for me was Pedro Martinez. I had a real tough time picking up his change up. It was the best one in the game when he pitched. He always seemed like he was a step ahead of me too. Whenever I looked for the change up he would throw the fastball right by me. It was like he was inside my head and knew exactly what I was looking for.

Brandon Butler: Now that you’ve retired, what do you do in your spare time?

Frank Catalonotto: Now that I have retired I enjoy being able to watch my four daughters grow up. I don’t miss softball, basketball, dance, gymnastics and all the school shows anymore. I love spending time with the family. Once my sport supplement and vitamin company launches I will start to get busy with that but I won’t be on the road like I used to be.

Brandon Butler: I saw that you have a website. Can you tell our readers a bit more about your website?

Frank Catalonotto: My website is to keep fans informed with what I am currently doing in my life. It is also a way to keep my foundation running. The Frank Catalanotto foundation was formed years ago when we partnered with The Vascular Birthmark Foundation. My wife and I work to promote awareness about vascular birthmarks and help raise money for a great cause. Please check out the site to learn more about the VBF. Also please follow me on twitter (@fcat27).

Brandon Butler: One more question. Would you ever consider maybe going back into baseball as a coach, or even as a scout?

Frank Catalonotto: Baseball will always be where my passion lies. At some point I may like to get back in the game as a coach. For right now though I don’t want to have to leave my kids again for long periods of time. With coaching comes a lot of travel. Maybe once they are older I would want to get back into the game.

Many thanks to Frank from us here at MMO for kindly doing this interview!  Again, you can follow Frank on Twitter (@fcat27) and if you would like more information about Frank and the Vascular Birthmark Foundation, please visit his website HERE.