Even Mike Glavine could have gotten out of the first inning. (Doug Benc / Getty Images)
Always wear your seat belt. Especially in a taxi. Tom Glavine learned this valuable lesson the hard way on this date in 2004. Heading to Shea from Laguardia Airport, Glavine's cab was t-boned by an SUV, throwing the pitcher face-first into the plexiglass partition and knocking out his top two incisors. Given the way Glavine's fake toothed-mouth spit the bit in Game 162 of the 2007 season, I doubt Amazin' Avenue readers have much sympathy for the lefty, so instead I'll relate the plight of cab driver George Kovalonoks. A 52-year old Latvian immigrant, Kovalonkos was pinned in driver's seat by the accident and received no help getting out of the wreck until after police finished tending to Glavine. Said Kovalonkos to the Daily News, "From what I understand, he is a very important man, but everybody forgot about me." He later added, "I feel no good."
- Chuck Carr (1990-91) is 45. Your 1993 National League leader in steals and caught stealing, Carr got his first taste of big league action with the Mets. Fond of referring to himself in the third person, the fleet-footed Carr was like Rickey Henderson without the patience, power, panache, or any of the other attributes that made Rickey such a valuable player.
- Johnny Lewis (1965-67) is 73. 1965 was Lewis's only year as a regular. The highlight of that season was cranking an 11th inning solo homer off the Reds' Jim Maloney to break up the righty's no-hit bid and give the Mets a 1-0 victory.
- Gerald Williams (2004-2005) is 46. Despite putting up an sub .700 OPS in 2004 as a 37-year old, "Ice" picked up 32 plate appearances for the Mets in 2005. In retrospect, that should have been an early sign that Omar Minaya didn't know how to assemble an active roster that maximized value from all 25 spots.
On this date in 1998, the Mets acquired outfielder Jermaine Allensworth from the Royals. Allensworth did little to impress on the field, though he did find time off of it to tape a memorable guest appearance on Perspectives with Lionel Osbourne.
Game of Note
Believe it or not, Vince Coleman actually holds a Mets record that's not most children hit with firecracker shrapnel. On August 10, 1992, the speedster became the first player in team history to walk five times in a game. Facing Tim Wakefield of the Pirates, Coleman waited out the knuckleball for two free passes in the first eight innings of play, then accepted three intentional bases on balls from the Bucs' bullpen in extras. While Coleman became a duck on the pond in more than half of his plate appearances, his teammates couldn't seem to get him home and the Mets lost 4-2 in sixteen innings.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
All the joy was sapped out of baseball 41 years ago today, as the Society for American Baseball Research was founded in Cooperstown, probably in some mother's basement. The New York City chapter of SABR is named for former Mets manager Casey Stengel, while the co-namesake of the Long Island outpost is Bud Harrelson.