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The burly reliever was born 34 years ago today. Two decades earlier, a New York politician birthed a plan to keep Giants baseball in Manhattan.
Manhattan Borough President Hulan Jack did his part to keep the New York Giants within his jurisdiction on this date in 1956 by proposing the city build a 110,000-seat stadium on the Upper West Side, near where Trump Place sits today. Had the project gone through, it easily would have given the Giants the biggest home field advantage in baseball attendance-wise. With a capacity of 110,000 fans, the stadium wouldn't have been just the largest venue in MLB-it would have been the largest in North America. To put in perspective, Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, the largest extant sports arena today, can officially hold a mere 109,901 Wolverines fans.
Of course, a huge ballpark would come with a huge price tag: $75 million, to be exact. As such, the city rightfully passed on building the monstrosity. Two years later, the Giants split for San Francisco. Ultimately, New York chose to spend a more reasonable $28.5 million to construct the 57,333-seat Shea Stadium for the Giants' beloved replacements.
Jorge Julio is 34. The hard-throwing Julio tossed a shade over 20 innings with the Mets in 2006 before getting flipped to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Orlando Hernandez. Since 2010, he's been bringing mid-90s heat for the Bridgeport Bluefins in the independent Atlantic League. Julio's B-Port teammates in 2010 included Antonio Alfonseca and Esteban Yan, meaning Fins manager Willie Upshaw had a bullpen that featured three proven closers with a combined 279 MLB saves between them. That should tell you something about the value of said save statistic.
Game of Note
Mets former and future helped lead South Korea to a 2-0 victory over rival Taiwan in the first ever World Baseball Classic game, which was played on this date seven years ago. Jae-Weong Seo (2002-2005) got the start and allowed just two hits. Dae-Sung Koo (2005) retired the only two batters he faced in the sixth, then turned the ball over to Chan Ho Park (2007) for a three-inning save.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
On March 3, 1951, singer Jackie Brenston, backed by Ike Turner and his band, cut "Rocket 88", a song many consider to be the first rock and roll record. Thankfully, this Rocket has never donned the orange and blue. As for uniform number 88? Well, no Met has worn that integer in a regular season game, either, though D.J. Carrasco went with #77 while Turk Wendell sported #99 during his time in Flushing.