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UnforMETable, Episode 99: Kenny Rogers

The mercurial lefty helped the Mets make the playoffs in 1999 before ending that playoff run with a fateful walk.

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Welcome to UnforMETable, an Amazin’ Avenue Audio show that looks back on less heralded, more obscure Mets players from the team past.

Kenny Rogers had a long and circuitous path to the major leagues, but slowly but surely rode two important pitching traits—durability and left-handedness—to major league success.

Rogers rose from a LOOGY to a bullpen staple to a rotation staple in Texas—making baseball history with a perfect game along the way—all while battling the front office on salary issues and befuddling teammates with his aloof manner. Rogers signed with the Yankees prior to the 1996 season and struggled, but the team overcame those struggles to win a World Championship.

After resurrecting his career in Oakland, the Mets traded for Rogers for the 1999 stretch run. He provided 5 wins and his inning-eating stability down the stretch as the team barely made the playoffs, but he struggled mightily in the 1999 playoffs, eventually walking in the series-ending run in New York’s epic Game 6 loss to the Braves in the NLCS.

As always, you can listen or subscribe to this and all of our wonderful Amazin’ Avenue Audio podcasts through Apple Podcasts, where we encourage you to leave a review if you enjoy the show. It really helps! And you can find us on the Stitcher app, or listen wherever you get podcasts.

If you’ve got an idea for a player to be featured on UnforMETable, let us know in the comments.

Make sure to follow Rob on Twitter (@WolffRR), and you can now follow the show, too (@unformetable). Tune in next week for another tale from the Mets’ past.