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UnforMETable, Episode 100: Terry Leach

The determined sidearmer overcame many odds to carve out a memorable baseball career in Flushing and beyond.

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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.

As R.A. Dickey would a generation later, Terry Leach saw his future dream of major league glory seemingly disappear to the scourge of arm injuries, only to reinvent himself with a unique pitching style and a dogged determination to pitch in the major leagues and ultimately put pen to paper to eloquently write about the experience.

Leach aced a tryout to earn a place in the Braves organization, where one of his coaches would suggest a sidearm approach to help compensate for his lost velocity. Leach would take to the style with aplomb, but was continually overlooked despite strong results.

Released by the Braves, Leach would latch on with the Mets, where he would finally get major league opportunities—excelling when called upon, including an incredible 10 inning, one hit shutout in 1982—but would still be exiled to the minors when not needed.

A contributor in 1985 who was appreciated by his teammates and his manager, Leach found little room on the mighty 1986 juggernaut, leading to a cheap Wilpon-ian World Series ring kerfuffle. But when injuries ravaged the 1987 squad, Leach took his opportunity and ran with it. And ran and ran and ran.

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.