Showing posts with label Kevin Mitchell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kevin Mitchell. Show all posts

Monday, August 4, 2014

Filmaker Quinlan takes a deeper look at the 1986 New York Mets

Documentarian Heather Quinlan is digging deep to find the untold stories of the 1986 New York Mets championship season. She has recruited a wide cross section of the community to further unfold the tale of the last championship team from Flushing.

Her subjects range from the controversial: Lenny Dykstra, Dwight Gooden, Kevin Mitchell and Darryl Strawberry; to the infamous: Bill Buckner and Mookie Wilson; to the political: Chuck Schumer and Rudy Giuliani.

Signed Mookie Wilson / Bill Buckner photo - Author's Collection
A preview of the behind the scenes work on the documentary was recently featured in the Times-Ledger newspapers.

To help make the documentary a reality, Quinlan has formed a Kickstarter campaign to raise funding for MLB licensing, promotion and further interviews. With two-and-a-half weeks to go, Quinlan has raised $35,000 of her $50,000 goal.

Below is a preview clip of an interview with Buckner and Wilson from the movie.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Kevin McReynolds revisits the Mets NL East championship team twenty-five years later

Kevin McReynolds figured prominently in the New York Mets' quest for the National League pennant in 1988. The 28-year-old left fielder was in his second season with the Mets after a trade in December 1986 brought him to New York in exchange for Shawn Abner, Stan Jefferson, and Kevin Mitchell. Coming to the Mets fresh off of their World Series victory, he had lofty expectations for his time in Flushing.

Kevin McReynolds / N. Diunte
“You had high hopes with a team that strong,” said McReynolds during an appearance at a baseball card show at Hofstra University this Saturday. “[They] had great pitching at the time. You think it was going to be … almost like a dynasty in the making. You look back now; of course it didn’t turn out to be that. It was always an interesting team and [there was] a lot of good baseball too.”

McReynolds, who was known for his private nature off the field, came out in a major way in 1988, finishing third in the MVP voting behind teammate Darryl Strawberry and the Kirk Gibson of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He blasted 27 home runs, drove in 99 runs, and set the single-season record for the most stolen bases without a single caught stealing, going a perfect 21-21.

“They just saw a fat ol’ white boy over there, so they didn’t pay attention to me,” McReynolds joked. “As long as I didn’t run in situations where I could hurt us with an out … they gave me the green light.”

The Mets faced off with the Dodgers in an unforgettable National League Championship Series, with the Mets taking the first two of the three games. During Game 4, McReynolds launched a fourth inning home run to put the Mets up 3-2. Going in to the ninth inning leading 4-2 with Dwight Gooden on the mound, Mets fans felt confident that the potential for a series clinching Game 5 would take place at Shea Stadium; however, Dodgers’ catcher Mike Scioscia had plans otherwise.

After a leadoff walk in the top of the ninth inning, Scioscia blasted a home run to right field to tie the game, hushing the boisterous Shea Stadium crowd. The two teams battled in extra innings, until Gibson homered off of Roger McDowell in the top of the 12th to put the Dodgers in front 5-4. The Mets would not go quietly, as they put the first two batters on base with consecutive singles off of Dodgers reliever Tim Leary, forcing manager Tommy Lasorda to bring in ex-Met Jesse Orosco. The lefty specialist walked Keith Hernandez and recorded the second out of the inning when Strawberry popped up to second base.

Just as McReynolds approached the plate with the bases loaded, Lasorda summoned Orel Hershiser, who pitched seven innings in the Dodgers' loss the night before. He encountered a pitcher in Hershiser who refused to give in. He flew out to center field ending the four-and-a-half hour marathon.

“I ended up making the final out," he said. "We had beaten LA so many times during that year, but Hershiser was on that phenomenal streak at the time. You always hate to be the last guy to make the last out, but unfortunately someone has to win and someone has to lose.”

The Mets lost Game 5 at Shea Stadium, but forced the deciding game in Los Angeles when David Cone pitched a complete game 5-1 victory aided by a McReynolds home run. Hershiser was too much for the Mets to handle in Game 7 and the Dodgers advanced to the World Series, which they won in convincing fashion over the Oakland Athletics.

McReynolds played with the Mets through 1991 when he was traded to the Kansas City Royals as part of the Bret Saberhagen deal. He played two seasons in Kansas City until the Mets reacquired him in 1994 in exchange for Vince Coleman. He played half of the 1994 season before knee injuries ended his baseball career.

Spending the bulk of his major league career in New York, McReynolds said the fans captured his attention while playing in Queens.

“There were always a lot of fans, [but] they weren’t always fans for you at times," he said. "They were always very verbal and they [expected] a good product on the field. [The fans] were just one of the things to look forward to.”

The 53-year-old McReynolds lives in Little Rock Arkansas, and when he is not playing golf, he is pursuing a wide range of business interests.

“I play golf a lot, run a commercial duck hunting operation during the winter time, and a couple of friends and I own some pizza restaurants in Memphis.”

Monday, August 15, 2011

Darryl Strawberry brings Mets magic to Douglaston for Community Day

Darryl Strawberry was able to make a little more Mets magic happen in Queens, only this time it wasn't at the ballpark, but at his restaurant Strawberry's Sports Grill in Douglaston. This weekend saw Strawberry's former teammates Terry Leach, Barry Lyons and Kevin Mitchell as well as 1986 Mets coach Bud Harrelson, and ex-New York Giants punter Sean Landeta appear to raise money for Strawberry's Foundation for Autism Awareness.

Hundreds of supporters came to the small enclave near the Long Island Rail Road to see their Mets alums, participate in the many events and partake in the excellent cuisine of Strawberry's restaurant. Below are articles featuring video and interviews with the aforementioned members of the 1986 World Series Championship Mets team.

Kevin Mitchell returns to his baseball roots at Douglaston Community Day

Terry Leach delivers for autism awarness at Douglaston Community Day

Barry Lyons shares how B.A.T. sheltered him from Hurricane Katrina's destruction

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Kevin Mitchell returns to his baseball roots at Douglaston Community Day

The image of Kevin Mitchell ripping a single to center field following Gary Carter in the tenth inning of Game Six of the 1986 World Series is as bright for Mets fans as the sun shining off of his gold teeth while he joyfully signed autographs and posed for pictures with seemingly everyone in the enclave of Douglaston, N.Y. earlier this Saturday.

Mitchell was on hand to lend support to the Douglaston Community Day, which was a fundraiser to benefit Darryl Strawberry’s Foundation, which benefits autism research, as well the local little league and other community groups.

Kevin Mitchell / N. Diunte
During a break from his autograph session in front of Strawberry’s Sports Grill, Mitchell discussed his excitement about being a participant in the day’s events.

“It’s always a good thing when you can come back especially for a charitable event, doing something for one of your old teammates, Darryl Strawberry,” said Mitchell, who slugged 47 home runs en route to winning 1989 National League Most Valuable Player award. "It’s an honor that I am here and that there are still fans that want autographs from us. It’s been a decade [since I last played], you know, but I feel good about it.”

Mitchell was signed by the Mets in 1980 after being seen playing softball in the rough section of San Diego. He made his debut in 1984 and played a valuable utility role for the 1986 World Championship team. He was traded after the 1986 season to the San Diego Padres for outfielder Kevin McReynolds. Even though he only spent one full season with the Mets [1986], Mitchell had great memories of playing in the Big Apple.

“My [most] memorable thing is just New York period,” he said. "The fans here are great. This is where I first got drafted by the Mets. I was able to come and play with New York. Once I got traded from New York, I was able to play anywhere. By coming here as a rookie, everything else was a piece of cake because of the fans. If you ain’t out there giving it 100%, they’re going to let you know.”

As for now, Mitchell is working with children in San Diego, sharing some of the knowledge he learned after 13 seasons in the majors.

“I’m coaching travel baseball, I’ve got my own travel team called the Gorillas. I’ve got 8-16 [year olds]. The kids that won the Little League World Series, Parkview, those were my kids. They’re high school kids [now], but I’m still working with them.”

Speaking with conviction, Mitchell remains enthused to help the next generation succeed.

“That’s my passion. I love working with the kids. I could have a job working somewhere in the big leagues, but this is my passion. I want to see the kids progress and keep going,” said Mitchell.

He is trying to get them to avoid some of the pitfalls that derailed his potential Hall of Fame career.

“I try to teach them about education, alcohol - the main things they have to survive with. You can do it without doing all this other stuff to punish your body.”