Showing posts with label Wallace Community College. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wallace Community College. Show all posts

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Former Mets catcher Sasser receives Hall of Fame honors

The visions of Mackey Sasser double and triple pumping before throwing the ball back to the pitcher are vivid memories for New York Mets fans. The former catcher's struggles with his throwing are well documented, but now the 48-year-old Sasser has been able to share his major league experience with the next generation of aspiring ballplayers at Wallace Community College.

Sasser has been the head coach at Wallace for the past 14 seasons where he starred as a player (1982-83) before signing with the San Francisco Giants. During his tenure he's posted a 462-281 record and has been able to have numerous players sign professional contracts.

Last week, Sasser was inducted into the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame in Alabama. Sasser played nine seasons (1987-95) for the Mets, Pirates, Giants and Mariners. While most recognize Sasser for his throwing problems back to the pitcher, he batted .307 with the Mets in 1990 and displayed a tremendous arm throwing out runners across the diamond.

His problems worsened after a collision at the plate with Jim Presley of the Atlanta Braves. Sasser suffered a torn Achillies tendon that further affected his ability to throw. He signed with the Seattle Mariners after the 1992 season, playing two injury plagued seasons with them. He spent one more with the Pirates in 1995 before retiring.

After some therapy, Sasser has been able to rise above the challenges he faced on the field.

"I didn’t want to deal with it anymore and moved on. I was able to get some help and it’s not a problem now. I had to learn to deal with myself, not just the problem,” Sasser said to the Dothan Eagle.

As a coach, Sasser takes great pride in watching his players develop not only on the diamond, but in their personal lives.

"I make my kids work hard because I want to get the best out of them," he said. "The most gratifying thing to me is when one of them comes back a few years later and he’s started a family or used his education to get a good job. I want to see them get to where they need to be.”