They are celebrating in the Minaya household in New Jersey and for good reason. Omar’s son Justin, a 6–6 forward from Big East regular season champ Providence, just signed as a free agent with the Charlotte Hornets.
Justin will report to the Hornets summer league team in Las Vegas after July 4.
Justin guarded the other’s team’s top player, dove for loose balls and always came up with a key rebound at the most opportune time. Omar couldn’t be prouder of his son.
“Justin worked so hard to get to where he is now. He is the ultimate team player. No one can predict what the future might hold, but he has a chance now and that’s all you can ask.”
No one was more excited than I was 39 years ago today when we announced that we had acquired Keith Hernandez from the St. Louis Cardinals.
We were getting a former batting champ, MVP and a World Series winner. Sorry to say it went downhill after that. I read that Keith didn’t want to come to Flushing because we were a last place time, so I arranged huge black limo to pick him up at the Montreal airport.
I mixed up the gate number and Keith wound up taking a cab while I took the limo myself back to hotel. Needless to say he was not happy with me. We have patched our differences through the years and no one will be cheering more loudly than me when the Mets retired his Number 17 on July 9.
Looking forward to seeing some old friends tomorrow night when Johan Santana, Josh Thole and Terry Collins return to Citi Field to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first no-hitter in Mets history.
This will be Jo’s first visit back here in almost a decade. I will never forget the excitement of June 1, 2012. Some of us thought it was never going to happen, which was crazy with all the great pitchers we had in this organization.
My only regret is that Mike Baxter won’t be able to be here because of a coaching commitment t Vanderbilt. Without his catch, the no-hitter probably wouldn’t have happened.
Tuesday will be a great time to celebrate one of the top moments of our past.
Another chapter in our history came to an end today when Joe Pignatano, the last living coach from the 1969 Mets, passed away in Naples, Florida after a long illness. He was 92.
Piggy was a baseball lifer who was the bullpen coach with us from 1968–1981. He took great pride to make sure his bullpen guys were ready to go not matter what the situation. Joe Torre called him “A good soul who loved the game.”