Hey Met fans, make sure you get your seats early this year! You donâ€™t want to miss one inning of 2007 Mets baseball. Come out and see the stars of the defending NL East Champion Mets. Stars like Jose Reyesâ€¦David Wrightâ€¦Carlos Beltranâ€¦Billy Wagnerâ€¦Carlos Delgadoâ€¦Paul LoDucaâ€¦Chan Ho Parkâ€¦Hello?
Well the Pedro Martinez signing itâ€™s not but by no doubt now Mets faithful have gotten word. Chan Ho Park is the newest New York Met.
I once heard an interview on Dallas/Fort Worthâ€™s 1310 AM The Ticket. Bob Sterm and Dan McDowell had right-handed pitcher Chris Young formerly of the Texas Rangers, now with the San Diego Padres during last season. When asked about his feelings about being reunited with former teammate Chan Ho Park, Young recalled a story about former Ranger and at the time San Diego Padre Chan Ho Park:
(My apologies for paraphrasing the story, I never thought I would have to recall it for Lonestar Mets content.)
Chan Ho Park had started a game and was having a decent outing. He struggled somewhere around the fifth or sixth inning and got into a bases loaded jam with two outs at the Ballpark in Arlington. Chan Ho got ahead in the count with a strike 0-1. As he got the ball from the catcher he glanced up on the scoreboard and happened to notice the scoreboard read â€œ95.â€ This surprised Park as he was not a fire-baller and rarely if ever hit the mid nineties. Parkâ€™s second pitch was again a strike; when Chan Ho looked up; the scoreboard read â€œ96.â€ Parkâ€™s third pitch was again a strike ending the at bat; as he left the field he glanced over his shoulder as the scoreboard read â€œ97.â€ Chan Ho entered the Ranger dugout with a proud strut about him, expecting to be showered with praise from then manager Buck Showalter and Pitching Coach Orel Hershieser.
Instead all Chan Ho got from Buck was his jacket handed to him and a light pat on the back. â€œGood job todayâ€ said Buck, â€œWay to work through a jam.â€ Park was shocked that his manager would not mention the sudden spike in velocity much less remove him from the game. Park objected with referencing his last three pitches were in the mid nineties. Chanâ€™s protest drew puzzled looks from teammates thinking Chan must have been suffering heat stroke from the Arlington sun. â€œ95, 96, 97!â€ Park insisted. A teammate solved the mystery, â€œHeâ€™s lookinâ€™ at his pitch count.â€
Young concluded, â€œYou just have to know Chan Ho; heâ€™s a strange guyâ€¦â€
Looks like Mets fans may indeed have their chance to get to know Chan Ho Park.
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This post was written by Dan in Texas on February 9, 2007