Lee Mazzilli
vs. the Mets
Lee Mazzilli
vs. Other Teams
Game Log Memories of
Lee Mazzilli
Lee Mazzilli
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 6 of 1043 players
Lee Louis Mazzilli
Born: March 25, 1955 at New York, N.Y.
Throws: Right Bats: Both
Height: 6.01 Weight: 190

Lee Mazzilli has been the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup 209 times, most recently on June 3, 2017.

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First Mets game: September 7, 1976
Last Mets game: July 22, 1989

Father of L. J. Mazzilli

Share your memories of Lee Mazzilli


Oh Lee! I followed Mazz's career from the beginning. It was instantaneous love. At a game I went to, all of 14 years old and very impressionable, Lee hit a triple - it was so exciting. I cried when he was traded and rejoiced when he returned for the exciting World Champs year. Alas, my love for Lee has never faded - I waited in lines at Palmer Video for an autograph, went to "Tony & Tina's Wedding," frequently visited his Sports Cafe, etc. Even now, I keep tabs on him over at the Yankees minor league team.

I remember Lee when he played for Gil Hodges baseball team, circa early 70's on Bay 8th Street right here in Brooklyn. Lee and his cousin Bobby were speed skaters during the winter prior to baseball season. Bumped into old coach at Lincoln, who is now the head of the PSAL baseball in NYC. Also remember Lee being ambidextrous in the outfield for Gil Hodges league. Even nicer to have seen him play with the Mets. Brooklyn born beauty to boot. Thanks Lee for many years of great baseball memories.

A great player who unselfishly took to the role of pinch hitter in 86. Was a part of the game 6 triumph, and disputed the myth that you can't go home again.

First became a fan when I read about him stealing seven bases in a seven inning game. I became a huge fan. My sweet sixteen birthday party was at Shea Stadium for Lee Mazzilli Poster Day. I even had his subway poster hanging in my room. I have lots of memories of Maz playing and look forward to even more with him coaching first base for the Yankees. It's great to know that Maz is back in New York where he belongs

Hey, Mazzilli was all we had in the late-'70s. In fact, the only bright spot Mets' fans had during that era was Mazzilli's performance in the 1979 All-Star Game in Seattle. He came up as a pinch-hitter in the 8th and hit an ugly, ugly opposite-field home run (just inside the foul pole, landing in the first row beyond the fence) off Jim Kern. Here was a Met coming up big in a Nationally-televised game! That was huge! Then, the next inning he earned a bases-loaded walk to drive in the game-winning run off none other than Yankee Ron Guidry. A Met besting a Yankee??? That's as good as it got in those days! He almost won the game's MVP honor. Thanks, Maz!

Maz won the 1979 All-Star game (tied it with a homer, drove in the winning run with a bases-loaded walk), but the game MVP went to Dave Parker! How about the game in '80 when the Mets were winning big, Pat Zachry lays down a sac bunt, Maz comes up and hits a homer off Hrabosky, Hrabosky's fuming and yelling at Maz as he circles the bases, Maz is yelling back and when he reaches the plate a brawl breaks out! Finally, Maz was not known for his arm, but I was at Shea when he threw out speedster Omar Moreno tagging from second to third! Good player, great Met and seems like a nice guy.

Mr. Sparkle
I remember when he was with the Pirates and he was on third with one out in extra innings in Pittsburgh. The batter hit a fly ball to center field. Maz tagged up and scored the winning run. I immediately turned off the TV and went to bed upset over the loss. I woke up the next morning to see that the Mets had won. Apparently Maz left 3rd early and the Mets appealed and got him out. I was happy Maz was still on our side. Overall a great Met on both tours of duty.

Maz was a class act all the way. My buddy and I met him at DL Suttons Nightclub on 84th St in the early 1980s and he couldnt have been more of a stand-up guy. We talked baseball for about an hour and he never once made you feel like he was anything but a regular neighbohood guy. I was aggravated when he went to Texas for Darling and Terrell but must admit that Mookie was also one hell of a Met.

In spite of the fact that Lee was movie-star handsome and a great all-around player the guy had both feet on the ground which is more than I can say for the majority of celebrities.

How fitting that he would come back to share the glory of 1986. I still get chills when I watch the tape of Game 7 and Vin Scully exclaims after Keith's game-tying hit, "Here comes Wilson. Here comes Mazzilli and the Mets have tied the game!"

As a kid I remember looking up to Lee Mazzilli, my first interest in baseball and the Mets was in the Mazzilli days. The basket catch, the hustle, the switch hitting and of course the on deck circle still kills me. What a great player and down to earth guy. To this day the number 16 is my favorite. Thanks, Mazz.

Mr. Sparkle
After the World Series I have completely changed my view of this guy. First of all how can the Mets allow him to coach for the Yankees? I can see him replacing Torre some day. Why is it that the Mets let Steinbrenner get away with stealing all of the big-time Mets? The Mets should give this guy a job. After his big mouth comments to Zeile in the World Series I hate him. I'd love him again if he were a Met but for now, screw him!

January 14, 2001
I remember "Maz" during his Pittsburgh Pirate years. (Thank you God for sending such a handsome gift to us ladies to make baseball even more exciting than it already is.) I always enjoyed watching him stretch that fabulous body and loved when he stole all those bases. My best memory though was on picture day and I stepped over the rope for a picture with Lee and he stopped writing his autograph to check out who was attached to that long leg. Not only did that make my day, but when he put his arm around me for the picture and asked in that sexy Brooklyn accent, "Who's taking the picture?" Baseball isn't the same without him playing, but the glimpes of him coaching helps! He is still God's gift.

January 16, 2001
Any one who knows me knows how I loved Lee Mazzilli. Growing up in Brooklyn I got to enjoy Mets game and seeing Mazzilli play live at Shea. It's great to see him now coaching the Yankees.

Mazz - thanks for the memories!!

March 18, 2001
My memory of Maz is as a first base coach for the Yankess in the first game of the "historic home-and- home" doubleheader when he coerced the umpire into making a terrible fielder's interference call on Ziele in the first play of the game. Great job by him. The ump should have been fired on the spot.

June 7, 2001
Was my all-time favorite Met until the dreaded 2 stadium doubleheader with the Yankees last summer. I was deeply disappointed that Lee went out of his way to convince the umpire that Zeile interfered with Chuch Knoblauch going around 1st base and then to have virtually the same type of play go AGAINST the Mets while they were hitting well...only the Yankees, only the Yankees. Anyway I felt after the Mets drafted Lee Mazzilli, nurtured him into a superstar and then rewarded his services in the 70's by giving him a spot on the '86 team (& he certainly delivered in that post season!)that pushing for that call for the hated Yankees against the Mets that he grew up with was in bad taste. I understand the competitiveness that goes on in sports and I don't shun anyone from trying to get an umpire to reverse his call but this was a very rare situation where Lee should have held his tongue. I'm sorry to say that I am no longer a fan of Lee Mazzilli's. I find it funny that with all the incredible teams the Yankees have had through the years they always have to steal talent and give coaching and managing jobs to ex Mets. It's almost a case of warped jealousy on George Steinbrenner's part. He even managed to land Tim McCarver in the booth as well with decades worth of ex Yankees floating around unemployed. Very strange.

Won Doney
June 18, 2001
I also was a fan of Lee Mazzilli...until last year. I don't understand this thing about former Mets going to the Yankees. In most cases, they seem to act as the Yankees were the best thing that ever happened to them. WHO did Lee Mazilli, Darryl Strawberry, and Dwight Gooden spend most of their careers with anyway? WHO gave Joe Torre his first job as a manager?

b u i c k
June 24, 2001
Maz was one of the first Mets I remember watching as a boy. I was 9 or something when Lee played. Maz was one of the first instances where I learned about disappointment, both in baseball and life--the two have always been analogous to me. Lee was so flashy and seemed to have so much potential that I was certain he would be better than Reggie Jackson. He never did pan out the way I had expected. My dad laughed right in my face whenever I said that Lee was the mack-daddy.

Andy Curran
July 27, 2001
I took a camera to Shea to see the Mets and Phils in '81. I used my zoom lens to get a close-up of Lee taking a lead off first base with Pete Rose holding him on. My friends in Cincinnati (where I now live) can't understand why I get more excited about Mazzilli being in the picture than Rose!

August 7, 2001
My coach in Tulsa OK used to call me MAZ because, I SWITCH HITTED,LEAD OFF BATTER,PLAYED FLAWLESS CENTERFIELD,AND RAN THE HUNDRED IN 9.8 SECONDS, AND EVERyone said (inclding my 86 yr old grandmother). said I looked just like him, with the long black hair (itallion). but being a native Californian I thought Mazzilli was too cocky (I FOLLOWED JACK CLARK AND THE GIANTS). Later in Boot camp in Chicago. We got to see a CUBS-PIRATES game. 1983 MAZZILLI Was first on the field and I was about 3 feet away from him in the stands for 30 minutes and never said a word to him. He even starred at me a couple of times. I STARTED TO TELL HIM WHAT MY OLD COACH HAD SAID. But I had that shaved head! Not talking to MAZZILLI that day has haunted me for 20 yrs. p.s. he led that game off against FERGIE and played centerield.

Danny Erickson
August 16, 2001
Lee had the tightest baseball uniform in major league history.

September 19, 2001
Yes, I was one of the many young girls who loved Lee Mazzilli. Only I did it from a small town in North Florida. I'm not sure what it was about him, other than his obvious good looks. Maybe it was the Italian thing, so exotic to someone like me. And yes, he did have the tightest pants in league history! When I was 14, I begged my parents to take me to Atlanta to see the Mets play the Braves. My uncle, a Braves season ticketholder, pulled some strings and got me on the front row behind home plate (this was '79, when both teams were awful. Total attendance that night couldn't have been 10,000) Anyway, Lee scored, and I yelled, "Way to go, Lee!" or something, and he stopped, turned around and grinned and waved at me. I nearly fainted. I also had to go to majorette camp the week of the All-Star game, and I smuggled my little TV on the trip just so wouldn't miss Lee's appearance. Although it was on a grainy, 10-inch black and white screen, I got to see what SHOULD have been an MVP performance.

I've sort of had to become a Yankee fan, since he's coaching first over there now. I've never seen a coach get so much screen time on TV games! The pants aren't as tight now, but he looks better than ever!

While my friends had posters of the Fonz or Shaun Cassidy, my walls were papered with photos of Lee, Doug Flynn, John Stearns, Joel Youngblood, et al. W

Mike Michela
November 19, 2001
Being in elementary school in the late 70's, everyone was a Yankee fan except me and my friend Louis. The only star the Mets had was Lee. Remember Lee Mazilli poster day? I still have it. Remember his return in 86 when he homered off Matthews #53 of the STL Cardinals. Every girl in NY had the hots for Lee. Both Lee and Dave Kingman were my favorite Mets of that era.

December 15, 2001
He was my all-time favorite Mets player for years. That however was then. This is now.

He a petulant traitor scumbag that turned his back on the team he adored as a kid and played for as a man - twice.

Carol Grey
December 18, 2001
Lee Mazzilli made the Mets worth watching back in the day. It's been a thrill these past two seasons to see him back in the Majors. It would have been great to see him in a Mets uniform, but the Yankees were the ones smart enough to get him. Too bad for the Mets and us fans, now we have to watch the Yanks to see Lee.

January 9, 2002
During Maz's first tenure at Shea, he was all we had in the unfortunate post-Seaver era. Every kid who watched the Mets then wanted to be Maz. Was at Poster Day & am still upset that I can't find it. When they brought him back as a role player, it was 'storybook' stuff. I remember a Saturday Game of the Week in late August '86 when he hit one out at Shea to either tie or go ahead and Bob Costas' call as he rounded the bases while Shea exploded was simply " And they love him even more this time.." I love Mookie coaching first, but Maz should be on third.

Mike D.
January 28, 2002
>>He a petulant traitor scumbag that turned his back on the team he adored as a kid and played for as a man - twice.<<

Petulant traitor!?! Get a grip!!!

What's wrong with you people, anyway? Lee Mazilli is a legendary New York Met -- not up there with Seaver or Piazza or Hernandez, but certainly deserving of being mentioned in the same breath as say, Mookie or Rusty. Unless, of course, you hate the Yankees more than you love the Mets, which seems to be the case with many of the posters on this board -- kind of like those obnoxious Yankee fans who like to rip on the "Mutts" just for existing. Thought we were better than that. Guess I was wrong.

Sorry for wanting to bask in the glow of Maz's All-Star Game home run during the darkest moment in Mets history, or reflect on the delight of his rounding third and heading for home in the 6th game of the '86 series. Much better to ignore his 10 years in Shea's home dugout, and reflect on ONE CALL in the FIRST INNING of a REGULAR SEASON GAME!!!! Not contest the call? If he didn't argue with the ump, Torre should have reamed him out! He gets paid to help the Yankees win now, sad but true. That doesn't take away my childhood memories. I'm a Mets fan, and Maz will always be a Met.

Kind of like Tug McGraw? Remember what he said in 1980, after the Phillies won it: something to the effect of, "Now New York can stick their World Series where the sun doesn't shine." But he didn't say it in a Yankees uniform, though, so I guess that's OK. (No disrepect to Tugger -- he was talking about M. Donald Grant and the de Roulets, after all, and is quite pro-Met these days - - but I think you get my point. If you don't, go sit in the bleachers in the Bronx, because you're that kind of fan).

Mike D. Met fan since '79

February 10, 2002
Maz was a great ballplayer......if you happened to be a 16 year old girl in the late 1970's.....otherwise he was an average ballplayer with average skills.

My first look at Maz was in one of those rain-delay end of season highlight films in the 70's, in which he was featured as an up and coming player. I think he was with Jackson at the time, and they showed him doing basket catches. He looked like an arrogant show- off.

Anyway, I wouldn't be so bitter if he didn't take the job with the Yankees. Traitor.

Mike G.
February 15, 2002
Maz is my alltime favorite player. He was the reason why I played CF growing up, despite having the talent to pitch. #16 was my number wherever I and to this day, softball. I knew his Uncle John, who was my exterminator. I remember following him around the house asking questions about Lee. Every time I go to the HOF, I have to look at the 79 allstar game plaque just to see Lee's name on it; see, he is in the hall! I remember how he used to bend his bat back and forth before every atbat. The opening music fo the Mets on channel 9 featured him making a running showstring catch (with that pscyodelic music in the backroung). And last but not least.....thinking of Lee verytime I drive through Sysosset NY!!!

Love ya Lee, you the man...

Feat Fan
June 20, 2002
He was the glamour boy at rival Lincoln HS in Brooklyn. We at Tilden, had Willie Randolph. Lee was a regular guy, no attitude and graceful even at age 17. Lafayette HS had Pete Falcone. Me, my junior varsity numbers were 1-11. I rode a mean bench I'll tell you!

June 21, 2002
Whatever good memories I have of Maz have been completely ruined by his current Yankee coaching stint. He will probably be the next manager of the Yankees, which will officially make him excommunicated from the Mets. Hope the Yankees go on to years of failure under him. The overrated dope probably grew up a Yankee fan and hated playing for the Mets. One of the best trades in Met history obviously was Maz for Darling and Terrel (who turned into Hojo). The fact that he was an All-Star just proves how awful those late 70's Met teams were.

Mr. Sparkle
October 2, 2002
OK, now is the time to get him back as manager. He should be a true blue Met and we can right the ship if we bring him back. I don't care that he has not managed. He should be a great influence on all those guys that need a leader and he would be loved by all.

Louie B #16
October 9, 2002
WOW-- where do you start? The Mets of the mid 70's were nothing short of HORRIBLE! However, as a 13 year old baseball player in 1976 growing up in upstate New York-- Lee Mazzilli was my HERO.

I guess it was his all-out hustle and charisma (and being Italian) that led me to adore this guy. To this day at 40 I still play competitive baseball in Atlanta and have the #16 as a tatoo on my left arm as a tribute to his memory...

Back in those days-- it seemed as though no-one tried harder than Maz, Stearns, Henderson, Flynn, Taveras etc...

As for our Mets of today-- bigtime payroll equates to incredible UNDERACHIEVEMENT. If this is the way it's going to be-- bring back the teams that HUSTLE and only win 66 games. They were much easier to cheer for!

Mazzilli as Mets Manager could happen!

Jim Snedeker
December 3, 2002
Lee made the most of those new tight, double-knit uniforms. I think the Mets noticed as they propped him up as Mr. Matinee, to the delight of many legions of female New Yorkers. Ancestor to the Piazza Era.

Wendy D in NJ
December 13, 2002
I watched Lee back in the 70's to present. He has been my all time favorite baseball player. I met his nieces Krissy and Andrea way back when and got my picture with them and corresponded even. Was fun. I went to Yankee Stadium (YUK, not a Yankee fan!), and TRIED to get a picture of Lee. Well, Yankee Stadium sux in my opinion. Even when someone gave me their ticket just so I could take a picture of Lee, on the 1st base line... the stupid guard had to come and remove me and my friend, saying they were not our seats and we could be crazy people or something. Yeah, they took that a tad too far! So, long story short... I love Lee with all my heart... have for years... but I will NOT be returning to Crankee Stadium to see him. What a BAD experience I had! I can only re-live the Shea/Mets days and look at those old pictures I got back then.

December 25, 2002
I loved Mazzilli and was sorry to see him banished to Texas, though it was a very key trade for the Mets. I was so glad to see him get his chance to shine though in 86. He played a great role, and who better to root for?

I did see Lee make one of the worst plays I have ever seen in baseball though, when he was a Pirate, while facing the Mets. Mazzilli trotted home with the game winning run from third on a sac fly in the home 9th, only to be called out on appeal, when there was no need to leave early and it wasn't even close. Not something you should see in Major League Baseball.

Claudio #16
December 27, 2002
One day when I was about 14 years old my Mom yelled "Come look at this Italian kid with the long hair!" I saw him make a basket catch and from then on Maz joined Roberto Clemente as my all-time favorites. I am from Pittsburgh and in December of 1982 the Pirates signed Lee, everybody I knew called me to tell me the news. I met Lee in August of 1983, I bought him a statue of a baseball player wearing the #16. He told me to meet him down the first base line the next day, he gave me two of his bats! A thrill even talking about it to this day. He will always mean a ton to me and he gave me great memories. I am a Pro Baseball Scout today and although I am 38 whenever the subject is Lee Mazzilli I feel like a 14 year old. Great guy.. Was always nice to me. Thanks Maz. I can't wait till he is a MLB manager.

jim sparacio
December 28, 2002
Lee Mazzilli was my idol. Being a 6 year old diehard Mets fan in New York City in the summer of 79 in a large extended Italian family full of Yankees fans was tough. The Yankees having just won 2 straight World Series while the Mets were teetering around the 63 win mark every year. Anyway, my family along with my uncle's family were on vacation in Florida during the week of the 79 All-Star game (back when winning the game meant something to the players and when they actually played till the game was completed). What a game, Dave Parker throwing out 2 runners from right field, the lead changes. But then there came the moment... Lee Mazzilli hits the home run. He hits the home run and I go nuts, for the first time that I ever knew of, my idol Lee Mazzilli was the hero in a game full of heroes. Everything the Yankees did in the last two years just got erased. I was finally on top. My mother was screaming (she rooted with me) and my uncle who constantly teased me about the Mets, was banging on the hotel room wall, he was happy for me as well. Then Mazzilli walks with the bases loaded against Ron Guidry to plate the winning run 7-6. That was simply a night that I will never forget.

January 7, 2003
How many votes did Maz get for the HOF this year? Remember when he got those glasses? Lee's first tour was my early days of being a Mets fan and he was our only hope on any given day. I fully remember freaking out one time when Lee got a big bases loaded hit to win a game. I wore his number, had the poster, the same glasses and hair. During my little league games people would say how much I looked like him. It didnt get better than that!

Bob R.
January 8, 2003
Lee gave me the single most exciting moment of any baseball game I ever attended. Late in the '76 season, the Mets and Pirates played a make-up game. The game meant nothing to the Mets since they were out of the pennant race, but the Pirates were in a tight battle with the Phillies for first place. Since it was a makeup game, I don't think there were many more than 5,000 fans at Shea. Anyway, it's the bottom of the ninth, runner on first, two outs, and the Mets trail by a run. This young kid Mazzilli is sent up to pinch hit and POW - he hits a game winning homer right into the Mets bullpen. The crowd went crazy. It sounded like 50,000 people, not 5,000. Man, that was an exciting moment. It killed the Pirates' chances of winning the pennant. Thanks, Lee!

Carol Norman
January 14, 2003
Was a huge Mets fan growing up. My first love was Wayne Garrett and I cried and cried when he was traded to Montreal. But then came Lee and the sun shined again. Hey I was a teenage girl.

But after reading everyone's fairly enjoyable comments about the guy, I don't understand why there are so many of you who are angry that he's a coach with the Yankees. Don't get me wrong, I can't stand the Yankees. But, baseball is a business and the guy probably needed a job. Were the Mets even offering? You take what you can get and, I'm guessing, that's what Lee Mazzilli did. Good for him. But if anyone knows better, please inform me.

January 15, 2003
I found the game where Lee failed to tag up and cost the Pirates a win vs Mets. It was June 6, 1984, and would have led to a loss for Gooden. At that point in his career, Mazzilli was an uninspired ballplayer. Coming back to NY really refreshed him though. He is working for Torre now, so of course the connection to the Yankees makes sense.

April 1, 2003
I am Lee Mazzilli's biggest fan. I also had the subway poster, scrap book of every newspaper clipping he had, and his pictures all over my room. He was the best thing for me. I remember my brothers teasing me because I had the biggest crush on the ITALIAN STALLION. I also had a shirt with his number on it. I remember going to the games and waiting for Lee to get up and then hoping he would get a base hit so I could see him longer.

I remember when I was 16 I met him and he was the nicest guy in the world. When he was traded I cried. When he got married I also cried. And when he came back to New York I was the happiest person again in the New York and the world. I also remember checking the box scores when he was on other teams to see what he did every day.

I was thrilled again when he took the coaching job with the Yankees and yes I would have loved him to manage the Mets. But as long as he is still associated with baseball and New York I will be extremely happy. He looks as good now as he did back when he was playing.

susan merrill
April 1, 2003
Lee Mazzilli has always been the bright spot in baseball for me. I lived in Forest Hills within walking distance of Shea Stadium. I never really had an interest in baseball in 1978 but I checked it out anyway. Well, once there I said to my friends, WHO IS THAT? From that day on I have followed his career. I went to Shea almost every game and just sat and watched, but I never met him until last July when my dream of meeting him came true. My cousin is a sports agent for the 69 Mets. I never thought of asking him before. I am now 47 years old and I wanted to meet Lee before I died. On June 30 he was to attend a baseball memorabilia show. Not only did I see him but they took my husband, my 17 year old daughter and me in a room to meet him. He was so nice. As I write this I am looking at a 16x20 picture of Lee, my daughter and ME. My most prized possession. I was so nervous that he would think I was nuts, I looked so scared but who cares, it was so worth it. He is as handsome now as ever, and just as nice. God Bless Lee Mazzilli. I will never forget that day in 2002.

May 19, 2003
The thing I remember the most about Lee Mazzilli was back in '88. It was only the 2nd game I had been to and with the winning run at third, Mazz squares to bunt. As the third baseman come in, he rips a single into left almost taking the 3Bman's head off in the process. I think it was Bonilla, so if he had, he would have saved us some big future headaches. Anyway, the Mets win the game and I was pretty worked up over that. And my first girlfriend was head over heels in love with him. That's what I remember most about Lee Mazzilli.

June 26, 2003
Many props to Lee Mazzilli - this guy was HUGE in the '86 postseason. Remember Game 7 against the Sox - Hurst was cruising, but pinch hitting for Sid Fernandez (another unsung Game 7 hero), Lee roped a single with one out in bottom of the 6th. That set off the rally - Mookie singled, then Tuefel walked, then Hernandez ripped a double (Scully: "Here comes Mazzilli, here comes Wilson, and it's now a 3-2 game!") I remember while Maz was running home, he waved his hands around, directing Mookie to follow him home. Thinking about it gives me chills - what an inning, and what a job Maz did in the Rusty Staub memorial pinch hitting role.

I don't hold it against him that he's on the Yankees - Torre was his manager early on, and as another poster said, hell, he needed a job. Don't think he and Valentine had any bond.

Kenny M
August 29, 2003
A bright spot for the Mets during the dismal years...Lee was an exciting player on an awful team. A nice leadoff man that combined speed and some power...good glove, and he hustled. Lee Mazzilli should have been the MVP of the 1979 All-Star game in Seattle!! Was sad to see him traded to Texas basically for two triple-A pitchers, but actually was one of the greatest deals the Mets ever made, getting Terrell and Darling and becoming the pitchers they both became.

September 14, 2003
The only bright spot in a very dark Mets era. His game winning RBI in the '79 All Star game stands out as the best Mets moment of the late '70s.

October 10, 2003
Classic tale of a very good player who didn't meet the unrealistic expectations of a desperate team. He did well as a young player (BA, decent power, good speed), but they treated him like his weak arm was the only thing standing between the basement Mets and the pennant. So they jerked him around, moved him to 1B, moved him to LF, back to 1B, back to CF, and why hasn't he hit 30 HR yet? Just killed the guy's confidence when he was one of the few decent players they had.

And I agree, he WAS the 1979 ASG MVP. Parker as MVP was a joke. Two assists? Yeah, one after misplaying the ball that forced him to make the throw, and the other for the amazing job Carter did blocking the plate when the throw was off line.

Cory Forman
October 22, 2003
What was once a memory of a solid bench player in the '80's with a knack for getting big hits, has turned into the image of traitor. I am dusgusted every time I see Mazzilli manning the first base coaching lines for the Yankees. He will now be remembered for influencing some rookie ump into calling a B.S. interference by Todd Zeile as Chuck Knoblauch rounded first at Shea. In typical Met (and Yankee) fashion, Knoblauch was awarded second base, and eventually came home to score on a single. The Mets, of course, lost the game by one.

November 10, 2003
I love Lee. In 1986, I didn't know much about baseball. My husband, for the first time in our young married life, got a job that didn't require working nights. His favorite part of this scenario was that he could watch baseball again. I said "OKAY, but we're watching the METS." This was back in the days when we got WOR, and I was in love with anything New York- related. Anyway, we watched the Mets' unbelievable season. Sometime in the spring, we were watching a Pirates game. I saw a player do a pop-up slide into second base. I said "OH MY GOSH, DID YOU SEE THAT BEAUTIFUL SLIDE??" My husband, knowing that I was really a rookie in baseball knowledge, looked at me a bit critically and replied "That's just a pop-up slide." I said "WHO WAS THAT?" and he said "Lee Mazzilli." From that moment on, he was my favorite player. That night, I fell asleep on the couch during the game and my husband stayed awake. He told me the next day that on the news that night, they showed the clip from that game and said "ISN'T THAT A BEAUTIFUL POP-UP SLIDE BY LEE MAZZILLI??!!" I WAS VINDICATED! When he was cut by the Pirates just days or weeks later, I was devastated. But it turned out to be the best thing in the world, as he was picked up by the Mets! To this day, when my two boys play baseball, I look on their teams jerseys to see who is #13 and I tell whoever it is "You're wearing Lee's number!"

Candee from Brooklyn
November 10, 2003
I remember when the Mets came to our school back in 1973 -Abraham Lincoln High School to sign Lee up. I was a really good friend of his in school. I remember telling him "Lee the Mets are here to sign you up" and he was so excited and couldnt believe it.We all knew he would make it big watching him practice on the field and at all the games at school. I have pictures of him back in high school and all the other girls were crazy and jealous because the coach of the baseball team gave me the teams pictures with Lee in them which I still have today. Went to his first game ever as a Met with all his old high school buddies and we made this huge sign out in centerfield. We all shouted out to him during warmup and he turned around and saw all of us. We made his night and he will always be in my heart and memories.

November 10, 2003
I'm glad Mazz got the managing job in Baltimore. He's a good guy and a Brooklyn native like me, and ANYTHING to get him out those Yankee pinstripes. I only hope he comes to manage the Mets in the not too distant future.

Mr. Sparkle
November 10, 2003
Finally out of the grasps of the evil empire Lee gets to manage the Orioles. Thank God! Hopefully he'll do a great job and win the division so when Joe Torre gets fired or quits, Lee is still with the Orioles and will not end up replacing Joe. I still wish he was managing the Mets instead of Art Howe, not that I have anything against Art, but as long as he is out of the Bronx I am happy. He bad mouthed the Mets while in the Bronx saying that team was all class and the Mets didn't know what they were doing but I think he would love to come back some day. He was a great player in the late 70's, the only real star in Queens and came up big off the bench in 86 after we dumped George Foster. Hopefully, his only future trips to the Bronx will be to beat the evil empire.

December 14, 2003
Mr. Sparkle-I believe Lee is right about the Mets organization, they seem to treat all of their former players that were fan favorites like yesterday's garbage. Look how they treated Mookie - They'll probably do the same to John Franco when he is ready for a coaching job. Lee wasn't wrong-he's knows the deal, otherwise I think he would have ended up with a coaching job with the Mets instead of in the Bronx.

Corinne Mazzilli
December 14, 2003
Lee is my Cousin, I think he was a great Ball Player and I would someday love to meet him. I have played Ball and I later learned that I played the same positions that he did. I guess it's in the blood.

Rad West
January 29, 2004
Well, I grew up a Met fan in NYC. The first year I can remember liking baseball was 1977. But it wasn't until 78 that I began knowing the players and watching games. And since Mazzilli was the only pretty good guy on a bad team I took a liking to him. And it grew from there, the 79 All-Star game, his basket catches, moving to first base, getting glasses and playing with them for the first time.

To me Mazzilli was part of my childhood, and I grew up as him as my idol. I wore 16 on my back, I became a switch-hitter. I tried to throw with both arms since I heard that he could also do that. I remember him marrying Dani, and she was on the PM Mag show. Then him being in a movie (playing a wise guy) about a guy who killed a DA agent that was played by Tony Danza. The Toni & Tina thing. And now I have became a Baltimore fan just because of whos managing them. Baseball in my life starts and ends with one man. Simply put...MAZ.

Steve Green
March 22, 2004
A fellow victim here whose girlfriend (she was hopelessly Italian) was in love with Lee Mazzilli. There must exist until today some virulent Stillwell Avenue grapevine accessed only by females. We went to a few games at Shea, and when the Mets took the field or Maz was due up, my girlfriend instinctively stood up on the seat the way she would at a Jackson Browne concert -- the lone maiden left standing for sacrifice, at due attention, as if the National Anthem was being played.

As far as this grumpy male punk is concerned, though, both Browne and Mazzilli had TALENT.

Maz was one tough out. If there were nine of him in the batting order, the starting pitcher wouldn't go three innings.

I remember watching on TV his first game as a Yankee (did he wear hero Mays' #24 with them?). He walked a couple of times, was caught stealing, generally made his presence felt, and made quite an impression on announcer Phil Rizzuto. 'Holy Cow! What an eye on this kid'.

(Another player the girls considered a cutie-pie, a similar player and one more damned tough out in the lineup, was Von Hayes. If I'm a manager, I want a lineup full of these potential .290 lifetime hitters, doesn't matter if they look like Tom Cruise or Bigfoot.)

August 10, 2004
Didn't like him at first, but it was nothing to do with his baseball was because all the girls I wanted to go out with ignored me and instead screeched with their own unrequited lust every time he came to bat and popped up.

It was bad enough that girls were saying, "Not if you were the last man on earth to me!" but worse that they were shrieking out lust and admiration for a guy who was batting .240.

But later on, I grew to appreciate him as a player, coach, and now as manager.

October 11, 2004
Not only did the girls love him, he also threw like a girl. His lack of arm strength was the reason he became a pinch-hitter, runners would go 1st to 3rd on him when he was playing left field! He was a player without a position, could not throw from any outfield position and did not have enough power for a 1st baseman. Had enough speed for a leadoff hitter and a good eye at the plate, never developed to be the hitter the Mets thought he would be.

Someone above said that Lee did not have an attitude as a youngster but he sure did once he made the big leagues. Lee has even said himself that he thought he was ”better than other people.” He finally came back to earth and underwent an attitude adjustment once he was no longer the Mets darling.

His uncle John taught Lee a lot about baseball. John could still pick up a bat and hit into his 50’s.

In the 70’s Lee was the only guy worth watching on those lousy teams.

November 16, 2004
After Mookie and Maz were dumped by the Mets in '89, they both ended up on the Blue Jays that year. I was at a game in Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and, wouldn't you know it, both Mookie and Maz homered in that game. Nice memory.

Cincy Chris
January 26, 2005
I grew up in Cincinnati as a die hard Reds fan. My brother was in the army, stationed in Jersey. He went to the Mets game with his girlfriend (cousin to Ed Figueroa) on Lee Mazzilli poster day. When he returned home to Cincy for a visit, he gave me that poster. I believe that was in '79. I've followed him ever since. I had the pleasure of meeting him in 1983 when the Pirates were in town playing the Reds. I told him what a big fan I was and he gave me a cracked bat which I still have to this day. Great guy and I wish him the best with the Orioles, although I must admit, he should be a Met.

Angela Benvignati
March 16, 2005
Soooooo many years of fantastic memories but I will keep this brief. I remember seeing Lee Mazzilli in his first major league game, thanks to cable TV. When the Mets came to town, I was there. I waited after the game to see him in person; he took my breath away, and still does.

I dragged my girlfriend, Sharon, to every Mets game, sitting behind home plate at Veterans Stadium, just to see Lee. I traveled to NY to see him play at Shea and Yankee Stadiums, Arlington and Pittsburgh and even went for a week of the Mets spring training.

My most memorable game moment was when Lee hit an inside the park home run off of Steve Carlton. Amist the sea of Phillies fans, I was standing in my Mets jersey applauding and screaming; so proud to be wearing his name.

When I heard he opened his sports cafe in NY, I convinced my sister and friends that we just had to go! We hired a super stretch limo and went there for dinner, shocked to find him there. There is no better feeling in the world, than your hero being everything you knew he'd be and more, AND with my family and friends there. He was so wonderful, buying us drinks, talking and joking, taking videos and pictures. To me that night was one of magic; one I will never forget and neither will they.

One picture of the two of us became my Christmas card that year and it still hangs on my fridge. I have lots of great memories of Lee Mazzilli; the manager, the player, and the man. Thank you Lee, I'll always be cheering for you.

March 25, 2005
The mid to late '70's were bad enough. Growing up surrounded by front-runner Pirate fans was unbearable! My Mazz memmory of a home run he hit on 9/20/76 off Kent Tekulve is most satisfying. It was late in the game, and put the Mets ahead. Being at the game made it more special, because for one day it shut the mouths of my Pirate buddies. I thought his career would be greater! As it was, it's loaded with memories, and that's not all bad. Good luck Mazz, I see a manager's job with the Mets in your future.

Jonathan Stern
May 18, 2005
It was hard to root for Maz during his first Mets stint when all the girls were constantly squealing over him (I was a kid and I didn't want the other boys to think I was a sissy). It was easy to root for Maz during his second stint, when he came back a grizzled vet willing to do anything to help the team go all the way. And it was neat to see a post-Midnight Massacre Met in the center of the 1986 dogpile, particular the most New Yawkish one of them all.

After he retired, Mazzilli dabbled in acting. He played Tony in the audience-interactive off-Broadway show, "Tony'n'Tina's Wedding." Throughout the run, audience members tried to talk baseball with Tony, who replied along the lines of "Man, I hate baseball. Those players earn way too much money."

I wouldn't mind seeing Lee Mazzilli manage the Mets some day - not that I am ready to push Willie out the door just yet!

Jersey Jerry
June 17, 2005
The first great Mets phenom that I remember was Maz. Being born in the 1960's, I really didn't start following baseball heavily until 1972-73. As a 12 year old in the summer of '73 I remember 2 things rather vividly; the Mets played way above their heads in winning the NL East, and they drated some hotshot kid out of Brooklyn named Lee Mazzilli. Finally he was called up in September of 1976, and then was a mainstay from 1977-1981.

The most vivid memory of Maz I have is the 1979 All Star game in the Seattle Kingdome. He came in the game late and was the reason the NL won that game, as he hit a HR, and was walked in to account for the winning run in the NL victory.

He stayed a Met until 1981, when he was traded in the offseason to Texas. I believe Ron Darling was in that trade. I also remember the Mets reacquiring Lee during 1986, and him contributing somewhat down the stretch leading up to the Mets winning the '86 World Series. To me he'll always be a great Mets player.

Will Musto
August 5, 2005
ESPNews just announced that Mazz has been fired from the Orioles managerial position. That's a bummer, I thought he had done a good job. Maybe the Mets can give him some sort of position in our organization.

mary shea
August 5, 2005
I have always been a huge baseball fan but have always lived in Texas. My intensely vivid memory of when Lee Mazzilli absolutely CRASHED his way into my consciousness was when he was playing the Houston Astros: he approached the plate to bat and did that little chest muscle flex thing where he pushed both his arms behind him and loosened his chest before batting.

Wow! I was in my early 20's, played enough baseball to really appreciate the skills involved, always thought baseball players were the hottest athletes, but had NEVER before (or since) just had a crush on an individual player.

I watched him every game I could after that and learned the chest flexing was his "trademark." I pointed him out to every Texas girl I could and they all fell in love with him too.

Totally more importantly, he was a GREAT baseball player but...he was also so cute! Thank you Lee for playing so well while also turning us young "thangs" on. Good luck in your future endeavors.

October 28, 2005
Hi folks. You probably know me from channel 4 weather. I've known Lee a long time. When I was out in Phoenix doing the weather a few years ago after the Diamondbacks beat the Yankees in 2001 I mentioned on the air good luck to the Yankees and my friend Lee Mazzilli. My network exec's did not appreciate it there in Phoenix, but did i get e-mails from people who had moved to Phoenix and were real Mazz fans. Is he really a great guy? Yes he is. Joe Moreno, NewsCenter 4.

April 19, 2006
Growing up in New York, and being Itailan. Lee became my favorite the very first time he step to the plate. I just like to remember his contribution to the 86 Mets with a lot of clutch pinch hits. I hope someday he'll come back to the Mets in some capacity. Just seeing him in a Yankee uniform always make me cringe.

Sergio Leon
July 28, 2006
One of the most over rated players when he was in his prime. He was not great hitter, not great power, and not a great outfielder. However he was the darling of New York City. His luck contnues: He became a manager without any managerial experience. Good for you Lee.

July 28, 2006
Well, being a Mets fan since I understood baseball at age 5, back in 1969, when Lee came in 1976, that's when the Mets had a more "teen idol" feeling for me. LOL

But, seriously, he was a great player for the Amazins! My most outstanding memory was going the Mets' one and only "Camera Day" back in 1981.

Had first baseline seats near the outfield. Had my 110 camera ready. Watched as Lee left the dugout area having his pic taken with his family, and start down toward where we were seated.

I held the camera ready.......waited...he is suddenly in my view, and I quickly snapped the pic!! Two days later, I pick up the developed pictures, and when I find the one that should be of Lee, I see the back of his head, and the back of a red t-shirt with the name "Wanda" in yellow in the rest of the shot.

That I will never forget....

October 1, 2006
If, like me, you went to Met games in the late 70's and was annoyed by the loud female squeals for Lee's every action I dedicate this memory to you. It's late 1979 season I'm coming out of Shea heading for the 7 and I pass the gaggle of fans waiting at the gate for the player parking lot. Always thought it was a waste of time to do this but this time I said what the heck and joined the mostly female crowd. Koosman and Youngblood come out and whiz away in their car and van respectively. Just as I thought any player would. Mazzilli comes out and the screams begin. Never looking at the crowd he heads for his little silver sports car and gets in. As his car prowls towards the gate I guess the excitement was too much for the ladies and they rush the gate, blocking his exit. The lot attendant then signals Lee to back up while he and the cops deal with the delay. I could see Mazzilli put his hands up and roll his eyes back into his head as he reversed. He left as soon as he could.

October 5, 2006
Boy, did I love Lee Mazzilli! I was a 16 year old girl back then. My cousin and I would take the train in to Shea and my dad always got us seats up close by first base. We brought posters with us and got on TV several times. I also had his subway poster in my room as well as a #16 jersey. I still scream when I see him on TV (and I'm 41 years old!)

Victor Jaffe
October 5, 2006
Lee was another one of my faves when I was in my formative years. He was a great player and he was the real "Italian Stallion." He looked great in those tight pants. He was all there was to root for back in the late 70s.

Joe Figliola
December 6, 2006
To those who attended the 1986 World Series reunion night back in August and were lucky enough to get the free baseball cards the ushers gave out: check out Mazzilli's card. The action photo isn't from 1986; it's from his first tenure with the Amazin's (c. 1978-81). You know what else? It's the best-looking card in the set!

December 13, 2006
One of the Mets' most popular players, now we'll see him on SNY with Ron Darling, Mex Hernandez, and Gary Cohen. Maz is the true New York Met, coming up in 1976 and having the misfortune of being on abysmal teams. Even though he went to Arlington and Pittsburgh, it was great to see him return as a pinch hitter extraordinaire on the world champion 1986 team. Brooklyn's Italian Stallion is back. Best of luck Maz in this new endeavor.

Jeff The Pug
October 21, 2007
The absolute highlight for me and just about every Mets fan back in the late 70s was Maz homering in the Summer Classic. Those Mets teams were truly horrible - and even though I loved them, I knew it - but that home run was magical. and I remember almost feeling like I had hit that home run.

OK, now the negative about Lee. I remember watching him throw the ball - he almost always fell down in the process - on a rainbow arc that NEVER led to a meaningful play at the plate. he had perhaps the weakest arm of any major leaguer I've ever seen.

One recent memory about Maz really sticks out. Even today, almost every player is at least cordial when encountering fans. Well, listening to WFAN a few years ago (it may have been when he was named to manage the Orioles), I recall hearing two fans call in and say that Maz was one of the nastiest SOBs they ever came across. I have no idea if it's true, but to hear two people say that makes me think that maybe it is.

October 21, 2007
I liked Maz, but he had the weakest throwing arm. A runner on second base was guaranteed to score on a single to center, unless he broke his thigh rounding third. And even then, if he slid, he'd probably beat Mazzilli's peg.

Dan Gurney
November 21, 2007
An interesting career with ups and downs. Comes up with the hometown team just as they are entering a bad phase. The Mets in the first 15 years produced some great pitchers (Seaver, Koosman, Ryan, McGraw) but few hitters (Swoboda, Kranepool). Maz is a good looking Italian kid and a switch hitting enter center fielder with some power and speed with a last name starting with M...who else is there with those credentials...Mickey Mantle.

Maz has several good years but for some reason hits a brick wall around age 26 when he should be peaking. Did he have an injury? Were years of losing wearing him down? Did the Mets make the classic mistake of teams that don't know what they are doing and blame their best player for their problems? Mazzilli had a bad arm but you don't give up 5 runs a game because your center fielder has a popgun arm. So they move him around and trade him to Texas where he moans about "great player don't play left" (Mazzilli never heard of Rose, Yaz, Musial, Williams or Stragell?). Mazzilli bounces around and finally in 1986 ends up on the Mets and helps them win only their second championship. He has some luck in his post season career getting some more World Series checks with the Yankees and is the best Baltimore Oriole manager of the last 10 years (not saying much. Is there any reason why guys like Mazzilli and Randolph refuse to manage in the minors to learn how to run a team? Would it really take them out of the public eye as managerial candidates?)

Now is an SNY broadcaster. I wonder if Mazzilli would have had a better career if they just stuck him as a leadoff hitter and told him to use his bat, speed, eye and occasional power to excel there. Instead on a horrible team they bat him third which he is not suited for.

April 5, 2008
OH MY GOD!!! Lee Mazzilli was my reason for liking baseball and being a Met fan. Had the whole starting lineup memorized. He played center field at the time. I would scream my head off when they would announce, "And next up #16, Lee Mazzilli!" I was nine years old at the time, and I watched every game. If it wasn't on TV, I listened to the games on the radio. I collected the baseball cards, you name it. Lee Mazzilli was the 'Italian Stallion" Ultimate Matinée Idol.

June 19, 2008
Through the late 70's, MAZ was it. His pictures smothered my locker in high school. I went to Met (NL) and Sox games (AL) constantly with my sister. I am from CT. Lee was really dreamy to me and I took a lot of teasing from 2 older sisters. They made up this song: Lee Mazzilli, how you love him and he doesn't even know you exist! I was the editor of my high school yearbook(c/o '79) and even put his picture that I took of him in spring training in the yearbook. HOW FUNNY!

Here is the good news: I went to college at Boston U. and that made me a die hard SOX fan. Such great memories of Fenway, dollar bleacher seats and lots of BEER! I think the METS should make Maz the manager of the team. But then again, maybe that would make them too good and they might beat the SOX. Forget about it! Sounds like MAZ has a great wife and kids. Greenwich is really nice. That is where he lives. Good for him.

Big Mike
July 22, 2008
Where is Maz NOW? The Yankees blew it not making him the skipper when Torre left. There are students of the game, then there's Lee who is a PROFESSOR!

alf olsen
December 31, 2008
I met Lee Mazzilli through his uncle who came into the pharmacy I was working at in Bay Ridge Brooklyn. John was a vitamin believer and I recommended some hi- potency medication to him so he could work as an exterminator during the day and play softball at night.

He managed a softball team that played at the 65th Street "dustbowl". Lee Mazzilli had a break from his minor league team in California and played first base against my team. Uncle got some heat from the regular first baseman who wasn't happy about sitting out the game so Lee could play.

Lee had an average game but what impressed me the most was that after the field lights were turned off and with only some dim street lights on he took fielding practice for an hour after the game ended. Uncle John belted ground balls at him and he fielded them flawlessly. I then saw the dedication it takes to be a major leaguer and Lee had that determination.

My greatest disappointment was that Lee wasn't given the MVP trophy at the 1979 All-Star game after tying the game with a home run and winning the game with a walk. Dave Parker was given the award because he threw out two runners after bobbling some ball hit to him. A grave injustice.

Lee Mazzilli was an exciting ballplayer and kudos to Uncle John for his training and loyalty to his nephew.

david lozano
January 4, 2009
Teammate of mine in 1974. You knew he was going to be a star. Had all the tools but no arm. Great he got to manage in the big leagues. Not much of a chance with the Orioles. Perfect fit with the Yankees and Joe Torre to earn World Series rings with both New York teams. I saw him in a couple of movies but can't remember the name. Anyway I hope he gets back in the game.

Bklyn Met
May 19, 2009
Oh yes, the mention of Lee’s uncle John, a very nice man. I was not a great pitcher but could throw the ball fairly hard. John stepped into the cage during batting practice in the early 80’s and lined one ball after another off of me. I threw a deuce with the same result. John was in his 50’s and I was 20. He taught Lee very well! You know the saying, you can teach someone to hit and field to some extent but you really can't teach someone to have a major league arm. Lee’s was terrible. May have been the result of switching throwing hands all the way through High School depending on the position he was playing. He never had time to develop one strong arm over the other. I can still see Uncle John walking around with that San Fran Giant baseball jacket.

Michael Scotti
August 14, 2009
I used to live right across the street from Lee. He used to pitch to me with a pink spaldine ball down my driveway with both hands, once lefty once righty. We played punch ball almost every day and Lee was the fastest kid on the block. Me, Harvey, Scott, Bruce, Randy and Jimmy were all good ballplayers but Lee was the best and everyone wanted him on their team. When Lee first was on the Mets we all listened to the game on the radio right under Lee's window on East 12th Street. His father was such a kind and nice man who always watched us play ball, even Stoopball. I always followed Lee's pro-ball. When he played for the Yankees he came over to me and signed my daughter Nicole's mini-glove. He was just one of the boys on our block but was and always will be special to me.

Lori Billera
April 30, 2012
Oh, my God!!! I had the biggest crush on Lee Mazzilli when he was on the Mets!!! LOVED him! Always been a big Met fan - extended family too! I was sooooooooo jealous of my cousin who said she went to school with him!! LOL! Then I learned his cousin lived in the same town as my other Aunt and Uncle in New Jersey!!! Had dreams of meeting him if he was visiting when I was! Well, I could be wrong about all of this, but I was only like 12 or 13 at the time, but sweet memories. Love you, Lee!

Larry Z,NYC
January 12, 2013
In the depths of the most depressing era in team history,the 1979 All-Star game was like a World Series game, even a Subway Series, as Lee draws a game-winning walk from the ace pitcher of New York's AL team. For any Mets fan, witnessing the local kid on the local team propel the NL to victory in front of a national audience was so prideful and so refreshing amid a season of despair and desolation. I too was disappointed when Dave Parker won MVP, but in addition to his outfield play he had a hit, RBI and played all nine innings. But the memory is what matters: the most glorious one until 1986, when after his banishment he returns to do what he did that July night in the Seattle Kingdome - help lead his team to victory. Lee the Legend!

Quality Met
January 23, 2013
Larry, I remember that night very well myself! Before the bases-loaded walk in the ninth against Ron Guidry, Lee hit a pinch-hit home run in the eighth to tie the game for the NL. This was the only All-Star Game homer by a Met during the 20th century. Although he wasn't named MVP, I have no doubt that he received his share of votes for the award.

tony bracci
January 24, 2014
Grew up in Pittsburgh, so saw him during the Pirate years. He was a fan favorite because of all the Italians in Pittsburgh, but was a real disappointment in that he only batted around .240 for us. The city was expecting at least .270 - .280 and the Bucs kept trying to put him in the lineup hoping that he'd regain his stroke and hit like he did in NY, but it never happened. I seem to remember his back bothered him a lot during those years, and as a kid I thought "what's the big deal", but after injuring my back working on freight docks...yeah, that'll hamper your swing. Then again, maybe his .240 average may have been attributed to the distraction of cocaine use? Don't forget, he got immunity in exchange for testimony during the Pittsburgh Drug Trials. One other thing I recall is that the fans REALLY resented him being called "Maz". Pittsburghers still have a awe-like reverence for HOF 2nd baseman Bill Mazeroski who hit a walk-off World Series winning home run in Game 7 versus...(yeah Met fans)...the hated Yankees! Pirate radio announce Lanny Frattare would call him Maz, and boy how the old-timers (who loved the Gunner..longtime Pirate announcer Bob Prince) HATED that.

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