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Ellis Valentine
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Ellis Valentine
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Game Log Memories of
Ellis Valentine
Ellis Valentine
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 205 of 1043 players
Ellis Clarence Valentine
Born: July 30, 1954 at Helena, Ark.
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Height: 6.04 Weight: 215

Ellis Valentine was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on February 14, 2006, November 30, 2006, and April 9, 2015.


First Mets game: June 7, 1981
Last Mets game: September 28, 1982

Share your memories of Ellis Valentine


Eric B
While at teen tours camp in 1979, I attended a Braves - Expos game in Montreal. We were seated near the right field line 3 or 4 rows in from the fence. Mr. Valentine would talk to the fans, but would show us his right hand which he could make the fingers look like steps (bent the opposite way).

When he was traded to the Mets in '81, I worked at Shea Stadium as a hot dog vendor. We would be able to see the batting practice before the stadium gates opened, and we (vendors) would talk to some of the players (from the stands). The players would come over to the rail to talk. At some point, I got to chatting with Mr. Valentine, and tried to make the finger thing he did. He looked at me and asked "Are you from Montreal?", and he promptly did the finger thing. Later on, he gave me an autographed ball, broken batting practice bat, and his jersey, all of which I still have. He was the nicest player I ever met.

Ellis Valentine probably had the strongest arm of any Met outfielder ever. This guy had a cannon. I remember a game where Valentine threw out Dale Murphy trying to tag up from 3rd. Valentine's throw was from medium to deep rightfield; he got the ball to home on the fly and got Murphy by a step. Murphy didn't even slide; he was so sure he was going to score. Too bad Ellis wasn't anywhere near the hitter for the Mets that he was for the Expos.

One time I saw Ellis in the outfield warming up. I had gotten to the game early and with my mitt. Occasionally, Ellis would toss a ball up to the kids. I never got one, but my grandma bought me one of those autographed balls that was so riduculous. It was warped, lighter than a baseball. Even now it sits on the shelf in my room at my parents house looking sorry and lost. Ellis' name is the only one I remember from that ball. He had a heart dotting his i.

johnny h
I remember back in '81 when Ellis first came to the Mets and it seemed like management was finally doing something to try to fix this pitiful team. (As we all know it took a couple of more years but we got there finally.) Anyway I used to get to games early with my dad and I'll never forget watching Valentine throw strikes to home plate from the deepest part of the right field corner and wondering why this guy wasn't a pitcher. Then again, when Nino Espinosa is the "ace" of the staff I also had to wonder why I wasn't starting the game that night.

Dave A
December 17, 2000
I was a big Ellis Valentine fan as well. (Enjoyed the stories listed above.) Considering his size and arm in right, he was almost a poor man's Winfield. (Settle down. I HATE the Yanks.)

Remember his face guard helmet?

Austin F. Wicks II
December 16, 2001
I am a current Ellis Valentine fan & friend. Ellis is an important part of the Antelope Valley community, in northern Los Angeles County. Ellis extends himself daily, providing counseling services to needy families. Ellis is the founder of AV Light Foundation in Lancaster, California. If you're ever in our area, stop by & see Ellis and the great work he does. Ellis is having a baseball clinic next week, 12-22-2001 @ The Lancaster Jethawks Stadium, to share his baseball skills to all the kids in attendance. Please stop by to see the happiness on the kids faces.

Larry Burns
May 21, 2002
I remember Ellis as part of the Big 3 in Montreal. They were going to be the greatest outfield ever---Andre Dawson, Warren Cromartie, and Ellis. With the exception of Dawson they did not live up to their billing. Cromartie actually ended up playing somewhere in Japan. Althought he did not completely fulfill his potential as a Met he did posess a rocket arm and a dangerous bat. I always liked to watch him. He was a poor man's Strawberry---without the substance abuse problem. It is rumoured that he is selling storm windows in a small Vermont town.

July 12, 2002
This guy out "Fostered" George Foster as biggest bum of the early 80's. I remember waiting until early May for his first rbi in 82.

September 9, 2002
Does anybody remember those "There's a new power souce at Shea" advertisments - showing the backs of Foster, Kingman, and Ellis Valentine (yeah, right!) - or that the Mets solved their crowded bullpen problem by trading away JEFF REARDON (and keeping rehab-reject Neil Allen) for Valentine?

November 20, 2002
I remember being at the game where the Reardon for Valentine trade was announced. The crowd cheered the trade, though I wanted to keep Reardon.Valentine was hitting about .220 for the Spos I think with little of his former power. But, damn, he had a fantastic throwing arm!

December 30, 2002
In Sept 1982, the Mets lost 5 straight at home to the soon to be champ Cards, including a twinight DH followed by a day DH.

I attended the day DH, and sat just behind the visitors on deck circle. From there, due to the VERY sparse crowd, my friends and I held a running dialogue with Ellis IN THE METS DUGOUT. This means we were shouting right past the ump, catcher, hitter--- in other words everyone could hear. We had Ellis cracking up, and when one of my friends lit a j in the stands (Shea was a different kind of fan friendly those years), Ellis came marching up the steps to join us.

Bamberger got in his face, and Ellis (through hand gestures) pleaded with us to stop. So we proceeded to chant for Bambi to let Ellis pitch the rest of the day.

Sure enough, the next days papers reported that Valentine was "slapped on the wrist" by George Bamberger. I can finally apologize here to Ellis for getting him in trouble, but thank him for making that graveyard of a ballpark fun.

March 26, 2003
I met Mr. Valentine through my dad who signed me up for his baseball clinic. I went to 8 sessions -- actually 9 sessions. I got one for free because of a mix up. I must admit that Ellis is one of the nicest people I have ever met and one with a great knowledge of the sport. I learned a lot about myself and about baseball from a true sportsman. It was fun working with him and also learning about the majors. He has played against the best, but then again he is one of the best that has ever taken the field. I truly believe that had his career not been cut short due to injuries Ellis Valentine would be in the Hall of Fame. I look forward to this upcoming season because what I have learned and also because Ellis has given me additional confidence in the sport of baseball. Thanks Ellis, the first batter I strike out and the first one I put over the fence is for you.

October 28, 2003
Ellis Valentine appeared on an epsisode of "Fantasy Island" when he was still with the Expos.

Gary Burghoff was the guest star whose fantasy was to pitch in the major leagues. I remember Tatoo saying "Elliz Valentine." Steve Garvey was on the show too.

Valentine was never the same after being hit in the face with a pitch. Thats why he wore the football facemask.

Kenny M
May 22, 2004
I remember being extremely excited when I heard the Mets acquired Valentine. At the time he was a Dave Parker-like outfielder with awesome power with the Expos, and even more potential. But, of course, he never was the same player once he joined the Mets and basically faded out of sight. Maybe the Expos knew he already peaked. I can still picture him batting with the jaw facemask on his helmet, which became the symbol that basically summarized his tenure with the Mets was.

Feat Fan
June 6, 2004
This was a talented ballplayer who could do it all. I remember the beaning in 1980 which slowed down what looked to be a sure Dave Winfield type career.

I just read about his incredible work and dedication with regard to recovery and prevention.

We need more like Ellis. I know, I am in recovery myself.

For those that may have a child or sibling in trouble in the LA area: http://www.bad.org/profile/ellis.html

Thanks Ellis, way to be!

June 19, 2004
I remember when the Mets traded Jeff Reardon for him. It was seat cushion night. The 20,000 faithful in attendance banged their seat cushions to celebrate.

They didn't know that injuries (I remember the face mask) had rendered Valentine only a rifle arm, not the fearsome slugger he had been before the face injury.

And the trade sent Jeff Reardon to the Expos, and he went on to set the record for saves (for a while) with a whole mess of teams. The Met theory was that Neil Allen could be the star reliever. Wrong choice.

I remember seeing Valentine as a huge man, and a defensive replacement, because he just couldn't hit with power any more. It was sad.

Maxwell Kates
June 20, 2004
Ellis Valentine made one of the two greatest throws from right field of the 1979 season. As a member of the Expos, he catapulted the ball from deep right field as the Reds' Dave Concepcion seemed only steps away from the plate. Davey was out by a mile. The other similar play, of course, was Dave Parker's thrown in the 1979 All-Star Game. Gary Carter worked the tools of ignorance in both instance.

Valentine's beaning took place during the 1980 season as he faced Roy Thomas of the Cardinals. In the days prior to Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Fanning called Valentine "the greatest natural talent [the Expos] ever produced," and cited how unfortunate it was that injuries and substance abuse curtailed Ellis' career. Meanwhile, Ellis should be commended for overcoming his addiction and becoming a mensch, working with kids in the Los Angeles area.

When the Expos clinched their only pennant, in 1981, it was at Shea Stadium. Ellis Valentine, then with the Mets, was invited to join the celebration.

March 31, 2005
Ellis had the best arm of any Met right-fielder, ever. I would put Joel Youngblood's arm second, with Rusty Staub third and Darryl Strawberry fourth (Strawberry's arm was more powerful than Rusty's but not as accurate).

February 8, 2006
What a gun; he and Dave Parker had the best arms I have ever seen. Well, guess you can include V. Guerrero. I remember before sports radio listening to Art Rust Jr. announcing this trade and man I went nuts.

May 19, 2006
Ellis was a great player on the horizon for the Expos when he was hit in the face with a pitch breaking his cheekbone. Was never the same after that and the Mets should never have traded Jeff Reardon for him knowing Ellis would never be the same.

Dan Gurney
November 21, 2007
The trade for him didn't work out but I understand why they did it. He was pretty good when he came up..Power, great arm, some speed. This deal is not on my "worst trades ever list". Maybe they should have waited to see if he came back but would Montreal have traded him if he didn't. The comparison to Winfield is good..the Yankees gave up too soon on Winfield when he missed a year with an injury.

scott r
April 24, 2009
I remember that he came here with much hype but turned out be disappointing. Glad to hear he is such a nice guy.

Chuck Wood
April 24, 2009
I saw Ellis play on the farm team in Memphis, TN and I saw catch a fly ball all the way back to the right field fence and the guy on third took off for home but Ellis rifled a shot to the catcher and he was out by a mile. I started collecting his cards after he went to his first major league team and got his autograph at a old timers ball game in Seattle. He said it looked like I had every one of his cards but I am missing a couple.

Expos Fan
September 27, 2010
Growing up in Montreal in the late 70's and early 80's, Ellis Valentine easily became one of my first favourite ballplayers. He was a 5-tool talent with a hulking stature and a cool name. His throwing arm was legendary, and together with Dawson and Cromartie formed the "Outfield of the Future". In 1978, the trio combined for 65 outfield assists (Valentine 24, Cromartie 24 and Dawson 17). I believe the Sporting News did a feature on them called "Rifle-Armed Outfielders", but Ellis was in a league of his own (although Dawson had a pretty good cannon too).

He could crush the baseball too. It's a real shame he couldn't stay healthy. I was sad when he got traded to the Mets, even though Reardon ended up being one of the best closers in baseball.

I remember opening up a pack of 1982 O-Pee-Chee baseball cards(The Canadian version of Topps with French wording added) and seeing Valentine smiling back at me with a bat over his shoulder in a Mets uniform. I decided to keep it in my stack of Expos cards because he was still a part of the team to me. It's one of those baseball cards from my youth that still brings back a lot of fond memories for me whenever I look back at it, along with some of his earlier cards in an Expos uniform.

As far as favourite Expos players who also donned the Mets uniform, I'd have to put Valentine right up there with Gary Carter, Pedro Martinez and Moises Alou, with honourable mention to Hubie Brooks, Cliff Floyd and Endy Chavez. (Staub and Singleton were great too but they were before my time.)

Andy from Chicago
November 24, 2010
I remember being very excited when the Mets announced they'd traded their set-up man, Jeff Reardon, for Ellis Valentine.

Ellis' value had fallen after he got hit in the face with a fastball thrown by the Cards' Roy Thomas. I naively assumed he'd come to the Mets and resume being the menacing hitter he'd once been.

It never panned out that way although I do recall him smoking a home run against the Pirates on ABC's Monday Night Baseball. Ball was hit so hard that Bucs left fielder Bill Robinson never moved. He just looked up.

David Smith
March 12, 2013
I, like Matt and Kiwiwriter, was at the game the night the trade for Ellis Valentine was announced. It was by far the most fun I've had in 1,000 or so trips to Shea. It was the biggest crowd in a while as it was seat cushion night (mine is right here on the wall of my office) and for that reason alone the atmosphere was raucous. I like to think it was my friends and I who first discovered how loudly we could smash those seat cushions with our other hands. The entire stadium was going berserk for that reason alone. Then the game got good and the Mets started surging and the game got better and better (I think they strung together back to back hits several times!!!). It was loud, we were winning, it was fun... then on the scoreboard flashed the announcement of the trade. Again, I like to think my friends and I blazed the trail as dozens or maybe hundreds of seat cushions found their way onto the field. The Mets went on to win, it was the greatest time ever at Shea, the Mets finally showed they were serious by obtaining their biggest power threat since Tommie Agee, and the Mets were rid of that dangerous gas can, Randy Myers. I was so tired of that guy; did he ever amount to anything? Oh, and I don't recall the Mets ever having another Seat Cushion Night.

Bob P
March 19, 2013
Hey David-- thanks for sharing your memory...the game that night (May 29, 1981) was a 6-1 win over the Cubs.

But two things--first, I think you meant Jeff Reardon and not Randy Myers. Myers was traded for John Franco in 1989. Reardon left the Mets and went on to have an outstanding career first with the Expos, then with the Twins, Red Sox and Braves!

Also--when you say Valentine was the Mets biggest power threat since Tommie Agee, I think you may be forgetting Dave Kingman!

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