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Rick Aguilera
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Rick Aguilera
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Memories of
Rick Aguilera
Rick Aguilera
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 144 of 1043 players
Richard Warren Aguilera
Born: December 31, 1961 at San Gabriel, Cal.
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Height: 6.05 Weight: 195

Rick Aguilera was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on December 31, 2011.


First Mets game: June 12, 1985
Last Mets game: July 30, 1989

Share your memories of Rick Aguilera


Michelle Paz
I first noticed Rick Aguilera during the 1986 season. I was 13 years old and thought, "Oh my gosh, this guy is hot!!!" Statistically speaking, in my opinion, Rick was average as a Met pitcher, but to me he was the ultimate cutie! Now he's playing for the Chicago Cubs, and I still think he's good-looking, but I have to wonder: "What's up with that beard thing?" He looked better without it.

I will always remember Rick Aguilera giving up the home run to Dave Henderson in the top of the 10th in Game 6 of the '86 Series. It felt like someone shot me in the stomach. I've never had a worse feeling watching any sporting event. The situation was dire....until the miracle two-out comeback. The Mets wanted to make Aguilera into a closer and he cried about it. They finally trade him to the Twins and he becomes a premiere closer, helping the Twins win the '91 Series.

March 18, 2001
Unlike most Mets prospects, especially pitchers, this is one guy who didn't receive a lot of hype and turned out to be a 16-year vet.

Was the one Mets pitcher they should have batted 8th and put Santana 9th.

This guy could hit.

Danny Erickson
November 24, 2001
I was disappointed when the Mets traded Rick away. He was only in the infancy stage of becoming a great relief pitcher when all of a sudden, he was gone.

Cheeba Wilson
December 20, 2001
The most vivid memory I have of Rick Aguilera was the final week of the 85 season when the Mets had to sweep the Cardinals in St louis. They had won the first two games of the series in dramatic fashion and Aguilera was to start the final game. Well he gave up a two out single to Vince Coleman I believe in the third innning or so and the Mets went on to lose the game 4-3. That one still hurts. He also would have lost us the World Series in 86 had it not been for the Bob Stanley wild pitch.

February 1, 2002
My enduring memory of Rick Aguilera will always be Bob Murphy's drawn out pronunciation of his last name: "STRUCK EEEM OUT!! AH-GEEEEEE-LAIR-UH!!"

June 13, 2002
This guy could hit. Looking back at some of those teams in the late 70's he probably could have cracked ths line up. Hated to see him go. Thought they gave up to much for Frankie V. Looking back on that I still think they gave up too much!

Larry Burns
June 18, 2002
He definitely hit better than he pitched, which was a major problemo with the Rickster. Although Frankie V was his own disappointment I never felt Rick was going to live up to his billing in NY. Overall a good trade.

October 25, 2002
I waited on line for an hour and a half to get Rick Aguilera and Dave Magadan's autographs at a Ford dealership. At the time, I was excited at getting my 1987 Topps Dave Magadan "Future Stars" card signed, and brought along another Topps card for Aggie to sign. Little did I know that Aggie would become one of the most consistent closers of the 1990s. Even so, I doubt my signed 1988 Topps Aguilera card would fetch more than a couple bucks from even the most devoted fan. Still, it's a nice memory of youth, baseball card collecting, and standing in a long line in the hot summer sun.

Between Tapani and Aguilera, the Viola deal was a stinker. Viola had half a good season with the Mets (first half of 1990), while Tapani and Aguilera went on to have fairly long and successful careers elsewhere. The Twins were welcome to take Dave West though. From what I recall, West used to tip his pitches.

Jeff In Florida
July 22, 2003
Banger... I was at that Ford dealership as well. All I can remember is that is was somewhere on Long Island. The strange thing was Aguilera had pitched the night before and gotten injured. He wore a cast on one hand and signed with the other!

Mr. Sparkle
April 1, 2004
I never felt real comfortable with Aggie. He was an OK pitcher who never seemed to get over the hump as a Met or just couldn't pitch in a big spot. He turned out to be a very good closer for the Twins but as a Met, despite decent numbers, was always so-so and not someone I wanted to see with the ball in a big game. Maybe that's because he pitched behind Gooden, Darling, Ojeda, El Sid and Cone. Aggie was the odd man out of that group. But, he was definitely the best hitter of the bunch. He was a good enough hitter to play every day. He also to me seemed like a whiner.

Joe Figliola
April 9, 2004
Rick Aguilera was a poor man's Ron Darling, which wasn't bad for a Mets staff that made pretty good player investments for most of the 1980s. Despite shoulder problems, he was strong in '87. He might have been able to help the Mets repeat had he been healthy the whole year.

He also was a great hitting pitcher, an intangible that is sorely missing from the '04 roster! WIth that in mind, Rick should've remained a starter!

Bob P
April 15, 2004
I think I could be convinced that of the five Mets starters in 1986 (Gooden, Darling, Ojeda, Fernandez, and Aguilera), Rick had the most successful career. Let’s look at some comparisons:

Doc essentially had two careers: through 1991 he was 132-53 (.714) with a 2.91 ERA (league ERA was about 3.50); he had 57 complete games, struck out 1,541 batters in 1,713 innings, made four all-star teams, and won a Cy and a Rookie of the Year. Second career (1992-2000): 62-59 (.512), ERA 4.45 (similar to the league ERA); 11 complete games, 752 Ks in 1,987 innings, despite playing most of this time for the two dominant teams in the AL (Yanks and Indians). And let’s not forget the trips to the clinics and his “forced vacations.”

Darling was 72-38 between 1984-1988, but just 64-78 the other eight years of his career. Ojeda had a slightly better than league average ERA, and finished his career 115-98 but was certainly a victim of bad karma Sid was ahead of his time---a six-inning pitcher when everyone else was pitching nine! He had 25 complete games in 15 years in a period when the studs completed 25-30% of their starts

Aggie had 318 saves in his career, putting him in tenth place all time. He pitched for 16 solid seasons, and got another ring with the 1991 Twins after saving 42 games for them during the season, then five more saves and a win in the postseason. I’m not sure Aggie had the best career of all of them, but it certainly was the most consistent. You could make a strong argument that the guy that was an afterthought on the 1986 Mets staff was the one who had the most rewarding career.

June 23, 2004
The most agonizing part of the Aguilera-Viola trade was that Rick was one of the final pieces to the Twins Championship teams. Frankie V was mediocre at best but he was a New York guy through and through, and I love him for it. But Aguilera was so damn dominant during those title runs with the Twins!

Jeff In Florida
July 1, 2004
It should be noted that in 1989 before the Viola trade Augilera seemed to find his place in the Mets bullpen. I don't know what got into him that year but being used in relief he struck out about 80 or so in about 68 innings and was becoming an excellent reliever.

Jonathan Stern
November 6, 2005
The number one Rick Aguilera Mets memory: on the bench, head in hands, after he gave up the homer to Dave Henderson. Call it The Agony of Near-Defeat.

Then, the kindly old Boston manager, John McNamara, offered to get Rick off the hook. And, of course, Messrs. Carter, Mitchell, Knight, and Wilson took him up on his offer. You know the rest. If I were Rick, I'd have bought McNamara a steak dinner by now.

The "number one" memory (and some of the above comments) notwithstanding, I think we all could see that Rick had talent. Well, almost all of us. Evidently, the Mets front office didn't. So they sent Aggie to the Twins as one of the three in a three-for-one and he became their World Series-winning bullpen ace. Call it The Agony of Mets Fanhood.

Stu Baron
June 12, 2007
On June 6, 1986, I was visiting a buddy in Pittsburgh, and we attended the Mets-Pirates game at Three Rivers Stadium, and Rick hit a homer off Jose DeLeon, one of 3 he hit as a Met. One of the best arguments against the DH rule, with Walt Terrell!

As an aside, Pittsburgh's a great place to see a game; the famous "confluence" makes for great views!

Shickhaus Franks
January 1, 2009
During the '86 season of clinching celebrations, Aggie recalled about how his Brigham Young baseball teams celebrated by spraying caffeine free 7-up on each other. Of course, like other great Mets pitching prospects, he flourished and became a lights out closer.

January 11, 2011
A high school girlfriend of Rick's married the son of a friend of my family and in 1985 I saw him at Candlestick Park and mentioned her name. He invited my dad and I to meet him by the bus after the game and we did. He was the greatest guy! He talked to me and my dad for at least 30 minutes and helped me get autographs from Doc and Darryl. One time I was in the stands during batting practice and I yelled to him in center field. He looked up, saw me, and came jogging over.

We talked at least once a year until he got traded - the worst year of my life. All in the span of one year, my three favorite players got traded - Aggie, Wally, and Nails. What a crappy year. I still haven't recovered. I will never forget the times when I was twelve and was able to talk with such a great guy. I wish I could thank him now.

community chest
March 26, 2011
Loved Rick. A dependable fourth or fifth starter who had a bad start in '86 but came on strong in the second half of the season. Got bailed out in the immortal Game 6. Broadcasters had an inexplicably hard time pronouncing his name. Bob Murphy pronounced it Aggie-lera; Vin Scully pronounced in Ag- wi-lera. Ironically, Ralph Kiner got it right: Ag-you- lera.

Gary Teichrow
December 6, 2012
Played little league with Rick when I was 12 years old on the Roco's Arco team in West Covina, CA. He was quite a pitcher as I recall and had good stuff even at that age. I believe his father was the coach and he was great as well. Watched him play a bit at our high school. Me and my family always got a kick out of watching Rick play in the pros on TV but only got to see him once in Anaheim later in his career.

November 22, 2015
One of the lesser-known Mets from '86, Aguilera was part of a rotation that led the team to a championship. He served as a solid fifth starter to provide an extra day of rest for Gooden, Darling, Fernandez and Ojeda. Rick was the only Mets pitcher to hit a home run (he had two of them) during that title year. He was also an effective closing reliever for the Twins' World Series winner in 1991.

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