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Kevin Elster
vs. the Mets
Kevin Elster
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Game Log Memories of
Kevin Elster
Kevin Elster
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 50 of 1043 players
Kevin Daniel Elster
Born: August 3, 1964 at San Pedro, Cal.
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Height: 6.02 Weight: 180

Kevin Elster was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on August 3, 2006, May 31, 2010, May 6, 2011, December 9, 2012, and December 27, 2012.


First Mets game: September 2, 1986
Last Mets game: April 12, 1992

Share your memories of Kevin Elster


Mr. Sparkle
December 21, 2000
He was a pretty decent player but I think he may have cared more about chasing skirt than ground balls. All things considered I can't say I blame him.

February 14, 2001
Was too impressed with himself to work on improving his game. Learned his lesson too late. Talk about a guy who had a promising future.

March 17, 2001
A top 10 Mets dog. Talented but unfocused, he was a major contributor to the team not building on its success of the mid '80s.

April 2, 2001
When he felt like it, he had the quickest hands of any infielder. Didn't he set a record in the late 80's with his streak of error-less games? Yeah, yeah, his shoulder gave out in the end, but the guy was just too damn arrogant and nonchalant about his game. He should win a Mets award for Biggest Waste of Talent Not Due to Drugs.

May 2, 2001
Played shortstop like he was on demerol. Announcers called him smooth. I called him lazy. Was a major rally killer. Actually saw him hit into two 1-2-3 double plays with the bases loaded in one series. Still can't believe he hit 3 HRs in one game at PacBell Park last year.

June 1, 2001
I think all of you have a problem with knowledge of this game. Elster was the probably the best fielding shortstop next to Ozzie Smith but when you hit .200 everyone thinks you can't field. Wake up people.

Leo Foster
June 8, 2001
Best fielding shortstop next to Ozzie Smith? You must be joking. In order to get into Smith's class you have to have extraordinary range. Elster had very little range at short. Sure, he had good hands and made the routine plays. But his inability to get to balls deep in the hole drove me nuts. Rey Ordonez is twice the defensive shortstop Elster ever was, and he only hits .200.

June 20, 2001
I cant remember if it was 1988 or 1989, but in a spring training game against the baltimore orioles in Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, Kevin Elster hit a homer in a 7-4 win that I had the priviledge of catching, at the time I was only 9 or 10 years old and was my favorite player.

Blue Crew
July 11, 2001
I'm a Dodgers' fan, so my favorite Elster moment is non-Mets related. Picture it: Opening Day at the S.F. Giants new stadium, Pac Bell Park. Kevin Elster whacks 3 home runs, Dodgers win, and he singlehandedly wipes the smiles off the faces of all those Giants' fans. I'll always love him for that. Thanks, Ellie!

July 29, 2001
My best memory of Kevin Elster is how he filled out his uniform. What a stud! I could hardly focus on his playing because he was just too gorgeous. All those guys who got to share a clubhouse and shower with him were really lucky!

November 1, 2001
All I know is that he was one of the best fielders I have ever seen.

Just because he is smoothe does not mean he is lazy. He did set the record for most errorless games in a row in the NL. Every Team he played for won.

He shows up to the Rangers, and they win the divison for the first time. He leaves, and they lose. He comes back the next year and the win it again.

Hollywood Joe
November 12, 2001
Aside from his 99rbi season with the Rangers, clearly his definitive accomplishment on any field was his role as the Twins shortstop in Little Big League [you know, the one with the kid as the manager?] - Elster must have put his real career on hold to do this movie...and no, he wasn't one of the CELEBRITY MAJOR LEAGUE cameos, he actually was an actor who was chosen for the movie.....what a bum.......

November 28, 2001
So, Toby, what you are saying is the reason the Texas Rangers won their division in 1996 and 1998? Elster was so good in 1998 that the Rangers had to trade for Royce Clayton to replace him. Elster had a total of ZERO ABs in the 1998 ALDS against the Yankees. And to blow another hole in your theory, the 1999 Rangers won the AL West without Elster. I think players like Ivan Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez, Will Clark, and Rusty Greer probably had a bigger hand in the success of those Texas Rangers.

And yes, Elster was LAZY. I can't think of a single time Elster ever left his feet diving for a ball. And his range was pitiful. Don't put a lot into that errorless streak with Elster. It just proves he could pick the ball up and throw it to first.

November 29, 2001
Anybody recall when he charged the mound? I forget who drilled him, but it was back in May 1990 if I'm not mistaken.

Danny Erickson
January 12, 2002
I look back and remember how Kevin was a pretty lousy hitter with the Mets. It's amazing how he rose from the dead with the Texas Rangers. Kevin was a product of the 1980's. A time when ballplayers were good. That's why he feasted upon the piss-poor pitching of today's game.

January 17, 2002
Kevin Elster remains, to this day, my favorite Mets player ever. And while Wagner and Smith fans may argue against my theory that Elster is the greatest shortstop ever to play the game, surely all would agree that he is by far the best looking player ever.

Little Big League was a great movie by the way.

And for all the guys who are gagging right now, relax. I know how ridiculous my statements are, but I can't help it, I'll always love Kevin Elster. I've got to be the only one who keeps his rare 1986 rookie card (all his other rookies were made in 1987) in a glass case under lock and key. I think it's worth like $6. Oooooooh.

January 17, 2002
Elster was a joy to watch. SMOOOOOTH. Not Ozzie Smith, not Rey, but a great-handed shortstop. Hell, if Phillips really wants to work some magic this off- season he should pick Elster back up. We need middle-infield backup!

flushing flash
January 20, 2002
The Yankess have invited Kevin Elster to spring training this year as a non-roster player. This guy has more lives than a cat.

Mr. Sparkle
January 21, 2002
Please don't make the Yankees!!! Once again Steinbrenner gives a dig to Met fans by trying to revive an ex-Mets career. I HATE them!!!! Please don't make the Yankees!!!

flushing flash
January 23, 2002
Mr. Sparkle -- Elster already played for the Yankees once before. I think he went something like 0 for 21.

March 10, 2002
So he's trying another comeback...this time with the Skanks. Why oh why does the Bronx have to be an old folks home for former Mets? Ellie, man, just retire once and for all and quit embarrassing yourself.

Bob D.
December 6, 2002
I was at that game in 1990 when Elster charged the mound after being either hit or brushed back. I don't recall the opposing pitcher, but I just shook my head and said that the team was just totally out of control. I think that may have been the last straw, as Davey Johnson was fired a day or two later.

Jim Snedeker
December 11, 2002
I just heard a story that during a 1986 game against the Padres, Kevin was in the clubhouse shagging one of the Padres' girlfriends. Any truth to that? (Talk about smooth!)

December 18, 2002
Jim-- yes, that story is true. It was recounted in Bob Klapisch and John Harper's notorious book: The Worst Team Money Could Buy. It wasn't in '86, though, it was later.

November 11, 2003
Kevin Elster was a good defensive shortstop but I really don't think he was as good as Bud Harrelson. Also, he didn't have the agility that Rey Ordonez had. He was never thought of as a strong hitter in the minors until he hit over .300 at AAA in 1987. That had me believing that he would be a decent major league hitter and perhaps that Mets shortstop for the next 15 years. He never lived up to his potential. Did you realize that in game 6 of the 1986 World Series, Davey actually let him hit with two outs in the 7th. You're seven out away from losing the WS and you let a guy who hit .269 at AA and was 5 for 30 with ZERO RBI's in the big bat in such a critical situation? Can anyone explain this?

Bob P
November 27, 2003
A couple of comments...first, Elster statistically was an "average" shortstop in the field. His range factor and fielding average for his career were both just barely above the league average. So while he looked smooth (as many have said) his stats say he didn't get to a lot of balls that the really good fielders did. FYI, Harrelson and Ordonez both had better range factors and fielding averages compararble to the league averages.

Secondly, in the Game Six situation, Davey had already pinch-hit for Santana in the 5th inning with Danny Heep (that's when the Mets tied the score at 2-2). There were two outs and nobody on and the pitcher's spot up next when Elster batted against Clemens. From what I recall watching at the time (I know, 17 years is a long time for a precise memory) I wasn't surprised that he didn't send a pinch-hitter up there. His choices were Mazzilli (who at that point in his career was a singles hitter), HoJo (who would bat for Elster in the ninth inning), Ed Hearn, who never pinch-hit, and the righty platooners, Mitchell and Teufel. All these years later it seems like it would have made sense to send HoJo up there against Clemens since HoJo used to murder hard throwing righties, but again, I don't recall second-guessing Davey at the time. Maybe someone else can shed some more light.

November 27, 2003
I remember when he was with the Yanks in '94 and '95 I thought he was never going to get a hit. When he finally got a hit with them in '95 I remember he asked for the ball. I also remember in 2002 when he was trying yet another comeback (also with the Yankees) someone asked him why he was trying another comeback. His answer was something like "3 divorces."

August 10, 2004
I remember him as a fine defensive shortstop and was truly amazed when he had 99 RBIs in Texas. Somebody must have been tanking it.

Despite his underachieving, he had a quote in the Klapish-Harper "Worst Team Money Could Buy" book that I liked. He'd go to the mound in a tough situation and tell the pitcher to just let the guy hit a ground ball. "Give me love and I'll take care of you," he said.

I say that to people when they need my help on projects at work or at home, as part of explaining to them that they have to support me with the material I need to do the job and let my bosses know I did a good job after it.

Odd source, but there it is.

August 20, 2004
My favorite Met growing up, because of his defense at short. The perfect guy to bat eighth and play short in the 80s.

Let's ignore an errorless streak, using the stat that has been used for decades in favor of a flawed stat like range factor? Okay, sure buddy.

He was with some Padre's girlfriend? Good for him. Everyone wanted the guy.

March 29, 2005
Does anyone know what he's up to now? Last I heard he was opening some restaurant in Vegas but that was a while ago. I keep waiting to hear his name pop up in some Spring Training talk, maybe trying to catch on with another team!

April 5, 2005
Too bad he couldn't stay healthy! He was smooth on defense and hit enough. Thought Davey Johnson and all should have hit him 2nd in the order. He would have been a better hitter seeing better pitches! Batting before the pitcher most of his career didn't help! His re-hab gave him power towards the end and he had a great season with the Rangers.

Jonathan Stern
April 13, 2005
Was it rehab that enabled Elster to have that great season in Texas? Or was it steroids? That's the way baseball is right now. You just don't know about anyone.

Elster was injured too soon for many of us to enjoy him and his defensive prowess. Many of his throws from shortstop resembled shaky "flutter-balls" launched by aging quarterbacks. And he never was much of a hitter for us. However, he did and still does have that "1986" manner about him, for better or for worse.

Tom Shannon
April 13, 2005
Does anyone remember how much Fran Healy used to love this guy....even on routine grounders Fran would always say, "Elster.....DO IT!"

That got really annoying; especially when we'd be losing to the Pirates 3-0 in the 7th inning with Zane Smith pitching a 2 hitter. Just having to see Elster come to the plate in those games made me nauseous.

Tom Guadagno
May 21, 2005
I have a signed official baseball by Kevin Elster my father got at a Met game many years ago. My friends say it is worthless but I remember Kevin Elster from the 90's and I don't care. It means a lot to me to have his autograph.

June 3, 2005
For what its worth, we loved him here in Texas. Some for his offense, others for his looks. All I can say is that I never saw or experienced any of egotistical aspects of his personality. It may have to do with the fact that he was getting a "2nd chance" to resurrect his career with the Rangers which he did quite well the first time around. He wasn't the reason we got to the division title but he definitely had a lot to do with it. He may not have the range or power of A-Rod or Ozzie's smoothness but he gave 110% every time I saw him play. I'm sure he did come across a little too laid back but it was that type of personality and confidence that kept him from committing "rushed" errors when the game was on the line. I always knew when it hit his glove that it was a sure out.

One of my last memories of him was with the Rangers and it wasn't on the field either. He stopped in at a local pub after a game wearing surfer shorts and flip- flops talking to everyone that had something to say to him (as well as the ladies). He may have been an ass in his early years with the Mets but we truly enjoyed his new attitude in Texas. It isn't very often players will open themselves up in a public place immediately after a game. I call that down-to- earth.

August 24, 2006
It was so great seeing him this past weekend during the 86 reunion. That was a lot of fun. I was dying to get his autograph but I couldn't get anywhere close enough. I was also dying to ask him to marry me but I thought, hey, perhaps just an autograph would be more appropriate! Very cool ceremony none the less, so amazing to see the whole team back together.

Mr. Sparkle
September 8, 2006
He was one guy from 86 during the 20th anniversary that I totally did not recognize. He totally let himself go. He looks like he probably drinks a case of beer a night.

Joe Figliola
October 4, 2006
I agree with Sparkle-puss about Elster's appearance. The only thing that looked different on Kevin at '86 night was how thin his hair was. I thought Sparkly's beer belly remark, however, was a bit insensitive. You can get a gut drinking alcohol or soda or through inactivity. As Tony Randall once said: "Never assume, because when you assume you..." oh, you know the rest.

Frank Grimes
October 25, 2006
Interesting debate over how Elster got his gut. Knowing the way those guys partied back in the 80's, I'm betting Mr. Sparkle is right. He was supposedly one of the bigger partiers. Still, Elster was a solid shortstop with great hands. He came up on the last day of August in 86 and took the ride to the World Series without being a big part of it. He was pretty solid for several years after that.

November 1, 2006
Leave Kevin alone. It's bad enough he was a so-so player with the Mets. All of the sudden everyone is knocking him about how he looks. Stand in front of your mirrors and compare yourself to twenty years ago. Lets see how gracefully you have aged.

Joe Figliola
November 18, 2006
I think we all wish that our favorite Mets players could remain forever young. It seems that those who haven't seen Elster for a long time expected to see that skinny kid with the layered hair parted in the middle. Unfortunately, time and inactivity sometimes changes you; however, there are those (such as myself) who can still look in the mirror and through hard work can proudly say that they still weigh the same and still have all his hair as they did 20 years ago.

Lamar Vanoy
December 8, 2006
Elster was overrated as a player. He was a good but not great fielder and he couldn't hit a lick, at least not for the Mets. He was a party animal and fit in well with those 80's Mets.

July 5, 2007
We were chatting about Kevin yesterday at the 4th of July bash at his aunt's house so I decided to 'Google' his name just for the heck of it and stumbled upon this site. Kevin and my boyfriend are cousins (their moms are sisters), and we were all saying how GREAT Kevin was looking these days! Though my boyfriend is 5 or 6 years older than Kevin, of all the cousins, and they have a huge family, they look the most alike. (Very handsome!) Obviously, this is an FYI for all the women who commented, I'm sure you guys could care less and I don't know enough about baseball stats to even pretend to opine about his game! (I did see that SF game with the 3 homers and that was amazing! He's earned his place in the baseball history book for that alone... have you?) So Ladies, he is looking good these days.

Dave Harper
September 28, 2007
Kevin was a friend of mine in Dallas when I got to play "back-up" for him on the Rangers' team. He was both a great player and a genuinely great guy! I blew my arm out there after only two months. I would like to find out how to write him an e-mail.

Mrs. Spunky
August 28, 2008
Funny to read comments from the ladies about how gorgeous Kevin Elster was and supposedly is. I must really have cared more about the game. He was undoubtedly the best shortstop to come through Lynchburg. He never reached his potential in the majors but he was fun to watch as a fielder...and he must have been pretty cute, too.

October 27, 2008
Good fielder (not outstanding), but never developed as a hitter the way the Mets hoped and the way he probably should have.

He'd have a week or two stretch were you couldn't get him out and then go into the longggggest slumps. Good guy, but man, he killed a lot of rallies.

December 19, 2008
The media hype was so much for Kev back in the 80's. That errorless streak made the announcers compare him to Ripken and Ozzie.

I wish I can say that I have found memories of him, but most of the time he seemed to get injured, and never reached his potential. Seems overrated like Rey Ordonez, come to think of it.

His Texas fluke career reeks of HGH.

February 25, 2010
I just have to say, I love how this dialog is still going after all these years! Someone has to get Kevin to drop by one day and leave a comment! I'm getting a new Mets jersey made up with #21 "Elster" on it. I have to because every other time I buy a player jersey they either go down for the season or get traded. I can't jinx anyone else's career so this is my only option. So if you see an Elster jersey at CitiField, you'll know it's me!

July 13, 2010
I just want to say that I LOVED Kevin when he played with the Rangers. I found this site while searching for him and had to leave my 2 cents worth! Yes, he is cute, but was also a great player in Texas. I'm sorry his play went downhill!

January 9, 2011
Kevin is a good friend of a friend of mine and I can't even get an autograph from him, despite the fact that I am a diehard Mets fan since 1984. I am needing only 6 autographs to complete the 86 Mets team and his is one. From what I hear, Kevin is totally against signing autographs or doing anything along those lines.

I remember seeing him in Candlestick Park and telling him that the friend said hello - remind you that he is a VERY good friend - and Kevin simply said "Ok, tell him hi." His blood pressure didn't rise a bit. Perhaps if the friend was a girl it might have been different. I can't help but think that his relationship with Mex and the girls was part of the downfall of the Mets - that and the abysmal trades of Wally and Nails. Damn Cashen - should have stuck with what was working!!!!

January 4, 2013
I worked for the Tides when Kevin played in Triple A. At first he seemed to be very stand-offish to me but one of the other players told me that Kevin was always afraid that people only wanted to get close to him because he played professional baseball. Since our birthdays were only two days apart I had Chuck, the bartender in the stadium restaurant, make me Kevin's favorite drink as a birthday gift on the night of the last home game before the team went on the road. It was in his locker when the game ended. Kevin came to the office and thanked me. When that road trip was over I returned to the office after the first home game and found a whiskey sour waiting for me as a birthday gift. After that night Kevin was great toward me and always had time to talk about non-baseball items. Perhaps the secret was that I never asked anything of him, not even an autograph. When he went to the Mets and they came down for an exhibition game Kevin always came to the office to say "Hi". To this day he remains one of my favorite people.

T. O'Toole
January 23, 2013
As a 25+ year film veteran, I worked with Kevin Elster during the summer + autumn of 1993 on the film Little Big League shot in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN. He was a decent, funny guy. Not all the current and former players appearing in the film [at that time] were. Leon Durham was super cool. Sandy ALomar, Jr. was super funny. Sure, Kevin was a ladies man, but he showed up every day and worked hard. As a life-long baseball fan it was fun to share memories with him over a beer or three after work. He'd ask me about movie stars I worked with; I'd ask him about pitchers he hated to face. Everyone wants to know about something else. Hope he is well.

August 29, 2013
I was 9 when the Mets won in 86 and Kevin was my favorite right from when he was brought up. I just scored a 91 Home pinstriped game-used jersey and I couldn't be happier.

If anyone has any game-used Elster Mets items, please let me know.

lengthwise at gmail

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