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Jay Payton
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Jay Payton
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Game Log Memories of
Jay Payton
Jay Payton
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 187 of 1043 players
Jayson Lee Payton
Born: November 22, 1972 at Zanesville, O.
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Height: 5.10 Weight: 185

Jay Payton was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on December 2, 2003, November 29, 2012, and November 22, 2013.


First Mets game: September 1, 1998
Last Mets game: July 30, 2002

Share your memories of Jay Payton


kevin williams
I'm writing from Jay's hometown of Zanesville, Ohio. When Jay was a freshman in high school he started out on the reserve baseball team. Midway through the season we pleaded with our coach to move Jay up to the varsity. He finally did and in the ten or so games he played with us, Jay led the team in average, homers and RBI's. Other than that, I just don't know how long you can keep a guy hitting near .400 in the minors; he's ready for a shot.

sue t
I worked with Jay's mom. I've followed his career. You couldn't find a nicer, more dedicated player. Please give him a chance to prove his talents.

Nice he may be, but we keep hearing about Jay's potential. The word potential was also mentioned with the likes of Ryan Thompson, Anthony Young, Paul Wilson, and Chris Donnells. Best of luck to you Jay, but I think you have had the hex put on you. Only time will tell. I don't think its fair that he is pushing Benny off of the team. Get rid of Henderson I say.

This guy is a professional hitter. If we hold on to him, he will be a great outfielder for the next ten years and a solid complement to the Piazza - Alfonzo dynsasty. Jay plays a fantastic center field and he has a beautiful swing. Payton's numbers will grow as he plays more and becomes a star in his own right.

All I ever heard about was Jay Payton's bat. They forgot to tell me how damn good an outfielder he is. Wow is he fast and he gets a great jump on fly balls. He needs to learn to be more patient with men in scoring position, but that will come in time. Until then, just keep tracking them down in center. Let's hope he's in center for the next 10 years.

Karen is ny name and I live in NJ. I was born and raised in Z-ville. Jayson's mother and I were good friends in high school. He comes from good stock and I only wish him the best. He is a great all around player who has been through quite a lot of adversities. He is a true survivor as he has shown. I hope he stays with the Mets until he retires.

Jay is the star of the team if you ask me. He's the best centerfielder and batter. Not to mention he's incredibly sexy. Plus, with the injuries he's had (like that jerk on the Cardinals hitting him in the head during the playoffs), he's still stayed strong and has shown what amazing talent he possesses.

Arnold Kim
The best 27-year-old rookie I've ever seen. I'm glad that it finally looks like one of the heralded mid '90s Mets prospects is starting to pan out for the team. Sure, Ordonez and eventually Izzy with Oakland did okay, but I'm glad he didn't share the same fate as Pulse, Wilson, Anthony Young, and Ochoa. Talented hitter; the swing may look awkward, but hey, you can't question the average. Has a little pop too, which I never expected, and though his arm's not great, he can really run out there in center. Got a lot of upside to him, and hopefully he'll be a fixture here for the next ten years.

April 18, 2001
ive grown to love payton over the last 2 years. my only problem is that he often seems to lack patience at the plate. especially when things arent going well, its a guarantee (generally with runners on base) that payton will pop a ball into shallow right center field on the first pitch. of course, he also jumps on fat first pitch fastballs from mediocre pitchers and can hit them pretty far. id love for him to learn to steal bases with that speed, but I guess that aspect of the game isnt all that important anymore.

Jeff Wikman
July 8, 2001
Jay has a lot of potential to be a very good everyday player. His strengths are his speed,power and defence. But if he is going to fullfill his potential he needs to be a more patient hitter that hits for a better average and cuts down on the strike outs. He is an exciting player to watch.

Butch Huskey
August 10, 2001
Is Payton ever going to learn to recognize the slider? He swings at just about every garbage slider in the dirt. I don't know why any opposing pitcher would ever throw Payton a fastball.

September 3, 2001
I met Jay about 3 weeks ago and he is the nicest person I have ever met. As for his playing, I am probably one of his biggest fans he will ever have. He does have alot of potential and will come around. If he did not get injured this season he would have been among the top 10 in NL batting averages. The Mets should not trade him, He'll come around!

Valerie Jablonski
September 19, 2001
Jay Payton... Hmmmm where to begin... He is very good looking as well as a great player offensively and defensively. I saw him in Spring traing 2001 and he gave me a memory that I will never forget in my entire life. When they were coming to the dug out from warming up I was yelling to him Hi Jay you are a great player and looked at me and gave me the baseball he was practicing with. I was sooo excited and I said thank you soo much jay and he said your welcome with an adorable smile on top of that. I think he is a great asset to the team. I saw him play in 99, when he first started out and he has improved. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK JAY!!! I LOVE YA

Janine Davis
October 2, 2001
Jay Payton is not only a good, talented player. He's also a cute one. The first time I saw him, I almost cried, because I've never seen a cute, beautiful, and very sexy baseball player.I wish him the very best. I love you so much, Jay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

October 9, 2001
I know that Jason Lee Payton is a good ball player because of his impressive background. If he can stay injury free (injuries that may keep him from playing baseball especially when pitchers hit him) and start in all or most of the games next year he will become a great asset to the Mets. I fill that if he is given more chances to play ball he will become a stronger player with heavy hitting power. Get well soon Jay, and thanks for a good 2nd half of the season. God Bless.

P.S.: They can't keep a good ballplayer down.

October 10, 2001
You want me to share my memories of Jay Payton, I will. My family was up at Shea in early April of 2000. It was freezing out but we braved the weather being loyal Met fans. It was my son and daughters first trip to Shea. We were sitting in section 9 in the Mezz and Jay hit a foul ball up there which we got. When we went to a Met game of June of 2001 at Pro Player Stadium and Jay was on the DL he was with the team working out in leftfield on his hamstring. There was no batting practice that night due to the nightly threat of South Florida thunder showers that night. I was standing in the leftfield corner with my kids who were both decked out in full Mets grab and we asked him if he can please come over when he was done with his workout and sign the ball for my kids and the left him alone. After he was done he started heading for the tunnel in the left field corner and I asked him if he could please come sign the ball for my kids. He just looked at me and walked away. No one else was even interested in his autograph. My 9 and 6 year old didn't understand why he just ignored us. Thank God John Franco. He saw what went on and came over and gave my kids another ball. Go Brooklyn... I wonder how Jay feels being the 3rd best player from Georgia Tech.

Caramel Complexion
October 10, 2001
I can't believe I'm actually taking the time to write this but here it goes... Jay is an amazing player, he is living out his dream and he is just starting... You have to give him props for working hard and for being where he is... It's not easy being a ball player, it's a lot of pressure, a lot of training and lots of days without rest. People sometimes forget that they're humans just like us, and that they have bad days just like us. Jay is very smart, has a beautiful body and he's very down to earth. His fans have to know that every single day, he'd be one of the first one's to arrive at the stadium for practice. You'd assume that I know Jay by the way I'm talking about him... well I do, and he's great! :)

October 11, 2001
If Jay is so smart then he should understand that the fans are important too. If he feels like he is having a bad day he should at least show that he cares about people who cheer for him every game. That would make him a true hero, role model by thinking of others first (it will also make him a stronger person). Those people who are upset with him may not be fans anymore.

January 17, 2002
I HATE Jay Payton. Is there a worse player on this team? For all the chances he's gotten, he's gone nowhere. The guy is like Pedro Cerano in Major League. Maybe he needs to get Jobu to help him hit the curve ball. Payton has never seen a pitch he didn't like, whether it's high or low, way inside or way outside. Please Steve Phillips, trade him before other teams realize that he has no future.

January 24, 2002
Surprised he is still here. Thought he would be gone by now and Gabe Kapler would be the new centerfielder. Still time for that, except the Rangers will demand a pitcher. (If it's Trachsel, I say don't let the door hit you in the ass, but if it's Chen?)

Jay's Philly Fan
February 26, 2002
I think Jay is a great player and he definitely shows it when he comes to play the Phillies. During his last trip to Philly last year in the second game of the series Jay hit a beautiful home run. I was very excited and happy for him but the Phillies fans in the outfield were giving him a hard time all night yelling all sorts of things at him and he just ignored them and kept playing his game. I just wanted to say keep playing your game Jay and play it well don't let anyone try to pull you down. I will pray for you and ask God to bless you and your baseball career.

Payton fan for years!!
April 29, 2002
Jay Payton where do I start? I think he is an excellent player and should be more patient at the plate. I think if he could have more days like the one he had today 3-5 against the Brewers he would do better. He should also work out with some of the other players to get advice on how to hit better. I think you're one of the best defensive centerfielders! You have to improve otherwise your spot will be given to Timo. PLEASE DONT TRADE HIM! HE'LL COME AROUND!

Jay must Go!
May 23, 2002
I can't believe the overwhelming majority of positive comments for Jay Payton on this page. He has to be the most unintelligent player in the majors. To be blunt: He's stupid! He makes the worst baserunning mistakes, throws to the wrong bases when he's in the field, and swings at balls in the dirt constantly. Just throw him a breaking ball in the dirt with 2 strikes on him and you will get him out every time! I can't believe the Mets management might have passed on the chance to get Gary Sheffield in 2001 because they didnt want to trade this guy. He has the raw talent, but he just doesnt have the brains to be a star. Get rid of him now. Jay must Go!

May 23, 2002
Jay Payton showed again last night that he has the worst instincts of any major league player I've ever seen. He makes so many horrendous baserunning mistakes, and he never seems to learn from them. He always says the same thing "I made a mistake, but I'm still going to play hard. Mistakes are going to happen." Jay, playing hard and playing stupid are NOT synonymous. You can actually play hard AND smart, moron.

Larry Burns
May 31, 2002
To the cries of, "Overrated!" Jay might have some tools, but he is too dumb to ever reach his enormous potential. He makes blunder after blunder. He swings at awful pitches especially in big spots. Overall he completely underwhelms anyone who watches him. He seems to be a big league tease---keeps you hoping that he will put it all together, but I am getting a real impression it will never happen.

June 1, 2002
This guy is a numbskull, I've never seen anyone make more baserunning mistakes in my life. Always plagued with injuries from the time he was young, he's 28 or 29 now possibly 30 years old and hasn't realized his potential yet. We should try getting something for him while his price-tag isn't astronomical.

June 28, 2002
I would just like him to relax a little more instead of everyone telling him he's not doing what he's capable of. Just let him have time to not worry so much about his status. Let him calm down and enjoy his baseball career. He's good at what he does but if we don't leave him to figure it out for himself he may not become the player he could be. He is capable of a lot. He is a great outfielder with speed and knows what it takes to be a baseball player so just give him time to believe in himself. All the media may be doing more harm by their constant talk. He's a great guy for the organization and they need to realize that. He deserves a chance just like all the other players. Let him make a mistake and learn from it. Once he can have a chance to clear his head from all the talk watch him become the player he is expected to be.

June 28, 2002
Jay is not a young kidcoming up from the minors anymore, he is pushing 30 years old and the stupidity on the base paths is inexcusable, I've seen little leagers run the bases smarter. He makes mistakes drive me crazy, he was the everyday center fielder until he showed us that he can't hit and when he does he gets thrown out while on base. Yes he was hampered by injuries but he's been here almost 3 years and he hasn't improved, he still makes thesame dumb mistakes. Sorry- this guy is a career A- Ball player.

Larry Burns
July 2, 2002
I agree with you Kell, everyone should learn from their mistakes and that is what is so frustrating about Jay. He does not seem to understand or learn from some of the biggest boneheaded moves of the recent era. His failure to touch second base after he rounded it on a caught flyball was little league in nature. More disturbing, he has NEVER admitted it was a goof---he almost seemed to want to defend it. To be honest, I am not sure if he knows why he was called out, he seemed that unsure of it. Major league talent, corky sized brain.

July 19, 2002
MORON! MORON! MORON!!! I'm watching the Mets-Reds game. This Idiot gets a base hit and once again gets picked off at first base, and then has the nerve to smile after he's thrown out. What good is it if he's hitting now? He never stays on the bases. Of course Ordonez gets up and gets are hit. They ended up getting one run, and of course the Reds tied it up the next inning. Good goin' Jay you flaming moron. If they lose by one run I would bench your ass, and you can smile on the bench jerk!

July 24, 2002
Dig This: According to Muscle & Fitness Magazine, Payton has baseball's "best body." If only his muscles were in his brain...

July 26, 2002
He is one of the best Mets on the team right now getting hits and being on base which is what we need . He improved his patience at the plate. He is great in the outfield what more do you want? I believe he has proven time and time again he is good at what he does now let him play baseball!

Mr. Sparkle
August 1, 2002
The Gregg Jeffries of the outfield. Jay had a great deal of potential but never quite lived up to it. He was a streaky player who seemed to have more valleys than peaks. For some reason, I still liked him despite not really doing what we all thought he was going to do. Now he can go play with his old buddy, Benny Agbayani, that is if Benny can find his way back from the minors. I wish him well.

August 3, 2002
Jay Payton is one of those guys that you just hate to see go. he is partly responsible for the Mets second- half turnaround. He has been hitting great and he is an awesome defensive center fielder. Not to mention... he is so much better than Burnitz and the disappointing Roger Cedeno.

Mrs Met
August 3, 2002
I know Jay had concentration problems sometimes, however he was getting in a groove and I was very surprised and saddened by the trade.... I think he is better than what we got for him...played the best centerfield of anyone we had... I'll never forget him...he was a good MET.

December 19, 2002
Payton did well the Rockies that last part of the season. He did play a good centerfield. The problem is that like so many Mets prospects, he has poor fundamentals. The Mets coaching and minor league development is terrible. Thus, the few prospects who come through stink with the Mets, but once they leave prosper (Isringhausen, Terrance Long, Kent, Remlinger, even Paul Byrd!). Jay Payton will have a nice short career with the Rockies now.

Gregory Gewirtz
April 1, 2003
Jay made his debut with the Mets in September 1998, but was actually recalled for a few games in May or June that year. I don't remember the circumstances why he was recalled for a couple of days and then sent back down, but I remember it was during a weekend series vs. St. Louis in which at least two games were rained out. Payton, coming off Tommy John surgery, was supposed to start one of those games at first base.

Payton was a victim of inconsistent playing time. When he played regularly, he hit, but Valentine was the sort of manager who was averse to allowing a young guy to play through a slump, and would have rather sent out Benny Agbayani to go 1 for 4 then allow Payton to develop with regualr playing time. It was a shame that Valentine didn't play Payton more at the end of the 2001 season, when we were out of contention anyway, and I wished Payton would have had a longer trail with the Mets in 2002, when Timo started taking away his at- bats a month into the season.

Tom Shannon
March 21, 2005
Am I the only person in the world that thinks Jay Payton is a huge sack!? He's just another one of those frustrating Met failures that haunts my dreams. So much hype, so little talent. Why are the Mets cursed?

Jay makes me angry. Everyone said, "Ooh yeah, Jay Payton, give that guy two years and he'll be a .300, 15, 80 guy." Right, so 6 years later he still sucks just as bad as he did with the Mets. We should get him back for no reason; it make perfect sense in Mets' La-La land.

March 31, 2005
Look back at older comments about Jay on this site - you will see that I trashed him quite regularly - enough that he actually personally emailed me to sarcastically thank me for my comments. I complained about his bone-headed base running skills, so I answered him back that if he ever learns to run the bases correctly and in a smart manner I'll apologize. I'm sure you can guess that I never had to apologize to him.

April 4, 2005
For better or worse, what I remember most about him was showing a nationwide audience an ignorance of one of the basic rules of baseball. In the WS vs. the Yankees Game 1 he hits a ball that spins around in foul territory behind home plate, keeps spinning until it goes into fair territory - catcher tags him out in the batters box. Payton looks at the umpire and points to foul territory - apparently unaware that a ball that goes from foul territory into fair is in play! Lucky for him, that play that was overshadowed by Timo Perez's home-run-jog-turned-out-at-home the same game.

Jonathan Stern
April 4, 2005
I remember how freaked out I was when Jay was plunked on the head towards the end of the 2000 pennant-clinching game. Payton didn't fall. But he almost charged the mound in a rage. Payton takes less kindly to being hit then most players. I think it has something to do with a minor-league injury.

I also remember Payton hugging Liza Minneli after she sang "New York, New York" during a post-9/11 game. If I'm correct, this was just before she got remarried.

Mr. Sparkle
April 14, 2005
I remember that beaning in the NLCS as well. I didn't think it was on purpose, I just wanted to get the game and the series over.

Payton was a tease. Great prospect, many injuries that set him back, and then finally when healthy, a very average player who couldn't run the bases. Like so many others, not the "jewel" he was supposed to be.

July 11, 2005
Payton was a September call-up in '98 and '99. In 2000 he emerged as the centerfielder, finishing third in the rookie of the year balloting. His 2001 season was only mediocre as he played through a hamstring injury. In 2002 he was traded to the Rockies for basically nothing. Unfortunately Payton's miscues defined him as a Met more than his good plays did.

January 4, 2006
I've been following Jay as a fan for years. I'm seventeen now and I've been a huge fan of his since I was 10. I was so upset when I found out he was traded from the Mets and then upset when he slumped the year in San Diego after his career year in Colorado. People don't realize that Jay did well out of Colorado in his career season. More than half of his home runs were away from Coors Field, but people only look at the negative. I've gone from a Mets fan to a Rockies fan to a Padres fan to a Red Sox fan and now to an A's fan, and I'm still proud of Jay. He helped turn around the A's immediatley after being traded to them and I commend him. Jay is truly a great player, and from what I hear, he's also one of the nicest. Unfortunately I have never had the pleasure of meeting him, but he just seems like a gentleman. It was a great having him in New York and I wish him the best. I hope he does amazing just to shut all of you critics up!

Mike B
December 12, 2006
I never understood why Jay wasn't a better hitter. He had the shortest, most compact swing I've seen in a while.

Jared K
June 12, 2007
Oh man, what could have been! He's had a solid career despite being injury-prone. It seemed with the Mets, if he farted too hard, he'd be on the DL.

Jay did well for the team during the 2000 playoffs. What sticks out is his homer off of Mariano Rivera in Game 2 of the 2000 Subway Series, setting in motion that almost miraculous, yet shortfallen 6 run comeback in the 9th.

I wish him well in Baltimore this year!

puddin head
August 4, 2008
So the trade deadline came and went and the Mets never tried to obtain Payton? Like their outfield situation does not need any improvement or anything? What did Baltimore see in him last year when they signed him for a little less than $10 million?

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