NY Mets Old Timer's Day Candidate: Lee Mazzilli
Lee Mazzilli, a New York City native, was one of the few bright spots for Mets fans during the late 70s and early 80s. He became the first Met to homer in an All-Star game, doing so in his first and only appearance at the event in 1979. Due in large part to his New York City roots and good looks, Mazzilli was a fan favorite during his first tenure with the team from 1976 to 1981.
Mazzilli would return to the Mets via a midseason trade in 1986, serving primarily as a big bat off the bench. Perhaps his biggest contribution to the team came in the 1986 World Series. His lead-off pinch-hit single in the 8th inning of Game 6 sparked a rally that led to Gary Carter bringing him home on a game-tying sacrifice fly. He began another rally in Game 7 when, with the Mets trailing 3-0 in the 6th, he hit a one-out pinch-hit single. The Mets went on to score three runs that inning before taking the lead for good in the 7th.
Mazzilli's contributions to the organization during some of their darkest years and later what appeared to be their darkest hours makes him deserving of an invite to Old Timers' Day. It's about time the "Italian Stallion" made his way back home.