As markets tumble, London burns and Met starters flock to the DL, it's tough to find some inspiring news.Beating the Padres
in comeback fashion provides some relief. But even better is the story of Mike Baxter, who was called up to replace Jose Reyes and his most expensive hamstring injury.
Baxter hit an RBI double in the 8th to help the Mets overcome the Padres and save the bullpen.
Baxter is a Whitestone native with great memories of Shea Stadium. He had never been to Citi Field. In fact, he had never been back to this part of Flushing since his big game for Molloy High School in 2002:The last time Mets outfielder Mike Baxter visited the corner of
Roosevelt and 126th in Queens, the Whitestone native was playing
shortstop for Archbishop Molloy High School in the 2002 NYC Catholic
High School Athletic Association's 2002 city championship game at Shea
Baxter returned Monday as the Mets' newest callup after being claimed
off waivers from the Padres on July 22, and marked his debut with the
club with a pinch-hit RBI double off the glove of retreating San Diego
left fielder Kyle Blanks.
"It's just a crazy day," Baxter said. "The fact that I'm back, that I
got called up and the fact that we're playing the Padres is pretty
Baxter came back to his locker in the Mets clubhouse to 22 text messages
wishing him congratulations. Though he no longer resides in Queens
during the offseason, Baxter estimated that somewhere between 50 and 80
friends and family members were in attendance for his Mets debut.
Prior to his appearance in the 2002 high school championship game,
Baxter was a frequent visitor to Shea, where he cheered on shortstop Rey
Ordoñez and the turn-of-the-millennium Mets.
"We were always coming to Shea," Baxter said. "My family would take me,
my aunt would take me every year, we'd always pick out the best
promotion and come."
After leaving Molloy, Baxter attended Columbia University for a year
before transferring to Vanderbilt, where he was selected by the Padres
in the fourth round of the 2005 Draft. Baxter had surgery to repair
ligaments in his left thumb in March and was on the 60-day disabled list
when the Mets scooped him up off waivers.
Welcome to the Mets, Mike.