This post first appeared on BaseballDigest.com
There is a long line of ballplayers who have put in time with the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox. From hall of famer Tom Seaver and future hall of famer Pedro Martinez, to obscure players like Josias Manzanillo and Ricky Trlicek. In all, nearly 100 players have put in time with both of these clubs. As these two teams face off for the final spring training game of 2009, it seems appropriate to take the time to remember the Wayne Housie Era.
As spring training winds down, teams are finalizing their roster sand optioning players to various minor league destinations. For Wayne Housie, that destination was usually Double A. Entering 1991 it looked like another season at the AA level, but Housie showed some ability to consistently hit AA pitching. He was promoted to the Triple A Pawtucket Red Sox and hit even better at the highest minor league level. He hit Independent League pitching with a .329 batting average in 21 games before finally being called up to the Red Sox in September of that year.
Housie did not have a significant stretch of playing time with the Sox, but he did fill in with late inning defensive replacements, pinch-running and pinch-hitting well enough during his 11 games. His first appearance was pinch-running for Jack Clark in a close game with the Orioles. He had his first, and ultimately only, career stolen base. It was another 5 games before he would get his first career hit. His more significant contribution as a member of the Red Sox came a day later, when he executed a perfect sacrifice bunt that moved Steve Lyons into scoring position. Lyons stole third base and later scored; giving the Sox an insurance run in an eventual 7-5 victory.
His Mets tenure was similar to his time in Boston, with late inning appearances and the occasional at bat. He would appear in more losses than victories, but the ’93 Mets were hard pressed to find a win at all. They finished with 103 losses!
After spending three seasons at the AAA level or the major league level, Housie found himself back in a familiar place. Like 1990, Housie spent the 1994 season with the Double A squad of New Britain in the Red Sox system. Perhaps sensing a fleeting chance of success, Wayne Housie dabbled with pitching and playing shortstop during the 1994 season. Unfortunately, hitting .224 for the season marked the end of Wayne Housie’s second stint with the Red Sox. He would give it one more try in the ’95 season, playing independent ball with the Sonoma County Crushers. He collected a few hits in a few games for the Crushers, but it wouldn’t be enough to get him another chance at making it to the big leagues. For some players today, they too are hoping to extend their time, even if it’s with the AA team or the Sonoma County Crushers!