I’m actually a fan of Kirk’s, even before his amazin’ three-home run game, I’ve been a fan and I had high hopes when it came to his potential. I was lucky enough to work with the formerly known Las Vegas 51’s and I would have the privilege to just bump into players often. (Odd fact, their batting cage was on the cusp of the outside of the stadium so it wouldn’t be a rare thing to bump into a Matt Reynolds or Dilson Herrera while heading into work.)
So the first time I’d bumped into him was not as an employee with the 51’s, however I’d often go to games because hey! I live in Las Vegas and I frakkin love my Mets. So, like the mark (obsessive fan) I am, I would wait outside of the clubhouse for 1-2 hours after the games to catch some autographs for me and friends.
I told Kirk, “you’re the ‘poor man’s Jim Edmonds”and he was kind of visibly shocked by my statement and then I continued to explain that I meant that in a great a way, he laughed and said “I know, but I don’t know if I’m that good”. Just a really cool dude, in my honest opinion.
Nieuwenhuis appeared in 263 games while donning the Orange & Blue and slashed at .235/.309/.395/.704 with 83 runs scored, 38 doubles, 3 triples, 17 home runs and 71 RBI’s with 12 stolen bases in 595 at-bats, which roughly equates to a full 162 game season. He also has an awesome head of hair.
The Mets Junkies family would love to wish Kirk the best of luck in the next chapter of his life.