In honor of the “Polar Bear” Pete Alonso and him breaking the New York Mets franchise home run record, I decided to do this new edition of #ThrowbackThursday on one of the players he had just passed to accomplish this feat, Todd Hundley.
Todd Hundley was honestly my first favorite player, as I started watching baseball and the Mets at about 11 years old, the 1995 season. Then of course Hundley turned in his powerhouse year in 1996 in which he hit .259/.356/.550/.906 with 41 home runs and drove in 112 RBI’s.
Born in Martinsville, Virginia, the son of former Major League catcher Randy Hundley would be drafted by the New York Mets in the second round of the 1987 MLB June Amateur Draft. Hundley was drafted out of Fremd High School in Palatine, Illinois.
The switch hitting catcher would make his Major League Baseball debut three years later on May 18th, 1990, in which he went 1-4 against the San Diego Padres. Hundley didn’t play much that year as he only accrued 67 at-bats in 36 games and hit .209/.274/.299/.572 with 6 of his 14 hits being doubles.
Todd began to break-out during the 1994 strike-shortened season where Hundley hit .237/.303/.443/.746 with ten doubles, one triple, 16 home runs and 42 RBI’s in 91 games and 323 at-bats. He picked it up a notch and continued to hit well in 1995 after a late start to the season and ended the campaign batting .280/.382/.484/.865 with 11 doubles, 15 home runs and 51 runs driven in.
After his historical season in 1996, Hundley experienced an elbow injury in 1997 which would cut short another solid campaign for the New York Met catcher. He would still manage to turn in a season of batting .273/.394/.549/.943 with 21 doubles, two triples, 30 home runs and 86 RBI’s in 132 games and 508 at-bats.
Unfortunately, he would never return to form for the Mets and once Mike Piazza caught a ticket to Flushing, Queens, Hundley would eventually become the odd-man out after a miserable experiment in left field.
He would eventually catch on with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1999 and would give the boys in blue, two decent seasons before returning back to Illinois to play for the Cubs for two years, as well. He would play his last game in 2003 back in a Dodgers uniform before hanging up his cleats and catchers mitt.
After Pete Alonso broke the home run record, Todd Hundley was quoted saying this, “To me, he’s more than a power hitter, he’s a pure hitter. I have seen five or six of his games and he keeps getting better and better. He has just had a tremendous year. Congrats, Pete you deserve all the records you have broken.”
With the Mets, Hundley played parts of nine seasons in Flushing and hit .240/.323/.438/.761 with 118 doubles, seven triples, 124 home runs while driving in 397 runs in 829 games and 2549 at-bats. The power hitting catcher finished his career with 202 home runs and 599 RBI’s in 14 seasons.
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