Waits was having a heart attack. And Lawrenson was credited by The Daily News with getting emergency crews there, saving Waits' life.
"He had been complaining of some chest pain before," Lawrenson told The Daily News. "It didn't take an awful lot of thinking to figure out what to do."
Lawrenson was going into his third year as the Mets' head athletic trainer in 2003. He became the top trainer in the organization, working with the top players in Flushing, having started with the organization back in 1986.
Lawrenson served as trainer that first year at rookie Kingsport, joining the Mets as a graduate of Liberty University. Lawrenson moved to the Lynchburg Mets in the Carolina League, then St. Lucie in 1988 and Jackson in 1989.
For 1990, Lawrenson became trainer at AAA Tidewater. By 1996, Lawrenson was the Mets' fitness coordinator. By 1998, Lawrence was assistant trainer with the top club, watching over Mike Piazza after the catcher suffered a mid-season mild concussion.
During the 1999 NLCS, Piazza suffered his fourth mild concussion in a year and a half. Lawrenson told The Daily News Piazza could continue playing, the concussions hadn't been severe.
"What he did was no more dangerous than an outfielder diving for a ball and having his head jostling around," Lawrenson told The Daily News. "It's the same damage."
Lawrenson became head trainer in 2001. In February 2003, Lawrenson talked to The Westchester Journal News about one of the less visible parts of his job, ensuring his players and coaches wear sunscreen.
"We have six bottles of sunscreen on the counter and we go through them every couple of days," Lawrenson told The Journal News. "Most of the guys know what's at stake."
Lawrenson continued as head trainer for the Mets through 2004, when he was let go. More recently, Lawrenson has returned to his alma mater Liberty University, serving as associated athletic trainer covering baseball and men's soccer.
- New York Daily News, Oct. 17, 1999: For Mike, Beating Goes On
- USAToday, Westchester Journal News, Feb. 26, 2003: Skin cancer a major topic at spring training
- New York Daily News, March 10, 2003: Wakeup Call For Baseball Health Issues Spotlighted
Cards Featured: 593/880 - 67.4%
Players/Coaches Featured: 604
Made the Majors: 406 - 67%-X
Never Made the Majors:198-33%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 173
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 128