Originally published Feb. 13, 2012
Dave Liddell walked to the plate in the top of the eighth that day, June 3, 1990, for his first major league at bat, his Mets down 8-1.
the first pitch he saw, Liddell knocked a grounder up the middle for a
single. A walk, a fly ball and a wild pitch later and Liddell came
around to score New York's second run of the day.
After a bottom of the inning with Liddell behind the plate, the game ended in the ninth, with Liddell on deck.
For Liddell, that last out marked the end of his game, season and career, not even two innings after it began.
Liddell never made it into another major league game. He also never made a major league out, his career line ending up consisting of one at bat and one hit.
Liddell's path to that game began in 1984, taken by the Cubs in the fourth round of the draft, out of Rubidoux High School in California.
Liddell started at rookie league Pikeville, getting just three hits in 46 at bats. He stayed in rookie ball for 1985, hitting .231 in 104 at bats.
He started 1986 at single-A Peoria. By July, he was with the Mets at single-A Columbia, traded there with another minor leaguer for Ed Lynch. In August, Liddell hit a three-run home run in a 10-4 Columbia win.
made AA Jackson for 10 games in 1987, not getting extended time there
until 1989. He also got his first look at AAA Tidewater in 1989, returning there for 1990.
that one brief call-up to the Mets, Liddell hit just .212. Liddell
played two more seasons, with the Brewers and Orioles organizations,
ending his regular playing career.
in a regular career that lasted nine seasons, in only one stretch did
Liddell hit higher than .270. That was in 26 games at single-A Reno in
1988, when Liddell got 23 hits in 79 at bats, for a .329 average.
His major league average ended well above even that, at an even 1.000.