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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Jeff McKnight had big ML start, then worked to get back; Saw six seasons in bigs; Passed in 2015

Jeff McKnight spent two weeks with the Mets in 1989, his first two weeks in the majors. In 12 at bats, he got three hits.

Once he returned to AAA Tidewater, McKnight set about working to get back to the bigs, according to The Newport News Daily Press.

"I came back here having learned a few things," McKnight told The Daily Press. "But the biggest thing was just to try to play my game and hope it's good enough to get another call from the majors."

McKnight did get another call, but it had to wait until the next year. By the time his career was over, McKnight had gotten that call in a total of six seasons.

McKnight's career began in 1983, taken by the Mets in the second round of the January draft, out of the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. McKnight is the son of former major leaguer Jim McKnight.

He played his first year at short-season Little Falls. He hit .217 in 39 games. He stayed at single-A through 1985, playing at Columbia and Lynchburg. He made AA Jackson in 1986, hitting .252, then hit AAA Tidewater in 1987.

McKnight, though, didn't get called up to Flushing until that stint in 1989. Then, at the end of the year, he was released.

Signing with the Orioles for 1990, McKnight started at AAA Rochester. He also got 29 games with the Orioles, getting 15 hits in 75 at bats. He also got his first home run.

McKnight got into another 16 games with the Orioles in 1991. He then signed back with the Mets for 1992. In 1993, McKnight then got his first regular time in the majors, staying up the entire year.

In 105 games in 1993, McKnight hit .256 with two home runs. He hit his first home run in May.

"That's what we're supposed to do," McKnight told The New York Times of that home run, speaking of the reserves. "We're supposed to stay ready and when we get a chance, we hope we can do something positive."

He hit his second home run in September, a pinch-hit, three-run shot.

McKnight returned with the Mets for one final season, in 1994. His time, though, went down to 31 games. He got just four hits in 27 at bats. His final game came in the final game of the year, the last one before the strike began.

McKnight isn't recorded as playing in 1995 or 1996. He then is listed as returning in 1997 for 44 games at independent Columbia, then 10 final games in 1998 with independent Newark, ending his career.

McKnight passed away in March 2015 at the age of 52 after a long battle with leukemia.
1990 CMC Tally
Cards Featured:
785/880 - 89.2%
Players/Coaches Featured:
Made the Majors:
543 - 68%-X
Never Made the Majors:
5+ Seasons in the Majors:
10+ Seasons in the Minors:

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