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Benny Agbayani, Author Brian Wright
20th December 2020 • SPORTSTALK1240 • WGBB Radio
00:00:00 00:58:55

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Host Bill Donohue begins the show welcoming former New York Mets OF Benny Agbayani who spoke about his MLB career and his time with the Mets. Later Bill talks with author Brian Wright about his new book, The New York Mets All-Time All-Stars.

Featured guest Benny Agbayani played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Mets, Colorado Rockies and Boston Red Sox and Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) for the Chiba Lotte Marines.

Agbayani made his major league debut with the New York Mets on June 17, 1998, as part of an 8th-inning double-switch in which he defensively replaced center fielder Butch Huskey during a 5-4 loss to the Montreal Expos. He made his first start and picked up his first big league hit on June 19. Agbayani led off the bottom of the first inning by singling to second base off Florida Marlins pitcher Brian Meadows. His 11 home runs prior to the All Star break in 1999 was the second-most by a Mets rookie, behind Ron Swoboda (15 in 1965). Ike Davis also had 11 in 2010. Swoboda's record was subsequently annihilated by Pete Alonso in 2019.

Agbayani is also fondly remembered by Mets fans for two clutch home runs hit during the 2000 season, earning him the nickname "Hawaiian Punch" (after the popular fruit drink). On March 30, his 11th inning grand slam against the Chicago Cubs gave the Mets their first win of the season, and a split in the two-game series the Mets and Cubs played in Tokyo, Japan. (It remained the only regular-season MLB grand slam ever hit in Japan until Domingo Santana hit a grand slam for the Seattle Mariners vs the Oakland Athletics on March 20, 2019.) Later that year, on October 7, he hit a game-winning home run in the 13th inning of Game 3 of the National League Division Series against Aaron Fultz of the Giants. Agbayani also drove in the winning run in the only game the Mets won in the 2000 World Series.