Todd Pratt is a name that is frankly forgotten in New York Mets lore. Drafted in 1985 he would make his debut in 1992 for the Philadelphia Phillies as they faced the Mets, he would go 0-for-3.
He would end up being unsigned for the 1996 season, causing him to work at Domino’s part-time to make ends meet, while also being a baseball instructor.
On December 23rd, 1996, Pratt signed a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training with the Mets. Losing the starting job, New York would option Pratt to the Norfolk Tides. Pratt would hit .301 in 59 games leading him to be promoted to the majors.
In his first official at-bat wearing a Mets uniform Pratt smashed a game-tying home run. The righty would finish his ‘97 campaign batting .283 in 39 games.
Pratt would be a low-level backup for a majority of his Mets’ tenure and New York acquiring Mike Piazza didn’t help. When the 1998 NLDS came ‘round Pratt was pressed into the starting job, replacing the thumb-injured Piazza.
The journey man came up big in game four, slamming a walk-off solo home run in extra innings, clinching the series for New York.
In game five of the NLCS, Robin Ventura hit what appeared to be a game-winning grand slam in the 16th inning, which would have sent the series back to Atlanta. Pratt (who was supposed to be running the bases) was the first Met to embrace Ventura, who was only able to touch first base. Officials gave Ventura a single and the play would be known as a “Grand Slam Single.” New York lost the series in six games.
New York would continue to re-sign Pratt over the next few seasons on minor league contracts that eventually won him the backup role behind Piazza.
Pratt would be off the team entirely but still stayed in the division, playing once again for the Phillies and ending his career in 2006 with Atlanta.
In Todd Pratt’s final game he would face the New York Mets, going 0-for-1.
276 games played over the course of five seasons formed Pratt’s stat line to be splits of .265 / .354 / .414 with a .769 OPS, Pratt hit 17 home runs and 87 RBIs during his tenure.