It’s opening day 1996 at Shea Stadium and Rey Ordóñez‘s major league debut playing shortstop for the Mets. He makes it memorable with a throw from his knees to home plate while in shallow left field.
Three years earlier, Ordóñez defected from Cuba during the Summer Universiade in Buffalo, New York. The Mets won the rights to sign him in a 1993 lottery drawing among the MLB clubs. He spent a few years in their minor league system, earning a reputation as a defensive wiz kid.
In the top of the 7th of Opening Day the Mets are trailing St. Louis 6-3. The Cardinals have Royce Clayton on first base with two outs. Ray Lankford hits what looks to be a run-scoring double to left field off of Mets pitcher Jerry Dipoto.
The New York Times said that Ordóñez’s throw was 150 feet. The Mets rallied to win the game 7-6, including a single by Ordóñez. He would play for the Mets from 1996 to 2002. While never hitting much at all, Ordóñez would win three straight Gold Gloves from 1997-1999.