HomeTeamsMets Bench Coach John Gibbons a Once and Current Met

 Bench Coach John Gibbons a Once and Current Met

Newly hired Mets bench coach John Gibbons played eight seasons in the Mets organization and exactly 18 MLB games (10 in 1984 and eight in 1986). Gibbons was the team’s 24th overall pick in the 1980 MLB draft. In 1984 Gibbons was set to start the season as Mets catcher but a spring training home plate collision with Phillies’ Joe LeFebvre sent him to the 15-day disabled list. He only started six games at catcher that season batting .040.  Then the Mets went and brought in Gary Carter in 1985.  Gibbons second stint as a Met in 1986 saw him bat .474 (9 for 19) but he was behind both Carter and Ed Hearn, but he has a 1986 World Series ring as he also served that season as the Mets bullpen catcher.

‘Gibby’ as he his popularly known, started his managing career (he managed the Blue Jays for 11 years in two separate stints), in the minor leagues with Kingsport in 1995. Early in his pro career Gibbons roomed with former Blue Jays GM and now podcaster J.P. Ricciardi. It was Ricciardi who brought in Gibbons to eventually manage the team. Now that he’s back with the team after being drafted 44 years ago all has come full circle.

From MLB.com news on coming back to the Mets:

“That’s where it all started as a player. The Mets gave me my first shot at my dream to play in the big leagues. It didn’t work out,” Gibbons said via telephone. “Without the Mets giving me a coaching opportunity, none of this other stuff [like working with the Blue Jays] happens. There is a pretty good bond there with the Mets. I met so many good people over the years. It’s almost kind of natural that I’m coming back.”

Rookie manager Carlos Mendoza had been the Yankees bench coach for Aaron Boone the past four seasons. Still, this is Mendoza’s first big-league managing job and having an experienced and successful ex-manager in the dugout with him will be of benefit to the manager as well as the entire team.

Manager Mendoza recently related his thoughts on what’s different now that he’s THE guy. In an in-game interview on SNY on Sunday when Steve Gelbs asked him what was different about being a manager who makes the ‘final calls’ when compared to a bench coach, Mendoza offered the following: (Edited slightly)

‘Well not only the final calls, but the conversations that as a manager you need to have with your players. You know as a bench coach you do have them, but there’s a lot of things that you are trying to care of them. You know whether it’s scheduling or logistics, you name it there’s so many responsibilities that has a manager having those conversations on the side in your office, informal, formal conversations that you know as a bench coach, I didn’t see those.’

Having served in both roles in the past Gibbons, better than most, knows what the differences are. It’s accepted knowledge that MLB catchers have an advantage as manager since they’ve seen the field from a different perspective as they crouch in foul territory behind home plate. Gibbons has already used his catcher-ness to his advantage and is sure to share his secrets with the manager and the team. Coming home to the Mets looks right and feels right. Spring training is the time when hope springs eternal.  

Mark Kolier
Mark Kolierhttps://mlbreport.com/
Mark Kolier along with his son Gordon co-hosts a baseball podcast called ‘Almost Cooperstown’. He also has written baseball-related articles that can be accessed on Medium.com, Substack.com and now MLBReport.com.


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