Mets hire former player Tony Tarasco as first base coach

The New York Mets have hired Tony Tarasco to be their first base coach, bringing the former outfielder back to the franchise where he ended his playing career.

The Mets revealed the hiring Wednesday. The 50-year-old Tarasco will take over for Tony DeFrancesco, who is moving to a new role as senior advisor for player development and scouting.

Tarasco was born in Manhattan and is one of 139 players to play for the Yankees and Mets, but he’s best known in New York for a play in the 1996 AL Championship Series when he was with the Baltimore Orioles. Tarasco was chasing Derek Jeter’s long fly in right field when 12-year-old Jeffrey Maier reached over the wall and deflected the ball into the seats. Umpires ruled it a home run, and the Yankees went on to win the series.

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Tarasco played in 60 matches for the Mets in 2002, his final season as a big leaguer.

Tarasco has worked in the San Diego Padres farm system the past five years, counting as a manager with Class A Lake Elsinore and a coordinator for outfield and baserunning. Prior to that, he was a minor league coach in the Washington Nationals organization for 10 seasons.

Earlier this offseason, the Mets named Dave Jauss as bench coach, replacing Hensley Meulens. The Mets aren’t expected to reveal their full coaching staff until next week at the earliest, but it’s possible there will be further additions and reassignments, according to a club source.

On a recent Zoom call, Rojas stated pitching coach Jeremy Hefner will return, and it was expected hitting coach Chili Davis would be back. Rojas’ 2020 staff also included Gary DiSarcina (third base), Ricky Bones (bullpen), Brian Schneider (quality control), Jeremy Accardo (assistant pitching) and Tom Slater (assistant hitting).

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