Welcome back to another offseason series of ‘Shadows of Shea’. Once again, we’ll use this time to reminisce about past Mets players; the obscure guys, the forgotten ones. Remember, whether they contributed to a playoff run or just simply serve as an answer to a Howie Rose trivia question, they are as part of Mets history as Seaver and Piazza. We kick off this edition with Pat Mahomes, father of budding NFL star and Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes II.
If you’ll recall, Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes II donned a Mets jersey before taking the field for a primetime game against the Cincinnati Bengals earlier this year. And while the fair weather fan may think he’s showing his baseball allegiance, many baseball fans in Queens know that he’s paying tribute to his father, a one-time met who’s relief pitching was pivotal for a playoff run.
Mahomes came to the Mets via free agency after sitting out the entire 1998 season. He went on to enjoy arguably the best period of his career during the 1999 and 2000 seasons while pitching in Queens. Mahomes made 39 relief appearances in 1999, producing a robust 8-0 record and yielding a solid 3.68 ERA. He made four more appearances during the 1999 postseason. Despite the Mets’ elimination, Mahomes posted an impressive 2.25 ERA over eight innings of work while striking out four batters.
Mahomes stayed with the Mets for the 2000 season, making appearances as both a starter and a reliever. Although his stats weren’t as fruitful as his 1999 season, he did give the Mets a winning record of 5-3, while his ERA crept up to 5.46. The Mets made the playoffs once again, but Mahomes didn’t appear on the postseason roster. He would hit free agency at the conclusion of the season, thus ending his Mets career.
Pat Mahomes’ time with the Mets will go down as short-lived, yet extremely valuable to the franchise. The 1999 and 2000 playoff seasons mark one of two times the Mets made back-to-back playoff appearances and Mahomes’ pitching during those two years was as vital as it comes.
Mahomes left the Mets and continued his MLB career through the 2003 season. He logged stints with the Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs, and Pittsburgh Pirates, putting up pedestrian numbers along the way. Mahomes finished his journeyman career pitching 11 seasons for six different teams and left the major league game with a record of 42-39 and an ERA of 5.47.
Despite leaving the MLB, Mahomes continued to play competitive baseball through 2009. He spent his next four years pitching in various minor league systems and then another four years playing in independent leagues. He spent his last season of competitive baseball pitching for the Grand Prairie AirHogs of the American Association.
Since fizzling out in the minor leagues, Pat Mahomes has gone from athlete to successful father and fan. His son Patrick Mahomes II has emerged as an NFL star playing quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are true Super Bowl LIII hopefuls while Mahomes II is a legitimate MVP candidate for the 2018 season.
Mahomes can be seen attending his son’s games, wearing the same white Chiefs jersey in superstitious fashion. He can also be heard singing his son’s praises and discussing what it’s like to have him follow in his footsteps of becoming a professional athlete. In a recent interview with KWSN, Sioux Falls Sports Radio, the elder Mahomes opened up about his son’s success and how he’s able to handle the exposure. “He’s been in a big league clubhouse or a professional baseball clubhouse ever since he was four years old...,” explains Mahomes, “...and nothing is really too big or too amazing [for him].” The younger Mahomes reciprocates this notion, citing the time he spent around his father as a major factor in staying focused and not letting any moment seem too big.
And so we’ve come full circle. Pat Mahomes the athlete is now Pat Mahomes the fan. He wears his son’s jersey, and his son wears his. And while he never became a star like his son, the senior Mahomes sure had some fine moments in Flushing, Queens. So the next time Patrick Mahomes II is mentioned for one of his star performances as a Chief, us Mets fans will recall a few of his father’s clutch pitching moments during one of the more memorable seasons for the orange-and-blue.