David Wright may have been the face of the New York Mets in the 2000s, but Jose Reyes — the dynamic, Dominican-born shortstop with blazing speed — was the team’s heart.
On this day in béisbol, Aug. 28, 2003, the switch-hitting rookie, just 20 years old, proved he had some pop in his toolbox, too. He became the youngest player ever to homer from both sides of the plate in a 3-1 win over the Braves in Atlanta.
Batting right-handed, Reyes hit a solo shot on the fifth inning, then won the game with a two-run blast from the left side in the top of the ninth.
A fan favorite in his 12 years with the Mets, Reyes returned to New York and wrapped up his 16-year career there in 2019 after three seasons in Toronto and another in Colorado.
Also on this day: In 2001, Alex Rodriguez became the second shortstop and ninth player ever with 40 home runs in four consecutive seasons. The first was Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, who did it with the Cubs from 1957 to 1960.
— Robert Dominguez
Robert Dominguez is the author of “Bronx Bummers: The Unofficial History of the New York Yankees’ Bad Boys, Blunders and Brawls” and writer of the upcoming “El Salón: The Trials and Triumphs of Baseball’s Latino Hall of Famers.”
Photo: Arturo Pardavila — Under Creative Commons License