April 17, 2021

Coach Tony Tarasco helping Mets’ Dom Smith, Brandon Nimmo (New York Post)

Tony Tarasco played only one season for the Mets, but holds a special bond with Shea Stadium.

A Washington Heights native who is best remembered for the ball he couldn’t catch because 12-year-old Jeffrey Maier had better elevation, Tarasco — the Mets’ new outfield/baserunning coach — returned from a two-year stint in Japan to play in Queens in 2002.

The previous year Tarasco’s father, Jiacinto, who once worked as a Yankee Stadium peanut vendor, died. Among his wishes was to have his ashes spread over baseball fields on which his son had played.

“With the Mets, it was my first time returning to the big leagues and I saved his ashes just so I could say, ‘Hey pop I made it back, ’ ” Tarasco said. “I sprinkled his ashes out there at Shea to keep his spirit alive.”

Tarasco’s playing career, which also included stints with the Braves, Expos, Orioles, Reds and Yankees, ended after that one season with the Mets. He then began a major league coaching career that took him to the Nationals and for the last five seasons the Padres.

Mets first base coach Tony Tarasco works with Dominic Smith.
Corey Sipkin

The Mets, under new team…

Read “Coach Tony Tarasco helping Mets’ Dom Smith, Brandon Nimmo” at New York Post