Selected by Tampa Bay in the November 1997 expansion draft (during his honeymoon, no less) Mecir pitched well for the Devil Rays but fractured his elbow in a freak collision with teammate Rick White the following May. The injury ended Mecir's season early, but he recovered the next year and became one of the most sought-after relievers on the trading block that July. Tampa Bay eventually dealt him to Oakland for hot prospect Jesus Colome, and Mecir settled in as one of the A's top setup men, filling in at times for inconsistent closer Jason Isringhausen.
One of Mecir's main weapons was a screwball, making him one of the few right-handers in baseball history to use the pitch, following in the footsteps of Christy Mathewson and Mike Marshall.
A Queens native who grew up rooting for the Yankees, Mecir made his major-league debut in Yankee Stadium in 1995 during a cup of coffee in Seattle. After the season, he was sent to the Bronx with Tino Martinez and Jeff Nelson in a deal that brought Russ Davis and Sterling Hitchcock to the Mariners, but he spent most of his time in Triple-A Columbus. He was sent on to Boston in August 1997 and a few months later the Sox left him unprotected in the expansion draft.
Mecir was born with two club feet, a condition that required two surgeries before his tenth birthday. Even though an atrophied right calf muscle left one of his legs an inch shorter than the other, he was one of the quickest pitchers in the majors. (JGR)
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»May 1, 1996: The Yanks and Orioles continue their marathon play, this one going five hours and 43 minutes before ending at one a.m. Tino Martinez, whose homer snapped yesterday's tie, slugs a grand slam in the 15th to give reliever Andy Pettitte the win. Bernie Williams has five hits while Gerald Williams collects 6—just the 2nd Yankee to get six in a game; Myril Hoag in 1934, is the other. The O's and Yankees strand 15 runners in extra innings, as both teams squander scoring opportunities, and New York survives four errors by two second basemen. Jim Mecir strikes out Brady Anderson with the bases loaded in the 10th after going to a 3–0 count. Cal Ripken is lifted for a pinch runner in the 8th—who is promptly picked off—and sits for the last seven innings, the longest stretch he's rested in 2,180 games.
»May 12, 1999:
Tampa Bay P Jim Mecir suffers a broken elbow when he and P Rick White get tangled while shagging batting practice balls before the Devil Ray's game against the Twins. He will be out the rest of the season. Minnesota defeats Tampa Bay, 9-4. Mecir had a 0-1 record with a 2.61 ERA in 17 games.