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Friday, June 24, 2011
Endy happy to be healthy, see Mets

By Adam Rubin

Endy Chavez has never been to Citi Field, but he has seen it on TV. And he knows the 16-foot wall in left field -- barring a change in the dimensions -- will prevent anyone from duplicating his leaping catch to take away Scott Rolen's would-be homer in the sixth inning of Game 7 of the NLCS.

"I'm pretty sure that catch, they're not going to be able to do it again," said the 33-year-old Chavez, now an outfielder for the Texas Rangers. "I'm going to keep that forever."

Chavez was traded after the 2008 season to the Seattle Mariners in the three-team, 12-player swap that brought J.J. Putz, Sean Green and Jeremy Reed to New York.

"Definitely, I wasn't expecting that," Chavez said. "But it's a business, and they did the best for the team."

In Seattle, Chavez suffered a knee injury in a collision with Yuniesky Betancourt. He required major surgery in July 2009, including the microfracture procedure, to address ACL and meniscus tears. He did not return to the majors until this May. He made a cameo in the minors last summer with the Rangers, but was dealing with continued right knee woes.

"I think it was too soon to be back," Chavez said. "I hurt my knee again and had to step back."

Josh Hamilton is playing center field on Friday night for the Rangers, but Chavez should see the majority of the action in the near future at  that position. He was hitting .435 through 13 games (11 starts), but is currently in a 2-for-22 rut.

"I was hungry to play baseball, to be back," Chavez said about his quick start. "I was excited to be back in the majors."

He warmly embraced Jose Reyes as the teams overlapped taking batting practice Friday.

"Three or four years I didn't see those guys," Chavez said.

As for the catch, Chavez said: "Oh sure, that's a special moment, especially when I had the best moment of my career in New York. That was a special moment in the playoffs for me. That's the only playoff that I have in my career. How can I forget that? I know the fans are not going to let me forget that. They remind me of that every day."