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Monday, August 8, 2011
Baxter's last Shea visit a crowning moment

By Adam Rubin

The last time newly promoted Mets outfielder Mike Baxter was on the grounds of Citi Field, he was going 1-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and playing shortstop as Archbishop Molloy defeated Moore Catholic of Staten Island, 5-2, for the city's CHSAA championship at Shea Stadium.

“It was a great day,” Baxter said. “The 17th city title at Molloy. So it was good. And the last one they’ve had.”

Baxter, a waiver claim from the San Diego Padres on July 22, was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo with Ruben Tejada to take the roster spots of Jose Reyes and Daniel Murphy.

Baxter attended Vanderbilt after high school and now spends his offseasons in Tennessee, but his parents and sister still live in Whitestone.

“Grandma, everybody, is right in the area,” Baxter said.

And he would go to Shea Stadium often as a youngster.

“I’d always come. We’d come quite a bit,” Baxter said. “My family would take me. My aunt would take me every year. We’d pick out the best promotion and come. We were always coming to Shea.”

He has some reminiscing to do with Pedro Beato, who starred at Xaverian in Brooklyn in the same league.

“I know the name real well. He was a great player in the league,” Baxter said. “I don’t think we crossed paths. I’m not sure, though. I’ve got to talk to him about it. But he was great in that league. He was a star.”

Baxter primarily will serve as a backup outfielder for now, although he does have first-base experience.

“I’ve played first all through college,” Baxter said. “I played quite a bit of first in the minor leagues.”