Former Mets reliever Jeff Innis passed away today at age 59, as announced by the team. Innis had been battling cancer.
Innis pitched 360 Major League innings from 1987-1993, with all seven of those seasons in a Mets uniform. The right-hander was a 13th-round pick for New York in the 1983 draft, and he was a Met almost from start to finish in his professional career, aside from spending the 1994-95 seasons in the minors with the Twins, Padres, and Phillies farm systems.
“He loved the fans and never shied away from any autographs,” Mets team historian and VP/alumni public relations Jay Horwitz wrote. “Jeff Innis was just a decent and humble guy who never made a big deal that he was a major league player. Jeff was proud of the fact that the Mets were the only team he played for in the big leagues.”
Innis was something of a throwback even in his era, as a submarine pitcher who relied on soft contact and keeping hitters off-balance. The results were undeniable, as Innis had a career 3.05 ERA and became a workhorse of New York’s bullpen. Only three pitchers in all of baseball appeared in more games from 1991-93 than Innis, who took the mound 212 times.
We at MLB Trade Rumors pass on our condolences to the Innis family, and Jeff’s many friends and fans.
As a Met fan, Innis was a quality relief pitcher. Didn’t blow guys away but was reliable. My condolences to his family. I hope he was able to spend his last days among his loved ones
Fever Pitch Guy
Thoughts and prayers.
So sorry to hear this. My condolences to the family.
Rip Innis… cancer sucks
Yes it does. Lost my wife a couple of years ago. Would not wish any form on even my worst enemy…..
R.I.P. Mr. Innis. May your family eventually find peace.
Prayers to the family and sorry for your loss gozurman. My wife got sick in 18 and nearly died. This site was a key component in my life then and the distraction and well wishes were amazing.
Sorry for your loss gozurman1. I feel your pain . My wife died almost 17 years ago. She was a great blessing, and I still miss her terribly. Thank God for my children!
RIP…was glad he was able to get home at the end
Good dude. Still remember him signing before games for kids at Shea. R.I.P
Lee Mazzilli for HOF
Was going to say something on that. I was one of the kids and went to alot of games around that time. Always out there friendly down to earth. While other players were going to their cars him and wally Whitehurst would be out there till the last fan. RIP
It doesn’t feel like it’s been nearly 30 years since he was pitching in the majors. Does anyone remember why he retired abruptly? Seemed to still be effective, was used regularly and was only 30 his last season.
Lee Mazzilli for HOF
Just I vague memory but think he started to have elbow issues.
So sorry to hear this. He had a rubber arm and was vital to the Mets team in the late 80’s.
Jeff Innis was a good one.
The word hate rarely gets spoken from my mouth but I REALLY HATE cancer. I know many of us feel the same.
Sorry to hear this. One of the best MR I saw play
I remember meeting Jeff with my dad on Long Island. Really nice guy. He will definitely be missed.
Jeff gave the Mets some great innings back in the day. Rest easy, Mr Innis.
Jeff Innis used to give pitching lessons here in Northern Georgia. My boys started doing lessons with Jeff at a time when they were ready to quit baseball because of a string of terrible coaches. Most coaches do their best to make sure baseball is not something kids would ever enjoy. Jeff was a difference maker for our family. He recognized that my boys needed to have fun. So he would end every lesson early so we could have a fun game. My kids are good ball players and will be playing at the next level because Jeff taught them to have fun. I love the guy. My kids have not had a lesson from Jeff for years due to the cancer but when we happened to bump into Jeff, both boys jumped up and gave him a big hug. Jeff definitely had an impact on my sons and many others in this area. Jeff is a Hall of Famer in my mind.
Prayers for his family
this is so sad only 59 years old rest in peace i remember jeff very well
I have had the pleasure of getting to know Jeff over the last few years as such a personality at Mets Fantasy Camp. He was a good pitcher, but a great human being, so much heart and going over the top to make anyone and everyone feel included. Such a great friend. I will miss you, I-man.
Effective guy who never got much respect, even though all he did was get guys out.
For a couple years it seemed like every time there was a call to the pen it was Innis
His delivery fascinated me as a kid. Had no idea he went to U of I, I wonder how many MLB players have come from there. My guess is not many.
I pray for peace for his family.
1 Corinthians 55-57…
Here’s a great article on Innis. https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/jeff-innis/
Holy Spirit, fill the Innis family with Your Presence.