Sandy Alderson answers questions during a press conference after being...

Sandy Alderson answers questions during a press conference after being introduced as the general manager for the New York Mets. (Oct. 29, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

John Alderson, 87, the father of Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, was struck by a car and killed Saturday night in St. Petersburg, Fla., the team announced last night.

Alderson was in the midst of preparing for this week's GM meetings in Orlando, with a second round of managerial interviews on the agenda, but it is uncertain how much he will be involved after the tragic event.

Alderson, in a statement, described his father, a retired Air Force pilot, as "healthy and vibrant." Alderson's dad was a veteran of three wars, serving in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

The news comes only two weeks after Alderson, 62, was introduced as the Mets' GM, and he expressed his grief at not being able to have his father take part in the next exciting step of his long baseball career.

"Our entire family is devastated by his loss," Alderson said in a statement. "He was a beloved father and grandfather who will be deeply missed by all of us. He and I shared many baseball experiences over the years and he was excited about spring training and Opening Day at Citi Field.

"I am terribly saddened that we will not be able to share those new experiences together.''

Alderson had been working seemingly nonstop since taking the Mets' job, crisscrossing the country for his duties in New York and his teaching responsibilities at Cal-Berkeley. The past week had involved hiring another front-office executive, Paul DePodesta, and moving through a list of 10 managerial candidates.

Alderson told Mets officials that he will interview the Cardinals' Jose Oquendo Monday in Orlando, as scheduled, but they were unsure of his plans for the remainder of the week.

"We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Sandy's father," chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said in a statement. "We've asked Sandy to take whatever time he needs as it relates to this terrible personal loss. Our thoughts are with the Aldersons at this difficult time.''

Hurdle out for Mets. With the Pirates reportedly set to name Clint Hurdle their manager today, his candidacy for the Mets' position has ended.

Hurdle had been expected to be a finalist with the Mets. That basically makes it a two-man race between Terry Collins and Bob Melvin heading into this week's GM meetings, where Alderson had planned to wrap up the second round of interviews with an eye toward announcing the winner before Thanksgiving, according to a person familiar with the situation. It is unclear how much that timetable has changed, however.

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