Former Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels, center, is escorted as...

Former Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels, center, is escorted as he arrives for his arraignment at the Queens County Courthouse. (May 11, 2011) Credit: AP

The case against a former Mets clubhouse manager who was charged in connection with the theft of nearly $2.3 million worth of team equipment and memorabilia was adjourned Friday until July 28.

Charlie Samuels, free on $75,000 bail, immediately left Criminal Court in Queens with his attorney, Michael Bachner, after a two-minute appearance before State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho.

Bachner has contended that Samuels was "authorized by the Mets" to have the gear. He said he and his client had no comment as they left the courthouse.

Samuels, 53, was arraigned on May 11 in a 21-count indictment that grew out of a gambling investigation last year. Officials said that led to the discovery of hundreds of jerseys, hats, bats, batting helmets and equipment bags at the home of a friend of Samuels. Some of the items were autographed.

Samuels is charged with first-degree criminal possession of stolen property, third-degree grand larceny, first-degree falsifying business records, third-degree criminal tax fraud and other crimes and could face up to 25 years in prison.

The Mets fired Samuels in November "for conduct in violation of club policies," the team said at the time.

Samuels, of Arverne, Queens, was hired by the Mets in 1976 and had worked as clubhouse manager for 27 seasons. He also held the positions of equipment manager and traveling secretary.