Michael Conforto's journey to the World Series is 'surreal'
Everyone knows by now that the 2015 Mets were assembled on the fly from all sorts of places, from Atlanta to Detroit to Triple-A Las Vegas and points between. But nothing quite matches the journey of Michael Conforto, who until late June was toiling for the Class A St. Lucie Mets. Tuesday night, he started Game 1 of the World Series in leftfield. Conforto is 22.
"Surreal is a great way to describe it," he said Monday as the team prepared for the Series. "It's all happened so fast. It really just feels like yesterday I was called up and was playing my first game in the big leagues [July 24].
"From that day to here feels so short and so quick. I'm trying to enjoy it and take in as much as I can, but I definitely feel prepared and ready to go."
Conforto was only 1-for-15 in the postseason entering Tuesday night, with the one hit being a home run. But so far, manager Terry Collins is prepared to stick with him.
He went 0-for-2 Tuesday night with an RBI on a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning and was replaced in the inning for defensive purposes.
"Not very often do you start out the year in A-ball and end up in the World Series," Collins said. "He's in a unique situation, and he should be very proud of how hard he worked this year, and the fact that he gets this opportunity."
Conforto made his major-league debut at Citi Field against the Dodgers, going 0-for-3 with an RBI. He played in 56 games during the regular season, hitting .270 with nine home runs and 26 RBIs.
Last year, Conforto was watching Game 7 of the Royals' World Series loss to the Giants in a Redmond, Washington, restaurant with his mother, Tracie Ruiz-Conforto. (She won two gold medals and a silver as a synchronized swimmer in the 1984 and '88 Olympics.)
Now he has become only the third person to play in a Little League World Series, College World Series (for Oregon State) and major-league World Series, following Ed Vosburg and Jason Varitek.
"That's pretty cool, absolutely," he said of the postseason "Triple Crown." He said he and his father -- former Penn State linebacker Michael Conforto -- had wondered before he was drafted in 2014 whether anyone else had pulled it off.
"They get a little bigger as you go up, I guess, but this one takes the cake," the younger Conforto said. "The feelings are similar, that's for sure. But it's completely different when you're at the top of your sport. This is it, the highest level in the world in your sport. Thinking about that is pretty cool."