David Aardsma has seen it all. He’s pitched in countless ballparks during a 14-season career in which he had played for 27 major- and minor-league teams.
Team No. 28 is the Ducks.
“My goal is to get back to the big leagues, absolutely it is,” said Aardsma, who has pitched for the Yankees and Mets. “I think anybody here that says it isn’t is probably lying.”
The 6-3 righthander recalls his time with the 2013 Mets, watching rookie phenom Matt Harvey.
“A lot of [guys] come up, have all the talent in the world and all the stuff,” Aardsma said. “[Harvey] throwing 99 or 100 miles per hour was special regardless, but the way he did it with location, I’ve never seen a young pitcher at that age come up and have such good accuracy with such good stuff.”
Aardsma, 35, moved around from team to team before finding his way to Central Islip.
He pitched in one game for the Yankees in 2012 and 43 with the Mets in 2013, and played with only one major-league team — the 2009-10 Seattle Mariners — for more than one season.
In nine major-league seasons, the reliever was 16-18 with a 4.27 ERA. His 69 career saves all came for the Mariners.
It’s hard to figure whether Aardsma has flown more miles or played with more teammates.
“You don’t have the affiliation with the teams, but you have the affiliation with the players,” Aardsma said. “So you stay close to those guys. With the Yankees, Joba Chamberlain and I became really close. So you end up following them wherever they go.
“Every game I’m looking at, I’m not necessarily looking at ‘oh, the Yankees beat the Braves.’ No, I’m watching who pitched for the Yankees, who played for the Yankees, and you follow those guys.”
Such is life for Aardsma, someone who has seen the sport from many different perspectives and still has an undying love for it.
His newest perspective finds him looking at the game from the shiny confines of Bethpage Ballpark.
Along with new grass and LED field lights, the Ducks brought Aardsma into the fold earlier this month to solidify a bullpen that they hope will help bring them a fourth Atlantic League championship.
And as long as Aardsma remains with the club, he is up for the challenge.
This is where Atlantic Leaguers, especially the ones with extensive big-league resumes, wear two hats.
On one hand, they want another shot at “The Show.”
On the other, they want to win games and find themselves holding a trophy at the end of the year, no matter where that is.
“I’m here to win,” Aardsma said. “I’m here to pitch and show my stuff, but every day when we’re shaking hands and high-fiving, that’s a great day . . . Here, you get to play for all 30 teams every night.”
And, of course, the Ducks.
Sunday: Ducks at Southern Maryland, 2:05 p.m.
OF DAVID AARDSMA
28 teams in 15 seasons
2003: San Jose Giants (A)
2004: SF Giants, Fresno Grizzlies (AAA)
2005: West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx (AA), Norwich Navigators (AA), Mesa (Arizona Fall League)
2006: Chicago Cubs, Iowa Cubs (AAA)
2007: Chisox, Charlotte Knights (AAA)
2008: Bosox, Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA)
2009-10: Seattle Mariners
2011: Tacoma Rainiers (AAA)
2012: Yankees, Tampa Yankees (A), Staten Island Yankees (A), GCL Yankees (Rookie)
2103: Mets, New Orleans Zephyrs (AAA), Las Vegas 51s (AAA)
2014: GCL Cardinals (Rookie), Memphis Redbirds (AAA)
2015: Atlanta Braves, Gwinnett Braves (AAA), Oklahoma City Dodgers (AAA)
2016: Buffalo Bisons (AAA)
Fast fact: David Aardsma is No. 1, ahead of Hank Aaron, on Major League Baseball’s alltime alphabetical listing.