Former Mets reliever Innis dies at 59

January 31st, 2022

Jeff Innis, a right-handed reliever who spent his entire seven-year career with the Mets, died Sunday after a long battle with cancer. He was 59.

Known for his side-arm delivery, Innis pitched for the Mets from 1987-93 after being selected in the 13th round of the 1983 MLB Draft out of the University of Illinois and posted a 3.05 ERA over 360 innings. He made 212 appearances across 1991-93, ranking fourth in the Majors in that stretch.

“He loved the fans and never shied away from any autographs,” wrote Jay Horwitz, the Mets’ vice president of alumni public relations. “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 receiving treatment at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, but after his cancer began spreading rapidly, his wife, Kelly, organized a GoFundMe to fly him home to Georgia so he could spend his final days in hospice care surrounded by his loved ones. The GoFundMe raised more than $75,000, and Innis passed away Sunday in Dawsonville, Ga.

Innis was able to attend Mets Fantasy Camp at the team’s Spring Training facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla., this past November.

“I was around him a lot at Fantasy Camp and he never once mentioned he was sick,” said former big league reliever Turk Wendell, who spent five seasons with the Mets. “We had a lot of laughs together. We talked about our different pitching styles. What a sad, sad thing.”