It was a special celebration at the annual Welcome Home Binghamton Mets Dinner on April 7 at the Binghamton Holiday Inn Express as former (2009) Cyclone manager Pedro Lopez returned for his fourth year at the helm to challenge his team to repeat their 2014 championship.
Hosting the event for the Binghamton Mets, Director of Communications and radio announcer Tim Heiman introduced Lopez to the assembled B-Met assembled faithful. “It’s about pride and defending our championship this season,” said the fourth year manager who now ranks first in the Double-A Eastern League with a total of 669 career wins.
After dwelling in the division’s lower half for many years, Lopez brought the team to a first place finish with a record of 86-55 in 2013, only to be eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. Despite the first round elimination, Lopez was still named the 2013 Eastern League Manager of the Year for his efforts to turn around the franchise with the best winning record in recent years.
In 2014 Lopez nearly matched his previous season record with an 83-59 record accompanied by strong mid season run despite losing key players to Triple-A Las Vegas and the New York Mets. With another first place finish, the B-Mets got back to the playoffs with the season’s rallying chant of “Six More Wins”– the number of post season games needed for a championship.
The B-Mets finally got their “Six Wins” for the 2014 championship after advancing in the first round and with a final three game sweep this past September. Recognizing Binghamton’s past economic recession and the area’s rebuilding efforts from recent river flooding, Lopez told the evening’s audience, “We finally gave Binghamton what they deserve – a championship season.”