100 Moments: Blocker Makes the Big Leagues
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
100 Moments: Blocker Makes the Big Leagues

The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® series continues by remembering one Tennessee State Tiger who made it to the show.

In 1981, outfielder Terry Blocker became the first and only TSU alum to get drafted in the first round of the MLB draft. The New York Mets selected Blocker with the fourth pick in the draft - two picks behind Joe Carter, but two rounds ahead of Tony Gwynn.

The Colombia, S.C. native came to Tennessee State in 1979 and immediately started as a freshman. In 42 games he was seventh in the nation in stolen bases with 40, scored 59 runs and hit .360.

He followed his freshman campaign by knocking in 28 runs while still increasing his average. However, his truly breakout year came during his junior season- a season in which he played only 32 games but still managed to hit 11 home runs, three triples and batted .402.

Blocker's junior season would be the last time he suited up for the Tigers as he traded TSU blue for Mets blue when the club selected him with its first pick.

Like many draftees, Blocker spent his first year playing professionally in the minor leagues. He roamed the outfield alongside Darryl Strawberry and Billy Beane while with the Mets' AA affiliate in Jackson, Miss.

Blocker made his big league debut on Apr. 11, 1985 as a pinch runner. During the season, he had one hit in 15 at-bats before being sent down to the minors.

The Mets then shipped Blocker to the Atlanta Braves for a player to be named later on Nov. 11, 1987.

The 1988 season proved to be a more fruitful one for Blocker who found hitting at the Braves' Fulton County Stadium much more inviting. Blocker got 210 plate appearances during his first year with Atlanta and had 42 hits and two home runs.

In 1989, Dale Murphy played center field for the Braves - putting Blocker's playing time in jeopardy. Later that season, Blocker attempted to stay on the big-league roster by becoming a pitcher.

He pitched one inning in his career, surrendering two walks but no runs.

The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® highlights some of the greatest moments in honor of Tennessee State's centennial celebration. A new moment will be released each weekday for a total of 100. These moments were chosen by the TSU 100 Moments committee, which consists of alums from various departments. TSU has so many great moments, not all can be represented in these 100.

Sports Information Assistant Alex Mitchell contributed to this article.

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