Tanner Joe Meyer
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 260 lb.
- School University of Hawai'i at Manoa
- High School Punahou School
- Debut April 4, 1988
- Final Game September 30, 1989
- Born May 10, 1962 in Honolulu, HI USA
First baseman Joey Meyer was a very promising slugger in the minors. He hit 18 home runs in 474 at-bats in the big leagues in 1988 and 1989, but his career never really took off. The main factors were injuries and suspicions about his fielding, both stemming at least to some degree from his bulk. As an offensive lineman in football, Meyer weighed as much as 305 pounds (he was listed at 260 in the majors).
Size was in Meyer's genes. His father, a Honolulu fireman of German and Portuguese descent, was 6’3” and 270. His mother was of Hawaiian and Spanish descent. Meyer attended Punahou School in Honolulu, HI and then went to the University of Hawaii. He was signed as a 5th round pick of the 1983 amateur draft by the Milwaukee Brewers and Director of Player Procurement Ray Poitevint and scout Jyun Hirota.
Meyer did not sign until after the 1983 season, so he started in the minors in 1984. Joey won the Triple Crown in the Midwest League in 1984, going 30-102-.320, and Baseball America named him the MWL Player of the Year. He led the Texas League with 37 home runs in 1985. He was having a tremendous year with the Denver Zephyrs in 1987, leading all of the minors as he rang up 29-92-.311 numbers in just 79 games. One of his homers was estimated at a titanic 582 feet. But in August, he blew out his hamstring stretching for a throw at first, halting his season early.
Meyer had a decent year at Milwaukee in 1988 (11-45-.263), but was disappointing in 1989, returning to Denver for part of the year. Ray Poitevint then helped Joey land a job in Japan. He hit .275-26-77 for the Taiyo Whales in 1990, but didn't enjoy his stay in Japan, citing disagreements over injuries. The Daily Yomiuri also stated that Meyer was let go "because he could not play Manager Yutaka Sudo's brand of baseball that stresses speed and defense."
Joey signed a Triple-A contract with an invitation to Major League camp with the Minnesota Twins following the season. Meyer wound up playing with the Buffalo Bisons, the Triple-A affiliate in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization in 1991. He retired after a mediocre 6-35-.250 showing in 75 games, as a broken wrist ended his career.
Meyer became a municipal maintenance supervisor in Honolulu, overseeing painting, construction and landscaping work for a local hospital system.
- "Joey Meyer's 582-Foot Homer", New York Times, March 22, 1988
- "After 20 years, Meyer's 582-foot home run at Mile High hard to forget," by Brian Metzler, Rocky Mountain News, June 2, 2007