ATLANTA -- Battling through injuries and staring down the path of a career Minor Leaguer, Mike Nickeas came close to quitting baseball.
Now, he is a Major Leaguer.
The Mets selected the contract of Nickeas on Thursday, allowing him to join the club in Atlanta, where he is in the process of buying a home. His wife, Rebecca, whose family is from the area, picked him up at the airport.
"It's still surreal," Nickeas said. "I literally pinched myself a couple times just to make sure it was really happening. It's a great feeling."
Nickeas, 27, nearly quit baseball this past winter after nagging injuries limited him to 61 at-bats the previous season. But, he said, "My gut told me not to quit," and so Nickeas returned to Double-A Binghamton to start this season.
After a brief stretch at Triple-A Buffalo, Nickeas, who hit .276 with five home runs in 293 Minor League at-bats this season, joined the Mets to provide them with catching depth down the stretch. Although they aren't likely to use him more than sporadically, Nickeas is still, finally, a Major Leaguer.
The catcher's wife, her family and co-workers, and scores of his friends were in attendance Thursday.
"It's crazy when you kind of put your nose down and work through it," Nickeas said. "Good things happen."
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.