Jeff McKnight dies of leukemia at 52

BEE BRANCH, Ark. -- Jeff McKnight, a versatile player who spent six seasons with the New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles, has died. He was 52.

McKnight's family told the Mets that McKnight died Sunday after battling leukemia for 10 years. His father, Jim, who played for the Chicago Cubs briefly in the early 1960s, was born in Bee Branch, Arkansas.

Jeff McKnight made his big league debut with the Mets in 1989 and hit .233 with five home runs and 34 RBIs in 218 games. He singled in his final at-bat for the Mets in August 1994, on the final day before a players' strike wiped out the rest of the season.

McKnight hit his first big league home run off Jack Morris, with an eighth-inning shot that helped rally the Orioles over Detroit at Memorial Stadium.

McKnight was mostly an infielder and played every position in the majors except center fielder and pitcher.