8 Players Who Loved Being A Met And 7 Who Hated It
Multiple cities across America boast two professional baseball teams. New York is one of those. A city with as many sports teams as some cities, restaurants. Their famous, most pressing is easily the Yankees. A team that’s captured more World Series rings than any organization in the league. And is without question, the most storied, with a deep unyielding array of past legends.
But this article is about New York’s “other team,” the New York Mets. A team that has their own share of history. According to my buddy who lives in New York, the Mets represent a more blue collar side of town. A committed fan base, equally fun and boisterous with a love for their team.
Over the team’s lengthy history, they’ve seen their fair share of success. That success has come in the form of two historic World Series teams. But like any franchise, there are multiple eras. These eras sometimes represent a down time. Other times, they represent a glory period. In each period, a player or a couple players, become the face of that era.
Below are 15 past Met players, who’ve represented these eras. Some of them hated being a Met and others loved it. Enjoy the throwback venture and the sub-stories. They’re all worth pouring into.
15. GARY CARTER: LOVED
The year the Mets won their 1986 World Series, Carter was an All-Star. He hit .254 with 24 home runs and 105 runs batted in. That year he finished third in MVP voting, the highest finish of any catcher over a ten-year span.
It’s impossible to imagine the Mets of 86’ winning the World Series without him. Carter was the steady, veteran leader and sure footed voice. The guy who kept party animals like Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry enough in line, to perform at a high level.
Over 19-years, Carter hit 324 home runs, attended 11 All-Star games and won 4 Gold Glove Awards. He was inducted into Cooperstown in 2003. Sadly, he passed away in 2012.
14. CARLOS BELTRAN: HATED
If you remember, the year before signing with the Mets to a gargantuan contract, Beltran was just a notch above average. He hit 38 home runs, but struggled at the plate, hitting .264. His strikeout rate was one of his highest ever. That postseason with the Astros, he went bananas. Literally earning him his contract with the Mets. A 7-year, $121-million deal, that would haunt them for the entirety of it.
The moment Beltran arrived in a Mets uniform, things didn’t feel natural. He was a 3- bat expected to be the franchise face, and what followed were multiple down years for a franchise with the one of the highest payrolls in baseball. Only twice in six and a half years, Beltran ascended 30 home runs. The last 3 years of the deal, he missed 191 games. His numbers slid next to irrelevant, and the Mets tanked.
13. DAVID WRIGHT: LOVED
He’s been blessed with a quiet, old gamer demeanor. A guy who steps on the bag at third, night in, night out, and delivers clutch, key hits, when they matter.
The only issue one could put too over Wright’s long, single-franchised career, is the injury problems. Those injuries might be what keeps him out of Cooperstown, as his numbers just aren’t up to par to be included. But hall of fame or not, Wright is a player most fans respect. And, has, for most his career, been one of the better third basemen in the game.
Over 13-years, he’s delivered 242 home runs. He’s hit .296, gone to 7 All-Star games and four times finished top 10 in MVP voting.
12. HOWARD JOHNSON: HATED
Randomly, Howard Johnson is one of the Mets I remember most. I had this weird relationship with him in the 80s, where I’d draw his card nearly every Topps pack of baseball cards, my dad bought me at the local Liquor store. But my fondness for him is literally only because of that story. As Howard was by all measurements a bust.
When Johnson arrived to the Mets in 1985, the team thought they had the perfect co-captain for Darryl Strawberry in the outfield. Up to that point, he’d floundered as a pro, despite lofty expectations. Wasting 3 years in a Tigers uniform.
Johnson put up some good years with the Mets. Including an incredible top 5 MVP voting finish in 1991, when he .259 with 38 home runs and 117 runs batted in. His other notable years were 1987 and 1989, when he hit 36 home runs each season.
But the knock-on Johnson was his inconsistency. He missed 74 games during the team’s World Series run in 1986. Followed that up with 36 home runs in 1987. He was literally on again, off again, ruining any chance at being a franchise guy.
Johnson had franchise player capabilities, but could never quite put it all together.
11. KEITH HERNANDEZ: LOVED
Keith Hernandez is the man who started the rebuilding process for the Mets. When the Mets picked him up in 1983, he was arguably the best first baseman in baseball, had won an MVP with the St. Louis Cardinals and already attended 3 All-Star games.
Not only was Hernandez a high average, low strikeout hitter, but a sure glove at first. He won a whopping 11 Gold Gloves. He was the quintessential star to build around: quiet, all about business, efficient and consistent.
The Mets needed players like Hernandez and Carter during their run in the 80s. They acted as key cogs and were the glue who held an otherwise outrageously party crazed team, together.
It’s a travesty Hernandez has not made it into Cooperstown yet. No, he wasn’t a power bat by any means. He hit just 162 home runs over 17 years. But he finished his 17-year career with 2,182 hits and a lifetime .296 average. A shame.