By Ian Teti
– Carlos Beltran: Yeah, he was injured a lot, but Beltran killed it for the Mets. 2006 was the year of Carlos, bombing 41 homers, tallying 127 runs and receiving his first Gold Glove award. He had 13 outfield assists, was a part of six double plays and committed just two errors in 372 chances. Unheard of for an outfielder. The slugger received four All-Star selections while playing for the Mets.
– Mike Piazza: 427 home runs for his career. That’s still the record for any catcher. Piazza received an All-Star selection in all seven seasons that he played with the Mets. He also is a symbolic figure for Mets pride after he was concussed from being drilled in the head in the regular season by a Roger Clemens fastball, and also during the Subway Series when Clemens threw a broken bat down the first-base line at him. Clemens still has to have nightmares at the sight of Piazza’s death stare. P.S: Piazza’s mustache is worthy of an All-Star selection as well.
– Dwight Gooden: Gooden was instrumental to the Mets back when they were winning games. He had four All-Star selections, all with the Mets, and was part of the ’86 team which won the Mets’ last World Series. In ’85, only his second pro season, he was a pitching force to be reckoned with, winning the Triple Crown and Cy Young Award.
– Gary Carter: Carter was an 11-time All-Star, receiving four of his selections while playing for the Mets. He was a World Series hero after slamming two homers over the Green Monster in Game 4 in 1986. Carter finished with nine RBIs in that series. He was the epitome of a leader and a stellar catcher in the 1980s.
– Tom Seaver: Seaver dominated while he was pitching for the Mets. All-Star selections for every year with the Mets (besides his return stint in ’83), three Cy Young Awards, NL Rookie of the Year, three-time NL ERA and wins champion and a five-time strikeout champion. In the ’69 World Series, Seaver pitched a 10-inning complete game (you serious?) in a Game 4, 2-1, win. The Mets would go on to win the series and Seaver would be named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year.
– David Wright: Despite the Mets’ recent struggles, Wright has always been their consistent player, always a positive note. In every conversation about the Mets’ failures, one could always throw in the casual, “Hey, at least we still have Wright.” Wright could’ve jumped ship, but he continues to stick it out with the Amazin’s, trying to put the Mets back on the map. The soon to be seven-time All-Star represents hope in a franchise that is continuously mocked.
– Darryl Strawberry: Controversy always surrounded him, but the dude could flat out play. Strawberry was a seven-time All-Star with the Mets and was on the World Series team in 1986, the year he also co-won the Home Run Derby. In ’88, he tallied the most home runs in the NL. Strawberry finished his career with exactly 1,000 RBIs.
– Keith Hernandez: Hernandez was selected to three All-Star games while playing for the Mets. Trading for Hernandez gave the Mets the missing element to what later would be a World Series-winning team. He was a wizard with the glove at first base, tallying 11 consecutive Gold Glove awards. The current SNY analyst was also featured in two episodes of Seinfeld. That’s a tough stat to top.
– John Stearns: Stearns was a four-time All-Star with the Mets. Fun Fact: He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 1973 NFL Draft as a defensive back. Stearns used to lay out people on the diamond as if he was playing for the Bills. He took down drunk spectators when they jumped on the field. Every Mets pitcher felt safe with Stearns either catching or in the dugout, for he was known to slam bodies to the ground if opposing batters would approach the mound. His physical play made him an ideal catcher who could guard the plate. Any catcher that doesn’t back down from a charging runner or a fight is a fan favorite.
– Jose Reyes: Reyes has to be one of, if not the, fastest Mets of all time. And not only could he steal bases and snag extra-base hits with ease, but he was a consistently great leadoff hitter for the Mets during his time in Queens. In 2011, the four-time All-Star was the first Mets player to ever win an NL batting title, and he has Mets team records for triples (99), stolen bases (370) and at-bats (696).
Follow Ian on Twitter @icteti.
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