The All-Time Mets Team
The New York Mets’ inaugural season was in 1962. After some early struggles, they quickly rebounded to capture their first of two World Series Championships in 1969. The Mets won the World Series again in 1986. The Metropolitans’ history isn’t that of other more historic MLB teams, but that doesn’t mean the Mets don’t have some historic players. I compiled who I think is the best player at each position in the entire 49-year history of the New York Mets. You would think the short history would make this team easier to create, but that couldn’t be any farther from the truth. I wrestled with Wright over HoJo as well as with selecting the outfielders not named Strawberry. The hardest part was definitely having to pick only one starting pitcher from the pool of great Mets pitchers. No doubt Seaver is number one, but not even mentioning guys like Doc Gooden and Jerry Koosman is hard to swallow. Anyway, I finally completed the team. Let the debate begin.
Catcher: Mike Piazza (1998-2005)
Piazza’s best days were spent in a Mets uniform. The 12-time All-Star, eight with the Mets, is baseball’s all-time leader in home runs by a catcher. Piazza also collected ten Silver Slugger awards in his career, earning half of them with the Metropolitans.
First Baseman: Keith Hernandez (1983-1989)
Hernandez was known for his clutch bat, stellar fielding, and his awesome stache. He won six of his eleven career Gold Gloves and went to three of his five career All-Star games as a member of the Mets. Hernandez was also the captain of 1986 World Series-winning team.
Second Baseman: Edgardo Alfonzo (1995-2002)
Alfonzo was a solid infielder for the Mets. He rotated between playing third and second base frequently during his eight seasons in Queens. Alfonzo had a batting average over .300 four times during his Mets career, earning a Silver Slugger award in 1999 and a trip to the All-Star game in 2000.
Third Baseman: David Wright (2004-Present)
Wright is a 5-time All-Star, 2-time Gold Glove award winner, 2-time Silver Slugger award winner, and the Mets all-time leader in doubles. He became a member of the 30-30 club (30 or more home runs and stolen bases in a single season) in 2007 and has had 26-plus home runs and over 100 rbi in five of his eight seasons with the club.
Shortstop: Jose Reyes (2003 – Present)
Arguably the most exciting player in baseball, Reyes has accumulated some impressive stats in his young career as the Mets shortstop. He’s the Mets all-time leader in triples, runs scored, and stolen bases. Reyes led the league in triples and stolen bases three times in his short career, and has had over 60 stolen bases in three straight seasons. The 4-time All-Star and 2006 Silver Slugger award winner has had double-digit triples in six of his eight seasons in New York.
Outfielder: Darryl Strawberry (1983-1990)
Strawberry had one of the sweetest swings of anyone to ever play the game. He was an 8-time All-Star, seven with the Mets. He collected two Silver Slugger awards while patrolling the Mets outfield and remains the Mets all-time home run leader. Strawberry was also named Rookie of the Year in 1983 and led the National League in home runs in 1988.
Outfielder: Carlos Beltran (2005-Present)
Beltran has been named an All-Star five times in his seven seasons with the Mets. He’s also won three Gold Gloves and two Silver Slugger awards with the Mets. Beltran’s 41 home runs in 2006 is tied for the single season team record with Todd Hundley.
Outfielder: Mookie Wilson (1980-1989)
Mookie is probably the most popular player in Mets history. He previously held the Met records for stolen bases and triples until Jose Reyes surpassed him in both categories in 2008. Mookie was also involved in one of the most recognizable plays in MLB history when he hit a bouncer between the legs of Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner in game six of the 1986 World Series, giving the Mets new life and eventually propelling them to their second World Series victory with a win in game seven.
Starting Pitcher: Tom Seaver (1967-1977)
“Tom Terrific” is the only player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Met as well as the only Mets player to have his number retired by the club. He won the Rookie of the Year award in 1967 and followed that up with three Cy Young awards in 1969, 1973, and 1975. Seaver was elected to ten of his twelve All-Star games as a Met. The Hall of Famer also has 311 career victories, 189 of them with the Mets, including 25 during the 1969 championship season.
Closer: John Franco (1990-2004)
Franco spent fourteen of his twenty-two seasons in a Mets uniform. Franco served as team captain from 2000-2004, and his 246 saves while with the Mets is a team record. His 424 career saves ranks fourth in MLB history and is the most saves ever by a left-handed pitcher.