Mets Hall of Fame Omissions

metsThe good folks at MLB Extra Innings or Time Warner Cable decided not to show me the Mets Hall of Fame induction ceremony before Sunday’s game. But while Gary, Keith and Ron were talking about it during the dreadful game that followed, I could only imagine that Darling was thinking, “What about me?” Because Darling deserves to join his other 1986 teammates in official Mets lore.

The Mets have long ignored their storied history. They are now starting to correct that, so one can only hope that Sunday’s ceremony will become a yearly event. There are many players who deserve to be in the team’s Hall. But first, here are the current members: 

Position players:
Tommie Agee
Gary Carter
Jerry Grote
Bud Harrelson
Keith Hernandez
Cleon Jones
Ed Kranepool
Rusty Staub
Darryl Strawberry
Mookie Wilson

Pitchers:
Dwight Gooden
Jerry Koosman
Tug McGraw
Tom Seaver

Non-players:
Frank Cashen
Gil Hodges
Davey Johnson
Ralph Kiner
Bob Murphy
Johnny Murphy
Lindsay Nelson
Joan Payson
Casey Stengel
Bill Shea
George Weiss

All of these inductees are worthy, although it is quite stunning that there are nearly as many non-players (11) as players (14) who are enshrined. But unfortunately, the Mets really don’t have a history of exceptional players. But they do have more whose inductions have been long overdue.

I don’t know the exact criteria the Mets use when deciding which players to induct. I would use these three:
1) Great numbers (obviously)
2) Key member of  a World Series squad
3) Fan favorite

If a player does not have #1, he should have #2 and #3 (Bud Harrelson is a perfect example of that).

darlingDarling actually fits all three criteria. He was of course a key member of the 1986 team, and he was, and still is, beloved. But he is also fourth in team history in wins with 99, is in the top 15 of all starters with a 3.50 ERA, and sixth in strikeouts. It is a shame that he is left out while other 1986 Mets are in.

If Darling is inducted, then Sid Fernandez and Al Leiter should also be in. The three of them have startlingly similar Mets stats. And Leiter was on the 2000 World Series team.

As far as relievers, Jesse Orosco and John Franco should be inducted. Orosco, of course, was the closer in 1986, and is third in saves with 107. Franco is far and away the all-time leader in saves with 276, and was on the 2000 team.

Who is second in saves, you ask? Armando Benitez, with 160. He was the closer in 2000. But if he were to ever be inducted, Mets fans would burn down the Hall of Fame. And rightly so.

You could also make the argument for Roger McDowell. He was on the 1986 squad, was very popular, and is sixth on the Mets save list with 84 — two fewer than Tug McGraw, who is in the Hall.

As far as position players, Mike Piazza should be enshrined tomorrow. I don’t understand why the Mets wait so long to honor their players. Many teams do it the year after they retire. Piazza certainly deserves that treatment.

Howard Johnson and Edgardo Alfonzo are both among the leaders in most offensive categories. Johnson’s numbers speak for themselves. Alfonzo’s role on the 2000 Mets is severely underrated. Piazza was the big bat, obviously, but the offense really rose and fell based on Alfonzo’s performance. 

willie-maysAnd finally, I will make the argument for Willie Mays. Mays’ numbers with the Mets were not good — there’s no getting around that. But he was on the 1973 World Series team, and he’s WILLIE MAYS for God’s sake! One of the greatest players to ever step onto the field in the history of the game wore a Mets uniform, and there is no honor for him.  I made this same argument about retiring his number. If the Mets don’t want to go that far, they can at least throw a plaque onto a wall for him.

Hopefully the Mets will correct these errors of omissions in the coming years. Since we currently have to watch the likes of Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo, it would be nice to be able to look back and remember some players worth remembering.

One thought on “Mets Hall of Fame Omissions

  • August 1, 2010 at 9:48 pm
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    Darling is a little overrated. Wins by a pitcher is an extremely overrated stat. He was very good in ’85-86, o.k. in ’84 & 88, but was terrible in 87, 89-91. He was on some very good/great hitting teams that tended to mask his w/l %. El Sid was a better pitcher than Darling and is one of the most underrated Met players in their history. Matlack is another underrated Met whose record doesn’t reflect how good he pitched. And Craig Swan has been completely forgotten by the Mets.

    Here’s a list of Career WAR for Met pitchers:

    Seaver-75.8
    Koosman-41.8
    Gooden-41.2
    Matlack-27
    El Sid-26.9
    Leiter-26.3
    Cone-19
    Darling_16.5
    Reed-14.8
    Santana-13.4
    Franco-12.8
    Swan-12.6
    McGraw-12.4
    Orosco-12.2

    WAR for Mets Batters:

    Straw-37.7
    Wright-31.1
    Alfonzo-29.1
    Beltran-26.7
    Hernandez-26.5
    HoJo-24.7
    Piazza-24.6
    Reyes-21.9
    Mookie-19.4

    I would elect all of those pitchers.

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