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Former Mets Robin Ventura, Daniel Murphy, Cliff Floyd Talk Old Timers' Day

Former Mets Robin Ventura, Daniel Murphy and Cliff Floyd talk Old Timers' Day.

In the wake of the Mets' announcement of bringing back Old Timers' Day for the first time since 1994, a trio of former players that made a significant impact on this franchise, hopped on a zoom call this afternoon to share their excitement of participating in this game later in the year. 

Robin Ventura [1999 to 2001], Cliff Floyd [2003 to 2006] and Daniel Murphy [2008 to 2015] all made it clear when speaking with reporters on Tuesday, the Mets will always hold a special place in their hearts.

"Any time you can go back and you get guys that you played with – I don’t know about getting in uniform, I’m gonna have to work on that a little bit, shape up a little bit. It’s just fun to be around the guys and see a lot of people that are very familiar and are friends, lifelong friends, I’m excited," said Ventura. "The fans, I don’t really know if they want to watch this kind of baseball, but it’s fun to get out there and just kind of reconnect.

“It’s a very special place," Ventura added. "The team I was on was very tight knit. The people who worked there… It’s just a special place. Great guys on that team, the staff, Jay [Horwitz], [late PR director] Shannon [Forde], it holds a special place for me. I had great time when I was there, I loved it. …It’ll always will be very special to me.”

As for Floyd, who last played in the majors in 2009, he is going to focus on not getting hurt during this game. 

"We’re a kid at heart, but hell, when you get to this point in our lives, you gotta be careful," Floyd said. "It’s gonna be fun to see fans, it’s gonna be back in city, obviously everybody hitting me up thinking I’m going deep for some reason. 

"I have no idea why people think I’m hitting balls over the fence, but I’m definitely looking forward to being around the boys again and putting the uniform on and having a blast for a couple days.”

Both Floyd and Ventura spent their entire Mets careers with Shea Stadium being their home ballpark. Murphy, on the other hand, only played the first two months of his career at Shea after getting called up to the big-leagues in August of 2008.

“Before you make it on that field, you better be ready. And I mean BP," Ventura said, who produced one of Shea Stadium's most memorable moments with his 1999 grand slam single during the Game 5 of the NLCS. "You better be a Doberman with your ears pinned back and be prepared and be purposeful when you go out there. There’s just a certain noise that Shea had that certain places didn’t have. …Stadiums now are built different, and they sound different. 

"When I was managing, I just noticed the noise goes above the field, and at Shea, it came down to the field. So you felt it in your feet, you felt it in your legs. If Piazza hit a home run, that place is on wheels, the stadium can move around, and it felt like those wheels might have come off the track a couple time when Mike would hit a big homer. I can’t think of another stadium that’s like that – the noise came down and you felt it inside your chest. There was something great about it. … When you think about the good stuff, the noise, a full house at Shea is like none other than any place I’ve ever been.”

Floyd finished off Ventura's length statement with one word: "Period."

"I used to always catch myself right at that point where I’m going on that field thinking ‘boy you better step your game up today,'" Floyd added. "Whatever you felt, you better put it to the side and get your butt on that field ready to go at 3:00. …I loved it. I always felt like that’s what I needed. I needed to be pushed, I needed to be kicked, I needed to be put in the position where I’m challenged every day to be great.

"Not to say that other places weren’t that – on top of their game, it’s just, New York is different. There’s a reason why it’s bright lights, big city. It was different. I felt the vibe every night I stepped on that field. Whether they was booing my butt to be better or cheering me because I was doing my thing, but it was always good to be in that stadium when we was rockin’. I’m telling you, it was something different.”

Murphy is no stranger to the noise from the Mets' faithful either. But the majority of his taste of this electric atmosphere came at Citi Field during his club's run to the World Series in 2015. Murphy played a huge part in helping his team capture the NL pennant during that season, slugging a homer in six straight postseason games which is an MLB record.

However, the 2015 NLCS MVP's time with the Mets didn't end well, as the organization only made him a qualifying offer on the free agent market later that winter following his playoff heroics. 

Instead, Murphy signed with the NL East rival Washington Nationals and proceeded to torture the Mets with his bat across the next two seasons. But that doesn't mean that Murphy didn't love his time in Queens. 

“I was really humbled that [team historian and former PR director] Jay [Horwitz] reached out," said Murphy. "This was the first year I had gone without baseball. It was fun in that time of reflection this past year to look back and to think about the decade that myself and my growing family spent there. I grew up in that organization...

"When Jay asked, my initial thought was yes. I see myself as a Met because of just the years that we spent there, coming up through the system, the relationships that I built in the minor league system. ... Queens has a very special place in my heart.”

Old Timers' Day will be held later this season on Saturday, August 27. The game will occur around 5 p.m., prior to the Mets' matchup with the Colorado Rockies.