A longtime coming.
Legendary first baseman and current team broadcaster Keith Hernandez will finally have his No. 17 jersey retired by the Mets, per club announcement.
The Mets intend on holding a ceremony to honor Hernandez before a game with the Marlins next season on July 9.
Hernandez won six Gold Glove Awards with the Mets, ranks second in club history with a .297 batting average and helped them capture their last World Series title in 1986. He was inducted into the Mets' Hall of Fame in 1997.
Hernandez will join Casey Stengel (37), Gil Hodges (14), Tom Seaver (41), Jerry Koosman (36) and Mike Piazza (31) as the only Mets to receive the honor of having their jersey retired.
The Mets acquired Hernandez from the Cardinals via trade in June of 1983, which proved to be a franchise altering move. While playing for the Mets from '83 to 1989, Hernandez became the first captain in team history and was a cornerstone of the club's success, leading them to two NLCS appearances and a World Series Championship during this span.
“I’m thrilled,” said Hernandez in a statement issued by the Mets on Tuesday evening. “This is truly a special honor that lasts beyond a lifetime. I can’t thank Steve and Alex Cohen and the Mets Hall of Fame Committee enough.
“I was very emotional when Steve [Cohen] called to let me know about the number retirement. This is the highest honor an organization can bestow upon a player. I also want to thank Mets fans, who have treated me like family since I arrived in 1983.”
Since Cohen purchased the Mets in 2020, he has held up his promise to honor more of the team's history and their franchise greats. The Mets also retired Koosman's No. 36 on August 28, 2021, which was Cohen's first season as majority owner.
“Keith was the first captain in team history and a great leader and catalyst on that ’86 championship team,” said Cohen, the Mets’ chairman, CEO and owner. “He was a defensive wizard at first and was a clutch performer late in games. We made a promise to continue celebrating and honoring our tremendous history and this is another deserving step in that direction. Congratulations, Keith.”
Hernandez won co-NL MVP with the Cardinals in 1979, sharing the trophy with Willie Stargell. In 1984, Hernandez was the runner up to Ryne Sandberg for NL MVP while playing for the Mets. He also captured 11 Gold Gloves during his career and is a member of the Rawlings Gold Glove Hall of Fame as well.
Hernandez was a five-time All-Star, ranks fourth in Mets history in on-base percentage (.387) and is 10th in RBIs with 468. He won his first World Series title with the Cardinals in 1982 and was inducted into the club's Hall of Fame last year.
Hernandez slashed .310/.446/.413 with 13 home runs and 83 RBIs, while leading the NL with 94 walks in 1986. He also came up huge with three RBIs in Game 7 of the 1986 World Series, where the Mets went onto clinch their second championship in franchise history.
Hernandez has been a member of the Mets' broadcast team for close to 30 years and has been in their television booth since 1999, with the last 16 years coming on SNY.