“The Franchise” was the ace of the 1969 Miracle Mets and the 1973 pennant winners and in his first 10 seasons with the team won three Cy Young awards, the Rookie of the Year, made nine All-Star teams, led the NL in strikeouts five times, ERA thrice, and wins twice. In 1992, his first year on the Hall of Fame ballot, he received 98.8 percent of the vote, still the highest ever, and is still the only player ever to go into the Hall as a Met.
2 of 10Walter Iooss Jr./SI
David Wright, 3B, 2004-present
A seven-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove award winner, Wright is the all-time franchise leader in hits, runs, RBI, doubles, walks, batting average (minimum 3,000 plate appearances) total bases and plate appearances, and could take over the franchise lead in home runs as early as 2015. From 2005 to 2013, he hit .302/.384/.505 (138 OPS+) while averaging 23 home runs, 93 RBI and 20 stolen bases and is building a solid Hall of Fame case of his own.
3 of 10Walter Iooss Jr./SI
Dwight Gooden, SP, 1984-1994
Called up directly from A-ball at the age of 19, Gooden was worth more wins above replacement over his first two major league seasons than any other major leaguer save a pair of 19th century hurlers, per Baseball-Reference’s numbers. At 19, he struck out 276 batters, was Rookie of the Year and the runner-up for Cy Young. At 20, he won the award unanimously after going 24-4 with a 1.53 ERA and another 268 Ks, which still stands as one of the best pitching seasons of the liveball era.
4 of 10Heinz Kluetmeier, Walter Iooss Jr./SI
Darryl Strawberry, RF, 1983-1990
The Mets’ all-time home run leader, Strawberry led the majors with 252 home runs from 1983 to 1990 despite Shea Stadium’s unfavorable dimensions, hitting .263/.359/.520 (145 OPS+) over that span while averaging 32 home runs, 92 RBI, and 24 stolen bases. The top pick in the 1980 draft, Strawberry won the Rookie of the Year in 1983, then made the All-Star team in each of his remaining seven seasons with the Mets before departing as a free agent.
5 of 10Walter Iooss Jr./SI
Jerry Koosman, SP, 1967-1978
A stalwart in the Mets’ rotation for 11 seasons, Koosman was the runner-up for Rookie of the Year in 1968, an All-Star in ’68 and ’69, a key part of New York’s pennant-winning rotations in ’69 and ’73, and the runner-up for the Cy Young award in 1976. Most significantly, it was Koosman’s complete game victory in Game 5 of the 1969 World Series that clinched the Mets’ first championship.
6 of 10Chuck Solomon/SI
Carlos Beltran, CF, 2005-2011
Underappreciated by Mets fans because of a poor first season on a big free agent contract and a season-ending strikeout in the playoffs the next year, Beltran hit .283/.380/.520 (better than a 133 OPS+) from 2006 through the end of his time with the Mets, made five All-Star teams in his six seasons in Queens, won three Gold Gloves in centerfield and finished fourth in the MVP voting in 2006, a season in which he tied the team record for home runs (41) and set the team record for runs scored (127).
7 of 10Chuck Solomon/SI
Edgardo Alfonzo, 2B, 1995-2002
Half of an outstanding defensive double-play combination with Cuban shortstop Rey Ordoñez (’96-’02), Alfonzo hit .296/.380/.464 (120 OPS+) from 1997 to 2002, averaging 19 home runs a year and picking up MVP votes in three different seasons, a Silver Slugger in 1999 and an All-Star berth in 2000, a season in which he hit .324/.425/.542 to help power the Mets to their first pennant in 14 years.
8 of 10Jerry Cooke/SI
Jon Matlack, SP, 1971-1977
The fourth overall pick in 1967, Matlack won the Rookie of the Year in 1972 and joined Seaver and Koosman to form a formidable rotation trio that took the second-worst offense in baseball to the World Series in 1973. From 1972 to ’76, Matlack surpassed Koosman as the Mets’ number-two starter, posting a 2.84 ERA (122 ERA+), making three All-Star teams, and twice leading the league in shutouts.
9 of 10Keith Torrie/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
Al Leiter, SP, 1998-2004
A left-handed rotation stalwart in the tradition of Koosman, Matlack, and Sid Fernandez (the last of whom just missed this list), Leiter’s 124 ERA+ as a Met is second only to Seaver’s 136 among pitchers with 1,000 or more innings pitched for the team, though Leiter’s excellence was masked by the era in which he pitched and his poor peripherals. An All-Star in the pennant-winning season of 2000, Leiter’s greatest Mets moment came the previous October when he shut out the Reds in Cincinnati on two hits to win the one-game playoff for that year’s National League Wild Card.
10 of 10Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images
Keith Hernandez, 1B, 1983-1989
Expecting a different mustache? Hernandez and Mike Piazza both arrived in Queens in the middle of their age-29 seasons and fell off after their injury-shortened age-34 season, but Hernandez, who many consider the best fielding first baseman in baseball history, was more valuable in the interim, winning six Gold Gloves and hitting .301/.392/.437 (better than a 131 OPS+) over his first five-plus seasons with the Mets, finishing second in the MVP voting in 1984 and becoming the first captain in team history in 1987.
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