New York Mets: Top 5 All-Time Mets Born in New York City

Ian Hollenberg@@nygsurvivorfan1Contributor IIDecember 30, 2011

New York Mets: Top 5 All-Time Mets Born in New York City

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    Almost every little boy growing up dreaming that they will one day be a star for their hometown team. In this year's MLB playoffs, we got to see a hometown kid win the World Series with the team he rooted for as a child.

    David Freese, who grew up in the St. Louis area, helped his beloved St. Louis Cardinals win the World Series with his stellar Game 6 and his crucial run driven in in Game 7 against the Texas Rangers.

    The New York Mets also have a hometown kid on their roster—Mike Baxter. Hopefully, Baxter will get to fulfill his childhood dream and become a star on the Mets, and join the list of New York City kids who have succeeded with the Mets.

    Here are the top five Mets born in New York City.

5. Joe Torre

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    Torre, a Brooklyn native, was a player on the Mets from 1975-1977 and a manager from 1977-1981.

    Although Torre's legacy will be remembered by his managing stint on the other side of New York City, his 18-day stint as player-manager of the Mets and his .306 batting average in 1976 earns him the No. 5 spot on this list.

4. Paul Lo Duca

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    Lo Doca, born in Brooklyn, only spent two years on the Mets (2006-2007), but played an important role for those years. In 2006, Lo Duca caught 124 games, batted .318, made the All-Star team and led the Mets to the playoffs for the first time in six years. 

    Lo Duca also oversaw a pitching staff that won 14 more games than the previous season (the 2005 Mets were 83-79; the 2006 Mets were 97-65).

    Mets fans will never forget Lo Duca's amazing 2006 season.

3. Lee Mazzilli

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    Lee Mazzilli, a Brooklyn native, was very popular in New York. 

    As puts it, "Early in his Mets career, Lee Mazzilli was a matinee idol—the centerfold center fielder, tight pants and all. " Mazzilli was a homegrown player with the flair of a movie star.

    Mazzilli played on the Mets from 1976 to 1981, and then again from mid-1986 to1988, and then at the end of 1989. The Mets acquired him in August 1986, and Mazzilli contributed as an outfielder off the bench to help the Mets capture their second World Series in franchise history.

2. Ed Kranepool

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    Ed Kranepool, from Manhattan, played his entire 17-year career with the Mets.

    As a 17-year-old, Kranepool was a member of the inaugural 1962 Mets. He was also their starting first baseman in the Mets' first two World Series appearances, hitting a home run in Game 3 of the 1969 World Series.

    Kranepool is one of the longest tenured and most popular Mets of all time.

1. John Franco

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    John Franco, the Brooklyn native, is a New Yorker through and through. He grew up in Bensonhurst rooting for the Mets, and he went to college at St. John's in Queens.

    After the 1989 season, Franco was traded from the Cincinnati Reds to the Mets, the team he loved his whole life.

    Franco made the most of his time in New York. He played for the Mets from 1990 to 2004, and was the Mets' captain from 2001 to 2004. He held the Mets closer job until 1999, recording 276 out of his 424 saves in a Mets uniform.

    Mets fans loved Franco, as many fans saw him as one of them—a big fan who grew up rooting for the Mets, and going to games at Shea Stadium.

    Franco is the best and easily the most beloved hometown hero the Mets have ever had.