5 Numbers That Should Be Retired by the New York Mets
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37, 14, 41, 42, Shea.
These four numbers and one name represent the numbers whom the Mets have honored by putting them on the left field wall of Shea Stadium, then Citi Field.
The last time an icon was put on that wall, it was the Shea sign, which was added Opening Day 2008. The last time a new number was put on that wall, the year was 1988.
Sure, the Mets don't have as much glitz and glam as their Bronx rivals, but they should consider adding numbers soon, after all, there are so many deserving players on the team.
Here are five numbers that should be retired by the Mets soon.
Gary Carter's #8
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I'm not saying this because Gary Carter is dying, I'm saying this because Gary Carter has gotten the shaft by the Wilpons ever since he was elected to the Hall.
Carter may not have had the best years of his life in New York, those were reserved for Montreal, but he did put his heart and soul in the 1986 team that won the World Series.
When Carter was elected to the Hall, he wanted to be put in as a Met or a split Mets/Expos hat. Unfortunately, the Hall denied his request and made him the first Expo in the Hall.
And as compensation, all the Wilpons give him is a replica of his plaque with the Mets logo?
To make things worse, when the Expos moved to Washington in 2005, they put all retired numbers back on the field, giving the number to Bret Boone. The number now belongs to Danny Espinosa.
Although I think that retiring his number now will be an insult, I still think it belongs on the wall of Citi Field. Carter deserves more from the Mets than this.
Mike Piazza's #31
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Mike Piazza is eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2013, and despite suspicions that he took steroids, which for the most part seem untrue, and a botched move to first base, he seems destined to make the Hall.
As a Dodger, he got his career rolling, but as a Met, he was at his best. Piazza is the all time leader in home runs by a catcher, and was the face of the team from 1999-2004.
Piazza should go to Cooperstown as a Met, and then his number will likely be retired.
Darryl Strawberry's #18
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Darryl Strawberry was the best hitter to come out of the Mets system, that is until Jose Reyes and David Wright came along. Straw is also the holder of several Mets records, such as home runs and RBI's.
Straw may have left a black mark when he departed for Los Angeles, but people have already forgiven him, especially the front office, who honored him with a plaque in the Mets Hall of Fame.
Because of his offensive prowess, The Mets should put 18 on the Citi Field wall.
Keith Hernandez's #17
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"Mex" is one of the more prolific Mets of the 1980's. Acquired in a steal deal from St. Louis, he went on to have a great tenure with the team, even to the point where he's become more recognizable as a Met than as a Cardinal.
Mex also served as the captain of the Mets from 1984-1989, and in the process, earned Gold Gloves each year on the team except his last, as well as garnering three All-Star nods.
The Mets have also honored Mex with a spot in the team Hall of Fame, and this past season, 17 was unissued for the first time since 1990, when Mex left for Cleveland. This could mean something is about to happen.
Dwight Gooden's #16
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Doc Gooden was the second best pitcher in team history, behind Tom Seaver. He was the third Met to win Rookie of the Year, following Seaver and Jon Matlack, the second (individual) to win a Cy Young with the team, a four time All-Star, representing the Mets each time, and one of the brightest stars of the 1980's.
Sure, his drug problem was exposed in the 1990's, and sure, he pitched a no-hitter for the wrong team, but like Straw, he's ultimately been forgiven, being asked to sign the Citi Field Delta Club wall, enshrined in the team Hall of Fame, and obviously being honored at the 20th reunion of the champions.
Doc's past is behind him, and hopefully we can put his number on the wall to show him the ultimate gratitude for his 10 years of excellent service to the team.
BONUS: Willie Mays' #24
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If Hank Aaron and Rollie Fingers can be honored for their short time as members of the Brewers, why can't Willie Mays be honored by the Mets in the same way?
Joan Whitney Payson, original owner of the team, coveted the Say Hey Kid, and when the opportunity arose, the team acquired him. Though Mays didn't play with the vigor from his New York/San Francisco Giants days, he still contributed to the 1973 NL Champion team.
After Mays retired, 24 was mothballed with the intention that it was to never be used again. It's been reissued twice.
Kelvin Torve, a reserve outfielder, was given the jersey by mistake in 1990, and Rickey Henderson asked for the jersey and was granted its use in 1999-2000 and 2007.
I'm not one for holding out numbers, in fact, if I owned the team, I'd probably either reissue the jersey again, or put it on the wall. Why not take it out of Uni-Limbo and either retire it, or give it to the next promising player? I'm pretty sure Mays would like that.
And so that concludes this list.