New York Mets: It's Time To Honor The 1986 Team Properly

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New York Mets: It's Time To Honor The 1986 Team Properly
Is 25 years a long enough wait to retire several important numbers in team history?

This is a special season for the New York Mets franchise.

It was 25 years ago this October that they last won the World Series. Since that time, fans have endured too many hardships to review here.

There has also been too many media reflections on the '86 Mets and their spectacular run that season.

One of my personal favorites is "The Bad Guys Won" by Jeff Pearlman, but there are many, many other great publications to celebrate their feat.

The Mets, however, have not properly celebrated that team.

Sure, they brought a few players around when they closed out Shea Stadium. They also have utilized the services of several of the players. We've seen the organization parade that team in various coaching capacities and pep talks in Port St. Lucie. They even have a few key players from that team in the booth.

Last season, the team heard the outcry of the fanbase and created a Mets Museum. Several of the great Mets from that era have their faces engraved on a plaque there.

All of that is well and good, but there is one major honor that the team has not offered to its most cherished athletes.

That honor is retiring a jersey number.

How many times do Mets fans and media members see the numbers 16, 17 and 18, and manage to think of Paul LoDuca (No. 16 from 2006-2007), Fernando Tatis (No. 17 from 2008-2010) and Moises Alou (No. 18 from 2007-2008)?

The answer is never.

They think of three Mets greats: Dwight Gooden, Keith Hernandez and Darryl Strawberry.

It is time to show the respect that is due to these greats by giving them the greatest honor a sports franchise can give—it is time to retire these three numbers.

Here's a few reasons why for each of them.

First: Dwight Gooden.

He is third all time among Mets pitchers for starts (303, behind Seaver and Koosman), his 157 wins as a Met rank him second behind Tom Seaver and he has amassed 1,875 strikeouts.

That is also good enough to be ranked second, again, behind Seaver.

 

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For more on the New York Mets, please visit Mets Gazette.

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