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Being the best position player the Mets have ever developed, Darryl Strawberry is also the best outfielder the Mets have ever had, and by a longshot. He was one of the best hitters in the game during the 1980s and certainly made the most of his stay as a Met.
Strawberry won the 1983 National League Rookie of the Year by batting .257 with 26 home runs and 74 RBI. He followed this up with a .251 average, 26 home runs, 97 RBI, 27 doubles and 27 stolen bases in 1984. That year, he made his first of eight consecutive trips to the All-Star Game.
In 1985, Strawberry raised his average to .277 and had 29 home runs, 79 RBI and 26 stolen bases. He missed a month that year with a thumb injury. He had another solid season as the feared cleanup hitter in the Mets lineup in 1986 as the Mets won the World Series that year. He finished the season with a .259 average, 27 home runs and 93 RBI. He batted just .227 in the NLCS and .208 in the World Series, but despite that, he also had three home runs and six RBI in both series' combined.
In 1987, Strawberry took his game to another level and had his best season. He set career highs with a .284 average, 39 home runs, 104 RBI, 32 doubles, and 36 stolen bases. He also had a career high .398 OBP and .583 slugging percentage. He and teammate Howard Johnson became the first teammates from a single year to hit over 30 home runs and steal over 30 bases.
In 1988, Strawberry batted .269 with 39 home runs, 101 RBI, 29 stolen bases and a league leading .545 slugging percentage. He also finished a close second place in the NL MVP voting behind Kirk Gibson and ahead of teammate Kevin McReynolds. In the 1988 NLCS, Strawberry hit .300 with one home run and six RBI, but this time, the Mets were not fortunate enough to make the World Series.
Strawberry's numbers fell off a bit in 1989. His average dropped to just .225 and he had 29 home runs and just 77 RBI that year.
In what turned out to be his final season as a Met, Strawberry batted .277 with 37 home runs and established a new career high with 108 RBI in 1990.
After the season, Strawberry was seeking a long-term deal and stated that if manager Davey Johnson was not brought back, he would leave the Mets. The Mets offered three years and $9.1 million, but Strawberry saw that as an insult. By then, he had been treated for alcoholism and had issues with his wife. In the end, the Dodgers gave him five years and $20.3 million, which Strawberry accepted.
He then spent 1991-1993 with the Dodgers, 1994 with the Giants and 1995-1999 with the Yankees before retiring. During this portion of his career, Strawberry was making more headlines with his personal life than his baseball career. He battled cancer and a cocaine addiction during this time as well.
Strawberry hit 252 home runs as a Met (335 for his career), which is more than anyone in team history. His 733 RBI are also a Mets record. He is fourth all time in stolen bases, seventh in games played, third in runs scored, and third in total bases.
Since retiring, Strawberry battled more personal problems and even spent some time in jail for various charges. However, he is on a better path now, and hopefully, this good trend can continue for him.
He was finally elected into the Mets' Hall of Fame in 2010, alongside Dwight Gooden, Davey Johnson and Frank Cashen.
Darryl Strawberry could have turned into a Hall of Fame hitter with his tremendous potential, but despite the personal problems he had later in his career, he is by far the greatest outfielder the Mets have ever had.