Why Isn’t Edgardo Alfonzo In the Mets Hall of Fame?
Back in 2012, the New York Mets announced their 50th Anniversary Team. Reviewing the list none of the players named should come as a surprise. It should come as even less of a surprise that of all the players named to the team, all the retired players have been inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame. Well, all but one player has.
The greatest second baseman in Mets history, Edgardo Alfonzo, still has not been inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame. He has not been inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame despite his being retired since 2006 and despite his presence in the Mets organization for the past few seasons. Put another way, this is not a player who has poor ties with the organization and that would be hard to bring back to honor him. Looking at it from that perspective, it is shocking to say the least that Alfonzo is not in the Mets Hall of Fame.
Judging by WAR alone, Alfonzo is the best middle infielder in Mets history posting a career 29.5 WAR as a Met. That 29.5 WAR ranks him as the seventh best Met in history. That puts him ahead of players like Keith Hernandez, Mike Piazza, and Bud Harrelson, all of whom have already been inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame. With that said, WAR only tells part of the story of the impact Alfonzo has had on Mets history.
In eight seasons as a New York Met, Alfonzo hit .292/.367/.445 with 120 homers and 538 RBI. In those eight years, Alfonzo was one of the best Mets to ever put on a uniform. It’s why he was named as the best second baseman in Mets history. Naturally, Alfonzo ranks high in the Top 10 in many offensive categories:
- Games (1,086) – 10th
- PA (4,449) – 8th
- AB (3,897) – 9th
- Runs (614) – 5th
- Hits (1,136) – 5th
- Doubles (212) – 6th
- Homers (120) – 9th
- XBH (346) – 8th
- RBI (538) – 7th
- Average (.292) – tied 5th
- OBP (.367) – 7th
The advanced numbers paint a number better picture of Alfonzo. His WAR is fourth best for a Mets position player, second for a Mets infielder, and the best for a Mets middle infielder. His 2000 6.4 WAR ranks as the fifth best season by a Mets position player. His defensive WAR is the sixth best in Mets history, third best by a Mets infielder, and best by a Mets second baseman. He ranks fifth in runs created, eighth in adjusted batting runs, and eighth in WPA.
Alfonzo led the Mets in runs, hits, and doubles in the 1990s. In that same decade, he also had the finished second in games played, at bats, total bases, and RBI. In the decade he was also fourth in triples, seventh in homers, eighth in stolen bases, third in walks, and third in batting average. Arguably, he was the Mets best player of the decade.
In addition to these numbers, Alfonzo was named to an All Star team (should have been more than the one), won a Silver Slugger, and had three top 15 MVP finishes. He finished second in Gold Glove voting in 1999 and 2001 as a second baseman. In 1997, he finished second in Gold Glove voting as a third baseman. Still, Alfonzo was much more than all of this.
When thinking of Alfonzo it is near impossible to choose just one moment that highlights his career. You can start with him being part of the greatest defensive infield ever assembled. In the 1999 Wild Card play-in game, he followed Rickey Henderson‘s leadoff home run with a home run of his own to give Al Leiter all the cushion he needed for the Mets to claim the Wild Card and head to the NLDS. In Game One of the NLDS, he would homer off Randy Johnson in the first inning to give the Mets a 1-0 lead, and then he would hit a grand slam off of Bobby Chouinard in the ninth to break the 4-4 tie. In the clinching Game 4, he got the Mets on the board with a fourth inning homer off of Brian Anderson.
Alfonzo would come up similarly big in the 2000 NLDS. In Game 2, with the Mets already down 1-o in the series, and with Armando Benitez having blown the save, Alfonzo ripped a double down the left field line scoring Lenny Harris. Lost in the shuffle of that inning was the fact that he had hit a home run in the ninth giving the Mets some much needed insurance runs. In any event, the RBI double allowed the Mets to tie the series and return to the NLCS for a second consecutive year. In the 2000 NLCS, Alfonzo was one of a few Mets that probably should have been named the NLCS MVP. In the five game series, Alfonzo hit an incredible .444/.565/.611 with five runs, a double, a triple, and four RBI.
Unsurprisingly, Alfonzo is the Mets all-time leader in postseason hits, games played, and g0-ahead hits. In fact, four of those hits were in the 7th inning or later. That is the second best mark in postseason history – not Mets postseason history – all of baseball history.
Speaking of hits, Alfonzo became the first ever Met to go 6/6 in a game. In what ranks as the most impressive hitting display in Mets history, Alfonzo hit three home runs and a double while recording five RBI. There have been no Mets and only one National League player that has posted a higher game score since 1999.
Somehow, some way none of this has garnered Alfonzo enough support to be inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame. It’s wrong because Alfonzo is not just the best second baseman in Mets history, he is the best middle infielder in Mets history. He was a pivotal member of two teams that went to the postseason, and he had huge hits on those postseasons. He has set a number of Mets records. Overall, there is absolutely no way you can deny that Alfonzo is one of the best players in Mets history. Accordingly, he deserves enshrinement into the Mets Hall of Fame.