Mets Fan Favorite Tournament

(3) Cleon Jones vs. (14) Donn Clendenon

(3) Cleon Jones – He caught a fly ball off the bat of Davey Johnson, fell to a knee, and the 1969 Mets were World Series champions. In that series, it was his foot which was hit which led to Gil Hodges bringing the shoe polished ball from the dugout. Was the best position player on that 1969 team, and his 7.0 WAR that season lasted as the team single-season record for nearly 30 years. During 1973 run to the division title, starting the key relay in the famous “Ball on the Wall” Play. Hit .284/.356/.444 in postseason play.

(14) Donn Clendenon – Acquired from the Montreal Expos at the 1969 trade deadline in the Mets first ever trade deadline acquisition with the team as a buyer. Gave a speech to team after they lost Game 1 of the World Series helping the team rally to win four straight. First ever Mets player to be named World Series MVP. All three home runs in that series came with the Mets behind or the game tied. Had a somewhat forgotten strong 1970 campaign.

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(6) Jerry Grote vs. (11) Ron Hunt

(6) Jerry Grote – Great defensive catcher and receiver who helped pitching staff lead Mets to 1969 World Series and 1973 pennant. Second all-time in Mets history in defensive WAR. Johnny Bench famously said if he and Grote were teammates, Bench would have played third base. Two time All-Star

(11) Ron Hunt – First Mets player to ever start an All-Star Game. Held record for single-season HBP for 52 years and team record for 48 years. Joked that while some people gave their bodies to science, he had given his body to baseball.

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(4) Bud Harrelson vs. (13) Nolan Ryan

(4) Bud Harrelson – First Mets player to ever inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame. Two time All-Star and first infielder to ever win a Gold Glove. Started a brawl with Pete Rose during the 1973 NLCS. Only person on the field for both the 1969 and 1986 World Series.

(13) Nolan Ryan – First and only Hall of Fame player drafted by the Mets organization to debut with the team. Earned a win in the 1969 NLCS clinching game and a save in Game 3 of the World Series. Best known not for his time pitching with the Mets but rather for the trade which netted the Mets Jim Fregosi.

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Miracle Bracket: (5) Ed Kranepool v. (12) Felix Millan

(5) Ed Kranepool –¬† Kranepool was an original Met called up during the 1969 season as a 17 year old. He would spend his entire 17 year career with the Mets making the 1965 All-Star team and holding almost every Mets offensive record when he retired after the 1979 season. He was there for nearly the first of everything in team history.

(12) Felix Millan – Arguably, Millan, or El Gatito, is the greatest defensive second baseman in team history. While a slap hitter with not much power, he was nearly impossible to strikeout making him and his choked up bat a pest at the plate. He was a key figure on the 1973 Mets who shocked the world, and sportswriters named him the MVP of that team. In 1975, he would become the first ever Mets player to play in all 162 games.

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Results of this poll and the Twitter poll will be combined, and the winner of this contest will be updated here.

Miracle Bracket: (8) Rusty Staub vs. (9) Tug McGraw

(8) Rusty Staub – Staub was a superstar caliber player the Mets acquired who helped the 1973 Ya Gotta Believe! Mets make an incredible run. During that time, he suffered a number of injuries, including a separated shoulder. Despite that, he hit .423 in the series. He was the first ever Mets player to reach 100 RBI, and he held the single season record for well over a decade. He returned to the Mets at the end of his career, and he would effectively be a player/coach for those young Mets teams. He would tie a record with eight consecutive pinch hits and 25 RBI by a pinch hitter. After his career, Staub had extensive charitable work helping first responders.

(9) Tug McGraw – It was McGraw who had the “Ya Gotta Believe!” rallying cry for the 1973 Mets. Even with him being a part of the 1969 Mets, he was best known for that season and run. He was unscored upon in that NLCS, and he was 1-0 with a save and a 2.63 ERA while pitching 13.1 innings over five games in that series. To this day, his rallying cry rings throughout Mets history.

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Results of this poll and the Twitter poll will be combined, and the winner of this contest will be updated here.

Miracle Region: (1) Tom Seaver vs. (16) Ron Swoboda

The Mets All-Time Fan Fan Favorite Tournament begins in the Miracle Bracket with a match-up between (1) Tom Seaver and (16) Ron Swoboda. Here is a brief synopsis on each.

(1) Tom Seaver – Seaver is dubbed The Franchise for taking the team from a losing franchise to World Series winners. He holds nearly every pitching record in team history, and he is considered to be, if not the greatest, among the greatest right-handed pitchers in Major League history. He was the first Mets player to have his number retired, and he was the first Mets player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. To date, he is the starting pitcher with the highest percent of the vote.

(16) Ron Swoboda – Even with his being nicknamed “Rocky” due to his adventures in the outfield, Swoboda arguably has the best defensive play in Mets history with his full out dive robbing Brooks Robinson of a key hit in Game 4 of the World Series.

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Results of this poll and the Twitter poll will be combined, and the winner of this contest will be updated here.

 

 

Mets All-Time Fan Favorite Tournament

The New York Mets have been around since 1962, and in that time, they have two players in the Hall of Fame, three players with retired numbers, 31 people in the Mets Hall of Fame, and a whole host of other beloved players. The question is who exactly is the most beloved player?

Does Tom Seaver still have cache in 2020? Did Mike Piazza or David Wright surpass him? Does Keith Hernandez‘s work in the booth¬† as well as his play on the field make him the one Mets player who has reached across all generations?

We really don’t know the answer to that and a whole host of other related questions. To that end, with there being no baseball, this site has set up a field of 64 akin to the NCAA Tournament. The field has been sectioned off in roughly 14 year increments to cover different eras of Mets baseball with each particular era having at least one Mets team who has won a pennant.

There were some tough choices to be made in selecting this field. The field was done using different offensive and pitching metrics, and it was done in consultation with Mets fans. On that note, special thanks are do to Joe D, Michael Mayer, Greg Prince, Tim Ryder, James Schapiro, and Bre S.

There were some tough decisions, and unfortunately, players like Ed Charles, Art Shamsky, Dave Kingman, John Stearns, Randy Myers, Pedro Martinez, Carlos Delgado, and Zack Wheeler did not make the list. It is regrettable, but the cuts had to be made somewhere to make this a more manageable field of 64.

The plan is to have polls open each day with a blurb on the match-up on this site with the ability to vote both on this site and on Twitter. The results of both will be combined, so if you are truly interested, you will be able to vote in both places. While not perfect, this is somewhat akin to the All-Star Game which to some degree is voting for fan favorites.

May your favorite player win, and Let’s Go Mets!

Ron Swoboda Rusty Staub Tug McGraw Ed Kranepool Felix Millan Bud Harrelson Nolan Ryan Jerry Grote Ron Hunt Cleon Jones Donn Clendenon Jon Matlack Tommie Agee Jerry Koosman Gary Gentry Tim Teufel Ron Darling Lenny Dykstra Mookie Wilson Sid Fernandez Gary Carter David Cone Howard Johnson Lee Mazzilli Darryl Strawberry Ray Knight Jesse Orosco Bob Ojeda Dwight Gooden Wally Backman Rico Brogna Rick Reed Bernard Gilkey Robin Ventura Todd Zeile John Olerud Lance Johnson John Franco Turk Wendell Al Leiter Bobby Jones Todd Hundley Benny Agbayani Edgardo Alfonzo Armando Benitez Jeff McNeil Michael Conforto Daniel Murphy Johan Santana Matt Harvey Jose Reyes Wilmer Flores Noah Syndergaard Brandon Nimmo Carlos Beltran Pete Alonso Curtis Granderson Yoenis Cespedes Jacob deGrom R.A. Dickey