Full 25-man roster: The greatest Mets team of all time

The Mets have been playing some of the worst baseball in the league over the last month. In the midst of a pennant race that people say they're "right in the middle of," the current 13 game stretch against the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants is make or break for the 2021 New York Mets. So far, it hasn't gone great for the Mets. After getting swept in three games by the Dodgers at Citi Field, the Mets traveled to San Francisco and were beat by the Giants in the first two games of the series, bringing the Mets losing streak to five games for the first time this season, and their division deficit to 4.5 games behind the first place Atlanta Braves.


It's time like these when I like to retreat into a fantasy world. And as I was watching the Mets get embarrassed by the Giants last night, I got to thinking, "what would the greatest all-time Mets roster look like?" and my imagination started to go crazy, so here I am.


My only criteria for this list is that the player had to have spent the prime of his career with the Mets, and or has to have played hero for the team in their short time here, either with a clutch postseason hit, or iconic moment that gets replayed on TV over and over again.


So, despite being drafted by the Mets and winning a World Series with them, Nolan Ryan will be exempt from this last, as he didn't become the great Nolan Ryan that we all know until he was traded to the California Angels. Willie Mays will also not be on this list, as he only spent two seasons in New York, and neither will Justin Turner, since he stunk in Queens.


 

Position Players


C. Mike Piazza (1998-2005)


You have no idea how hard it was to decide between Gary Carter and Mike Piazza for this spot. When it was announced that Mike Piazza would be inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in 2016, there was quite a bit of controversy surrounding which hat he should wear in the hall, Dodgers or Mets? The answer was clear, it was the Mets, and obviously Piazza felt the same way, as that was the final decision he made.


Mike Piazza is my all-time favorite baseball player. As an impressionable young kid, nothing made me happier that watching Piazza smack homeruns over the outfield wall at Shea Stadium. Even when the Mets retired his #31 in 2016, my 19 year-old self had to have one of the best seats in the house, right behind the first base dugout at Citi Field to listen to Piazza's retirement speech in person.


Piazza became the greatest home run hitting catcher of all time wearing a Mets uniform, Piazza became the face of hope in New York with his post-9/11 homerun, and Piazza was a National League Champion with the Mets. With a career batting average of .308, 2,127 hits, 427 homeruns, and 1,335 runs batted in, Piazza is the greatest catcher to ever don a Mets uniform, and perhaps the second greatest Met of all time.

Piazza career accolades:

  • Member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame (2016)

  • 12x All-Star (1998-2002, 2004, 2005 w/ Mets)

  • 1993 NL Rookie of the Year

  • 10x Silver Slugger (1998-2002 w/Mets)

 

1B. Keith Hernandez (1983-1989)


Give it anywhere from three to five more years, and this will probably be Pete Alonso in this slot as the greatest Mets first baseman. Although even Hernandez has admitted that he considers himself a St. Louis Cardinal for life, it doesn't mean he hasn't earned his place in Mets history. Not only was Hernandez a vital member of the 1986 World Series Champion New York Mets, but he has continued to solidify himself in the hearts and minds of Mets fans since 1998 as an Emmy Award winning color-commentator, alongside Gary Cohen and other Mets great, Ron Darling for SportsNet New York (SNY)


Hernandez career accolades:

  • 5x All-Star (1984, 1986, 1987 w/ Mets)

  • 2x World Series Champion (1986 w/Mets)

  • 1979 NL MVP

  • 1979 NL Batting Champion

  • 11x Gold Glove (1983-1988 w/ Mets)

  • 2x Silver Slugger (1984 w/ Mets)

 

2B. Dan Murphy (2008-2015)


The most recent postseason hero for the Mets, Dan Murphy, is one of the purest hitters to ever wear the orange and blue. Although his defense was below average, Murphy gave Mets fans one of the most exciting seasons in Mets history in 2015, especially during the postseason that year.


During the 2015 postseason -- NLDS and NLCS combined -- Murphy became the first player in MLB history to hit a homerun in six consecutive postseason games, he broke a Mets franchise record for most homeruns in the postseason, and became the second player all time after Lou Gehrig to have a hit, an RBI, and to score a run in seven consecutive games.


One of the biggest mistakes in franchise history was not re-signing Murphy before the 2016 season. Murphy signed a three-year deal with the Washington Nationals, and went on to kill the Mets any time he played against them.


Murphy career accolades:

  • 3x All-Star (2014 w/ Mets)

  • 2015 NLCS MVP

  • 2x Silver Slugger

 

3B. David Wright (2004-2018)


David Wright: one of the few Met lifers, and the last MLB team captain (alongside Texas Rangers' Adrián Beltré)


David Wright is Mr. Met. While he might not be the best player in franchise history, he was the face of the organization for 14 years, and continues to be the most recognizable Met of all time. It isn't often in the modern day MLB that players spend their whole career with one team, and it's even more rare that one player spends their entire career with the Mets, as he is only the third player to spend his career in Queens. (Ed Kranepool, Ron Hodges)


Wright holds the Mets franchise records for most career hits, RBI's, doubles, total bases, runs scored, walks, sacrifice flies, times on base, extra base hits, double plays, and strikeouts.


If it wasn't for a debilitating spinal stenosis diagnosis that derailed Wright's career in his prime, Wright could've very well been a future Hall of Famer.


Wright's career accolades:

  • 7x All-Star

  • 2x Gold Glove

  • 2x Silver Slugger

  • Member of the 30-30 club

 

SS. Jose Reyes (2003-2011, 2016-2018)


Okay, I know what you're going to say, "Reyes was a notorious locker room cancer, a horrible husband, and arguably the main cause of the historic 2007 and 2008 Mets collapse's." While you may be right, I dare you to name another Mets' shortstop that was as electric as Reyes was. When things were going good for Reyes at the plate, he was one of the best players in the game during his prime, and that can't be argued.


Reyes career accolades:

  • 4x All-Star (2006, 2007, 2010, 2011 w/Mets)

  • 2006 Silver Slugger

  • 2011 NL Batting Champion

  • 3x NL stolen base leader (2005-2007 w/Mets)

 

OF. Darryl Strawberry (1983-1990)


The power hitting kid from California who couldn't even find New York on a map prior to being drafted first overall by the Mets in 1980, Strawberry went on to be the greatest outfielder in franchise history, and 1986 World Series Champion with the Mets.


Strawberry had himself a heck of a career during his 16 year MLB tenure, but one has to wonder how much more he could've achieved had he not fallen victim to being one of the most famous men in New York City during the 1980's, along with the rest of the Mets roster. Strawberry's career was derailed by substance abuse, and a series of crimes, all of which were documented in the 2016 ESPN 30 for 30 film, Doc & Darryl. A documentary that I highly recommend checking out if you are a baseball fan.


Strawberry's career accolades:

  • 8x All-Star (1984-1990 w/Mets)

  • 4x World Series Champion (1986 w/ Mets)

  • 1983 NL Rookie of the Year

  • 2x Silver Slugger (1988, 1990 w/Mets)

  • 1988 NL homerun leader

 

OF. Carlos Beltran (2005-2011)


Beltran was already a superstar with the Kansas City Royals and Houston Astros before signing a massive seven-year, $119 million contract with the Mets in 2005. However, some of the best years of his career were spent in New York.

Unfortunately for Beltran, two out of his three darkest moments have come during his time with the Mets. Beltran was pinned as the mastermind behind the infamous 2017 Houston Astros sign stealing scandal, which ultimately led to the Mets firing him from his recently obtained manager position, before he could ever even manage a game in New York. Beltran also became the face of a "what could have been" for the New York Mets, after he struck out looking during Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS against an Adam Wainwright curveball in the bottom of the 9th inning, down 3-1 with the bases loaded.


The Mets were the heavy favorites to win that series, and many have estimated that had Beltran managed to walk the game off in that moment, the Mets would have went on to defeat the Detroit Tigers in the 2006 World Series. But, like I said, that will always be the biggest "what could have been" in Mets franchise history.


Beltran career accolades:

  • 9x All-Star (2005-2007, 2009, 2011 w/Mets)

  • 2017 World Series Champion

  • 1999 AL Rookie of the Year

  • 3x Gold Glove (2006-2008 w/ Mets)

  • 2x Silver Slugger (2006, 2007 w/Mets)

 

OF. Cleon Jones (1963-1975)


It was a tough decision to put Cleon Jones in this spot over Mookie Wilson, but at the end of the day I opted to go with the guy who caught the last out of the 1969 World Series, the first in Mets franchise history.


As mentioned above, Jones was a crucial member of the 1969 Miracle Mets World Series Champions. Jones played 12 seasons in New York, and is most famous for catching the last out in left field off the bat of Baltimore Orioles' Davey Johnson to clinch the 1969 World Series. He is also famous for making a clutch defensive play during a pivotal series against the first place Pittsburgh Pirates down the stretch of a tight pennant race.


Truly one of the greatest Cinderella Stories in sports history.


Jones career accolades:

  • 1x All-Star (1969 w/ Mets)

  • 1969 World Series Champion

  • New York Mets Hall of Fame

 

Starting pitchers


SP. Tom Seaver (1967-1977)


Seaver is the greatest Met of all time, and one of the greatest pitchers in MLB history. If you want to know more, I already wrote a lengthy article on the career and brilliance of Seaver, shortly after his death in 2020.


Seaver career accolades:

  • 12x All-Star (1967-1973, 1975-1977 w/Mets)

  • 1969 World Series Champion

  • 3x NL Cy Young (1969, 1973, 1975 w/Mets)

  • 1967 NL Rookie of the Year

  • 3x NL wins leader (1969, 1975 w/Mets)

  • 3x NL ERA leader (1970, 1971, 1973 w/Mets)

  • 5x NL strikeout leader (1970, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1976 w/Mets)

  • Member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame (1992)

 

SP. Jacob deGrom (2014-present)


deGrom's story is still being written, and if it continues to go the way that it has so far, we are currently witnessing of the best to ever take the mound in the major leagues. If you pay any attention to baseball whatsoever, you know who Jacob deGrom is.


deGrom career accolades:

  • 4x All-Star

  • 2x All-MLB First Team

  • 2x NL Cy Young

  • 2014 NL Rookie of the Year

  • 2018 NL ERA leader

  • 2x NL strikeout leader

 

SP. Dwight "Doc" Gooden (1984-1994)

  • 4x All-Star (1984-1986, 1988 w/Mets)

  • 3x World Series Champion (1986 w/ Mets)

  • 1985 NL Cy Young

  • 1985 Triple Crown

  • 1984 NL Rookie of the Year

  • 1992 Silver Slugger

  • 1985 MLB wins leader

  • 1985 MLB ERA leader

  • 2x MLB strikeout leader (1984, 1985 w/Mets)

 

SP. Jerry Koosman (1967-1978)

  • 2x All-Star (1968, 1969 w/Mets)

  • 1969 World Series Champion

  • New York Mets Hall of Fame

 

SP. Jon Matlack (1971-1977)

  • 3x All-Star (1974-1976 w/Mets)

  • 1972 NL Rookie of the Year

  • New York Mets Hall of Fame

 

Bullpen


RP. John Franco (1990-2004)

  • 4x All-Star (1990 w/Mets)

  • 3x NL saves leader (1990, 1994 w/Mets)

  • New York Mets Hall of Fame

 

RP. Tug McGraw (1965-1974)

  • 2x All-Star (1972 w/Mets)

  • 2x World Series Champion (1969 w/ Mets)

  • New York Mets Hall of Fame

 

RP. Jesse Orosco (1979-1987)

  • 2x All-Star (1983, 1984 w/Mets)

  • 2x World Series Champion (1986 w/ Mets)

  • MLB record 1,252 games pitched

 

RP. Billy Wagner (2006-2009)

  • 7x All-Star (2007, 2008 w/Mets)

 

RP. Armando Benítez (1999-2003)

  • 2x All-Star (2003 w/ Mets)

 

RP. Roger McDowell (1985-1989)

  • 1986 World Series Champion

 

Bench:


C. Gary Carter (1985-1989)

 

OF. Mookie Wilson (1980-1989)

 

2B. Edgardo Alfonzo (1995-2002)

 

IF/OF. Rusty Staub (1972-1975)

 

1B. Ed Kranepool (1962-1979)

 

OF. Tommie Agee (1968-1972)

 

Follow me on Twitter for all your New York Mets news, updates and rumors. @NY_cth.


Hopefully we can turn this around soon, Mets fans.


-Chris

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