By: Stuart Hack

All-Time Mets Team Who Succeeded After Leaving


This week my all-time best Met team by position are players that went on to have success after leaving.

First Base – Mike Jorgensen. Jorgensen spent two tours with the Mets. He was part of the Rusty Staub trade in 1972, had some productive years before returning to Queens in 1980. He ended up playing until 1985.

Second Base – Jeff Kent. Old time Met Fans might argue Ron Hunt but it’s hard to go against an MVP which Kent was in San Francisco.

Shortstop – Jose Oquendo. This was a tough one. Oquendo was with the Mets in 1983 and 1984. He makes this team by lasting as a player to 1995. As Harry Houdini once said 90% of success is based on just showing up.

Third Base – Ty Wigginton. He was one of the highlights of the Art Howe era. That should tell you about those teams. He did end up staying in Baseball until 2013.

Left Field – Kevin Mitchell. Dave Kingman did have that great 1979 for the Cubs and some solid ones for Oakland but once again hard to argue with an MVP. I always wonder how the Mets would have done with Mitchell in left field instead of Kevin McReynolds. It was once said that although both were solid players, McReynolds liked to win while Mitchell loved to win.

Center Field – Amos Otis. Otis edges Jim Hickman. The Mets traded a young Otis to Kansas City for Joe Foy in an attempt to break their then third base jinx. Otis had a solid career with the Royals. Hickman was an original Met and went on to have good seasons with the Cubs among others. If you recall Hickman hit the single in the 1970 All Star Game which led to the collision at home plate between Pete Rose and Ray Fosse.

Right Field – Ken Singleton. I got a lot of grief in my last column for putting Joel Youngblood ahead of Rusty Staub for best trade. My reasoning was Singleton who put up some great seasons in Baltimore was more of a loss for the Mets then Mike Phillips who they traded for Youngblood.

Catcher – Chris Cannizzaro. Another tough one. He was an original Met and I put him here because he was the starting catcher on another expansion team, the 1969 San Diego Padres. Honorable mention goes to Mike Fitzgerald and Brent Mayne who went on to play several more seasons after leaving New York.

Right Handed Starting Pitcher — Nolan Ryan. Easiest one to choose.

Left Handed Starting Pitcher — Bruce Chen. He was with the Mets in 2001 and 2002. He lasted until last season. I met him once, very nice and humble guy.

Right Handed Relief Pitcher — Jeff Reardon. The Mets decided to go with Neil Allen as a closer over Reardon. He went on to have a fine career as a closer with Montreal. Honorable Mention: Rick Aguilera

Left Handed Relief Pitcher — Randy Myers. The Mets did get John Franco for him but Myers went on to have some great seasons with Cincinnati as one of the nasty boys.

Manager — Joe Torre. The Mets were his first managing job so he had growing pains. He ended up crosstown at the right time and won four World Championships.

I’d love to hear from other Met Fans as far as any trades I may have missed.

About Stuart A. Hack

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