New York Mets: The 4 players on the franchise’s Mount Rushmore

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 15: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Former New York Met and baseball Hall of Famer Mike Piazza attends the Tom Seaver statue unveiling ceremony before a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field on April 15, 2022 in New York City. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The Mets defeated the Diamondbacks 10-3. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 15: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Former New York Met and baseball Hall of Famer Mike Piazza attends the Tom Seaver statue unveiling ceremony before a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field on April 15, 2022 in New York City. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The Mets defeated the Diamondbacks 10-3. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK – CIRCA 1984: Darryl Strawberry #18 of the New York Mets bats during a Major League Baseball game circa 1984 at Shea Stadium in the Queens borough of New York City. Strawberry played for the Mets from 1983-90. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
NEW YORK – CIRCA 1984: Darryl Strawberry #18 of the New York Mets bats during a Major League Baseball game circa 1984 at Shea Stadium in the Queens borough of New York City. Strawberry played for the Mets from 1983-90. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Darryl Strawberry, Right Field, 1983-1990

Filling the final face of the Mount Rushmore of Mets was a bit of a wrestling match in my mind. At one point, it was Cleon Jones who dominated the 1969 NLCS and had a solid 1973 postseason. Then I changed it to Keith Hernandez, but I just didn’t think he spent enough time with the team. Hernandez may not be on this Mount Rushmore but he’s definitely on the Seinfeld special guest Mount Rushmore. From Hernandez, I reached back in time to Jerry Koosman who, like Jones, had a great postseason career with the Mets. Yet, in the end, nobody had the combination of name recognition, longevity with the club and stats like Darryl Strawberry.

Strawberry was at the plate what Gooden was on the mound — electric. The tall string-bean from Los Angeles caught fire in July of ’83 and never looked back. With 26 home runs and a .512 slugging percentage, Strawberry was the runaway winner of Rookie of the Year honors. In ’84, his batting average, OBP, OPS and slugging percentage all dipped, but the New York sensation still hammered 26 home runs and piled up 97 RBI and added 27 stolen bases which earned him the first of eight consecutive All-Star appearances. The 86′ World Series season found Strawberry’s average dipping again from the previous year, but he again made up for it with 27 homers, 93 RBI and 28 stolen bases.

In 1988, “Straw” led the National League in slugging (.535), OPS (.911), OPS+ (165) and home runs (39), great numbers that helped him finish second to Kirk Gibson in the NL MVP race. In 1990, Strawberry’s career high 108 RBI helped him finish third in MVP voting behind Bobby Bonilla and winner Barry Bonds. Bonds was slim, trim and a Pirate and Bonilla was a year away from signing the contract that is now and will be a holiday on the sports calendar through 2035.

Like Wright, Strawberry is all over the Mets offensive record books. He has the most homers (252), the most intentional walks (108), he’s second in RBI (733) and walks (580), third in runs (662) and extra-base hits (469), fourth in total bases (2,028) and fifth in stolen bases (191). I think it’s safe to say the Mets made the right choice with the number one pick of the 1980 draft.

Strawberry entered free agency after the 1990 season and signed with the Dodgers that November. Straw shined his first season in L.A. and earned his last All-Star selection and the received the final MVP considerations of his career.

Others in consideration for the Mt. Rushmore of New York Mets

Gary Carter, Sid Fernandez, Keith Hernandez, Howard Johnson, Cleon Jones, Jerry Koosman, Mike Piazza, Mookie Wilson and of course, Mr. Met.

Next. The 4 players on Mt. Rushmore for the New York Yankees. dark