Spring Training Countdown

1 DUPACR: Mookie Wilson

We’re down to the nitty-gritty, folks: there is 1 Day Until Pitchers And Catchers Report (yes, I’m aware there are already players running around the grounds of Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie — but they are doing so on their own accord). In honor of this auspicious day, we focus on former #1 Mookie […]

Spring Training Countdown

2 DUPACR: Mackey Sasser

With only 2 Days Until Pitchers And Catchers Report, we honor the day with former #2 Mackey Sasser. Why Mackey Sasser, as opposed to some other former Met who wore #2? I have to admit that this post almost honored a player I never saw, but read volumes of stories about: Marvelous Marv E. Throneberry […]

Spring Training Countdown

3 DUPACR: Bud Harrelson

With 3 Days Until Pitchers And Catchers Report, we offer a cool, refreshing Bud — Bud Harrelson, that is. Derrel McKinley Harrelson was signed by the Mets in 1963 (there was no draft until 1965), and made such an impression on manager Casey Stengel that “The Ol’ Perfessor” lobbied to bring him north with the […]

Spring Training Countdown

4 DUPACR: Ron Swoboda

NOTE: this was supposed to go up yesterday, but I had technical difficulties; I couldn’t get an internet connection from the Johannesburg airport in South Africa. Oh, didn’t I mention I was on a business trip in South Africa since last Friday? Sorry … and yes, we’ll be honoring #3 at some point later today. […]

Spring Training Countdown

5 DUPACR: John Olerud

With 5 Days Until Pitchers And Catchers Report, we honor the day with former #5 John Olerud. Why not David Wright? Because this series is about remembering Mets from the past. I hope the day we remember D-Wright as a “former” Met, it is a day in the far, far future. But back to Mr. […]

Spring Training Countdown

6 DUPACR: Wally Backman

With 6 Days Until Pitchers And Catchers Report, I chose former #6 Wally Backman to represent the day. Are you surprised? If so then you don’t come by here often. Wally — like many of the ’86 Mets — was considered an “old-school” player in the 1980s … which means, in today’s game, he’d be […]

Spring Training Countdown

7 DUPACR: Hubie Brooks

With 7 Days Until Pitchers And Catchers Report, I select former #7 Hubie Brooks to represent the day. I’m certain that many of you are wondering why it wasn’t Eddie Kranepool. I’ll tell you why: because to me, Hubie Brooks always represented optimism, and Kranepool represented pessimism. The fact that Ed Kranepool led the Mets […]

Spring Training Countdown

8 DUPACR: The Kid

With 8 Days Until Pitchers And Catchers Report, we honor “The Kid”, Gary Carter. Before the PEDs era of Todd Hundley and Mike Piazza arrived, Carter was the best offensive catcher ever to wear a Mets uniform — and some might argue he remains the best all-around catcher in the team’s history. He hit for […]

Spring Training Countdown

9 DUPACR: Gregg Jefferies

With 9 Days Until Pitchers And Catchers Report, the focus is on former wunderkind Gregg Jefferies. Jefferies was supposed to be the next Pete Rose — and the greatest offensive player ever produced by the Mets farm system, next to Darryl Strawberry. In spring training of 1998, and almost six months before he was added […]

Spring Training Countdown

10 DUPACR: Rusty Staub

Some of you may be saying, “Joe, Rusty wore #4!”. He did, it’s true. And in fact, his best years as a Met occurred when he wore a single digit. But I was fairly young when Rusty was singlehandedly hitting the Mets into the postseason in ’73 and was their main run producer in the […]

Spring Training Countdown

11 DUPACR: Lenny Randle

There are 11 Days Until Pitchers And Catchers Report to spring training, and today I’m honoring former #11 Lenny Randle. To be perfectly blunt, Randle was (and still is) a nut job. But he was ours. A switch-hitter with speed and an ability to get on base, Randle was an up-and-coming star who the Mets […]

Spring Training Countdown

12 DUPACR: John Stearns

With 12 Days Until Pitchers And Catchers Report, we honor former #12 John Stearns. Why Stearns? If you are a loyal MetsToday reader, you know I have a special place in my heart for all catchers. Stearns in particular was one of my favorite players growing up; I tried emulate him, Jerry Grote, and Thurman […]

Spring Training Countdown

13 DUPACR: Edgardo Alfonzo

With 13 Days Until Pitchers And Catchers Report, we mark the day with former #13 Edgardo Alfonzo. “Fonzie” was a key player for the last Met team to win the NL pennant, a quiet leader who spent his first four years as one of the best-kept secrets in baseball. By 1999, though, the secret was […]

Spring Training Countdown

14 DUPACR: Gil Hodges

With 14 Days Until Pitchers And Catchers Report, we honor #14 Gil Hodges. This was easy, since only three people in Mets history ever wore #14 on their back — Hodges, Ron Swoboda (for one season) and Ken Boyer (for two seasons). Unfortunately for me, I never knew/saw Hodges while he was alive, and can […]

Spring Training Countdown

15 DUPACR: Jerry Grote

Loyal readers of MetsToday know that I’m a catcher. Do you know why I’m a catcher? Because when I first became aware of baseball (thanks to WOR and WPIX), in the mid-1970s, my two favorite players were Thurman Munson and Jerry Grote — both catchers, both wore #15. Therefore, since there are 15 Days Until […]

Spring Training Countdown