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Retired Numbers

Aug 14 2005 04:23 PM

The Mets have retired four numbers:

37 - Casey Stengel
14 - Gil Hodges
41 - Tom Seaver
42 - Jackie Robinson (retired throughout baseball)

There have been a few other players (and managers) that have touched this franchise in such a way that I believe they merit at least discussion of retiring their numbers. Here's my list:

Plan the Ceremony:

31 - Mike Piazza
8 - Gary Carter

Consider This:

16 - Dwight Gooden
17 - Keith Hernandez
21 - Cleon Jones
22 - Al Leiter
36 - Jerry Koosman
50 - Sid Fernandez


5 - Davey Johnson/(but you wouldn't want to displace) David Wright?
31 - Mike Piazza/John Franco?
45 - Tug McGraw/John Franco/(maybe after all is said and done) Pedro Martinez?

Wait and See:

5 - David Wright
7 - Jose Reyes

Snorted His Way Out:

18 - Darryl Strawberry

What do you all think? Personally I think we've got a little bit of a problem regarding how we retire Captain John Franco. 31 or 45? Do we double up with Mike or Tugger, because if Franco gets 45, Tug has to be retired as well at 45? What about Pedro? It's a weird one we've got here.

Yancy Street Gang
Aug 14 2005 04:25 PM

I'll consider Piazza when he gets into the Hall of Fame.

For all of the others, except Reyes and Wright for whom it's too early to say, the answer is no.

Edgy DC
Aug 14 2005 04:30 PM

This comes up oft, so I've just taken to referring peeps to this fine rant.

But why is Gooden a possibility and Strawberry beyond the pale? Gooden leads Strawberry two Met suspensions to none. He might have had more, but his subsequent positive tests as a Met came before his second suspension ended.

Aug 14 2005 04:36 PM

Here's my reasoning: Doc stayed. Straw left. Strawberry's been in and out of jail more. He disgraced himself more, in my opinion.

Aug 14 2005 04:39 PM

Neither one gets a number retired. Maybe Carter, maybe less Mex, maybe even less Piazza. Franco is a maybe; they might do a big 31/45 ceremony some day and honor both of them and Tug.

Aug 14 2005 04:47 PM

I wouldn't retire Doc or Strawberry. They blew what should have been HOF careers up their noses. I wouldn't honor either of them with a retired number.

Aug 14 2005 05:15 PM

I wouldn't retire either of them, but I would still give Doc a passing glance.

Frayed Knot
Aug 14 2005 05:15 PM

What Yancy said.

Johnny Dickshot
Aug 14 2005 10:24 PM

Piazza gets his number when he goes, and he shares it with Franco as an honor to the Bobby Valentine Era Mets.

The Mets haven't issued 8 since Carter became eligle for the Hall of Fame and at some point (maybe next year honoring the 20th anniversary of 86) they make it official. I'm not stroingly against that, but fear it may cause an avalanche of calls for every other 86er and the whole thing will be a giant clusterfuck.

I also think Mookie has a shot at No. 1: Probably the team's least unpopular player ever (nobody hates Mookie!) and has been a good soldier in the organization ever since.

Aug 14 2005 10:43 PM

That rant link was a great read, never saw it before so thanks, I think the Mets have shown proper caution when it comes to retired numbers, lets never cheapen the act like other teams, when I did the KTE for the Padres people were rightly horrified that they had retired Steve Garvey's number.I think the Mets are right on this.

Point of interest, the A's retired the number of Dennis Eckersley this week.

Aug 14 2005 11:03 PM

metirish wrote:
That rant link was a great read, never saw it before so thanks, I think the Mets have shown proper caution when it comes to retired numbers, lets never cheapen the act like other teams, when I did the KTE for the Padres people were rightly horrified that they had retired Steve Garvey's number.I think the Mets are right on this.

Point of interest, the A's retired the number of Dennis Eckersley this week.

Err whats KTE for the Padres?

Eck is in the Hall like the other retired numbers for the A's though A) I'm surprised it took so long to retire 9 for Reggie and B) they ought to do what the Giants did for their New York immortals Mathewson and McGraw with HOFers from Philly that didn't wear numbers like Foxx, Grove, Collins, Mack, ect

Speaking of Bay Area Teams Point of Interest, Giants did retire Gaylord Perry, a HOFer as well as all their other retired numbers through the years


Frayed Knot
Aug 14 2005 11:22 PM

KTE is "Know Thy Enemy"; it's our version of a series preview for the upcoming Mets' opponent.

A recent one for a series against the SD Pads touched upon the whole number retirement issue

The delay for Reggie in Oakland had to do with some kind of long-simmering Jackson vs A's ownership dispute that apparently got smoothed over fairly recently.

Aug 15 2005 01:33 AM

]But why is Gooden a possibility and Strawberry beyond the pale?

my thoughts exactly.

I'd retire Koosman, Piazza (in a few years), Franco.
i'd give serious thought to Hernandez, Carter, Mcgraw, Jones, Leiter, but they all probably fall just short of retirement.

Aug 15 2005 09:11 AM

Ah, the semi-monthly, "Should the Mets retire Piazza's number?" thread. I like these.

Aug 15 2005 01:53 PM
Re: Retired Numbers

31 - Mike Piazza - YES
8 - Gary Carter - YES
16 - Dwight Gooden - NO
17 - Keith Hernandez - NO
21 - Cleon Jones - NO
22 - Al Leiter - NO
36 - Jerry Koosman - MAYBE
50 - Sid Fernandez - NO
5 - Davey Johnson - NO
31 -John Franco? - NO
45 - Tug McGraw - NO
5 - David Wright - RIDICULOUS
7 - Jose Reyes - RIDICULOUS
18 - Darryl Strawberry - NO

Vic Sage
Aug 15 2005 01:59 PM
Edited 1 time(s), most recently on Aug 15 2005 02:30 PM


Vic Sage
Aug 15 2005 01:59 PM
Edited 6 time(s), most recently on Aug 15 2005 02:31 PM

37 - Casey Stengel
Stengel was the clown prince who allowed the team to be at least amusing and loveable at a time where they had nothing on the roster. I can see retiring his number for his initial importance to establishing the franchise.

14 - Gil Hodges
Hodges was an original 62 Met, a NYC icon, and as a manager led them to the miracle 69 championship. He made the laughingstock mets a team to be taken seriously. then he died tragically. i can't understand anyone not understanding why his number was retired.

41 - Tom Seaver
seaver, obviously, was a no-brainer retiree, as a HOFer who was the identity of the franchise.

42 - Jackie Robinson (retired throughout baseball)

Beyond these, as far as i'm concerned, a retiree will need to be a HOFer who either (a) played more of his games with the Mets than any other team, or (b) was a significant contributer for a sustained period during which they were a championship team.

If they aren't HOFers, they need to either have been (c) career Mets who were significant contributors to championship teams and became identifiable icons of the organization, or (d) great players or important executives who died tragically as Mets. And HOFer or not, they'll need to be people of sterling character who the organization won't ever be ashamed to have honored in this way.

looking at the prospective list:

31 - Mike Piazza
Piazza meets the criteria of A & B (unless he goes on to play a few years for the Dodgers, making him more theirs than ours)

8 - Gary Carter
Carter played the majority of his years (and was most productive) as an Expo. His number is theirs to retire, not ours.

16 - Dwight Gooden
18 - Darryl Strawberry
Gooden and Straw? are you kidding?

17 - Keith Hernandez
Hernandz falls short under category C, having won his MVP in ST.L and his "sterling character" is questionable,at best.

21 - Cleon Jones
22 - Al Leiter
50 - Sid Fernandez
Leiter's no HOFer nor any kind of career Met icon. Same for Fat Sid. Same for Cleon "what girl?" Jones.

36 - Jerry Koosman
Kooz is a close call under category C, but i'd say no. Through no fault of his own, he won 20 games for Minnesota. And while here he always dwelled in the shadow of the superior Seaver, preventing him from reaching "iconic met" status (IMO). If he'd come back after his Minny days to finish his career here, and became a Mets coach or announcer, I'd probably change my mind about him. But he didn't so i haven't.

5 - Davey Johnson
While i loved Davey, and think he had a significant impact on their best teams, i'd rather not have more managers than players on the wall. And i think a manager or executive needs to be dead before he's considered. Besides, with the way Wright is starting his career, #5 might be going up anyway.

31 - John Franco
Franco will need to make the HOF to qualify, as he was not a category C career Met. If 31 gets retired, it shouldn't be a "joint ceremony" with Piazza.

45 - Tug McGraw
Not quite a category C player, and his tragic death occurred after after his retirement from the Phillies. He's as much identified with them as he is with the Mets.

Pedro Martinez?
Only if he pitches effectively here for at least 5-6 years, and he leads the mets to a championship or 2 during his tenure (assuming he ends up a HOFer)

As for players not mentioned

7- If Kranepool was a slightly better player who made a slightly more significant contribution in 69 and/or 73, he'd be a lock. But he wasn't and he didnt' so he isn't.

1- Mookie qualifies under category C, and is enhancing his status as an organization guy and Mets icon. I wouldn't have a problem with him going on the wall upon his final retirement from baseball, or upon his death, whichever is earlier.

Conclusion: #31 might go on the wall (depending on what happens the next few years) and i wouldn't argue with #1 either, someday. But nobody else need apply at this time. We can talk about Wright and Reyes 10 years from now, to see where they stand.

Yancy Street Gang
Aug 15 2005 02:06 PM

I agree with Vic.

Retiring a number should be a very exclusive honor, and granted very rarely.

There already is a way in place to honor the guys like Jerry Koosman, Cleon Jones, and Mookie Wilson, and it's already been done: they're in the Mets Hall of Fame.

As for Piazza, let's see what he does after this season. If he plays another two or three years with the Mets, that will improve his case. So will retiring. On the other hand, if he spends the next five years DHing for the Angels, then he'll be a much weaker candidate for a retired number.

The fact that Franco wore number 31 isn't a factor at all. He's not number-retirement material.

I don't expect Pedro will be either. He won't be here long enough.