The roster presents some very different challenges than the Yankees roster.
Sure, there are some no brainers, which we will get to.
The tough decisions here centered around a piece of the Mets organization that would fit the bill as the team’s claim to fame: the pitching staff.
Historically, when you think of the New York Yankees, it’s Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, Jeter and the plethora of star, larger-than-life position players.
For the Mets, it’s the dominance of Seaver, Koosman, Gooden and deGrom.
So let’s get it to it:
C: Mike Piazza: Leaving Gary Carter off this lineup was very tough to do, but how in the world do I not choose the greatest hitting catcher of all time?
1B: Keith Hernandez: One of the most important trades in the history of the franchise. Hernandez helped teach the Mets how to win.
2B: Edgardo Alfonso: One of the most underrated and appreciated clutch hitters of the 1990’s.
SS: Jose Reyes: Put the back end of his tenure aside, at the top of his game he was easily one of the most electrifying players in baseball.
3B: David Wright: Franchise leader in many categories including hits and runs, if only the body didn’t give out over the final few years of his career.
OF: Darryl Strawberry: One of the most imposing offensive forces in Met history. Every at-bat in a Met uniform was the definition of must see.
OF: Carlos Beltran: One of the best free agent signings in Met history, a smooth operator.
OF: Cleon Jones: Our one fixture in the everyday lineup from the ‘69 title team. His performance in that championship year goes a long way in locking down that final spot.
SP: Tom Seaver: Greatest Met of all time.
SP: Jerry Koosman: Career 3.09 ERA in 12 seasons in Flushing.
SP: Dwight Gooden: Much like Strawberry, every start was must see.
SP: Jacob deGrom: The two-time Cy Young winner is moving further and further up this all-time rotation.
SP: Jon Matlack: A 3.03 career era with the Mets throughout the 70’s rounds out the rotation.
RP: Tug McGraw: Ya Gotta Believe!
My toughest decision was figuring out who the fifth starter in this loaded rotation was going to be. I really wanted to find a place for Ron Darling, Sid Fernandez or Al Leiter, but all three barely missed the cut.
Also, if you’re looking for a creative way to get Gary Carter involved, make Mike Piazza the designated hitter. After all, it should be finding it’s way to the National League sooner rather than later!
It’s been a blast putting together these all-time teams, especially with all of the craziness going on in the world. I’m looking forward to diving into the upcoming NFL Draft over the next two weeks.