What a random but really cool announcement.
FLUSHING, N.Y., January 11, 2022 — The New York Mets today announced the team will retire Keith Hernandez’s uniform #17 prior to the Saturday, July 9 game vs. Miami.
Hernandez was elected to the Mets Hall of Fame in 1997, ranks second in team history in batting average (.297) and earned six Rawlings Gold Gloves with the Mets, the most in franchise history.
Hernandez will become the fourth player to have his number retired by the Mets, joining Tom Seaver (#41), Mike Piazza (#31) and Jerry Koosman (#36). In addition, the Mets have retired #14 for Manager Gil Hodges, #37 for Manager Casey Stengel and #42 across baseball for Jackie Robinson.
“I’m thrilled,” said Hernandez, who has spent nearly three decades with the Mets as a player and broadcaster. “This is truly a special honor that lasts beyond a lifetime. I can’t thank Steve and Alex Cohen and the Mets Hall of Fame Committee enough. I was very emotional when Steve called to let me know about the number retirement. This is the highest honor an organization can bestow upon a player. I also want to thank Mets fans, who have treated me like family since I arrived in 1983.”
“Keith was the first captain in team history and a great leader and catalyst on that ’86 championship team,” said Chairman, CEO and Owner Steve Cohen. “He was a defensive wizard at first and was a clutch performer late in games. We made a promise to continue celebrating and honoring our tremendous history and this is another deserving step in that direction. Congratulations, Keith.”
Hernandez led the NL in fielding percentage in 1985 and 1986 with the Mets, won 11 Gold Gloves overall and is a member of the Rawlings Gold Glove Hall of Fame.
Hernandez was named to five All-Star teams during his career and ranks fourth in club history in on-base percentage (.387) and 10th in RBI (468). On May 6, 1987, his teammates elected him the first captain in Mets history.
The Bay Area native slashed .310/.446/.413 with 34 doubles, 13 homers, 83 RBI and an NL-leading 94 walks in 1986. He delivered three RBI in Game Seven of the 1986 World Series.
Hernandez was acquired by the Mets on June 15, 1983 from St. Louis in exchange for pitchers Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey.
He has been in the Mets television booth since 1999, including the last 16 years on SNY, where he’s won three Emmys for “Best Sports Analyst.”