Since we are already in June and the intention of this series was to complete it before the last game at Shea, I’ll start looking at numbers in groups of 10. Today we have numbers 21 – 30 (once again with a tip of the cap to Mets By The Numbers):
Rightful Owner(s): Cleon Jones
Rent-A-Met(s): Carlos Delgado
Comment: Cleon played in 12 different seasons for the Mets and still has the highest single season batting average in team history. Delgado, well, he accepts a paycheck from the Mets.
Rightful Owner(s): Al Leiter
Rent-A-Met(s): Ray Knight & Kevin McReynolds
Comment: Yes, Knight won the World Series MVP in 1986 – he was more of a Red in his career than a Met though. Leiter is a bit of a stretch but he won more games with the Mets than any other team and he gets bonus points for growing up a Mets fan.
Rightful Owner(s): Doug Flynn
Rent-A-Met(s): Bernard Gilkey
Comment: It really is amazing that Flynn won a Gold Glove in 1980 – you don’t usually see that on 90+ losing teams.
Rightful Owner(s): Art Shamsky
Rent-A-Met(s): Willie Mays & Ricky Henderson
Comment: Honor Willie, most certainly, but he was never really a Met. As for Ricky, the less said the better.
Rightful Owner(s): Danny Heep
Rent-A-Met(s): Bobby Bonilla
Comment: I still can’t believe the Mets brought Bonilla back in 1999 – cause he made such a great impression during his first stint.
Rightful Owner(s): Dave Kingman
Rent-A-Met(s): Orlando Hernandez
Comment: Kong was really not a great ballplayer, but oh those monster sky shots.
Rightful Owner(s): Craig Swan
Rent-A-Met(s): Pete Harnisch
Comment: I’ve always felt bad for Swanny – he came up with the Mets right as they started getting bad in the 70’s and his career ended just as the Mets started getting good in the mid-80’s.
Rightful Owner(s): Bobby J. Jones
Rent-A-Met(s): Jeff Conine
Comment: Bobby J. immortalized himself with that one-hitter in the 2000 NLDS – arguably one of the top 2 or 3 pitching perfomances in Mets history. Does anyone remember that Conine was on the team last year?
Rightful Owner(s): Dave Magaden
Rent-A-Met(s): Frank Viola & Steve Trachsel
Comment: Everyone talks about how bad the Ryan trade was – the Viola trade ranks right up there too.
Rightful Owner(s): None
Rent-A-Met(s): Nolan Ryan, Mike Scott, & Cliff Floyd
Comment: OK, so techincally Ryan and Scott were not “rented” by the Mets, but since they achieved greater fame and are more identified with other teams, they fall into this group. It is quite a coincidence that they both wore this number and then both pitched no-no’s for the Astros.