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NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME MEMBERS
Though the Mets have won four pennants and two World Championships, they are not heavily represented in baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Only two players, Tom Seaver and, to a lesser extent, Gary Carter, established their credentials for the game's highest honor while playing a significant portion of their careers with the Mets. Seven other Hall-of-Famers, who had their glory years with other clubs, spent a portion of their careers as players with the Mets. (See below.) Other Cooperstown immortals who served in a Met uniform, though not as a player, are manager Casey Stengel, and coaches Rogers Hornsby and Bob Gibson.

The list of Mets players in the Hall of Fame is certain to grow in the coming years, as Rickey Henderson is sure to be enshrined once he becomes eligible. The late Gil Hodges, the great Brooklyn Dodger firstbaseman who ended his playing career with, and later managed, the Mets, gets annual consideration from the Veterans Committee, but has not yet been selected. He deserves to be, and we hope to see him get his due in the not-too-distant future.

Joe Torre was an outstanding player with the Braves and the Cardinals before coming to the Mets at the end of his career. He was, however, not quite good enough to make it to the Hall of Fame. His recent success winning World Championships with the Yankees has inspired talk that he may make it to Cooperstown as a manager.

Among more recent Mets, Mike Piazza, Roberto Alomar, and Tom Glavine are likely to become Hall-of-Famers after their playing careers end.


METS PLAYERS IN THE NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME

Berra
1972 BASEBALL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
YOGI BERRA
Yogi Berra played 18 seasons with the Yankees, and four games with the Mets, but those four games in 1965 qualify him for a spot on this list of Mets players in the Hall of Fame. During his Yankee career, Berra hit 358 home runs, won three MVP awards, and played in 75 World Series games. He retired as a player and became the Yankees' manager for the 1964 season, in which he led his team to the American League pennant, only to be fired after a World Series loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. The Mets coaxed him out of retirement for the 1965 season, but Berra's comeback was limited, as mentioned above, to a mere four games.

He spent eleven years in a Mets uniform, however, first as a coach, and then, after the 1972 death of Gil Hodges, as the team's fifth manager. Yogi became the first manager to win pennants in each league when the Mets found their way to the 1973 World Series. Yogi's ties with the Mets organization ended when he was fired as manager during the 1975 season. He has gone on since then to become one of baseball's most colorful figures, known perhaps more for his many memorable quotes (many of which he never actually uttered) than for his distinguished career on the field and in the dugout.

Spahn
1973 BASEBALL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
WARREN SPAHN
Warren Spahn joined the Mets in 1965 after 20 seasons with the Boston and Milwaukee Braves. During that time he established himself as one of the greatest left-handed pitchers in the history of the game. He had thirteen 20-win seasons, and pitched in three World Series, including the Milwaukee Braves' World Championship season of 1957. When he put on a Mets uniform for the first time, however, he was nearly 44 years old. He posted an unimpressive 4-12 record in 19 starts with the Mets before finishing 1965, and his career, with the San Francisco Giants.

Spahn's 363 career victories represent the fifth highest win total of all time, behind only immortals Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Grover Cleveland Alexander, and Christy Mathewson. Spahn also has the somewhat less impressive distinction of being the first Met player ever to draw a breath on the planet Earth. His April 23, 1921 birth preceded his nearest competitor, Gene Woodling by over a year.

Mays
1979 BASEBALL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
WILLIE MAYS
During over two decades with the New York and San Francisco Giants, Willie Mays was, arguably, the greatest player of his time. When he retired in 1973, he ranked third on the all-time home run list with 660, behind only Babe Ruth and Henry Aaron. He collected 3,283 base hits, drove in 1,903 runs, and had a career batting average of .302. He was a Rookie of the Year in 1951, and won two Most Valuable Player awards. In 1954 he led the Giants to their final World Championship in New York, and, during the World Series that year, he made a spectacular catch and throw on a long centerfield drive by Cleveland's Vic Wertz that's still talked about to this day. Mays was a five-tool player who dominated at virtually every phase of the game. Mays continued to excel after the Giants moved to California in 1958. He received one of baseball's most exclusive honors when he was named the Player of the Decade for the 1960's.

When Willie reached the age of 41, with his skills in considerable decline, the San Francisco Giants sent Mays back to the city where he started his career, trading him to the Mets on May 11, 1972. Although he hit a game-winning home run in his Mets debut, beating the Giants 5-4, Willie Mays had few moments of glory with the Mets. He finished out the 1972 season and returned in 1973 for the Mets' "You Gotta Believe" season, which allowed him to close his remarkable career with a World Series appearance against the Oakland Athletics. After his retirement, Mays remained with the Mets as a coach until 1979, when Commissioner Bowie Kuhn banned him (and Mickey Mantle) from any involvement with baseball because of a business affiliation with an Atlantic City casino. When the ban was eventually lifted, Mays returned to the employ of the Giants, and has had no further involvement with the Mets.

Snider
1980 BASEBALL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
DUKE SNIDER
Duke Snider was one of the more beloved members of the great Brooklyn Dodgers teams of the 1950's. New York fans endlessly debated the merits of the city's three great center fielders of the time, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, and Snider, immortalized in song as "Willie, Mickey and the Duke." The Dodgers won six pennants during Snider's eleven seasons with the team in Brooklyn, and one more during his five years in Los Angeles. Snider slugged 40 or more home runs in each of his last five seasons in Brooklyn. His production immediately tailed off with the switch from the cozy Ebbets Field to the spacious Los Angeles Coliseum.

As with Mays, Yogi Berra, and Warren Spahn, Duke Snider's best days were behind him when he finally put on a Mets uniform. Snider, however, was a little bit younger than the above mentioned players, as he was a tender 36 years of age when the Mets acquired him for the 1963 season. In his only season with the Mets, Snider played in 129 games and hit .243 with 14 home runs, including the 400th of his career. He would finish his career in 1964 with the San Francisco Giants.

Seaver
1992 BASEBALL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
TOM SEAVER
And then, of course, there's Tom Seaver.

Seaver was the first Met to go into the Hall of Fame as a Met, with a Mets cap on his plaque and an impressive list of accomplishments in a Mets uniform on his resume: four seasons with 20 or more wins, nine consecutive seasons with 200 or more strikeouts, three Cy Young awards, a Rookie of the Year award, and three ERA titles, including a 1.76 in 1971. He won 198 games as a Met, out of a total of 311 in his career. But Seaver's impact on the Mets transcends a mere listing of his impressive accomplishments.

Seaver, along with manager Gil Hodges, was primarily responsible for changing the attitude and personality of the team, as well as its position in the standings. When Seaver arrived as a 22-year-old rookie in 1967, the Mets had never enjoyed a winning season, and in fact had rarely managed to escape the National League cellar. They had had a reputation as lovable losers, but that was starting to wear thin. During the 1969 season, when the Mets reached the .500 mark for the first time in their history, Seaver refused to see that as anything noteworthy. His focus was on loftier goals. The Miracle Mets World Championship of 1969 simply would not have happened without Tom Seaver on the ballclub.

After 1969, and through the much of the 1970's, Tom Seaver was the player around whom the Mets revolved. He was called "The Franchise," a nickname which irked Mets management but was nonetheless accurate. Tom Seaver put the Mets on the baseball map, and he should have spent his entire career pitching at Shea Stadium.

It wasn't meant to be, however. Following the death of owner Joan Payson in 1975, her heirs went into penny-pinching mode, under the direction of the despised M. Donald Grant. Grant openly feuded with Seaver and, ultimately, ran him out of town, trading him to the Cincinnati Reds on June 15, 1977 for four moderately talented young players. With Seaver gone, the Mets immediately lapsed into the most dismal stretch of their history. Seaver returned for one season in 1983, and then was lost to the Chicago White Sox when the Mets left him unprotected in the free agent compensation draft.

After pitching for the Red Sox in 1986, Seaver attempted a 1987 comeback with the Mets, but called it off when he felt he was no longer capable of pitching up to his standards. When he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1992, he had the highest percentage of votes in history, breaking a record set by Ty Cobb.

Ashburn
1995 BASEBALL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
RICHIE ASHBURN
Richie Ashburn followed a similar path as most of his fellow Mets in the Hall of Fame. After a successful and productive career elsewhere, he came to New York in his twilight, and didn't stay long.

Ashburn spent the first eleven years of his career as a slick-fielding center fielder with the Philadelphia Phillies. He was one of the famous "Whiz Kids" when the Phils won the 1950 National League Championship. He was a lifetime .308 hitter who amassed 2,574 hits in a 14-year career in which he won two N.L. batting titles. After leaving the Phillies, he spent two years with the Chicago Cubs before joining the Mets for their inaugural season in 1962.

Ashburn performed well for the Mets, hitting .306 with 60 runs scored in 135 games. He was named the team's MVP, which was a somewhat dubious honor, considering that the Mets lost a record 120 games in 1962. By the end of the season, Richie had decided that he had had enough, and retired rather than return for another year with the Mets. His year playing for Casey Stengel provided Ashburn with a number of colorful anecdotes, which served him well during his many years as a beloved Phillies broadcaster. Ashburn died in a New York hotel in 1997, shortly after broadcasting a Mets-Phillies game at Shea Stadium.

Ryan
1999 BASEBALL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
NOLAN RYAN
Nolan Ryan was the second Hall-of-Famer produced by the Mets farm system. Unlike Tom Seaver, though, Ryan had the vast majority of his success after leaving the Mets.

Ryan was a baby-faced 19-year-old when he made his major league debut with the Mets in 1966. He stayed with the Mets through 1971, pitching both as a starter and as a reliever. By 1971 he was a member of the starting rotation, and he won 10 games. Nolan Ryan, at the age of 24, was a hard thrower who was prone to wildness. He struck out 137 batters in 1971, while walking 116. Since the Mets had pitching depth, with Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and Gary Gentry, the Mets felt Ryan was expendable, and traded him to the California Angels for veteran All-Star shortstop Jim Fregosi, who they planned to convert to a third baseman.

The trade may have seemed reasonable when it was made, but it did not take long for it to become apparent that the Mets made a terrible mistake, probably the worst trade in their entire history. Fregosi hit .232, with 5 home runs and 32 runs batted in for the Mets in 1972. And meanwhile, Nolan Ryan was an immediate sensation with the Angels. He won 19 games in 1972, and struck out an astounding 329 batters. In 1973, Fregosi was shipped off to the Texas Rangers, and Ryan won 21 games and struck out 383. As the years went by, Ryan kept going strong. Over the course of his career, he would strike out the record total of 5,714 batters. He pitched a record seven no-hitters. He won 324 games. He didn't retire until the age of 46, in 1993, after a record 27 seasons.

Surprisingly, though, with all the success Ryan had, and all the longevity, he only pitched in one World Series. And that was early in his career, when he was with the 1969 Mets.

Carter
2003 BASEBALL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
GARY CARTER
Murray
2003 BASEBALL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
EDDIE MURRAY
Henderson
2009 BASEBALL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
RICKEY HENDERSON
Alomar
2011 BASEBALL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
ROBERTO ALOMAR
Glavine
2014 BASEBALL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
TOM GLAVINE
Torre
2014 BASEBALL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
JOE TORRE



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