Keith Hernandez
vs. the Mets
Keith Hernandez
vs. Other Teams
Game Log Memories of
Keith Hernandez
Keith Hernandez
Inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame, 1997
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 1 of 1043 players
Keith Hernandez
Born: October 20, 1953 at San Francisco, Cal.
Throws: Left Bats: Left
Height: 6.00 Weight: 195

Keith Hernandez has been the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup 329 times, most recently on December 12, 2017.

Non-playing roles with Mets
  • Broadcaster: Television 2002 - 2018

First Mets game: June 17, 1983
Last Mets game: September 27, 1989

Winner of National League Most Valuable Player award, 1979. (St. Louis Cardinals)
Named First Baseman on the National League Gold Glove team, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988. (New York Mets)
Named First Baseman on the National League Silver Slugger team, 1984. (New York Mets)
Winner of National League Player of the Week award, July 14, 1985, August 10, 1986, May 1, 1988. (New York Mets)
Winner of National League Player of the Month award, July 1985. (New York Mets)

Share your memories of Keith Hernandez


Keith Hernandez is arguably the greatest all-around player the Mets ever had. He was a .300 hitter that could be counted on, especially in clutch situations. When he walked up to the plate, there was a great feeling of assurance that something good was about to happen. He could hit with authority to all fields; a true and pure hitter.

Keith's fielding was nothing short of exemplary. He was so brilliant a fielder that he could actually play his position as a first baseman, and at the same time partly cover the second base position as well. Very few balls ever passed him. He stole numerous base hits. His advisory role to pitchers, as well as to other teammates, was invaluable.

Keith was a team captain in the truest sense, an outstanding leader. He is probably the main reason why the Mets won the World Series in 1986. Without him, the Mets would not have even been close. When the Mets acquired him in 1983, that trade was, in my opinion, the best trade the Mets had ever made. There is no question that he should be voted into the Hall of Fame. The only question is, what's taking so long?

I've often wondered why Keith got screwed on Hall-of- Fame voting. A .300 hitter, great clutch player, big RBI man, MVP and the best fielder of his era. He should have gotten more consideration than he did.

Mike Welch
My memories of Keith Hernandez were mostly from the end of his career. I remember the excellent defense that took the bunt away from opposing teams, and his ability to carry the team on his back during his torrid hitting streaks. I also remember the injury that effectively ended Keith's career midway through the 1988 season. Rounding second on what should have been a triple against the Cardinals, Keith tore a muscle in his leg. I remember him on the ground between second and third when Ozzie Smith casually tagged him out. The injury, the result of his non- existent pre-game stretching routine, was the beginning of the end for Keith.

Maybe if he wasn't involved with cocaine he would have been elected to the hall of fame.

Hernandez was a true leader, one thing the present Mets might be lacking. There was no other player on the Mets you wanted hitting in a clutch situation and no other Met you would rather have the ball hit to with bases loaded and the game on the line. His number should at least be retired by the Mets!

The Juiceman
I remember finding out the Mets had traded for Keith while I attended the "annual" Mayors Trophy game in 1983 versus the Yankees at Shea. It flashed on the scoreboard prior to the game that Neil Allen for Keith Hernandez was a done deal. I was completed shocked but I guess the Cardinal's felt he had alot of excess baggage. I said to myself "yeah, we are going to the series". Little did I know 3 years later I would be right. On a side note, Keith was my wife's favorite player (for his looks), that was until Mr. Piazza came along.

robert lanzarotta
I remember walking down 2nd Ave after visiting my uncle in the hospital, feeling very sad and seeing Keith carrying two bags of groceries. I said "Hey Keith!" He not only turned around to say hello but he looked liked he had seen an old friend. I'll never forget what a nice feeling that was after a horrible day. Thanks Keith!

The late 70's and early 80's were very tough times to be a Met fan. After being a joke for so many years, the Mets gained instant respect when they acquired Keith. Easily the best defensive 1st baseman of his era if not all time. I remember a game during the 85 pennant race when he got a big hit to help beat the Cardinals and temporarily put the Mets in 1st. I told my wife, who was only my girlfriend at the time, right then that if we ever got married and had a boy I would name him after Keith. My son Keith is 8 years old now.

Hernandez was a great Met. I wouldn't go as far to say that he should be in the Hall of Fame but he is close. He is in that grouping of second-tier players that are one notch below the Hall. However, his number should certainly be retired by the Mets. He is one of, if not the greatest offensive players in their history. He deserves to be honored for his contributions to those great Mets teams of the late '80's.

Chuck M
He is my favorite Met of all time. I loved watching him play! If those nimrods who select Hall of Famers would give equal respect to defense as they do offense Keith would be a lock! I feel he should be a lock cause as a TOTAL player he was a Hall of Famer. I'm a ashamed that the Mets havent retired his number yet. He was the teams first captain and when he came to the Mets he brought winning with him. I bet if you poll Met fans who their favorite players are Keith would be in the top three!

Mr. Sparkle
December 13, 2000
Mex was the Met's in the 80's. Gooden was great, Strawberry and Carter were awesome but Keith was the leader of the team and really had the best attitude I've ever seen. I loved his book "If at First." Keith's remedy for getting out of a slump was going out and getting a good drunk on. I saw him and Wally once get caught on TV smoking cigarettes in the dug out and trying to hide it from the camera. What a pisser. He was Mr. Clutch.

Danny Erickson
December 17, 2000
Keith Hernandez was the best fielding first baseman of all time. He always knew what the situation was and how to do his job in the most efficient manner. Keith displayed fine hitting skills throughout his career and proved to be a true professional.

Won Doney
January 2, 2001
Is there any reason why Keith Hernandez isn't in the Hall of Fame? I saw his name on the ballot either last year or in '99 along with Gary Carter's name. Carter received more votes. Carter was great, but Hernandez deserves to be in there more. Who else has won 11 Gold Gloves at 1st base? No one!

January 16, 2001
Had his best years chasing the dragon! Yankee fans are crazy to think that Mattingly was his equal with the glove. Even when he was all broken up and ran like he was carrying a full bladder, the boy could fly around the base. Keith always knew how to cover the white lines!

February 14, 2001
Great player and maybe the smartest player the Mets ever had. But, was it really that difficult to run out a ground ball?

May 9, 2001
Is he or is he not the worst Mets announcer in their history. I thought Seaver was an egotistical jerk in the booth, but hernandez takes the cake. Holy mid- life crisis, get him off the air now!

Coach HoJo20
May 12, 2001
Whoa ... calm down ETCH, Mex & Seaver are both solid announcers. Granted they are no Ralph Kiner and Gary Thorne but Mex and Seaver get the job done!!

Mr. Sparkle
May 30, 2001
Come on it was great to hear Mex and Seaver in the booth together. The two best players ever to wear a Mets uniform doing a Mets game together was pretty cool.

June 5, 2001
Keith Hernandez....great to hear in the booth? Best to wear a Mets uniform? Is he paying you? Put down the pipe and get help.

Mr. Sparkle
June 6, 2001
Come on before Piazza, who was really better than Hernandez as an all around position player? There may have been a few guys who had better stats in particular catagories but who was a better team leader than Mex?? No one. He was super clutch, the best defensive 1st baseman they ever had and could hit .300 and knock in 100 runs plus knew how to work out a walk 100 times a year. Average power and no speed but no one ever could be the team leader he was. I'd start an all time team with him, Piazza and Seaver.

June 7, 2001
probably the best defensive first baseman in the history of baseball.

Coach HoJo 20
June 16, 2001
ETCH, I can see you saying that Mex isn't good in the booth, its a matter of taste, But for you to say he isn't one of the best to wear the Orange and Blue is pure lunacy!!!

Mex is also a damn good actor, Just ask Jerry Seinfeld

Joe from Brewster
June 21, 2001
Man-o man, was there ever a better fielding first baseman than Keith? I don't think so. He redefined the position. Remember when he used to play 30 feet in for the bunt? He was like a tick on that ball! Just think how many game we would have lost if Keith wasn't there digging Hojo's throws outta the ground. His only bad point was that he lost a 40 yard race to Rusty Staub. Man was keith slow.

August 9, 2001
Without question should be in the Hall of Fame. A lifetime .296 hitter with 11 gold gloves and the '79 NL MVP. If people like Mazeroski and Ozzie Smith get in, it's a joke because Keith should be ahead of them both. The greatest defensive first baseman of all time and one of the top five defensive players ever at any position. A hell of a clutch hitter and a great leader to boot. The St Louis press corps works overtime every year to keep him out to spite him. Keith didn't have much of a relationship with the media, period. Plus he did have a brief tango with cocaine before he came to the Mets, which he quickly got over, unlike scuzzbucket repeat offenders Gooden and Straw. Hang in there, Mex, the new Hall committee will someday see the light.

Michael knight
September 2, 2001
No doubt about it Keith was the best fielding first baseman the majors have ever seen. I'm an avid avid Met fan and Keith is my idol. The smartest player the Mets ever had, his head was always in the game and always a few steps ahead of the batter. You could feel him thinking out at first. I had the honor of meeting Keith on 11/16/96 and gave him about 7 books on the Civil War. Now that I met him I can die happy!

No one did it better. I could not agree more with the rest of you. His number 17 should have been retired on Sun. September 14, 1997, the day he was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame. And an even bigger sham came about 21 months before when he only received a handful of votes for the Hall of Fame. What a joke!

By the way my license plate reads KH 17 with the Mets logo in honor of Mex.

October 24, 2001
Keith hernandez is without a doubt the best hitter the Mets have ever had.he Is also the best defensive 1st basemen ever in baseball.i Used to love to watch him field a bunt.he Almost got to the plate before the pitch did.nobody Was better going to his left or right to field a ground ball then keith.i Feel he made davey johnsons job much eaiser because as all you fellow Mets fans know he was like having a second manager only on the field not in the dugout.i Think the Mets won so much in the 80s because of his leadership.he Led not only with his words but by example.his Intensity playing the game was matched by nobody.for These and many other reasons I think he was the best position player the Mets ever had and possibly ever will have.i Think bobby valentine would be wise to make him the Mets batting instructor. If he ever did that

January 23, 2002
One of the greatest Mets of all-time. It's a shame that they give #17 to this new japanese pitcher they just got. The number should be retired. His arrival put the Mets back on the map.

Jim Snedeker
January 25, 2002
The true consummate baseball professional, in my book.

Even though he did cocaine like an idiot, and smoked cigarettes like a dope, he's still one of the best players I've ever seen. Doing everything right--and in many cases, spectacularly--plus, who else would you want up in a clutch situation? (Hey, and don't forget how he helped set up the win in Game 6 of the 86 WS by making the second out in the 10th--thus easing down the BoSox' guard!)

Plus, he seems like a genuinely nice guy, someone you'd like to sit down and have a beer with. New York adored him. In an interview, he said that he was "scared to death" of New York City when he was traded. But then he noticed things like how cabbies refused to accept his money for rides. And after he was traded, one of the tabloids published a weekly "Tracking Keith and the Kid" column, where both Mex and Carter's baseball exploits with their post-Mets teams were summarized.

He should be a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame one of these days.

February 22, 2002
My all-time favorite player, I played baseball my whole life trying to play like Keith. It's horrible that he probably won't make the hall, just because he wasn't a "power hitting" first baseman per say. The Mets should atleast retire #17.

Gary from Chesapeake
April 5, 2002
Add me to the list who claim Mex as their all-time favorite Met. He had a commanding presence on the field, going to the mound to discuss defensive strategy with the pitcher, catcher, and the infield. I hated him as a Cardinal because he did so much damage to the Mets. To get him on our side was unbelievable! Yes, sir! He belongs in Cooperstown and "17" oughta be retired by the Metsies.

April 15, 2002
Was at the Met game yesterday. It kills me to see the 12th man on the pitching staff wearing the number of one of the three most important Mets of all time (Seaver and Piazza are the other two). Did Keith do something to tick the equipment manager off? He keeps giving his number out to scrubs. I can see if a star like Alomar comes in and asks for it, but Lopez and Komiyama? This number belongs on the wall in left. Ironically he wore 37 for St. Louis and couldn't have it when he came here because of Stengel and his number should have never been retired.

May 1, 2002
Not retiring #17 for Keith is an ongoing crime being committed by the Mets on a daily basis. He was the cornerstone of the most successful Mets clubs ever and gave them instant credibility from the moment he arrived.

The Mets should wise up and retire #17 ASAP. He richly deserves it.

May 28, 2002
Hands down Keith was my all-time favorite Met. He was the best 1st baseman in the club's history in my opinion. John Olerud was a close second, but Keith while being a fine hitter and an amazing 1st baseman was a real leader. I think it's disgusting that the Mets don't retire his #17, instead they give it to every piece of crap utility player that comes along.

rich edwards
June 10, 2002
Keith was doing a Met game recently with Tom Seaver. One of the opposing players had some big time jewelry on and Keith made the brilliant comment, "Why does he have so much jewelry? I can think of a lot better ways to spend my money than that." Unfortunately he did not give a for instance. One can only wonder.

June 26, 2002
Keith is the most annoying Mets commentator. He talks too much about himself and how he is so much better. He wastes time criticizing the current players, second guessing them, and bragging about how incredible he was. His frequent use of "giddy-up" is just a gratuitous reminder of the fact he appeared on Seinfeld. I kick Keith out and keep it solid with Gary Thorne, Fran Healy, and Ralph Kiner!

Mr. Sparkle
July 1, 2002
The more I listen to Keith on TV the more I love his style. He's very honest and talks like he's in the room with you watching the game rather than some slick commentator. His candor also makes me laugh at time. I think he does a great job although I hate when he uses the word "fanny." Overall, he keeps getting better and better.

July 19, 2002
I don't care what anyone says-Keith is and always will be one of my favorite Mets. It's true that Ed Kranepool was a native New Yorker and played his entire career here, but he was also surly at times and not very nice to the fans from what I heard. Not a characteristic that endears a player to fans no matter how long he's played with a team. Keith is charming, and upbeat and was a real leader the six seasons he played here. He absolutely deserved to be the Captain, besides most teams in baseball don't NEED captains it's an honorary thing. Did they ask Kranepool to gueststar on Seinfeld? Of course not- he had the personality of a doorknob.

Mets fan forever
July 23, 2002
The biggest and best trade the Mets ever made was Keith. He is by far the best first baseman to play the game. He made it look so easy. He was a team leader and knows the game of baseball. I enjoy listening to him as a Met announcer. It's too bad the Keith won't make the Hall of Fame because he really should be there. I'm glad the Mets voted Keith into their Hall of Fame and I was glad that I and my family attended that game. 1986 was a memorable season and one that will last in my mind forever.

Larry Burns
September 9, 2002
All time favorite Met. He was an intense leader and his aquisition put them over the top for the mid- 1980s. A smooth first basemen and an awesome gap hitter. His lack of true power numbers will preclude him from the Hall of Fame. Loved his approach to baseball and his no holds barred honesty. I see where present Mets (Unfortunately including Piazza) have taken issue with his column accusing the 2002 team of quitting. What's the big deal? If you watched them for 3 minutes you see they quit. I guess they can quit, but don't call them on it. Keith is the voice of truth in the wilderness.

September 10, 2002
These over paid whiny under-achievers should just shut up and listen to Keith, and what do they do after his comments? You guessed it-they whine some more about his outspoken and dead-on the money criticism. I just wish he had said these things in a public forum sooner. I say kudos to you Keith-you were always my favorite Met, and you were a true team-guy, not like the losers on this sorry ass excuse for a baseball team. Hey you know what guys? You don't like what he said? Feel it's untrue? then prove him wrong instead of crying about what he said.

September 10, 2002
Keith-You should have stuck to your guns and not apologized at all to these whiny cry babies! I've just lost a little respect for you-but you're still my favorite. I guess to give the benefit of the doubt MSG probably threatened to give you the boot if you didn't take back what you said.

Karl de Vries
September 10, 2002
Sorry to hear about what Keith said. I defend him saying it all the way, because lets face it, the Mets are quitters. It shames me to say that, because this was the comeback team of baseball 1997-2000 and provided me with so, so many great late-inning moments. But I'm sorry that Keith publicly said it, because God knows that Fred Wilpon, Mr. Image himself, will can him like corn. I'm glad, though, that someone had the guts to finally stand up and say that, because it had to be said.

Joe FIgliola
September 16, 2002
He is one of the greatest and classiet men to ever wear a Mets uniform.

He is the greatest first baseman in Mets history.

He has won two World Series rings.

He is one of the greatest defensive first basemen in history.


If Keith Hernandez is a "voice from the grave," then Mike Piazza, Mo Vaughn, Alomar, Burnitz, and a majority of the 2002 Mets easily qualify as dead men walking.

October 1, 2002
Please hire him as our manager. His fire, desire, intensity, distinguished career and status as the Mets best everyday player EVER speaks for itself. His comments about the team being quitters was dead on. Please put him in the dugout and the stoners and loafers will feel his wrath.

October 25, 2002
Easily the best defensive first baseman I have ever seen play. I was an 8-year still reeling from Reggie Jackson (who in my child's eyes WAS baseball) leaving the Yankees for the Angels a couple years earlier when the Mets got Keith from the hated Cardinals. Not only was this trade the first major piece of the puzzle leading to the 1986 World Series, it was what made me start watching the Mets, and made me the Mets fan I remain today.

October 25, 2002
I have discussed Hernandez the player, now for Hernandez the announcer.

Keith Hernandez is the most critical announcer I have ever heard. I remember one game where he criticized Robin Ventura for not taking an extra base, even after Ventura then scored on the ensuing hit!

Still, despite his anal retentiveness, he does know his baseball.

December 12, 2002
Why was Keith ever appointed Mets captain, when the team never had or needed one during their first 20 seasons, notably during the glorious ‘69 season? Moreover, Keith never served as captain on his original team, nor was he MVP on either Series team he played on.

Further regarding his “leadership,” that status was forever sealed when Keith ran into the clubhouse after flying out during Game 6 of the ‘86 Series, assuming his team’s fate was already sealed. The Mets were able to put together one of the greatest rallies in Series history without Keith. All the while, Captain Keith was smoking a cigarette and chugging a beer off the field, watching the whole drama unfold on television.

Cardinal Keith will probably never enter the HOF (thank goodness), but would anyone be so surprised that if this were ever to occur, he would be inducted under his original team, with whom he played significantly longer?

December 13, 2002
Maybe Keith didn't have a terrific game six, but you are forgetting what he did to GET them to the series in the first place. So what if he smoked cigarettes & had a few beers, it should be the worst thing a baseball player ever does, no one on the '86 team would exactly qualify as choir boys off the field. During the seasons he played for the Mets he was a leader, a gold glover at first base and a consistant .300 hitter. Yes he did play for the Cardinals originally, but most of the veterans from that team came form somewhere else, Carter came from the Expos, Ray Knight came from the Reds, HoJO although not really a vet then came from Detroit, most of the home grown talent like Backman, Dykstra, Strawberry & Gooden were too young to be appointed as captain, and according to some their behavior off the field would have stripped them of their captaincy anyway, Keith was obviously the best choice for captain. I know what you will say what abut Carter? Good question-Ibelieve Keith was a Met longer & I believe a bit younger. I hope this answers your silly question.

December 20, 2002
How could you say Keith shouldn't have been Captain? He was the prototypical captain; always into the game, always pushing his teammates to play harder and always managing the infield like it was his living room. He was always on top of things on the field and was one of the most clutch performers on those awesome 80's teams. And what kind of memorable 1st baseman have the Mets had since Keith? They never should have let him go. He was truly a captain and he deserved the recognition.

Karl de Vries
January 3, 2003
Okay, perhaps he's not good enough to have his number retired...he didn't have enough years. However, there should be some kind of halfway point between having one's number retired and letting scrubs like Luis Lopez, Jeff McKnight and Saturo Komiyama (grimace) soil its legacy. How about we simply secure the number, or bestow it upon a player worthy enough of the title?

I officially request at this time that the Hernandez dumpers STOP IT NOW. The 86 Mets were a team of men, not bloodless, lifeless baseball zombies (read: Yankees). They were scrappers, drinkers, and yes, occasional cokeheads who didn't take *#$& from anyone. Now, if you think that Gary Carter, a God-Squader, was the real leader of those guys, then you are simply not in touch with reality. Hernandez, according to virtually all the Mets (including the religious Mookie, by the way) was the key to that team. If you don't like him, then don't partake in our 86 memories.

By the way, does anyone know if Hernandez will be back in the booth next year? It's a long shot, considering he voiced the truth when it wasn't pleasant. I'm just waiting for his fate to be sealed much in the vein of Tim McCarver.

February 22, 2003
Retiring Carter's number (as they are planning to do this year) before Keith's is a crime. Carter may have better overall stats and deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, but Keith was the leader of that team and without him, they win nothing. Hernandez is the most important Met of all time. Retire his freaking number already (at least stop having scrubs wear it).

April 23, 2003
I don't know if Keith actually reads this, but if you do, Keith, I wanted to say hi. I've been hearing stories of you from the time I was little... about how you taught my mom to drive around the streets of Millbrae... Leslie is my mom, Nanette is my aunt, Chris is my uncle. If it ever crossed your mind to get back in touch with old (OLD!) friends, write me back... I know how to get a hold of all of 'em!

Jeff In Florida
May 8, 2003
Does anyone know why Mike Lupica used to call him the Prince Of Darkness? Was it because of how he loved the nightlife? Or was it for a more underhanded reason?

Bazz McClain
November 15, 2003
One thing first Met fans. Keith doesn't like the nickname "Mex", so can it! Keith is the best defensive and offensive firstbaseman the Mets have ever had. John Olerud came close offensively, but was not the same kind of clutch hitter. Keith changed all Met fans, in their expectations of a firstbaseman. We all find ourselves looking for that left handed great fielding line drive hitting number three hitter. Since Keith's departure we grew to love John Olerud, but have been disappointed since. Jason Phillips gives us hope at the position. But, until someone comes along that plays firstbase at that level of intensity. Keith will be the measuring stick for all Mets firstbaseman to come.

January 13, 2004
Keith set a record in 1985 for driving in 24 Game-Winning-RBI's. I always thought that was a quirky stat (given to the guy who knocks in the deciding run) but have not seen it for many years.

flushing flash
January 19, 2004
George: the GWRBI was only an official stat from 1980 until 1988. That is why you haven't seen it in a while: it no longer exists. Plus, it was an inane stat to begin with.

Incidentally, Keith also holds the career record.

March 28, 2004
Anyone who ever wondered why Keith Hernandez is as adored or appreicated for all he did for the Mets organization has obviously never read the book "If At First." Keith wrote the book initially as a game-by- game account of the 1985 season, then added a foreword and extra chapter following the Championship in 1986.

Anyone who doesn't know the incredible amount of inner strength it takes to simply get through a season of Major League Baseball never read this book.

Simply, it would have been enough to just shut out the impending Pittsburgh drug trials, and the ongoing and increasingly bitter divorce hearings, and the meeting with Lawyers and whatnot that Keith had to endure in 1985.

It would have probably thrown a lesser ballplayer's season in the tank.

Not Keith Hernandez.

All Keith did for the 1985 season was hit his usual .310, his usual 10 HRs, RBIs a little down, and yes, his first major midseason slump. Can anyone blame him for pressing?

He even set the single-season GWRBI record, a feat that he himself states is worthless to him.

He returned from testifying in Pittsburgh to the 5th inning of a Gooden/Valenzuela matchup in LA in September, and immediately went in and turned a key DP.

He had something like a 8 for 8 streak down the stretch when the fans in St. Louis were ready to eat him alive, so much so that he was unable to stay at the team hotel.

Yeah, not deserving of the accolades...

The Best. Keith Hernandez.

Josh Osband
April 9, 2004
Keith Hernandez needs to be in the Hall of Fame. He is the greatest position player in the history of the team. Keith was a far better player than Tony Perez. His defense at 1B is unmatched by anybody that I've ever seen. He consistently hit over .300 and was always near the top of the league in walks. If a guy is a total master of the field and the plate, how could he not be in the Hall? He wasn't fast, but he was a good baserunner. Keith didn't hit a lot of HRs, but he played a lot in Busch and Shea, and the HRs aren't even that important. He could hit the long ball too, when the situation called for it.

July 19, 2004
Keith never missed a trick.

I remember he used to make a big deal about lining up his knuckles just so when he gripped the bat. I always thought he was stealing the signs from the catcher.

One thing I never heard I never hear mentioned was I saw him ground out once, and when the first baseman stretched for the ball, his hat fell off. Keith made sure he kicked the hat when he went past it on the way back to the dugout. As I saw that I thought you don't see guys who capitalize on all opportunities, big and small.

After he stopped playing I saw him interviewed by a stupid man who asked him if he missed life between the white lines. He made it look like an honest mistake, but I thought Keith deserved better.

July 23, 2004
The pure warrior. He was for the Mets what Thurman Munson was for the Yankees, but a lot more affable with the media.

I remember when he came to New York. I was covering the Mets. He looked lost. He was stunned and devastated. I later read that he called his agent to see if he could retire. He just wanted to get the hell out of that 1983 ballclub.

Two things happened: Rusty Staub took him on the town and showed him the museums, clubs, and restaurants. The other was that Keith saw the pitching the Mets had in their farm system.

He turned that club around. He imposed his hell-for- leather, aggressive, heads-up intensity on the entire team. You didn't mess with Mex, and if you did, you paid for it. Even if you were the Straw man. I saw him scream at Jesse Orosco to keep him on target and at Oil Can Boyd to get him off target.

Watching him hit and play first base was like attending a class on "How to play first base...properly."

They gotta retire 17 for him.

August 8, 2004
To this day my gym locker combo is 017. Best 1st sacker in the history of the team. I've got to be honest though, I was a little annoyed that he was in the clubhouse during the rally in "Game 6".

September 9, 2004
Simply the greatest fielding fist baseman that I ever saw by far. Wes Parker, Don Mattingly & Jorgy were excellent but Keith is a few notches up. Mex’s ability to cover ground and also turn the 3-6-3 were unequalled in the game, his arm alone was also a weapon. A great RBI man, a true clutch hitter. He hustled in the field; don’t know why he dogged it out of the box towards 1st base so much. Within the span of a week or so I remember seeing two lazy fly balls dropped by the other team, he had to scramble just to get to first base.

December 19, 2004
Keith Hernandez in the HOF??? Puh-leeze! This guy ripped off two of his three employers in the big leagues - he showed up at the park stoned every day in St. Louis until he was traded (while making himself seem like an innocent victim of a Whitey Herzog vendetta) - then after he couldn't produce any more with the Mets, took $2 mil a year for 2 years from Cleveland, for which he did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to earn his pay (excuse me if I don't sympathize with a guy with a history of back trouble saying he hurt himself moving furniture) - even his buddies Gary Thorne and Ray Knight broadcasting a game for ESPN were at a loss to explain why he didn't even have the courtesy to contact the Indians club when they were playing in New York. Wasn't there ANYTHING he could do (such as teaching some of their young players like Reggie Jefferson) to justify the salary he was making? If he had pulled that crap on the Yankees or the Mets, the same writers that were in his lap during his time here would have lit him up like a Christmas tree! At least the 2002 Mets suited up for their pay!

Jonathan Stern
February 18, 2005
Keith WAS the 1980's Mets - for reasons good and bad. He was like a second manager on the field, and no one played 1B better. He was as intelligent and hard-nosed as he was hard-living. And he underachieved. Just as the Mets were no dynasty, Mex was no Hall-of-Famer and probably does not deserve to have his number retired at Shea. Cocaine, batting numbers not good enough, slacked off in Cleveland, didn't take care of himself, etc. And, truth be told, he was past his prime when he got here.

Even as a broadcaster, Keith is great with some caveats. He is as knowledgable, informative, and as provocative as McCarver was, which, of course, could come back to bite him. Pedestrian at first, he has come a long, long way. But the Piazza "voice from the dead" controversy needs to be examined more carefully. Yes, Keith was right - the 2002 Mets quit. But, as someone who duked it out with the media time and time again as a player (read Klapisch and Harper's "The Worst Team Money Can Buy"), he should have remembered that the media is the toughest enemy that players have to fight. Keith learned a lesson: a media guy is a media guy regardless of whether he once played in the pros. He should have either stuck to his guns or not written the column in the first place. Instead he wimped out and apologized. Much though I want to defend him, I have no doubt that there were a number reporters snickering behind Keith's back the whole time.

Player or Broadcaster, admiring Keith is not as easy as you would want it to be.

July 5, 2005
Why isn't there more talk about Hernandez for the Hall of Fame? Before the steroid fiasco, it was assumed that Mark McGwire would be a first ballot Hall of Famer. But I ask you: If you were starting a team, who would you rather have at 1B -- Hernandez or McGwire? It's got to be Hernandez, hands down: .300 hitter, 80- 90 RBI's and the BEST first baseman ever. C'mon Mets fans: HERNANDEZ IN THE HALL!

July 8, 2005
True, Hernandez's lifetime stats are a notch below the "hitting" hall of fame's standards. Perhaps if we ever get a baseball hall of fame that takes into account that a player plays half the game on defense, Keith will be elected. He is without argument the greatest first baseman ever. Oh, hof voters, here is a stat for ya, Who will forever be the all time game winning RBI leader? Keith Hernandez

Dairy Lea Milk Coupons
September 24, 2005
My friends and I were at the game June 15, 1983, the day we got Keith and the way we found out was when the stadium announcer was talking about fan voting for the All Star Game he said, "and vote for your favorite Met Keith Hernandez." We looked at each other like "Did we really just hear that??" I think one of us went to call sports phone (for all the sports new instantly, dial 976-1313) and we were shocked.

Mex I remember was really pissed at first to come to the last place Mets but then he was convinced to re-sign.

Keith S.
October 28, 2005
I grew up watching Keith Hernandez, both in person and on TV. I modeled my baseball style after his, and realized it was no easy task. If you ever tried doing what he did (in his style), you'll realize that he was a great player. He was so into the game, both with the leather and the stick. How many people can you say that about now?

Of course, I looked up to him as another "Keith" who was also a lefty, but he had a brilliance about him that didn't come from media, hype, or "bling."

I find it hysterical that people post negative comments, as if his achievements weren't good enough for their standards - as if any of us could play like he did. He brought a joy and respect to Mets baseball. He was a great ballplayer. Is all that speculation about things that happened outside the chalk really that important?

Keith Hernandez was just a part of what made the '86 Mets great and unprecedented in modern Mets history. (Modern, in this case, being the dawn of the Trading age where no one plays for just one team.) They may not have been the best ever, but the '86 Mets had multiple leather-n-stick players, and some true athletes. Keith Hernandez was a great player, who contributed to something greater. For that he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

Loyal in California, Keith S.

January 2, 2006
OK, heres the thing Hall of Fame? If he had retired in the late 80's. yes. But what happened is all of these freaks on roids came along and scewered everything. McGuire, Sosa et al. Look at the arguably the two best hitters of the 80's...Mex and George Brett. Has anyone seen films of these guys? Keith looks like George Theodore comapred to todays players. You cant compare them. Consumate pro. Has to count for something. Also, before the Mets got Carter Keith was the one who called the plays and spoke with the catcher. He would call time out to go and speak with Doc, and Ron and the rest. Had a large and understated role in the pithers maturation process. Go Keith! Thanks for the memories.

Bob Inzerillo
January 26, 2006
Keith Hernandez is quite simply the best everyday player the Mets have ever had. He is without a doubt, the best fielding first baseman of all time. He revolutionized the position. A great clutch player with the bat and glove. I used to sit in the field level seats on the first base side and watch him position the entire infield, tell Strawberry to move over, talk to the pitchers, keep his team focused. The diving plays, the double plays, the way he defended on bunts, amazing. Gold gloves 12 years in a row. Even without the .300 lifetime avg. (he hit .298) he deserves the Hall of Fame, just like Ozzie Smith. There's no player around like him now, certainly not with the Mets, nor has there ever been with the Mets. The only other players that brought the Mets similar respectability were Seaver and Piazza, that's it.

So before Piazza's #31 goes up on the wall, Keith's #17 has got to go there first. What is wrong with the Mets that they can't show any appreciation for their best players like the Yankees do? The Yankees actually over do it, but worse, the Mets don't do it at all.

January 26, 2006
Hernandez is arguably the best fielding first baseman in history. Remember the unusual way Keith used to hold runners on? One foot in foul territory. I'm surprised that method of holding runners on never caught on in the majors.

Mr. Sparkle
February 12, 2006
Keith did have a great style at first but was forced to change after an opposing manager, probably Whitey Herzog, complained that he was not allowed to play in foul territory. That's why it never caught on.

February 12, 2006
Keith was by far the best first baseman of his time and should get the recognition he deserves by being in the HOF. The Mets became a better team from the moment he arrived and had a winning season every year he played with them. Do you think it's a coincidence that neither the Mets nor the Cardinals have won a World Series since he left? I say it is the curse of Keith Hernandez.

February 17, 2006
Keith used to hold runners on with one foot in foul territory. It was ex-Cardinal outfielder/third baseman Mike Shannon, who at the time was a Cardinal broadcaster, who first queried whether or not that the rules required that a player's entire body be in fair territory. The Cardinals complained and the League and the ump bought it.

Bklyn Met
February 26, 2006
The reason why others do not keep one foot in foul territory when holding a runner on is that it is considered a balk on the 1st baseman. A little known rule that came to light because of Keith, you must have 8 men on the field of play and a catcher which of course is allowed in foul territory. Keith actually had to stop doing that once he got called for a balk.

March 19, 2006
I look back at the '86 Mets and I am reminded of the only time in my life that a team I ever rooted for from the beginning of the season actually won the championship by the end. Have you ever seen a more exciting Series? Talk about nail-biting. Thank goodness it ended right! Love those guys!

Keith deserves to be in the Hall of Fame without question. My understanding is that his cocaine use is what has kept him out. Ridiculous! I've never used cocaine, but I doubt it's as "performance enhancing" as steroids. Jitters and paranoia probably don't make a 0.300 hitter.

What does this mean for Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmiero, etc.? Do they deserve to be in the Hall with their steroid statistics? I don't think so. It will be interesting to see how fairly the principle is applied.

David Simons
March 19, 2006
Lupica the Lip called #17 the Prince of Darkness for his Machiavellian handling of the media. Keith was a master of the deep background quote; whenever he needed a rival taken down a peg, he'd give the Post enough to run something like "One Met said that _________ just isn't trusted by his teammates -- not a surprise, given that his perpetual lateness is probably due to a massive cocaine and alcohol problem. He's also overpaid for a pedophile, some Mets say." Keith's whisper campaign single-handedly sank Darryl's well-deserved MVP in 1988. Dude was Karl Rove with Hollywood looks!

Prince of Darkness or not, the Mets never would've come near the WS without Keith. A hypercompetitive student of the game, he demanded and got excellence from his fellow teammates. His grace under fire, excellence with the glove, and porn moustache are just icing on the cake. Thank you, Keith.

April 5, 2006
Watching a broadcast one night,and the cameraman panned into the dugout. There's Keith with a cigarette on the bench just puffing away. Can't even imagine that happening in this day and age.

Don Sundstrom
April 5, 2006
A lot of people say Gary Carter was the final link that the Mets needed to get to the WS. That may be, but without that trade for Keith in '83 the Mets would have never gotten there. He was the general on the field, the take charge guy. Although he may have been dubbed "The Prince of Darkness" by mouthy Lippy Lupica he shed the light upon the Mets and their fans.

April 5, 2006
Keith Hernandez deserves recognition in several areas. On a local basis, he should have his #17 retired by the Mets. (He had to change from his #37 that he wore in St. Louis, because that was Casey Stengel's number.) No other player from 1983 until Keith's departure from the Mets had more of an impact.

I remember how he was upset with the trade that brought him to NY, that June of 1983, but it was the best thing that could have happened to him. He brought instant credibility to a rag tag team, the senior member among the cast of juniors. His intensity, the way he went to the mound to advise the pitcher, running back to first with his left fist clenched and pumped will always stay with me. The give and take in the 1986 playoff game against Houston (that 16 inning gem) and the pep talk he gave to Jesse Orosco, was one for the ages, right before Orosco struck out Kevin Bass.

Now for his Hall of Fame credentials - he was co-MVP along with Willie Stargell in 1979 - his 1st base fielding, knowledge of the game, hitting ability (remember those doubles in the gap) and overall leadership make him a viable candidate. I have seen lesser quality players voted in - perhaps there will be hope some day down the road with the Veteran's Committee a la Ralph Kiner's induction. Keith Hernandez gets my vote.

I would have loved to see him manage in the big leagues, but right now, his presence in the SNY booth will have to suffice.

April 28, 2006
FYI, his unique way of holding runners on (one foot in foul etc) was outlawed shortly thereafter. He is my all time favorite Met as well. His intensity, grittiness, and confidence were all admirable qualities. You could always count on Keith, always.

Glad he's back with the organization albeit on SNY. He is simply the best! Thanks Keith.

April 28, 2006
Today they juice up to pad their power stats. All Keith ever did was smoke, drink, and get high. All while establishing himself as the greatest defensive first baseman the game has seen. It's called natural talent folks. A baseball starter hits for 1/18th of a game and plays defense for 1/2. Next lifetime Keith you should smile and do backflips, it worked for Ozzie.

April 28, 2006
I loved watching him play in the 1980's. Great captain, great player...

Terrible broadcaster. He reminds me of Joe Morgan on ESPN. He's constantly talking about himself.

Keith, please, please, please stop comparing yourself to every player out there! Just shut up and talk about the game!

At least Ron Darling, Mr. Excitement, gives an interesting insight into the game. He doesn't spend the time talking about how wonderful he is.

Mr. Sparkle
October 4, 2006
I love him as an analyst. He's the best. Ron Darling is good but when Keith is not there it's just not the same.

Keith is definitely an all time great top 5 Mets players. To think he hated NY, got traded here, hated it, had an open mind enough to listen to the Mets about turning it around and decided to stay and turned out loving it. He could have been the typical player who couldn't play in NY but he turned out to thrive here. AWESOME! I was just reading in Inside pitch how he used to say to Mike Phillips after Mike got traded to the Cardinals, "How can you play in NY?" He hated it. Mike was one guy who helped change Keith's mind. Gotta love him for that.

Putbeds 1986
October 4, 2006
Probably the best 1st baseman ever to wear a Mets uniform. His arrival was like a breath of fresh air after the dormant late 70's/early 80's. But I didn't like it when he made that comment about Kelly Calabrese, the Padres massage therapist on April 22nd. Couldn't believe my ears when I heard that. Btw, my sister is a massage therapist, therefore I have to defend people in that line of work. Besides, Kelly is tall, athletic (she played volleyball in college), and attractive. Even with that on-air oops, I'll always have a place in my heart for "MEX" because of 1986.

November 3, 2006
Keith Hernandez: One of the most understated and self composed ball players to wear a Met uniform. As a leader he was the glue that brought the 86 Mets all the way. As a person, he made mistakes just like anyone of us.... only we don't have the press announcing what we did last night! I doubt any fan can argue Keith was the one single Met that had sheer magic swarming around them in clutch situations. Certain players have such a profound effect on a whole team... Keith was that player to the Mets, he brought the best out of mediocre players, and quietly was one of the best in baseball. For those of us who know... we know better... awards don't always say it all or show the real picture... Keith Hernandez was and will always be class act.

Catfish Tortuga
February 1, 2008
My favorite baseball player of all time. I grew up loving the stinking Mets of the late 70's, and started to feel the winds change direction in late 1983. Keith was the catalyst for the turnaround, I'm sure.

This is a player who knew the habits of every player in the league!! If the player was a pitcher, Keith knew what he liked to throw and when he threw it in the count. As far as hitters, he knew their habits, too, and could advise his own pitchers on how to pitch them. I can't think of anyone else so IN TUNE with the game going on around them.

Clutch situations? Forget about it - there was no one else you wanted at the plate in those golden years. Clutch situations at Shea with Keith at the plate? Goose-bump material when Keith would smack a line drive to left-center and score two runners, then pump his fist standing on second base, with the crowd going nuts. Magic times.

Haven't seen a team leader like Keith Hernandez since - aware, passionate, skilled, a motivator. Didn't always run out ground balls, but in this age of overpaid, overmuscled, aloof uber-athletes I miss the all-human Keith Hernandez on the field at Shea.

John O'Hare
February 3, 2008
Keith is my all-time favorite. Nobody played the position like him. Which brings me to the travesty of the recent Rawlings All-Time Gold Glove team. Hernandez was third, behind Wes Parker and Don Mattingly? How many of the voters even remember seeing Parker play? And no insult to Mattingly, but while he was an excellent fielder, Hernandez was the best. (Donnie was a better hitter, no argument.) Hernandez pefected the position. Look how many first basemen have worn #17 since he retired. He's the man, and the voters really blew it. At least Mex can comfort himself by polishing his 11 Gold Gloves and two World Series rings. Wes Parker? Come on!

Feat Fan
February 3, 2008
Gotta love his brute honesty, he is GENUINE and FEARLESS. He says what others think but don't have the pits to.

April 3, 2008
When the Mets acquired him at the June trading deadline of 1983, they officially showed that they were serious about winning. He brought a winning attitude to the team. They were also able to get Dave Kingman out of the lineup and thankfully off the field. There was never a better fielding first baseman in the history of the franchise. His knowledge of the game is evident during his broadcasts of Mets games.

April 14, 2008
He is an amazing announcer; he is brutally honest and does not hide his distaste for today's prima donnas. The Mets have waited too long to retire his number and in fact have insulted Mets fans by letting little known players such as David Newhan and Dae-Sung Koo wear the # 17. During his heyday he was the heart and soul of the team; his trade here brought automatic respect to the team. The only other player to do so was Piazza.

Inz 41
April 14, 2008
Keith Hernandez belongs in the Hall of Fame and he deserves to have his number 17 retired by the Mets. What are they waiting for? Hernandez is quite simply the best everyday player the Mets have ever had. He is, without a doubt, the best fielding first baseman of all time. He revolutionized the position. Keith was a great clutch player with the bat and glove. The diving plays, the double plays, the way he defended on bunts, amazing. Gold Gloves 12 years in a row. Even without the .300 lifetime avg. (he hit .298) he deserves the Hall of Fame with the emphasis on his glove and leadership, just like Ozzie Smith. And please, Mets, get that number 17 out on the wall for the last year at Shea. He deserves it, no question.

bklyn met
April 15, 2008
Loved the guy when he played and in the booth as well! The one problem I see in the booth is that it seems like he needs to go out of his way to knock the “players of today.” He nitpicks, if there is more than one way to look at an issue, he knows the right way and it is against the way they played “in his day.” Hey Mex, what about the way you dogged a groundout to short, you could time yourself with an hour glass? How about a fly ball? You barely made it to first base. I guess some things never change.

Shel Talmy
April 16, 2008
Heard the Mex in an interview say that if he had not played baseball, then he likely would have taken up sword fighting. Would've loved to see that.

April 17, 2008
My memories of Keith Hernandez go all the way back to specially hating him as a Cardinal. Oh, he was such a fierce bastard, with that damn mustache, and his damn doubles with MOB, and his damn 3-6-3s!

Then there was first disbelief, then joy when he became a Met in '83. About a month after he came to the team, after he had just turned his fiftieth 3-6-3, and hit his hundredth double with MOB, I was pinching myself and saying, "He does this stuff ALL THE TIME!! HE DOES IT ALL THE TIME!!" For me, he represents the pure joy that those Mets teams brought me in those days.

I loved him, and I always will. I even love him in the booth.

Mets fan in Maine
April 23, 2008
I have to agree with all the fans who praise Hernandez. I too disliked him while he was a Cardinal- -those were the days of an intense rivalry between the Mets and the Cards--but man, when Keith became a Met, he turned the team around. What a player! In the 1986 Mets video there's a shot of him spearing a hit down and behind the first base line; he somehow fields the ball and then does a somersault before throwing the batter out. The commentary: A Golden Glove play by a Golden Glove first baseman. Thanks, Mex.

June 7, 2008
The Mets' failure to retire #17 for Keith is an ongoing crime being committed by the Wilpon regime.

The Mets had better not retire Piazza's #31 and leave Keith off the wall. Keith did much more for the Mets with his head as well as his bat than Piazza ever did or could. Keith was the consummate field general, the Mark Messier of the Mets.

Feat Fan
June 8, 2008
Seeing Fernando Tatis, or whoever wear number 17 is a crime. Our hero, Keith, did it all, hit, played defense, chased broads and did lines. It don't get better than that!

Vinze the Moob
October 9, 2008
I was watching a Yankee game with a friend of mine who was a Yankee fan. There were runners on first and second and one out. The batter hit a shot in the hole between first and second. Don Mattingly dove and made a great stop and from his knees threw to second to force the runner out. My Yankee fan friend then smugly said "Mattingly is so much better than Hernandez in the field." I told my friend that had Hernandez been standing in the same spot as Mattingly and the same ball had been hit the same way, Hernandez would have stayed on his feet and turned that ball into a 3-6-3 double play to end the inning while Mattingly had to dive just to get a 3-6 forceout. I then pointed out that if the next batter hit a home run the Yankees would have been down by two runs. That was the difference between Don Mattingly and Keith Hernandez as fielders. My friend who was a typical irrational and unknowledgeable fan said nothing in response. He knew I was right. Mattingly, as a fielder was great. Hernandez, as a fielder was the greatest. Ever.

October 9, 2008
Well there is nothing else I can really add about Keith Hernandez the player. We got him for virtually nothing in mid 1983: Neil Allen, and a bag of stale peanuts I believe. Coming off a World Series championship with St. Louis in 1982, he really must have worn out his welcome there to be traded to the team that would become the Cardinals main adversary from 1984-1990. I remember that within about 2-3 weeks of us acquiring Keith that the Starline poster company came out with a Hernandez poster. They probably sold 100,000 posters that 1st year. Keith truly exemplified the 1984-1988 Mets teams. Hard working, scrappy, never out of a game. But above all a HATED team by fans, and opponents alike. With all due respect to Donny Baseball, nobody, I mean NOBODY perfected the 3-6-3 DP like Keith. Additionally he was a DEVASTATING hitter, especially when the chips were down, and the outcome on the line.

But enough about Keith the player. Keith the broadcaster I detest. He always, I mean ALWAYS seems to highlight the other teams positives, and things they need to do to win, and it seems he always downgrades the Mets efforts, not once does it seem that he is on our side. Just my observation.

Kid Equestrian
April 22, 2009
My goodness gracious crustaceous! What has happened to Keith Hernandez's appearance? Has anyone seen that awful crewcut he sports? It makes his head appear fatter and he looks like Saddam Huessein. Some people do not look right with short hair. Grow it out, Keith.

Joey Spagna
November 25, 2010
I used to work the concessions at Shea and afer the games, I used to booze it up with Keith. We usually ended up in Mineola at McGurk's. He used to call a car service to drop me off on his way home. Keith you're the best.

February 1, 2013
Keith Hernandez is a Mets legend.

First as an All-Star player and team field general.

Then as Elaine Benes' boyfriend and Kramer's accused spitter on "Seinfeld". "Nice game, pretty boy."

And now as Mets broadcaster on SNY.

I love the guy.

Jim Snedeker
August 11, 2015
I remember reading a newspaper article Keith wrote about his experiences as a Met and being in New York.

He said that when he learned he'd been traded to the Mets, he was scared to death, because he thought anyone who walked the city streets would be beaten up or murdered. His feelings began to change when a cab driver refused to accept his money for a ride.

Now look at him--about as New York as you can get!

George P
August 11, 2015
I was at lots of games at Shea, 2 rows up in box seats off the first base line. What impressed me about Mr. Hernandez was his size. He was a big guy. Also, he has said he turned his glove left or right in the hope of getting a slight advantage on an inside or outside pitch knowing what was coming from Doc, Ronnie, Bobby, et al. Also, on an obvious bunt situation, he would charge the plate and those throws to either second or third were remarkable outs. A great player. Best overall first baseman I have seen in my 63 years. Hall of Fame in my mind, but the blow, I feel, blew his shot at it. I hope you enjoyed my memories. Please respond back for yours. Let's Go Metsies!!!


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