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John Olerud
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John Olerud
John Olerud
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 56 of 984 players
Olerud
John Garrett Olerud
Born: August 5, 1968 at Seattle, Wash.
Throws: Left Bats: Left
Height: 6.05 Weight: 220

John Olerud has been the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup 10 times, most recently on September 2, 2014.

1b

First Mets game: April 1, 1997
Last Mets game: October 19, 1999





Winner of National League Player of the Week award, September 28, 1997, September 20, 1998, August 9, 1998. (New York Mets)

Share your memories of John Olerud

HERE IS WHAT OTHER METS FANS HAVE TO SAY:

Bill
When I think of John, I think of his consistancy. His swing is a wonder to behold; fluid and graceful. He hits the ball where it is pitched and sprays them to all fields. When I watch him bat, I wonder what Cito Gaston was thinking when he attempted to convert him into a home-run threat. Olerud's patience at the plate, his high on-base percentage, and his ability to drive in runs make him into a threat regardless of home runs.

The acquisition of Olerud is one of the best trades in Met history: in exchange, we gave the Blue Jays Robert Person, and the Jays even paid for Olerud's salary during his first year as a Met. Person is no longer a Jay, but Olerud has become a great part of a great Mets team. I only hope that the Mets manage to keep him following the post-season.

JULIA
John Olerud is the best. Sometimes I have too much homework to watch the Mets but I always have time to watch John Olerud up at bat. He is my all time favorite baseball player and I really hope that he plays for the Mets next year so I can always watch him play. John Olerud is the best and so are the Mets!

Leah
This guy has a great attitude and an incredible personality. He plays 110% in every game. He will often make the game winning hit or catch; yet he keeps his cool and gives the victory to his team. He's great and hopefully will be back next year!

Jujo
We are going to miss Oly. He reminded me of Keith "Mex" Hernandez with the sweetest swing in baseball. The Mets will miss him also; he helped every batter in the lineup because he made pitchers work to get him out. Also, check the stats-he was our iron man playing in nearly every game since he was a Met. John Olerud brought a professional bat to the Mets and had countless BIG HITS to win games. I will miss him a great deal. Good Luck in Seattle, John!

Dan
I've been attending Mets' games at Shea for 25 years now, and Johnny O. provided me with two of my most memorable Shea experiences this past season. I was at Shea that soggy Sunday afternoon in May when the Mets could not do ANYTHING vs. Curt Schilling and the Phillies for eight innings and Johnny O. capped that improbable five-run rally in the 9th. I was also at Shea that late-September night when Olerud and the Mets took their collective frustration out on Greg Maddux and the Braves. Man, did the stadium get loud when Johnny absolutely crushed that Maddux pitch for the grand-slam! Thanks, Johnny O., we'll miss ya!

Susan Sutley
I was John's 5th grade teacher. I just retired from 30 years of teaching and therefore spent some time remembering the good times. I was hoping I could get a message directly to John. I still have the stained glass apple on my window that his mom, Linda, made for me. Is this the right place to write to John? Susan Sutley Whitworth teacher

Coach HoJo 20
December 25, 2000
When he came to the Mets he was a shell of his former self, but the Mets taught him how to make a contact with the ball and became the great John Olerud of old and how does he repay us? By flat leaving us to go with his family in Seattle. John your a great player but you are a grade A moron and an ingrate.

Mr. Sparkle
February 22, 2001
This guy was a great player and made the Mets look good in one of the best trades of all time. When he left for Seattle I was dissapointed but understood his desire to go home. Then when I heard he would have stayed for $2,000,000 a year more in NY I was floored. OK it costs more to live in NY but at $10,000,000 a year or whatever he got is he telling me he couldn't live in NY on that?? Give me a break!!! What more are you gonna get for that extra $2mil???? $6mil total!!!! At first he said it wasn't about the money then said this. Unbelievable!!!! Glad you were here but I can't undertand your thinking. I hope the Mariners suck this year!

RheingoldFan
March 16, 2001
I tend to think that Coach Ho Jo is being a bit too tough on Olerud. You can't blame a guy for wanting to be near his family. He didn't leave New York just to leave the team flat on its face. He was extremely appreciative of the opportunity the Mets gave him. In fact, he said that he was torn between the two cities. That says alot about the way he felt about the city and its fans, since it was nearly enough to make him re-sign, which would cause to stay apart from his family for that much longer. He enjoyed the environment here so much that he was the only Met who took the subway to the stadium almost everyday. You can't say that for many other ballplayers in this town. I mean, this is the same guy who lead the AL in batting in '93 but was still benched during the World Series when the games were in Philly so that Molitor could play. Molitor was the DH for crying out loud!! And that seems to be the thing with Olerud...no matter what he did or continues to do, he is underappreciated. He should have been the MVP in '93, as well as a gold glover in that soon to be legendary infield of '99. I think that instead of burning him at the stake for choosing to be near his family, Mets fans should appreciate the professionalism and that wonderful stroke he displayed at Shea 81 times a year. He was a rock at first and put up the most consistently impressive stats at that position, both offensively and defensively, since Hernandez was there. I would even give him the edge with the bat over Keith. He was a vital part of the Mets rebirth in the late '90's and I wish him the best of luck and continued success. bas

Coach HoJo 20
March 23, 2001
I appreciate what he has done for the team. But he could have moved his family here. I wonder who controls John Olurud? Himself, his family or his helmet?

Rumor has it that Johnny O takes showers with his helmet on.

kinerskorner
April 18, 2001
jeez do I miss having this guys lefty bat in the middle of the lineup. one of the most consistent players ive ever seen, in the field and at the plate. olerud was one tough out when he was going well. seemed like a standup guy too, oh well, im sure hes beating the hell out of mediocre american league pitching as we speak.

murphy
May 11, 2001
Cito Gaston nearly killed Olerud's career, but Bobby Valentine helped resurrect it. He went back to being a total field hitter instead of trying to pull everything out of the park, like Gaston wanted. What was Gaston thinking? That's like telling Greg Maddux to concentrate more on strikeouts than quality pitches. What a moron.

Olerud's home run against Randy Johnson in Game 1 of the '99 NLDS was huge. Lefties just are NOT supposed to do that to the Big Unit.

I wanted him to stay here in NY, but I can't hate Olerud. Mike Hampton, on the other hand, I will always hate.

Jeff Wikman
July 8, 2001
Best consistant Mets hitter in the glory days of the late 90's

Joe Figliola
July 20, 2001
My Mets memory of John Olerud came in the last week of the 1997 season. He had something like 86 RBIs and some announcer said he would have to go on a tear to reach the coveted 100 RBI mark.

In typical John Olerud clutch-like fashion, he got those 14 RBIs and then some. I have the scorebook to prove it!

ann
August 14, 2001
he is my fav all time player....i really hope the AL division series is seattle vs. the stankees, so seattle can whip their butts! I really hope they win the World Series.

Mike Tenenbaum
August 19, 2001
I think the "family" issue was just a smokescreen perpetrated by Steve "Skill set" Phillips.

It was just another case of the Mets getting rid of a guy eligible for free agency. To put it another way, does anybody seriously think Boss George would have let John sign with anybody else?

Matt
October 11, 2001
Best first baseman we had since Hernandez, still light years ahead defensively of Zeile. This year's Seattle team is really entertaining to watch, but seeing John with them still makes me mad. It was rumored that Pat Gillick went to his parents BEFORE the '99 season ended with a sales pitch for John to come home. If that was the case, we should have gotten something more that a measley draft pick or 2 for outright tampering.

DB
November 12, 2001
Olerud is the best defensive shortstop I have ever seen. He's also a good hitter. I'm going to miss Johnny. I will always respect him.

Andy from Rego Park
February 7, 2002
The best two-way first baseman in the game. It's hard to believe we held the line on salaries with him, then went out and overpaid for Todd Zeile and Mo Vaughn (and I like Mo Vaughn). If Steve Phillips and the Mets had shown Olerud just a little re$pect, maybe staying in New York wouldn't have seemed such a bad thing to him. Had he stayed, we would have beaten the Yanks in 2000.

Shari
May 20, 2002
The best first baseman we've had since my all-time favorite Keith Hernandez. I don't believe the reason he left was because he wanted to "go home." He liked living in NY. Whatever the reason really was, he's another great one we let just walk out.

Richard Kissel
September 14, 2002
The long-term downturn of the Mets started when they refused to offer Olerud a real deal after the 1999 season. He was a classy guy, excellent fielder, excellent hitter. He could have made the difference in 2000.

Anthony
August 29, 2003
John Olerud is one of the reasons why the 1999 team is my favorite Mets team. I was only four when they won it in 1986. I remember how I could not stop talking about it the day they acquired him after the 1996 season. He was one of my favorite players when he was with the Mets. I attended his Shea Stadium debut on April 13, 1997. It was me, my friend Pablo (who I made a Mets fan), my mom and dad. That day they played a doubleheader against the Giants as the home opener since it had gotten rained out a day or two before when it was supposed to be played. It was an atrocious day for the Mets as they lost both games 5-1, and 7-6. In the first game, Mr. Olerud accounted for the only run for the Mets when he hit his first home run at Shea Stadium.

I will never forget his postseason performance in 1999, especially the game of the NLCS against the Braves I was at with some family (Game Four) when he suddenly broke a scoreless tie in the sixth with a solo home run off John Smoltz, and got the two-RBI single off John Rocker to put the Mets back ahead for good 3-2 in the eighth after the Braves had gone ahead in the top of the inning. My cousin Dan (he is in a few of my posted memories) and I screamed in each others' faces in excitment.

They made a major mistake letting him go. I still vent a little about it. To add insult to injury, they made it like there was no chance he would have re-signed. No Mets fan should have the opinion that he wanted to go to Seattle no matter what. So majorly pathetic.

Danny Baseball
January 19, 2004
Another Mets mistake. I feel we should've offered him the money that we offered Mo Lard(fill in the blank) Vaughn to stay on our team. He's arguably the best hitter we had since Keith Hernandez. Always solid always consistant. I wish we could get him back.

Kiwiwriter
August 10, 2004
Steve Phillips should have been strangled for letting him go.

With Olerud in the lineup, the Mets set all kinds of records for infield defense. With him gone, the defense fell apart. He made those other three guys look good with his smoothness. And kept the offense up, too. He almost made you forget Keith Hernandez.

They had no business losing him to anybody. Proof that they screwed up is that the Yankees, a home for unwanted Mets, signed him, and on his birthday the other day, he went two for two with a double and two RBIs.

I'm sure he'll never hit .363 again, but he should have been the Mets' 2000 first basemen (with all respect to Todd Zeile).

Mr. Sparkle
September 24, 2004
I love this guy and to see him in the Bronx is killing me. He has had a terrible season so the only reason why Steinbrenner signed him was to get under the skin of Met fans. I would hate to see him get a ring in the Bronx.

Mook
October 14, 2004
Depspite it being for the Yankees, I still smile when Olerud bangs another double in the gap. In retrospect John was the quiet heart of those late '90s teams. Despite going to the WS in 2000, the latest Met decline began with Olerud's departure following the 99 season. If the Yanks have to win, let it be a walk-off Olerud home-run.

Mook Again
October 20, 2004
The Mets were playing The Dodgers on national TV in the game commemorating the 50th anniversery of Jackie Robinson's first game. The game was in early April and Olerud was just over from the Blue Jays after an off year. Bill Clinton was being interviewed by Bob Costas (?) and was dispensing the usual politico platitudes when John comes through with a hit. Without missing a beat, Bill comments, "It's nice to see Olerud hitting again" and then goes on pontificating. Now, I never figured out whether Bill overheard some Mets' fan talking, or whether he followed John Olerud's stats in a White House Rotisserie league; but you have to admit, love him or hate him the man was slick.

Jonathan Stern
February 10, 2005
What a terrific player, what a dull guy! Great swing, great glove, great team player. But probably the only guy I know of who played in the bigs, winning hitting titles, gold gloves, and world championships... and probably puts his own kids to sleep within seconds while telling them all about it. He talks like a zombie.

Of course, there was nothing boring about John Olerud whenever he swung a bat or patrolled first base. And, as we all know, that's what matters most.

Olerud was also one of a select few ever to go directly from college to the majors. He has never played a single minor league game.

George Felonbrenner
May 11, 2005
One of the few Mets to actually improve as a player instead of Alomar-ing his way into obscurity. I loved this guy and was really excited when he arrived in Queens. I knew the guy would turn his career around here. The Jays were suffocating the guy too much with demands that he pull the ball. The Mets didn’t go that route and he flourished as the great player we all knew and loved.

But, as Coach Hojo noted, he is an absolute ingrate. The dude claimed he left NY solely to be with his family. Who knew his family included several ex- Presidents and a guy who harnessed electricity? NY was so inhospitable to his family that he CAME BACK to NY to play with the dreaded Yankees. Keep that helmet on Ole, you never know when we’ll meet down a dark alley!

To think, we still haven't recovered a solid first base bat since he left.

Rob
May 18, 2005
John Olerud approached every game in the same manner. He was always dignified and respectful. When he came to the plate he made you work to get him out, if you could get him out at all. He never really showed a lot of home run power, but he was a consistent doubles hitter and had probably the sweetest swing in baseball. On defense, he was amazing with a lifetime 99.5% fielding average. Since ’88, he has only committed 81 errors. That is only about 5 errors a season, amazing. He always tried his hardest and put all his effort into the team. He should have been the MVP in 1993, but the league cheated him out of it. John Olerud is a great player who put 110% of what he had into the game. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, no doubt.

Jamal
July 13, 2005
Oleurd was the epitome of baseball. His swing was so sweet it was candy for the eyes. His stats were consistent and he had an awesome year in 1998. He was a huge steal in the trade with Toronto. He ranks among the greatest Mets of all time.

Will
July 13, 2005
John is the coolest ever. I live in Seattle and I didn't really know about him until 2000. Ever since then I have followed him even in New York and Boston and I wish Bill Bavasi wouldn't stop being such a Bill Balonghead and re-sign him next year. I remembered on June 16, 2001 when he became the second player in history to hit for the cycle in two diffrent leagues. And I totally disagree with Coach Hojo.

Shorty Larson
November 17, 2005
Olerud was a very gifted player. He will always be remebered for his helmet, but I'll remember him for his his Gold Glove Defense at 1B, and his dependable, left-handed bat. He's everything Keith Hernandez could have been and more.

Steve L.
December 18, 2005
John Olerud announced on Tuesday, December 6, 2005, that he is retiring from Major League Baseball.

Part of the 1999 Mets' "Greatest Defensive Infield Ever", which featured Olerud at first base, Edgardo Alfonzo at second base, Rey Ordonez at shortstop, and Robin Ventura at third base, Olerud was known for great defense, a quiet demeanor, and a sweet swing. He could always be counted on to hit for a high average, and consistently got himself on base. One of the better short-term Mets in team history. Happy trails, John. Enjoy retirement!

5280MetsFan
May 10, 2006
How can you not like a player like Olerud. Next to Keith, the best first baseman this team has ever seen. Always getting on base, or a clutch hit. Thanks John for 3 great years of memories with you in a Mets uniform

Brian Mortensen
March 31, 2007
My favorite Met of all time. Greatest memory ever at Shea came in game 4 of the NLCS in 1999. Olerud drove in all 3 Met runs for the victory - a solo shot in the middle of the game, and a clutch 2 run single off of John Rocker (the most hated Brave of all time besides Chipper Jones) in the 8th inning gave the Mets the win.

He always did the little things to win and was an amazing defensive first baseman. Olerud, thanks for the memories!!

The Big H
July 21, 2007
Because the Mets weren't able to sign John Olerud, the Mets wound up with Mo Vaughn! What an historical Met disaster that they didn't sign him.

Vince the Moob
October 9, 2008
Staub, Hernandez and Olerud were my favorite all-time Mets. All three of these guys were everything in a hitter I loved. Lefthanded, hit for average, hit for middle range power, walked more than they struck out and had a good, smart approach at the plate. If you wanted to teach a kid how to hit, watching these guys would be the way to go. Hernandez was the greatest first baseman in history, Olerud was an excellent fielder and Staub though perceived as slow had a good arm and good hands.

Bonbolito
April 3, 2009
The second best first baseman we've ever had after Hernandez. He was beautiful to watch. Had he stayed here I believe he would have become beloved.

TheBigH
April 20, 2009
Always a pleasure to watch play. He was very consistant. When he left the Mets wound up with Mo Vaughn, who set the Mets back years and millions.

Jon
December 23, 2009
In my opinion when Olerud left the Mets for Seattle in '00 the Mets never were able to replace him at 1B. And I still maintain this ten years later even with Delgado's strong '06 and '08. I also think, despite his slowness, Olerud was the best #3 hitter Piazza ever had hit ahead of him. A contact hitter who rarely struck out, played stellar defense, and was a class act on and off the field. To this day the Mets should look for deals like the one made for Olerud. How 1999 already seems so long ago.

John
January 4, 2010
I am convinced that if Olerud was with the Mets in 2000, they would have won the division and might just have won the World Series as well. No offense to Zeile or the Yankees, but I think it just might have happened.

Mitch45
August 31, 2011
Johnny Baseball is my second-favorite Met of all time, after Keith. Olerud was a quiet guy who played the game the right way, with a quiet dignity and class. His modest demeanor belied his often-lethal bat and his Gold Glove caliber defense. He was a real gentleman. I proudly wore his #5 jersey while he was a Met. After the '98 season (when he hit .354), I wrote him a letter thanking him for his great year and for being a great role model for kids. He sent me an autographed photo, which is proudly on my office wall. Amazing how a player who was with the Mets for such a short time (just three years) had such a huge impact on the fans. Everybody loves him.

PJ
September 26, 2013
Olerud was my favorite Met of the late '90s. He was a complete first baseman who combined power with a high average and was smooth in the field. His walk-strikeout comparison was insane for a man of his height.

My best memory of him is when I was at the first of a doubleheader against St. Louis during the '99 season. The Mets were behind 6-1 going into the 8th when he grand-slammed into the rightfield bullpen. Piazza homered right afterward and the Mets scored two in the 9th to win 8-7.









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