MLB.com, as is its wont,* is allowing fans to vote on their All-Time Nine for each team.
Rules are you pick one season from each guy at each position, and then imagine they were all on the same Mets team at the same time having that season.
And then you imagine you had season tickets that year and got to watch ‘99 Rickey Henderson lead off followed by 2006 Reyes, and then 2007 Wright would hit a double to score two, and then 2000 Piazza would step up to the plate, and they had to pitch to him because ‘98 Olerud and ‘86 Keith Hernandez were due up, and 2000 Piazza would wink at you and you would know deep down that he loved y…..
Anyway, this got me thinking.
I do that, sometimes: think. It’s fun — kind of like a Wikipedia adventure, except instead of always ending up on Batman or Sun Tsu’s The Art of War, when I think, it usually comes back to Mets and mustaches.
I’m sure it’s the same for you.
So anyway, after another WikiAdventure through the Misopomind, I came up with this idea:
The All-Stached Nine.
(tell me you saw that coming?)
The All-Stache Nine are the best mustached Mets in Mets history, all in one lineup.
First Base – 1984 Keith Hernandez
What more can be said about the Patron Stache of the Wright Stache, except his ‘84 numbers (.311/15 HR/GoldGlove/2nd in MVP voting) were slightly better than the heralded ‘86 (.310/13 HR/GoldGlove/4th in MVP voting) effort.
Second Base – Wally Backman 1986
Previously profiled on the Wright Stache. Wally did whatever he could for the ‘86 Amazins, including growing an amazing mustache. In a light-hitting era, Backman put up better numbers than any Met 2nd bagger in history.
Third Base – 1989 Howard Johnson (over Bonilla 1994)
HoJo had some great years with the Mets, but of those his .287 (.928 OPS) campaign in ‘89, capped by an All Star appearance, a 5th place in MVP voting, and a Silver Slugger, was the stachiest.
Shortstop -1980 Frank Taveras
The Mets have traditionally fielded a speed and glove man at shortstop (Rey Ordonez, Rafael Santana, Kevin Elster). But Franky Taveras was the exception. In ‘80 he put up solid numbers for the time: .279/.635. Eventually, though, the stache from his Pirate days managed to finally touch the Met-era beard, and Taveras moved on. Don’t like this pick? Okay, well the other was 2004 Kaz Matsui. You want Kaz back? Didn’t think so.
Catcher: 2000 Mike Piazza
Left Field - 1996 Bernard Gilkey (over Lee Mazilli 1987)
Another Met previously profiled on our Better Know a Metstache feature, Gilkey’s solid stache and even more solid numbers were overshadowed by the Year of Lance Johnson. Then again, so was most of Upper Manhatten. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing to cool in Upper Manhatten, right?
Centerfield: 1969 Cleon Jones
This is tough. I put Mazilli’s 1979 season up there, but Lee didn’t have a stache until his late-career return. Dykstra (when in doubt go with an ‘86 Met?) too has the same stacheless situation. Enter Jones. His mustache, first grown during the 1969 pennant race (but apparently shaved by the World Series) was just one small miracle on the Miracle Mets.Cleon hit .340 and was named an NL All Star after Gil Hodges benched him for ‘dogging it.’ Cleon is the nom-d’origin of “jonesify” which according to Urban Dictionary, means “a great all around baseball player who sports a mustache.”
Right Field – 1988 Darryl Strawberry
It was the summer of 1988. Reports were coming out of hypodermic needles on Coney Island, closing beaches during the hottest month in New York recorded history. President Reagan declared two epidemics that summer: heat and drugs. If he had declared a third, it would have been Strawberry. In the last season that Darryl could be said to know where he was, he shot up to 39 homers, with a .269 AVG (it was over .290 through July) and .911 OPS, finishing second in MVP voting.
Pitcher: 1985 Doc Gooden
Perhaps the greatest season by a pitcher, ever. Okay, scratch that. Perhaps The greatest season by a pitcher, ever.
* yes, this phrase is completely unnecessary, and only included so I could use the word “wont”