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The Fab 45

"After the Florida-Mets afternoon game on Sept. 28, the Mets plan to bring back 45 former players, including Tom Seaver and Mike Piazza for a celebration called Shea Goodbye.
Dave Howard, the Mets’ executive vice president for business, said, “We think most of the names that come to mind will be there.”
-- New York Times article from earlier this week

Couple of things I'm wondering about:

a) 45...that's cute. 1 person for each year of Shea Stadium. Did they stop the invites or turn people away (otherwise known as "The Barry Lyons Treatment" from the 1986 celebration two years ago)? Who got the shaft?

b) Given the way things have gone, wouldn't it be wiser to hold the ceremonies before the game, rather than after? Here's a scenario. The Mets blow the wild card on the final day of the season, in a fashion similar to their final game in 2007. You think the crowd's gonna be psyched to say farewell to a building that most consider a dump?

c) 45 FORMER that to say that no former non-playing managers will be there? What about non-uniformed personnel of significance? Members of the Shea and Payson families should be on hand, along with any members of the Stengel, Agee, McGraw, or Clendenon families (I'm hopeful they will be). So should Frank Cashen...and it goes without saying that Davey Johnson should be there, but that's another issue to be discussed in a moment.

d) Can we bar the doors to ensure that the likes of Vince Coleman and Bobby Bonilla don't make it through? They're on the official Mets Walk-Offs banned list, and so is Tom Glavine.

But mostly, I'm wondering...who are the fab 45?

There's a difference between who will be there and who should be there. We've already heard that the Mets and Mookie Wilson are in the midst of an ongoing tiff, and Mookie has no plans to attend. The same is true for Davey Johnson, which is as ridiculous as having your No. 5 hitter bunt two men over in Atlanta with a two-run lead. We've also heard that Dwight Gooden is an unlikely attendee.

What follows is my list of who I think SHOULD be there, in alphabetical order by last name. I probably shorted a few names from this list by including Msrs. Berra, Randolph, and Valentine among former players, but I'm just following the letter of David Howard's law.

I'm guessing that a good number of these folks will be in attendance, and it's too bad that they all won't be making their way to Flushing to pay their respects. Feel free to comment if you feel I'm missing someone, or should remove someone from the list.

Edgardo Alfonzo
Wally Backman
Yogi Berra
Gary Carter
David Cone
Ron Darling
Shawon Dunston
Lenny Dykstra
Sid Fernandez
John Franco
Dwight Gooden
Jerry Grote
Bud Harrelson
Keith Hernandez
Ron Hunt
Bobby Jones
Al Jackson
Howard Johnson
Cleon Jones
Ray Knight
Jerry Koosman
Ed Kranepool
Al Leiter
Jon Matlack
Willie Mays
Lee Mazzilli
Roger McDowell
Kevin McReynolds
Felix Millan
Randy Myers
Bobby Ojeda
John Olerud
Jesse Orosco
Mike Piazza
Todd Pratt
Willie Randolph
Tom Seaver
Rusty Staub
John Stearns
Darryl Strawberry
Ron Swoboda
Bobby Valentine
Robin Ventura
Turk Wendell
Mookie Wilson

If you're wondering the thought process here:

I put the first 45 names that came to mind, as most significant in the history of the building, on paper...and then I looked over an all-time roster to see who I missed. Bob Ojeda was squeezed on at the last second, and I had to make some adjustments when I didn't include Todd Pratt in the first go-round.

There's probably a little bias in that list, but that's what these kinds of lists are for. I'm guessing not everyone is going to pick Bobby Jones or Shawon Dunston, but their Metmorableness is a personal thing for me, and if it was up to me, they would be certain attendees. I did my best to be inclusive of all eras,, hence the inclusion of the likes of Al Jackson and John Stearns.

What to do about Nolan Ryan??? How about Joe Torre???

There aren't as many "no-brainers" as some would think. My biggest omissions at the moment are Dr. Ron Taylor and Todd Hundley (total opposites of the spectrum), but I also feel like I've shafted Craig Swan, Steve Henderson, Gary Gentry, Hubie Brooks, Wayne Garrett, Terry Leach, and even Armando Benitez. That's what you get for having only 45 invites. Some might argue for Dave Kingman, but I can't justify that.

No one on the current team was included, since the quote said "FORMER players."

Feel free to peck away at my thoughts.


Anonymous said…
I had read the Mets invited "hundreds" and then they went for cutesy-poo and narrowed it to 45? Jeez.

No two lists will be alike, but Rick Reed, baby. He's gotta be there.
Anonymous said…
Yeah, I'd say they may want make it a pre-game ceremony if that game will be of any significance.

Nice list, but I'd include Swan and Henderson in place of Wendell and Myers. Myers did not spend a lot of time in a Met uniform, and Wendell, while a fan favorite, is not really a tried and true Met.
Rick Reed definitely. How about Skip Lockwood from the 1970s?

Tim Teufel? Benny Agbayani!

Reed is the only one of the 4 I mentioned that I feel strongly about. Solid list.
czaradio said…
If you are going to keep Dunston on the list, I think you have to have Agbayani. Think you could put him in place of Turk. While Wendell was certainly a character, Agbayani represents a much more memorable moment.
czaradio said…
Also - in keeping with your mentions of Glavine, Coleman, and Bonilla - what about a list of the "Unfab 45"? Some others that would be on that list...

Jimmy Qualls
Pete Rose
Terry Pendleton
Mike Scioscia
Juan Samuel
Roberto Alomar
Unknown said…
Good list. Id like to see Hundley
Anonymous said…
Tim Teufel. :)

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