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Darryl Strawberry, Your Time Has Come

Since the current team isn't worth talking about at the moment...

I was, at some point, going to write an article about how the Mets next inductees ino the club Hall of Fame is a slam dunk: that you could coincide the opening of a real Mets Hall of Fame at Citifield with the induction of the entire 1969 Mets team, from 1-game wonder Jesse Hudson to Tom Seaver, they should all have their photos/names on display for all to see.

But in thinking about it, I also began to ponder this. What to do about Darryl Strawberry?

Darryl Strawberry has the most home runs (252) and most RBI (733) in Mets history. David Wright may surpass Strawberry someday as the best Mets home-grown position player, but that day has not come yet. Strawberry was a member of the team for eight seasons and in seven, the Mets were legit World Series contenders. He had an extraordinary number of positive contributions to the team. When he left, the Mets went south, and were a non-contender for a LONG time.

Say what you want about untapped potential, substance abuse, and crimes committed. If you want to consider character and integrity, that's perfectly reasonable. But I counter that with two things.

I was in the Shea Stadium clubhouse shop during my last trip to the ballpark. Among the items available: T-shirts with Darryl Strawberry's name and number on the back. I believe they were selling his jerseys as well. That would seem to coincide with the Mets having hired Strawberry to do studio analysis for select games this season.

So in my mind, it's pretty simple. If the Mets feel strongly enough about Strawberry to profit from the use of his name and likeness, and utilize him as an employee, they should induct him into the Mets Hall of Fame, and do so sooner rather than later.

The clubs last Hall of Fame inductee was Tommie Agee in 2002 and you may recall we commented on it being rather unfortunate that Agee was not honored in this manner until after he died (despite the Mets having had a long list of years in which they inducted NO ONE).

As I previously said, 2009 is going to be chock full of 1969-related ceremonies and remembrances and it would be, not necessarily inappropriate, but a little odd to enshrine Strawberry next year. So such a move would be at least two years away.

That's why I think it would be good to honor him this season, perhaps as part of a weekend's fun in midseason when there are either 44 or 18 home games remaining (his uniform number...would be a no-brainer to have him do the "Countdown" that day too). If the Mets choose to wait, it makes me wonder if they're taking a little afraid, taking a wait-and-see approach, to make sure Strawberry stays out of trouble? But if that's the case, shouldn't they have done the same in the souvenir shop and broadcast booth?

True Metberrys know...Of Darryl Strawberry's regular season Mets home runs, 151 either tied the game, gave the team the lead, or extended what was a 1-run lead (60% of his Mets home runs). For comparison purposes Mike Piazza had 122 (out of 220, so 55% of his Mets home runs).


Stormy said…
Agreed. Whether or not they retire his number is one thing, but the least they can do is induct him into the Mets HOF.

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