NEW YORK – With Major League Baseball’s All-Star game headed to New York this week, it’s time to take a moment and examine this year’s host team’s – the New York Mets’ – all-time all-star team.
The team won the World Series in 1969 and 1986 and also won National League pennants in 1973 and 2000. And in the five-plus decades the team has played in the Big Apple, it has certainly fielded some colorful characters.
The all time Mets’ all-star team’s starting lineup:
- Jose Reyes, ss
- Carlos Beltran, cf
- David Wright, 3b
- Mike Piazza, c
- Darryl Strawberry, rf
- Keith Hernandez, 1b
- Edgardo Alfonso, 2b
- Cleon Jones, lf
Backups for this star-studded affair are: Gary Carter (c), Lenny Dykstra (of), John Olerud (1b), Howard Johnson (if/of), Bud Harrelson (if), Tommie Agee (of) and Rusty Staub (of).
The starting rotation is: Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden, Jerry Koosman, David Cone and Ron Darling. The bullpen consists of: Armando Benitez, Jesse Orosco, Roger McDowell, Tug McGraw and John Franco (closer).
For the manager, current Washington Nationals skipper Davey Johnson, who managed the Mets to a world championship in 1986, is the clear choice. Ralph Kiner could broadcast the games, which he’s done for the Mets since they started play in 1962.
What’s fun about these efforts is the level of debate it sparks. Any avid fan of the 1986 Mets would be hard-pressed to exclude Mookie Wilson, for example.
Additionally, Mets fans will likely cringe at the thought of current Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes and current St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran appearing on this list (2006, anyone?). But Reyes provided a spark at the top of the Mets unlike any other they’ve had in their history.
Admittedly, this list also leaves off the likes of first baseman Ed Kranepool and catcher Jerry Grote, both members of the New York Mets Hall of Fame. Several others – including Lee Mazzilli, Wally Backman, Sid Fernandez, Al Leiter and even Jon Matlack – are worth adding to the discussion.
Perhaps, a 40-man roster is in order?
This year’s “Midsummer Classic” airs Tuesday on Fox.