April 9, 2017 As a Pirates fan, I recall Gene was an absolute Met
killer! With Bucs, he was just a bench warmer (hard to
break in to Bucs outfield with players like Oliver,
Parker, Zisk, etc!) Well, Mets thought they were
getting a great deal in landing Gene. He had the
opportunity to blossom as a Starter in NY, but he was
pretty bad. I was sad to see him decline in NY. Great
April 9, 2017 When D. J. played for the Mets, he was used basically as a promotional tool. Here was a guy who had a football career and was being sold as a two-sport
athlete like Bo Jackson had been a few years earlier. The team tried to enhance its image with someone who had made a name for himself in another game and it didn't work out well.
Depending on an individual to promote themselves is something the Mets have tried to do occasionally
throughout their history. Casey Stengel served the team in that fashion in its earliest days. The same can be said about Willie Mays (1972) and the return of
Tom Seaver (1983), both of whom were aging stars at the time. These additions were artificial ways of generating interest in the team whether it was needed or or not. The Mets probably thought the presence of D. J. alone would increase attention and revenue for them. Not so.
The Tim Tebow experiment of 2017 is very much like Dozier's role with the team a quarter century ago. I
wish the Mets would stop with these silly publicity ploys. They don't lead to championships or even a higher position in the standings.
April 9, 2017 I was at Mets Fantasy Camp in January 2017, and Eric
Hillman was one of the Coaches there. He is a great
guy, and did a wonderful job as the Camp MC. He was
very gracious, and took the time to take a pic with me.
Old Fashioned Met
April 9, 2017 The Mets had four complete game shutouts in 1962. Jackson pitched all of them, one of which was the first of many one-hitters in team history. From 2014
to 2016, a total of three shutouts (one each year) were turned in by Mets starting pitchers. This fact makes Al's accomplishment of '62 look superhuman, but it's really just a sign of the overuse of relievers in the game today. If pitching well enough, starters have always had the chance to finish their games. It gives his team its best chance of winning. There is no reason for it not to be looked at that way now.
April 9, 2017 Hojo was a productive player for the Mets. Three times he had 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in the same season. In 1991, Johnson became the first (and still only) Met ever to lead the National League in RBIs. He was also the team's first player to appear in an All-Star Game as a third baseman - which had been an ongoing cursed position for the Orange and Blue. When I look at the plaques in the Mets Hall of Fame, I don't see one for Howard. He had a better Mets career than most of the guys who are enshrined there.
Hojo is also the answer to a pair of good trivia questions:
-Who was the on-deck hitter when Mookie Wilson hit his famous grounder that got past Bill Buckner?
-Who was the last Detroit Tiger to wear uniform #5 before it was
retired for Hank Greenberg?
The Giant Eagle
April 9, 2017 John was a member of a great Seton Hall team in 1987. It was a Pirates squad whose catcher was Craig Biggio and had a first baseman named Mo Vaughn. The team romped to a Big East championship that year. John's college athletic legacy has been passed to the next generation. His daughter, Kendall, is a standout gymnast at Eastern Michigan University – a team that just won its second straight conference title.