Monday, February 4, 2013

This week in Mets history 1-4: Keith and Jessie

Photo courtesy of  CBS Sports

Frank Gray
MM Editor

For those who do not know, I write a weekly column over at In recent weeks, I have begun a weekly glimpse into events in Mets history. I would like to bring that series to Mets Menu. For the first three installments of the series (to get caught up), please visit the following links: This week in Mets history 1-1, This week in Mets history 1-2 and This week in History 1-3. Thank you.

In this edition, we visit two members of the 1986 title team, a disgruntled cast away from the 70's  and an even more disgruntled reject from the 2000's. Ahhh, the memories. Soak them in folks.

February 3, 2009- Struggling for consistency in their rotation, the Mets re-signed Oliver Perez to a three year, $36 Million deal. They had hoped that he would improve from his previous season. He didn't. Perez spent the majority of that deal in and out of the rotation.

The Mets so regretted it that when Sandy Alderson took over, one of their first moves was to eat the remaining third of his deal just to get rid of him. He posted a 3-9 record with a 6.81 ERA in the first two years of that contract, only pitching in 31 games.

February 7, 1979- The Mets finalized a trade that would send longtime great Jerry Koosman to the Minnesota Twins. They acquired a player to be named later. On this date, that player was named. It was Jesse Orosco.

The two-time All Star, Orosco, would be the last Mets pitcher to celebrate a World Series championship. During his tenure in Queens, he saved 107 games and appeared in 372 of his MLB record 1,252 games. To this day, he is considered one of the greatest closers, not only in Mets history, but in MLB history.

February 10, 1982- Looking to bolster their offense, the Mets pull of a trade for Reds great George Foster. To complete the trade, they ink him to a five year, $10 Million deal. In nearly five years in Queens, Foster would only hit 99 home runs and hold an abysmal .252 AVG with the team.

He would be released in the 1986 season after controversial accusations of racism within the organization that would keep him from playing even though the man replacing him was a fellow African American, Kevin Mitchell.

February 10, 1984- While the team was looking for the future talent to take root, they needed to keep the veteran talent they had in the fold. With impending free agency looming, the Mets agreed to a five year, $8 Million deal with Keith Hernandez to remain with the team. Hernandez went on to anchor the infield of that 1986 Championship team.

He would hit for a Mets career .297 AVG, collect five gold gloves and three All Star selections in his tenure in Queens. After retiring, he took to the booth where he resides with fellow Mets player Ron Darling and Gary Cohen as the trio that calls Mets games for SNY.

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