Tuesday, February 19, 2013

This Week in Mets History 1-6: The Patch, The Franchise, Fonz and Ollie

Gary Carter\'s Memorial Uniform Patch

Frank Gray
MM Editor

As Spring Training gets closer to beginning this week, we take a trip down memory lane and reminisce about Mets moves from the past. This week we visit with a "terrific" pitcher as he make MLB history, a sporadic pitcher that cashed in on a good season and the Mets decision to honor the passing of the Kid.

February 19, 1991 - The New York Mets signed little known amateur free agent Edgardo Alfonzo. After being called up in 1995, he became a mainstay with the team for the next eight seasons. He finished his Mets career with 120 home runs, 538 RBI and a .292 AVG.

He was embraced by the fanbase and given the nickname "Fonzie" as a sign of their appreciation. Today, he is still bouncing around the minor leagues looking to find his footing in an organization. He was tied to the White Sox last season.

February 21, 1974 - Coming off of his finest season to date, the Mets signed the man nicknamed "the Franchise" to a long-term deal worth $172K per season. Tom "terrific" Seaver, was a Rookie of the Year winner. He also was a  two-time Cy Young award recipient, at that point, (eventually three) and a seven-time All Star, at that point (twelve times overall).

He would go on to become the greatest pitcher in team history and a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee in 1992. He would throw 3,045.2 innings of his total 4,783 IP with the Mets and would strike out  2,541 of his total 3,640 batters with the team. He would post a 198-124 record with the Mets as well. In addition, he holds a Mets career 2.57 ERA. All are currently still Mets records.

February 22, 2008 - The Mets fail to avoid arbitration with lefty Oliver Perez. The team offered him $4,725,000 million but Perez won an arbitration hearing that granted him $6.5 million. Prior to this, the Mets had not had a player go to arbitration in 16 years.

The decision came on the strength of Perez' best season (15-10, 3.56 ERA, 177 IP and 174 K's in 2007). The following season he posted less than stellar numbers, reaching career highs in walks (105), hits allowed (167) and runs allowed (100).

February 25, 2012 - The New York Mets, still mourning the passing of MLB legend Gary Carter decide to pay homage to him and the memory of his time in Queens. They choose to do so by designing a patch for their players to wear on their uniforms during the season. The patch would debut April 5th.

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