Sunday, July 28, 2013

2013 - Another year of missed chances and drama for the Mets

Wendy Adair

David Wright has plenty of reasons to rub his head these days as Captain of the Mets. This guy has been as consistent this year as anyone could hope and has toughed out some nagging injuries, along with having to duck up and in pitches on a regular basis.

Well the Mets have 60 games remaining in 2013 and barring a miracle, will end up no better than third place in the National League East.   The Atlanta Braves are all but running away with the division, the Phillies are in a major downward spiral, the Mets are fading fast and the Washington Nationals have not fared much better.

This season has had its fair share of drama and suspense, both on and off the field.  Number one has been Jordany Valdespin, clutch hitter but problematic in the clubhouse and to management, never a good thing, he may be talented but there is no question he has a lot of growing up to do before he will be taken seriously in the Major Leagues.

Ruben Tejada and Lucas Duda went on on the Disabled List and neither are likely to return, except perhaps when the rosters expand in September, but there is no guarantee of either of them being part of the Mets plans in 2014 and in the future.

Matt Harvey, what can I say? the man has been nothing short of incredible, its a shame that his record does not reflect his efforts, but that seems to be a growing trend in baseball these days, no run support.  I for one do not miss Johan Santana in the least this year.  Yes I know he gave us our first no-hitter, last year... and is proving to be among the biggest contract busts, only to be rivaled by Jason Bay, ouch!!

Ike Davis was demoted in early June and recalled a few weeks ago and  really has not done much to prove that he has been "fixed" by Wally Backman and his coaching staff in Las Vegas.  He is arguing with the umpires on ball/strike calls, never a smart idea, he has not caught on to the fact that these umpires will not give him a break on these calls if he continues to whine and complain about every call against him.

The trade deadline is this Wednesday, should the Mets be buyers or sellers, please give me your opinion on any of these topics in the comments section.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Mets in All-Star Games Part 3: The 1990s

Two-time Mets All-Star catcher Todd Hundley was one of the few offensive bright spots for most of the 1990s.
Shale Briskin
MM Assistant Editor
First off, my apologies for not getting this done before the All-Star Game last night. I was already spending a lot of time at Fan Fest this past weekend, but at the last minute yesterday, I was able to get tickets to the All-Star Game and it was a great time! I hope anyone else that went had a blast well. With that being said I will complete the rest of the series shortly. Onto the 1990s!
As the Mets entered the 1990s, they were coming off six consecutive winning seasons and the best six year stretch in team history. They started the decade well by winning 91 games in 1990. However, beginning in 1991, the Mets went through a down cycle that lasted through 1996. In 1997, the Mets surprised many by winning 88 games despite lacking a genuine superstar. They finished with the exact same record in 1998, but made some critical moves for the future. Finally, in 1999, the Mets won the NL Wild Card and got back to the postseason for the first time since 1988.

1990: The 1990 Mets featured three All-Stars in Darryl Strawberry, Frank Viola and John Franco.
 In what ended up being his final season as a Met, Strawberry batted .277 with 37 home runs and a career high 108 RBI. 1990 was also the final season in which Strawberry was an All-Star. He struck out in his only at-bat at the All-Star Game that year.

The 1988 AL Cy Young Award winner with the Twins, Frank Viola was traded to the Mets in 1989 and had a great season in 1990. His year included a 20-12 record, a 2.67 ERA and 182 strikeouts. Viola threw a scoreless inning in the All-Star Game and allowed one hit.

New closer and Brooklyn native John Franco was traded prior to the 1990 season in exchange for fellow southpaw closer Randy Myers. Myers may have won a World Series in 1990 with the Reds, but Franco ended up having a very successful career himself as a Met.

Franco was 5-3 with a 2.53 ERA and 33 saves that season. He would go on to have even better seasons with the Mets later in his career, but this was the only year in which he appeared in an All-Star Game as a Met. Franco threw a scoreless inning himself at the Midsummer Classic.

1991: As the Mets began to decline in 1991, they only had two representatives at the All-Star Game. Viola was joined by third baseman Howard Johnson at the Midsummer Classic, which was the second appearance for each as a Met.

Viola had been 10-5 at the All-Star break with a 2.80 ERA. However, his poor second half resulted in a 13-15 record and a 3.97 ERA. At the All-Star Game, Viola pitched a scoreless inning and allowed one walk.

Johnson on the other hand had one of the best seasons in his career with a .259 average, 38 home runs and a Mets single season record (which was later tied by Bernard Gilkey in 1996 and broken by both Mike Piazza and Robin Ventura in 1999) 117 RBI. He was hitless in two at-bats at the All-Star Game that year.

1992: The "Worst Team Money Could Buy" in 1992 greatly underachieved, as the Mets spent a lot of money on veteran free agent signings. By Opening Day, veteran stars like Bobby Bonilla, Eddie Murray and Bret Saberhagen were all Mets.
With almost the entire team underachieving, the only Mets' All-Star in 1992 was David Cone. Cone was 13-7 with a 2.88 ERA and 214 strikeouts before getting traded to the Blue Jays at the end of August for Jeff Kent and Ryan Thompson. Cone pitched a scoreless inning in the All-Star Game with one strikeout.

1993: If Mets fans were already fed up with how bad the 1992 team was, it ended up being a mere preview for 1993. The Mets lost over 100 games in 1993 for the first time since 1967. The only All-Star for the Mets that year was Bobby Bonilla, who hit .265 with 34 home runs and 87 RBI in his best seasons as a Met. Bonilla got a single in his only at-bat in the All-Star Game.
1994: In what ended up being a strike-shortened season, the 1994 Mets began to retool and build talent from within. When the season ended on August 11, the Mets nearly as many wins (55) as they did a year ago (59).

One bright spot on the rather mediocre team was former two-time AL Cy Young Award winner Bret Saberhagen, who pitched like he did with the Royals in the 1980s. He was also the Mets' lone All-Star in 1994. Saberhagen went 14-4 in 24 starts with a 2.74 ERA, 143 strikeouts and just 13 walks, which was amazing in itself. Saberhagen though did not pitch in the All-Star Game.

1995: The 1995 Mets continued to get younger as up and coming talent such as Edgardo Alfonzo, Jeff Kent, Rico Brogna, Carl Everett and Todd Hundley began to really develop in the lineup, while Bill Pulsipher and Jason Isringhausen both came up midseason to boost the starting rotation.
However, the Mets' only All-Star in 1995 was Bobby Bonilla, who was playing third base that year. Bonilla was hitting .325 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI before finally getting traded to the Orioles for Alex Ochoa and Damon Buford. He struck out in his only at-bat in the All-Star Game.
 Lance Johnson had one of the Mets' best All-Star Game performances in 1996.

1996: The 1996 Mets were best remembered for having three hitters with amazing individual seasons. Unfortunately, only two of them ended up being All-Stars. The player that got snubbed was left fielder Bernard Gilkey, who hit .317 with 30 home runs, 117 RBI, 108 runs scored and 44 doubles. It was certainly one of the worst snubs in Mets history.
The ones that did make it though had two of the best seasons in team history. Center fielder Lance Johnson signed a two-year contract with the Mets and immediately put his name in the record books. Johnson hit .333 with 9 home runs, 69 RBI, 117 runs scored, 227 hits, 31 doubles, 21 triples, 50 stolen bases and 327 total bases. With those numbers, Johnson set single season team records in runs scored, hits, triples and total bases. The hits and triples records still stand today.

At the 1996 All-Star Game, Johnson made quite a case to be the All-Star Game MVP with three hits, including a double, plus one run scored and one stolen base in four at-bats. Johnson got the start in center field due to an injury to Tony Gwynn. Dodgers catcher and future Met Mike Piazza though ended up winning the award.

The other Mets All-Star was catcher Todd Hundley, who had been the Mets' starting catcher since 1992. Hundley had a career season himself with a .259 average, 41 home runs, 112 RBI and 32 doubles. Hundley's 41 home runs set a new Mets single season record and also set a new single season record among catchers, which Javy Lopez would break in 2003. Carlos Beltran would tie Hundley's team record in 2006.

Hundley did not reach base in his only at-bat in the 1996 All-Star Game.

1997: The Mets were not particularly expected to contend in 1997, but ended up winning 88 games, despite not having a genuine superstar on the team. One big reason why the Mets became more successful was thanks to Hundley's leadership as he had another great season.

Hundley raised his average to .273 and had 30 home runs, 86 RBI and a .394 OBP. However, by midseason, Hundley developed an elbow problem that eventually required surgery. He did not participate in the All-Star Game because of it and the injury limited his playing time in much of the second half of the season.
The other Mets' All-Star in 1997 was starting pitcher Bobby Jones, who had a career season that year. Jones went 15-9 with a 3.63 ERA. Jones pitched a scoreless inning in the All-Star Game and struck out both Ken Griffey Jr and Mark McGwire in the only All-Star Game appearance of his career.
1998: With Hundley recovering from elbow surgery throughout the first half of the 1998 season, the Mets felt they needed to make a big move to upgrade their depth at catcher. In May, they ended up pulling off a blockbuster trade in which superstar catcher Mike Piazza was traded from the Marlins for three prospects, including Preston Wilson, who is the son of former Mets outfielder Mookie Wilson.
Piazza gave the Mets a face of the franchise that they desperately needed. As a Met, Piazza hit .348 with 23 home runs and 76 RBI in 109 games. Altogether, Piazza batted .328 with 32 home runs and 111 RBI for the entire season. Piazza had one hit in three at-bats as the National League's starting catcher in the 1998 All-Star Game. It was a spot Piazza would hold for quite some time.
Piazza was joined that year by starting pitcher Rick Reed, who had one heck of a journey to becoming an All-Star. A former replacement player, Reed was given a chance by the Mets in 1997 to really establish himself as a great pitcher. After winning 13 games in 1997 with a 2.89 ERA, Reed had another great season in 1998 with a 16-11 record and a 3.48 ERA. Reed though did not end up pitching in the 1998 All-Star Game.
1999: To close out not just the decade, but also the century and millennium, the 1999 Mets finally put together a season that resulted in a postseason berth. They would advance to the NLCS against the Braves, but lost the series in six games.
Despite having such a great team, Piazza was the Mets' only All-Star in 1999. Piazza had one of his two best seasons as a Met that year with a .303 average, 40 home runs and 124 RBI. The latter two of the stats tied career highs he set in 1997. Piazza had one hit in two at-bats in the All-Star Game.

Stay tuned for the final installment, in which we recap the Mets' All-Star Game performances from 2000-2013.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Mets in All-Star Games Part 3: The 1980s

Mets' ace Dwight Gooden started the All-Star Game for the National League twice in his career.

Shale Briskin
MM Assistant Editor

The 1980s did not begin much better than the late 1970s for the Mets, but by the middle of the decade, the Mets would begin their best seven-year stretch in team history, which culminated in two division titles and a World Series championship in 1986. Along the way, the Mets of the 1980s featured quite a few All-Stars.
1980: Catcher John Stearns was the Mets' lone All-Star in 1980 and made his third appearance at the Midsummer Classic. Stearns batted .285 with no home runs and 45 RBI before suffering a season-ending finger injury in late July. He did not get a hit in his only All-Star Game at-bat.

1981: In 1981, right fielder Joel Youngblood was the Mets' only All-Star. In the strike-shortened season, Youngblood batted .350 in 143 at-bats with 4 home runs and 25 RBI. Youngblood's only at-bat at the All-Star Game was as a pinch-hitter and he did not get on base.

1982: Stearns made his fourth and final appearance at the 1982 All-Star Game. Once again, he was the only Met at the festivities. While batting .293 with 4 home runs and 28 RBI in 98 games, Stearns did not get an at-bat at the Midsummer Classic.

1983: In 1983, closer Jesse Orosco made the first of two consecutive appearances to the All-Star Game. He was the Mets' lone representative. Orosco had a 13-7 record as a closer, to go along with a 1.47 ERA and 17 saves. Orosco pitched 1/3 of an inning at the All-Star Game and got a strikeout.

1984: In 1984, the Mets were finally on the rise and had four All-Stars to show for it. One of them was their rookie ace Dwight Gooden, who won the 1984 NL Rookie of the Year Award by going 17-9, with a 2.60 ERA and a career high 276 strikeouts. Gooden pitched two innings in the All-Star Game and allowed just one hit, while striking out three.

Another first time All-Star was young right fielder Darryl Strawberry, who preceded Gooden as the 1983 NL Rookie of the Year. Strawberry batted .251 with 26 home runs, 97 RBI and 27 stolen bases. He also started in right field and had one hit in two at-bats, plus a stolen base at the All-Star Game.

Veteran first baseman Keith Hernandez also made his first trip to the All-Star Game as a Met. Hernandez batted .311 with 15 home runs, 94 RBI and a .409 OBP. Hernandez struck out in his only at-bat at the Midsummer Classic.

Rounding out the group was Orosco, who had one of his best seasons as a Met. Orosco went 10-6 with a 2.59 ERA and 31 saves. He did not pitch in the All-Star Game.

1985: The 1985 Mets had four All-Stars as well, with two having participated a year earlier.

Gooden had one of the best pitching seasons in not just Mets history, but also baseball history. He had an amazing 24-4 record, a 1.53 ERA and 268 strikeouts. Gooden did not pitch in the All-Star Game that year.

Strawberry had another great season with a .277 average, 29 home runs, 79 RBI and 26 stolen bases. He had a hit, a walk and two runs scored in the All-Star Game.

New catcher Gary Carter gave the Mets the extra offensive boost they needed, with a .281 average, 32 home runs and 100 RBI. He did not participate in the All-Star Game though.

Pitcher Ron Darling also made the 1985 NL All-Star team. It would be the only trip to the Midsummer Classic in Darling's career. Darling went 16-6 with a 2.90 ERA and 167 strikeouts that year, but did not appear in the All-Star Game.

 Right fielder Darryl Strawberry started in five consecutive All-Star Games from 1984-1988.

1986: The eventual World Series champions set a then-franchise record with five All-Stars.

Gooden became the youngest pitcher to ever start the All-Star Game that year. Unfortunately, he struggled that day and gave up two runs and three hits in three innings pitched. For the year, Gooden was 17-6 with a 2.84 ERA and 200 strikeouts.

Strawberry started the All-Star Game in right field and had one hit in two at-bats. His season included a .259 average, 27 home runs, 93 RBI and 28 stolen bases.

Hernandez started the All-Star Game at first base, but was hitless in four at-bats. He batted .310 with 13 home runs and 83 RBI for the year.

Carter was the starting catcher at the All-Star Game, but he himself was hitless in three at-bats. Carter's season featured a .255 average, 24 home runs and 105 RBI.

The fifth All-Star was left-hander Sid Fernandez, who pitched one inning in the All-Star Game and allowed two walks, while striking out three. Fernandez was 16-6 with a 3.52 ERA and 200 strikeouts for the season.

1987: The 1987 Mets featured four All-Stars in Strawberry, Hernandez, Carter and Fernandez. Both Carter and Strawberry started the game for the National League.

Strawberry had arguably the best season of his career in 1987. He batted .284 with a new Mets single season record of 39 home runs (which was later broken by Todd Hundley in 1996 and tied by Carlos Beltran in 2006), to go along with 104 RBI and 36 stolen bases. Strawberry was hitless in his two All-Star Game at-bats that year.

Hernandez batted .290 with 18 home runs and 89 RBI in what was essentially the last great season of his long career. He had one hit in three at-bats during the All-Star Game.

Carter batted just .235 in 1987, but had 20 home runs and 83 RBI as well. He had one walk in two plate appearances at the All-Star Game.

Fernandez went 12-8 with a 3.81 ERA that year and got the save in the Midsummer Classic with one and one strikeout in one inning pitched.

1988: In 1988, the Mets had four All-Stars once had. Three were familiar faces, but one was a newcomer.

Gooden went 18-9 with a 3.21 ERA and 175 strikeouts that year and started the All-Star Game for the second time in his career. He allowed a home run to Terry Steinbach, as well as two other hits and a walk in three innings pitched that day.

Strawberry once again started in right field at the Midsummer Classic and had one hit in four at-bats. For the season, Strawberry batted .269 with 39 home runs, 101 RBI and 29 stolen bases. Strawberry ended up finishing in second place in the 1988 National League MVP voting.

In his 11th and final trip to the All-Star Game, Carter started behind the plate and had one hit in three at-bats. He batted .242 with 11 home runs and 46 RBI that year.

The newcomer was right-handed pitcher David Cone, who had his best season as a Met by going 20-3 with a 2.22 ERA and 213 strikeouts. He finished third in the 1988 NL Cy Young Award voting. At the All-Star Game that year, Cone threw a scoreless inning with one strikeout.

1989: Closing out their most successful decade yet, the Mets had two All-Stars in 1989.

Darryl Strawberry batted .225 with 29 home runs and 77 RBI that year, but did not participate in the All-Star Game.

Third baseman Howard Johnson his first of two career trips to the Midsummer Classic in 1989. At that point, Johnson's 1989 season was his best. It included a career high .287 average, 36 home runs, 101 RBI and a career high 41 stolen bases. Johnson had one hit in three at-bats, plus a stolen base in the 1989 All-Star Game.

Stay tuned for the next installment, in which we recap the Mets' All-Star Game performances of the 1990s.

The Mets in All-Star Games Part 2: The 1970s

Shale Briskin
MM Assistant Editor

As the Mets moved to the 1970s fresh off their first championship in team history, their next decade would be inconsistent at first, but very poor at the end. In the middle of all this would be a trip to the World Series in which the Mets lost to the Oakland A's in seven games.

1970: The defending champions had two All-Stars in 1970. Tom Seaver made his fourth consecutive trip to the Midsummer Classic. He pitched three shutout innings in the game and gave up just one hit, with four strikeouts. For the season, Seaver went 18-12 with a 2.82 ERA and 283 strikeouts.

Longtime shortstop Bud Harrelson made his first of two consecutive trips to the All-Star Game. He had two hits and two runs scored in three at-bats during the game. Harrelson's full season included a .243 average, 1 home run and 42 RBI, plus a career high in walks with 95.

Manager Gil Hodges managed the National League team for the only time in his career.

1971: Similar to 1970, Seaver and Harrelson were once again the only Mets' All-Stars that year. Seaver did not pitch in the game that year, while Harrelson was hitless in two at-bats. Seaver though had one of the best seasons in his career, with a 20-10 record, a career best 1.76 ERA, and a career high 289 strikeouts. Harrelson batted .252 with no home runs and 32 RBI.

1972: In 1972, the Mets made one of their biggest trades to that point by acquiring the legendary Willie Mays from the Giants. In 69 games, Mays batted .267 with 8 home runs and 19 RBI. In the All-Star Game, Mays was hitless in two at-bats.

Seaver made yet another All-Star Game appearance, but for the second consecutive season did not play in the game itself. Seaver went 21-12 with a 2.92 ERA and 249 strikeouts for the season.

Closer Tug McGraw made his first All-Star Game trip that year to round out the Mets' participants. McGraw ended up getting the win in the 1972 Midsummer Classic by pitching two scoreless innings and allowing just one hit, while striking out four. McGraw's full season included an 8-6 record, a 1.70 ERA and 27 saves.

1973: The 1973 National League Champions came out of nowhere to win the NL East division title. By midseason though, they were not playing particularly well. As a result, the Mets only had two All-Star representatives in future Hall of Famers Seaver and Mays that year.

Seaver won his second NL Cy Young Award by going 19-10 with a 2.08 ERA and 251 strikeouts. He pitched one inning in the Midsummer Classic and allowed one walk. Mays was hitless in his only All-Star Game at-bat that season. He batted .211 with 6 home runs and 25 RBI in what would be the final season of his career.

1974: The 1974 NL All-Star team had a notable player missing from the roster. It was the only season in Tom Seaver's time with the Mets in which their ace did not make the All-Star team. Instead, young sothpaw Jon Matlack and catcher Jerry Grote represented the Mets.

Matlack was 13-15 with a 2.41 ERA and 195 strikeouts. In the All-Star Game, Matlack pitched a scoreless inning with one hit and one walk allowed. Grote was hitless in his only at-bat, while he batted .257 with 5 home runs and 36 RBI for the season.

Mets manager Yogi Berra also managed the National League team that year.

1975: In 1975, Seaver and Matlack were the Mets' All-Stars as the team had a .500 season more or less.

Seaver won his third NL Cy Young Award that year with a 22-9 record, a 2.38 ERA and 243 strikeouts. He pitched an inning in the All-Star Game, but allowed three runs, two hits and a walk in what was easily his worst ever performance in the Midsummer Classic.

Matlack had another great season himself with a 16-12 record and a 3.38 ERA. In the All-Star Game, Matlack became the first Met to win MVP honors, although he was a co-MVP with Bill Madlock. Matlack got the win and pitched two shutout innings with four strikeouts, while giving up just one hit.

Left-handed pitcher Jon Matlack was the Co-MVP in the 1975 All-Star Game.

1976: In 1976, newcomer Dave Kingman joined Seaver and Matlack in the All-Star Game. In a season that saw him set a Mets' then-single season record with 36 home runs, Kingman also contributed 86 RBI, despite a .238 average. Kingman was hitless in both of his at-bats at the Midsummer Classic.

Seaver went 14-11 with a 2.59 ERA and 235 strikeouts that year and allowed one home run in the All-Star Game, while pitching two innings. Matlack was 17-10 with a 2.95 ERA for the season, but did not pitch in the All-Star Game.

1977: 1977 is not fondly remembered by Mets fans at all. It was the year in which Seaver and Kingman were both traded the exact same day and the Mets never recovered from the "Midnight Massacre" for the rest of the decade.

While Seaver was an All-Star once again, but this time as a member of the Reds, catcher John Stearns would become the Mets' lone player at the All-Star Game, which took place in Yankee Stadium that year.

In his rookie season, Stearns batted .251 with 12 home runs and 55 RBI. He also had a .370 OBP and 9 stolen bases. Stearns did not get a hit in his lone at-bat at the Midsummer Classic.

1978: The Mets' struggles continued in 1978 and Pat Zachry was the Met to be named to the All-Star Game.

Zachry went 10-6 with a 3.33 ERA in 21 starts that year, but did not pitch in the All-Star Game.

1979: The Mets once again were not a good team in 1979, but did have multiple representatives at the All-Star Game that year in Stearns and outfielder Lee Mazzilli.

Stearns batted .243 with 9 home runs and 66 RBI that year, but did not play in the All-Star Game. Mazzilli though had a breakout season with a .303 average, 15 home runs, 79 RBI, 34 stolen bases and a .395 OBP. At the Midsummer Classic, Mazzilli did not start the game, but later became the first Mets hitter to hit a home run in his first ever All-Star Game at-bat. It was a two-run home run that helped the National League win 7-6. Mazzilli drew a walk in his only other at-bat.

Stay tuned for the next installment, in which we recap the Mets' All-Star Game performances of the 1980s.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Mets in All-Star Games Part 1: The 1960s

Shale Briskin
MM Assistant Editor

With the 2013 MLB All-Star Game a week away, I will now be starting a short series that includes the performances of each Met in each All-Star Game since 1962. This year is the first since 1964 in which the Mets have hosted the game itself and David Wright and Matt Harvey will be the Mets' two representatives this year.
But who represented the Mets in other years? And how did their Midsummer Classic performances go? Let's find out! We begin with the 1960s.

1962: There was not much good at all about the Mets' inaugural season. The "Loveable Losers" set a new major league record with a 40-120 final record, that still stands today as the worst record of all time. Despite all this, there were a few notable bright spots. Frank Thomas hit 34 home runs and drove in 94 RBI, which were Mets' single season records for a while. And then there was Richie Ashburn.

A future member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Ashburn spent the final season of his career with the Mets in 1962. He was arguably the Mets' best hitter that year with a .306 average, 7 home runs, 28 RBI and a .424 OBP. He was the Mets' lone All-Star as well. In 1962, there were two All-Star Games. Ashburn did not play in the first game, but got a single in his only at-bat in the second game.

1963: The Mets' second season featured the return of Brooklyn Dodgers legend, Duke Snider. In Snider's second to last season of his career, he batted .243 with 14 home runs and 45 RBI. Despite his skills declining by then, he was a great veteran presence on a Mets team that was searching for an identity. Snider was the Mets' only All-Star that year and struck out in his only at-bat in the game itself.

 Second baseman Ron Hunt, the Mets' first ever starter in All-Star Game history.

1964: 1964 was a special year for the Mets. Not only did Shea Stadium open, but this was also the only season in which Shea Stadium ever hosted the Midsummer Classic in its 45-year history.

Unfortunately, the Mets only had one of its players in the game, and that was second baseman Ron Hunt. Hunt became the first Met in All-Star Game history to start in the game. He ended up going 1-for-3 at the plate that day with a single. For the year, Hunt finished with a .306 average, 6 home runs, 42 RBI and a .357 OBP.

1965: In 1965, the Mets once again had just one player in the All-Star Game. Longtime Met Ed Kranepool made his only All-Star Game appearance in his 18-year career. However, he did not play in the game itself. For the year, Kranepool batted .253 with 10 home runs and 53 RBI.

1966: In 1966, Ron Hunt would become the first Met to make multiple trips to the All-Star Game. However, he had just one at-bat this time around and did not reach base. Hunt batted .288 with 3 home runs and 33 RBI for the season.

1967: By 1967, the Mets were finally starting establish a direction of some sort. And that started with their new rookie ace, Tom Seaver. The eventual 1967 NL Rookie of the Year, Seaver pitched in the 15 inning of the Midsummer Classic and recorded the save by allowing just one walk to Carl Yasterzemski before finishing off the National League's 2-1 victory. Seaver's rookie season included a 16-13 record, a 2.76 ERA and 170 strikeouts. This would be first of many All-Star Game appearances for Seaver.

1968: For the first time, the Mets actually made more than one representative at the All-Star Game in 1968. Tom Seaver had another great season that year, with a 16-12 record, a 2.20 ERA and 205 strikeouts. He was also joined by rookie southpaw Jerry Koosman, who finished second in the 1968 NL Rookie of the Year voting. Koosman went 19-12 that year with a 2.08 ERA and 178 strikeouts. Also joining the two pitchers was catcher Jerry Grote. Grote was always more known for his defense, but contributed a .282 average, 3 home runs and 31 RBI at the plate as well.

In the 1968 Midsummer Classic, Seaver pitched both the seventh and eighth innings and struck out five batters, with two of them being Yastrzemski and Mickey Mantle. Koosman then came in to close the game in the ninth inning and got the final out, relieving Ron Reed of the Braves. Grote was hitless in his two at-bats.

1969: In 1969, the Mets shocked the world by winning 100 games and eventually the 1969 World Series. Joining Seaver and Koosman at the All-Star Game that year was left fielder Cleon Jones, who had a career season that year with a .340 average, 12 home runs, 75 RBI and a .422 OBP. Jones started in left field at what would turn out to be the only Midsummer Classic he was a part of. He went 2 for 4 at the plate with 2 runs scored.

In what was arguably the best season of his career, Seaver won his first of three NL Cy Young Awards. He went 25-7, with a 2.21 ERA and 208 strikeouts. Seaver though did not end up pitching in the All-Star Game that year.

Not to be outdone, Koosman held his own with a 17-9 record, a 2.28 ERA and 180 strikeouts that season. Koosman pitched in the seventh inning and part of the eighth inning of the 1969 All-Star Game. In 1.2 innings pitched, Koosman allowed just one hit.

Stay tuned for the next installment, in which we recap the Mets' All-Star Game performances of the 1970s.