Every year for the last 3 years as Spring gives way to Fall, Mets season merges into NY Rangers season, I have been able to keep the baseball side of my brain occupied with thoughts of Mets Fantasy Camp. This year more so then ever, in the past I have simply gone down to cover the week long camp as a reporter, this season I am headed down to actually participate as a player. Each year I have tried to find unique ways of counting down the days until camp and sharing them with Mets fans, So this year I will do the countdown by Jersey numbers, When possible I will post my 3 favorite Mets who have worn that number, some numbers are harder then others.
Jonathon Trumpbour Matlack
One of the many 1960's draft picks that worked out so well for the Mets,He was the fourth overall pick in the 1967 draft, and by far the best pitcher taken in the first round, he would be a key part of the 1973 Ya Gotta Believe big 3 Seaver Koosman and Matlack.If the Mets had any hitting back in the day those 3 would be held in the same reverence as the Braves big 3 of Maddux,Glavine,and Smoltz and Rube Walker would have been mentioned in the same sentence as Leo Mazzaone. All you need to know about those post 1973 Mets team can be summed up in Jon's 1974 season 13 Wins 15 Losses 2.41 ERA 195 K's, carrying that one step further the Mets record in games he started that season 15-19, they lost 19 games when the guy gave up less then 2.5 runs a game ??? His greatest game as a Met no doubt Game 2 of the 1973 NLDS vs the Big Red Machine,this may in fact be the best post season performance by any Met Pitcher given that the Mets were already down 1 game in the best of 5 series, it was a road game and it was The Big Red Machine, Rose,Morgan,Bench, Perez, all held hitless in the game by Jon in fact all but one Red had a hit in that game journey man Andy Kosko who walked and had 2 singles in the complete game masterpiece 2-0 win pitched by Jon.Lastly may have the greatest middle name of any player to have played the game and thanks to Bob Murphy we all remember it.
Mark was one of those players that I felt that if he got more playing time would have been a very good player for the Mets,My feelings were proven correct by his 1995 numbers with the Giants. He may have arrived to the Mets a decade too early as Mark would have been the perfect Bobby V player, A great defender, good stick with some power.Always looked forward to his home runs as it would mean that Chris Berman would do his back back back gone Home run for Mark Carry On Luggage call on ESPN Sportscenter. I also liked Mark because I thought it was cool to have a baseball card of both him and his dad.
Not a whole lot to chose from after Matlack and Carreon, I would have gone with
Jenrry Mejia but since he now wears 58 Hawkins gets the nod. Even though Hawkins was only a Met for one season his veteran presence and work ethic rubbed off on a lot of the Mets young pitchers. He was and still is the ultimate professional and one of the true gentlemen of the game.
Mets who wore #32
By: Mark Rosenman
WLIE 540 AM SPORTSTALKNY Host and Producer
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