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.
From the time I was 6 till the time I was 17, the one thing you could count on every baseball season was that Jerry Grote would be behind the plate calling pitches for the Mets pitchers. While Grote never did anything flashy he was as steady as they come behind the plate.The greatest base stealer of his era said that Grote was the hardest catcher to steal off of. Yes Bench was the best all around catcher of the era, but Grote's name is in the mix for best defensive catcher of the period. I remember seeing Grote back up first base on almost every play. His effect on Seaver, Koosman, Gentry,Matlack and his game calling ability is tremendously overlooked and under appreciated .
Seven seasons as a Met, many of them injury ridden, however when he was healthy was as good as there was,his 2006.2007,2008 seasons maybe the best three seasons in a row by a Met. Unfortunately most people think of Carlos watching that nasty curve of Wainwrights for a called Strike three rather then the 149 home runs over the seven years he played for the Mets,or the three home runs in the 2006 League Championship series. And Carlos is the gift that keeps giving as we have Carlos to thank for Zack Wheeler!
The Mets have a history of good pinch hitters, Jim Beauchamp, Rusty Staub, Lenny Harris, add Matt Franco to that list as he was one of the Mets Best pinch hitters of all time,for 4 seasons Matt would do whatever was asked of him including pitching.His 2 biggest pinch hits for me was his home run off of Pedro Martinez and his single off of Marino Rivera.
Mets who wore #15
By: Mark Rosenman
WLIE 540 AM SPORTSTALKNY Host and Producer
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