The New York Mets Hall of Heroes
There are eight avenues to qualify for Rounding Third's Mets Hall of Heroes:
the single-season All-Decade Teams bcdeg
single-season Hitters or Pitchers of the Year ade
players in the Top Ten in ERA or OPS for a decade fhi
managers who have led the club to the post-season
Post-Season Heroes (post-season leaders in ERA or OPS)
members of the Decade Greats squads j
Gold Glove award winners k
members of the official New York Mets Hall of Fame
These criteria create a very
interesting Hall of Heroes. With the understanding that the
New York Mets franchise has suffered through at least as many dark seasons as it has celebrated good ones,
there are quite a few names listed here that would not be elected to a typical Hall of Fame.
But these players were the standard-bearers for years that were lean in victories, yet still rich in enthusiasm.
They may not have been Most Valuable Player candidates,
but they were still the champions for generations of Met fans.
Of course, the true Mets all-time greats are found here as well.
And because there were certain statistical guidelines used for election to this Hall,
nobody is in here just because "I felt like it."
With that understanding in place, here is your New York Mets Hall of Heroes.
In case you are curious, here are the years of their virtual inductions.
Your comments are welcome.
Click on the icon below to view
a list of
a After several months of occasionally being troubled by the results of the mathematical calculations that I use to determine Hitters and Pitchers of the Year, I came to an executive decision recently and named seven new co-Players of the Year, for seasons in which the winning margin of the original Player of the Year was less than 1% greater than his runner-up. This resulted in the addition of two new members to the Hall of Heroes on the basis of that change: Mike Scott and Kevin Appier.
b I am constantly reviewing the statistical data for the Mets' history. Occasionally I find things that I missed the first time through. One of those instances occurred in October 2002 when I realized that I had always viewed Hubie Brooks as a third baseman during his first tenure with New York, completely overlooking the fact that he served one season as the Mets' starting shortstop. It is with great pleasure that I now am able to name Hubie Brooks as the starting shortstop on the Mets All-Offensive Team for the 1980s, bumping Frank Taveras off the 1980s starting squad.
c While I was preparing the essay "All-20th Century Team" which can be found elsewhere at this site, I stumbled across another shocking discovery. Due to an oversight in my calculations, I neglected to pro-rate the players who suffered through the 1994-95 strike seasons in order to weight their statistics equally with all of the players who performed full seasons. Thus, the very deserving Jose Vizcaino was not rightly named the starting shortstop on the 1990s All-Offensive Team. That oversight has now been rectified. Also, because once a player has been named to the Hall of Heroes he cannot be de-selected, Rey Ordonez (who still qualifies as the starting shortstop on the all-1990s team under the unweighted calculation) stays on that squad as a reserve.
d I have great respect for the work of John Thorn and Pete Palmer in their seminal book called "The Hidden Game of Baseball," in which they introduced a means of measuring player performance called Linear Weights. There is roughly a 75% agreement between the Rounding Third calculation for Players of the Year and All-Decade Teams, and the Linear Weights calculations. I have decided that in cases where Linear Weights names a player that Rounding Third would not recognize, that player is deserving of a spot in the Hall of Heroes. This has opened the floodgates for a barrage of new inductees, but that's all right; the Hall of Heroes is about honoring Mets stars, not keeping them from being honored!
e It is now October 2004-two years after footnotes a-d were written-and after much deliberation I have changed my mind about "de-selecting" members from the Hall. Here is why: Under the Rounding Third calculation (which stresses quantity instead of quality of play), Tommie Agee was selected as the Hitter of the Year for 1972 despite only batting .227 with 13 homers and 47 RBI. But he was one of only two Mets to accumulate as many as 400 at-bats for the season. Under the Linear Weights calculation (which stresses quality to the sometime neglect of quantity), Rusty Staub was selected as the Hitter of the Year for that same season, despite the fact that he played in only 66 games that year. But by re-indexing the Rounding Third calculation to make it of a similar weight as the Linear Weights calculation and combining the two, the 1972 Hitter of the Year now becomes John Milner, who hit 17 home runs in 117 games, and had a higher batting average and OPS than Agee. Much more satisfying. Another example: In 1965, Linear Weights named Dennis Musgraves as the Pitcher of the Year, despite the fact that he pitched in only 5 games, totalling 16 innings. And that was his entire major-league career! Rounding Third would have named Jack Fisher as the Pitcher of the Year, who went 8-24 with a 3.94 ERA. By re-indexing the R3 calculation and combining it with the LW calculation, though, we reach a much more satisfying result, with Fisher still receiving the award, narrowly edging rookie pitcher Tug McGraw (who pitched to a 3.32 ERA in nearly 100 IP). I found that the combination of Linear Weights and Rounding Third produced, across the board, more logically satisfying award winners. After applying the new formula to every season of Mets history, some of the dead branches in the Hall of Heroes were necessarily pruned away. With apologies to Dennis Musgraves and his fellow de-selectees, I just couldn't justify having a pitcher in the Hall of Heroes whose entire contribution to the history of the Mets was 16 innings, no matter how brilliantly they were executed. For the full list of the ones who just missed by that much, click here.
f Special Dispensation for Art Shamsky: Art's cumulative OPS for the 1960s was higher than any other player on the OPS list, but he failed to meet the at-bat qualification. Art's cumulative OPS for the 1970s would place him at #4 for the decade, but he again failed to accumulate enough at-bats. Art's cumulative OPS for the 1960s and 1970s combined was the third-best figure for any man that wielded a bat for the first two decades for the Mets, and combining those two decades did garner him enough at-bats to qualify for the all-time lists. So far, Art is the only "wrap-around" candidate that I'm aware of who didn't qualify some other way, but if you find one, contact me.
g Hubie Brooks is out again. It was pointed out to me that he wasn't really the starting shortstop in 1984, though he did play about a quarter of the season there. But he spent far more time at third base that year, and he never hit well enough to qualify as a third baseman.
h Special Dispensation for Jeff Innis: Jeff's cumulative ERA for the 1980s would have placed him third on the ERA list for that decade, but he failed to meet the innings pitched qualification. Jeff's cumulative ERA for the 1990s would have placed him third for that decade as well, but he again failed to accumulate enough innings. Jeff's cumulative ERA for the 1980s and 1990s combined was again the third-best figure for any man that toed the rubber for those two decades for the Mets, and combining those two decades did garner him enough innings pitched to qualify for the all-time lists.
i Top Ten leaders does not apply to the 1880s Metropolitans.
j"Decade Greats" came about in early 2008 as an answer to the handful of readers who contacted me suggesting that Keith Hernandez was really a more deserving first baseman from a Mets historical perspective than John Olerud. The new calculation was devised with the intention of rewarding longevity at a consistently high level as opposed to the previous calculation, which declared supremacy on the basis of a single outstanding season. It occurred to me that this might also illuminate other forgotten heroes who toiled for several years as a contributing regular but never had that one extra-flashy campaign. Mookie Wilson comes to mind. And, voila! It turns out that Art Shamsky and Jeff Innis no longer need Special Dispensations to make the Hall of Heroes (although those dispensations are still recorded here—Benny Agbayani may need one someday). And welcome back, Hubie Brooks! This time you're in to stay. And welcome aboard, two pitchers who had previously gone unrecognized—Dennis Cook and the somewhat surprising Kevin Kobel. As far as Rey Ordonez is concerned, I thought this might get him in … but no. Rey-O, I fear your eligibility has finally expired. And just for the record, John Olerud still shows up on the all-time lists slightly ahead of Keith Hernandez.
kThe nagging doubt about Rey Ordonez' lack of inclusion in the Hall of Heroes finally resulted in a conclusion in late 2010. I had never factored in defense in any of my calculations, being leery of the ever-changing methods of measuring defense. So I made a choice—simple but adequate for my purposes: Admit into the HoH anyone who was ever awarded a Gold Glove while playing for the Mets. That opened the doors for only two players who were not otherwise included: Ordonez and Doug Flynn. Adding Doug Flynn seemed a small price to pay for correcting the long injustice of barring Ordonez from the Hall; after all, he did win a Gold Glove!