Matt Harvey's first -- and to date only -- visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame came during the Japan/America Goodwill Series tournament late in the summer of 2006.

He'd like to make it back there. Say about five years after he retires . . .

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Harvey went to the Hall when he was 17. Even then, the injured Mets ace said he was thinking about the big-league career he wanted to have.

"You walk around and see everybody," Harvey said. "As somebody who growing up I always wanted to be the best -- and being the best is being in that room -- that was something that I always kind of pictured and hoped that one day my plaque would be up there."

Wait . . . was Harvey really thinking about being a Hall of Famer as a teenager?

"I think anybody who wants to pitch in the major leagues, it's always on your mind," he said. "As a starter, you look at 300 wins, you look at guys who've done that. That's where you want to be.

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"For me, it's never really been a doubt in my mind that I would have that opportunity. Not saying that in an arrogant or cocky way, it was always what I had my mind set to, is always trying to be the best, and being the best was in the major leagues. I think taking that first step when I was 17 and pitching in Cooperstown was definitely more fuel for the fire."