On-Base Perception

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For Keith Hernandez, wearing captain's 'C' was 'an ego thing'

Keith Hernandez, left, and Gary Carter walk off

Keith Hernandez, left, and Gary Carter walk off the field at Shea Stadium after clinching the National League East title. The two served as captains of the Mets. (Credit: AP)

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The day after he was named captain of the Mets, Keith Hernandez arrived at the ballpark to find a 'C' stitched onto jersey. He could have had the letter removed. After all, then as it is now, the captain chooses whether to wear the 'C.'

"No, I kept it on," Hernandez said on Saturday. "I kind of liked it from the beginning. It's kind of an ego thing. But the more and more I wore it, the more it got a little bit... it was too big."

Looking back, Hernandez might handled things more like newly-minted captain David Wright, who opted out of the captain's 'C.'

"I wish I hadn't," Hernandez said, of wearing the distinctive mark. "It was like a hockey C instead of the smaller C. But that's what they did. But [Derek] Jeter doesn't wear a C. It's not necessary. Everybody knows."

Hernandez wore the captain's 'C' for just one season in 1987 though he had it removed when Gary Carter was also named captain in 1988. Said Hernandez: "When Carter was named captain, Carter didn't want to have it on, so I took mine off."

The decision seemed pretty easy for Wright, who was named on Thursday as the fourth captain of the franchise, joining Hernandez, Carter and John Franco. Wright said he didn't want to stand out from his teammates.

"It's a very honorary position and it's something to be proud of, sure" Hernandez said of Wright. "But there's no change. Nothing changes."

Tags: Mets , Keith Hernandez , David Wright

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