Once Amazin': The best OFs in Mets history
When Mets general manager Sandy Alderson openly mocks his own outfield, he doesn't give Mets fans much reason to remain upbeat about players such as Lucas Duda and Kirk Nieuwenhuis. But the outfielders at Shea Stadium and Citi Field haven't always been such a joke. Here's a look at the team's best-ever players in left, center and right, as well as two wild cards. (Mets years in parentheses
LF: Cleon Jones (1963-75)
Just four men have played more games in a Met uniform than Jones. He was named to his only All-Star team and hit a career-best .340 in 1969, the year the Amazin's won 100 games and the World Series, with Jones catching the final out. Though he wasn't at his best when the Mets beat the Orioles in that series, he hit .286 with a home run in Game 2 four years later when the team lost the World Series to the Athletics in seven games.
CF: Carlos Beltran (2005-2011)
Beltran's signing ushered in a revival for the franchise. He had his best year in 2006 as he hit 41 home runs, tied for the most in team history, to help take the Mets to the postseason. Unfortunately, his strikeout to end the NLCS against the Cardinals that year may be his most memorable moment with the team. He compiled a .280 average in 3,640 plate appearances and was named to five All-Star teams as a Met.
RF: Darryl Strawberry (1983-90)
Strawberry began his career with the Mets in a big way, winning the 1983 NL Rookie of the Year Award. A seven-time All-Star while with the team, he helped lead the Mets to their most recent World Series title in 1986. He posted back-to-back 39-home run seasons in '87 and '88, leading the league in '88 as the runner-up for the NL MVP Award. He remains the franchise leader in homers with 252.
OF: Mookie Wilson (1980-89)
Though he will forever be known for his grounder through the legs of Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner in Game 6 of the '86 series, Wilson's body of work with the team is more than enough to justify his place in team lore. The speedy center fielder stole 281 bases with the Mets, second most in team history. He never hit over .300, but maintained a .276 average while collecting 1,112 hits
OF: Tommie Agee (1968-72)
A childhood friend of Jones, the pair patrolled the outfield at Shea Stadium together after Agee, who died in 2001, came to the Mets in a trade with the White Sox. He never made an NL All-Star team, but he was sixth in the NL MVP race on the '69 championship team, one spot ahead of Jones. His memorable Game 3 performance in that year's World Series included two pivotal catches in center field and a first-inning homer off Jim Palmer.