Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman were selected to the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2018 on Wednesday. Here’s a look at how each fared against the Yankees and Mets during their illustrious careers.
Jones was known to be a Mets killer in his 19-year career with the Braves. He slashed .309/.406/.543 with 49 home runs, 159 RBIs and 168 runs in 245 games against the division rival. The third baseman was particularly fond of Shea Stadium. So much so that he named his son after the Mets’ old ballpark, where he slashed .313/.407/.557 with 19 home runs, 55 RBIs and 63 runs in 88 games from 1995-2008.
Because he spent his whole career in the National League, Jones didn’t face the Yankees often, but when he did, he was successful. Jones slashed .340/.430/.544 with five home runs, 18 RBIs and 16 runs in 27 interleague games in the regular season. In his two World Series appearances against the Yankees in 1996 and 1999, Jones wasn’t quite as dominant. He combined to slash .264/.405/.441 as the Braves lost to the Yankees both years.
The free-swinging outfielder spent the first half of his career with the Expos in the National League and the second half of his career with the Angels and Orioles in the American League, and thus accumulated at least 90 at-bats against both the Yankees and Mets. He slashed .311/.402/.578 with 23 home runs, 58 RBIs and 70 runs in 102 games against the Mets and .318/.359/.492 with 12 home runs, 61 RBIs and 50 runs in 90 games against the Yankees.
Thome spent the first 12 of his 22 years in the majors with the Indians before bouncing around, spending time with the Phillies, White Sox, Dodgers and Twins — returning to Cleveland and Philly — before finishing his career with the Orioles. The first baseman turned designated hitter spent most of his time in the American League so he faced the Yankees far more than he faced the Mets.
In 129 games against the Yankees, Thome slashed .251/.369/.511 with 26 home runs, 72 RBIs and 65 runs. In 52 games against the Mets, he slashed .242/.378/.484 with 11 home runs, 31 RBIs and 32 runs.
The closer spent his 18-year career in the National League, 16 of those with the Padres. Hoffman made 58 appearances against the Mets and recorded a 2.67 ERA, 0.959 WHIP, 33 saves and 55 strikeouts in 57 1/3 innings.
Hoffman made just two regular-season appearances against the Yankees, and neither went his way. On June 23, 2002, Hoffman relieved Steve Reed with the game tied at 2-2 and runners on second and third with one out. He walked Nick Johnson to load the bases and Enrique Wilson scored on a Bernie Williams groundout to first, giving the Yankees a 3-2 lead. The run wasn’t charged to Hoffman, but the Padres lost. His next appearance, two years later, was worse. With the Padres leading, 2-0, in the bottom of the ninth, Hoffman recorded two quick outs before giving up back-to-back solo home runs to Hideki Matsui and pinch-hitter Kenny Lofton to blow the save opportunity. The Yankees won it in the 12th inning.
But Hoffman’s first apperance against the Yankees is the most memorable. It came in Game 3 of the 1998 World Series with the Yankees up 2-0 in the series, but down 3-2 in the game. The Padres tried to get a five-out save from their closer after Randy Myers walked Paul O’Neill to start the top of the eighth. Hoffman got Bernie Williams to fly out before walking Tino Martinez. World Series MVP Scott Brosius took Hoffman deep to give the Yankees a 5-3 lead and the win.