A look at the protective gear worn by the Mets'...

A look at the protective gear worn by the Mets' Brandon Nimmo as he approaches the franchise record for times hit by a pitch. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke; Getty Images

Brandon Nimmo is on the brink of making Mets history — unwanted history, painful history, but history nonetheless.

He has been hit by a pitch 49 times in his career. That is one shy of the franchise record of 50, held by Michael Conforto, one of Nimmo’s closest friends in baseball.

“That’s one that I’m not necessarily chasing,” Nimmo told Newsday. “If it happens, it happens I guess. It’s good to be around long enough to do it, right? That’s the way I’m looking at it.”

Unfortunately for Nimmo, he is a grizzled veteran, the resident expert in this particular aspect of the sport, even in an era in which HBPs are more common than ever. The Mets’ all-time leaderboard is filled with current or relatively recent Mets: Conforto and Nimmo, then Lucas Duda (48), Pete Alonso (46), David Wright (45) and Jeff McNeil (42).

Alas, with such frequent pain comes a certain perspective.

What does it feel like to get hit?

“If you get hit on the muscle, it feels like a huge bee sting,” Nimmo said, speaking slowly as he searched for just the right regular-people comparisons. “If you get hit on the bone, then it feels like probably smashing your finger in the car door. Same with if you get hit on the hands holding the bat. And then if you hit something off your foot, it’s like kicking a telephone pole as hard as you can.

“Those are probably the best examples I can give. Because it is a specific sort of pain.”

Nimmo, a master at getting on base, even if it hurts, learned early in his professional baseball career that this would be a weird but real part of his game. He was a 19-year-old skinny kid from Wyoming when he played for Single-A Brooklyn in 2012. Once when he got plunked, he missed time — despite nothing being broken. A pitch left a bad enough bruise on his bony body that he had to sit out. That provided a seminal warning: He had to put on muscle.

But merely getting stronger wasn’t enough. He needed protection. When he steps to the plate now, a decade later, he is as close to an iron man as the Mets have, a layer of armor shielding the most vulnerable portions of his right side — his exposed front side when he is batting.

“Every piece of equipment that I have on,” he said, “has a hit-by-pitch story behind it.”

First came the elbow guard, a souvenir from that Coney Island summer.

“It was a lefty that lost it arm-side. I only weighed 185 pounds back then, so I didn’t have as much muscle to cover it,” he said. “It hit me right on the elbow and got that sac. Every day for the next two weeks they would have to get the fluid and massage it out of there. I said, ‘I’m not doing this anymore. I’m going to get a pad on.’ Then if they hit me there, I can play normal the next day.”

That worked great until 2014, when Matthew Boyd — then a Blue Jays prospect, now a Giant — got him on the wrist. Hence, a wrist guard.

That same season, Nimmo swung at a back-foot slider and fouled it off his right foot. Thus, a shin/foot pad.

“I learned a few lessons that year,” he said. “It was like, no, if I’m expected to play every day, I’m not going to be pounding bone bruises all over the place.”

The elbow, wrist and foot protection served him well until 2018, when he was hit on the right hand on multiple occasions — including once by the Dodgers’ Rich Hill, later briefly his Mets teammate. The pain was such that Nimmo stumbled and took a knee in foul territory, his usual sprint to first base delayed.

So now he always is suited up, ready to get drilled and ready to accidentally etch his name in the Mets’ record book, a long way from his Brooklyn bruises.

“I wasn’t big enough or strong enough back then to be handle it as well,” he said. “But even still, guys here are throwing 96 miles an hour. You don’t have that much protection.”

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