The newest class of the Mets Hall of Fame, announced by the team Tuesday, spans generations and celebrates a trio of franchise greats.
Lefthander Jon Matlack, righthander Ron Darling and infielder Edgardo Alfonzo will be inducted into the Mets’ exclusive club May 17, before a 1 p.m. game against the Pirates at Citi Field. The team also will posthumously honor Al Jackson — an original Met who later served as a major-league coach, minor-league pitching coordinator and a front office advisor — with the Mets Hall of Fame Achievement Award for contributions to the organization.
The Mets in the past year-plus have renewed their efforts in celebrating their history and bringing back former players, and utilizing what has been a dormant Hall of Fame is part of that. Until now, the Mets hadn’t added someone to their Hall of Fame since Mike Piazza in 2013. Since the turn of the century, the Mets added just eight inductees until this group. The team’s Hall of Fame now totals 30 members.
Matlack pitched for the Mets for seven seasons, winning National League Rookie of the Year in 1972 and being selected as an All-Star three times. He ranks in the top 10 in franchise history in wins, complete games, ERA, strikeouts, shutouts and innings.
Darling was a rotation standout during his nine-year Mets career (1983-91), including 1986, when he posted a 2.81 ERA for the eventual World Series champions, the organization’s most recent title. For the past 14 seasons, he has been an analyst for the Mets’ network, SNY. After he missed time last year while fighting thyroid cancer, Darling beat the disease and was given a clean bill of health, play-by-play man Gary Cohen said Saturday at the Baseball Writers’ Association of America awards dinner.
Alfonzo’s addition to the Hall of Fame comes in the same offseason that the Mets decided they didn’t want him anymore as the manager for the short-season Class A Brooklyn Cyclones, who won their league championship under Alfonzo’s guidance last season. He agreed to stay on as a team ambassador, however. In eight seasons with the Mets, Alfonzo was an All-Star in 2000 and won a Silver Slugger in 1999. He still ranks in the Mets’ top 10 in hits, runs, doubles, RBI, OBP, total bases and batting average.
“Getting into the Mets Hall of Fame is a dream come true for me,” Alfonzo, who lives in Queens, said in a statement issued by the Mets. “The Mets have had so many great players in their history and I’m so proud to receive this honor. This is something I never thought would be possible when I started out.”
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