Mets record book
Some of these records you probably know. Some you may not know. Either way, we'll try to put some of the greatest Mets careers and achievements into context.
Records accurate as of Sept. 26, 2012.
GAMES PLAYED: ED KRANEPOOL, 1,853
Runner up: Bud Harrelson, 1,322
Active leader: David Wright, 1,251
Ed Kranepool began his career as a 17-year-old with the original 1962 Mets and spent all 18 his MLB seasons with Amazin's. He also holds team records for plate appearances, at-bats and hits.
CAREER HITS: DAVID WRIGHT, 1420
Runner up: Ed Kranepool, 1,418
Wright has consistently been one of the Mets best hitters. He's hit over .300 in five of his first eight seasons, and will likely finish above .300 this year as well. The 29-year-old third baseman has yet to amass 200 hits in an individual season, but he still has a couple of years left in his prime.
CAREER DOUBLES: DAVID WRIGHT, 321
Runner up: Ed Kranepool, 225
In just eight seasons, Wright has shot into the top five of the Mets record book in nearly every meaningful category, including doubles. With a strong 2012 season, he has a chance to become the Mets all-time leader in hits. He needs 171 base knocks.
CAREER TRIPLES: JOSE REYES, 99
Runner up: Mookie Wilson, 62
Active leader: David Wright, 17
No surprise here. Since his debut in 2003, Reyes has led the majors in triples four times and gone over 10 triples six times. He's the fourth active leader in MLB and if he can remain healthy, he'll have a shot to crack the majors' top 50 all-time.
CAREER HOME RUNS: DARRYL STRAWBERRY, 252
Runner up: Mike Piazza, 220
Active leader: David Wright, 201
Darryl Strawberry's power supply was remarkably consistent throughout his Mets career. He hit between 26 and 39 home runs in each of his eight seasons at Shea. After he left New York, he had just two more 20-home run seasons.
CAREER RBIs: DAVID WRIGHT, 807
Runner up: Darryl Strawbery, 733
Wright overtook Strawberry's record this year, so it seems fitting to note a few similarities between the two: Both came up with the Mets at age 21. Both boast power numbers in the 20-30 home run range. Both are members of the 30-30 club. Strawberry's RBI record was set in eight seasons; Wright is entering his ninth season.
CAREER STOLEN BASES: JOSE REYES, 370
Runner up: Mookie Wilson, 281
Active leader: David Wright, 165
Although he's been slowed by leg injuries, Reyes blew past Mookie Wilson as the club's stolen bases leader in 2008. He cracked the top-100 all-time in stolen bases list in 2011. If the 28-year-old can average 30 SBs a year for four more years, he'll enter the top-50 all-time.
CAREER CAUGHT STEALING: JOSE REYES, 92
Runner up: Mookie Wilson, 90
Active leader: David Wright, 54
Reyes set the franchise lead for times caught stealing in 2011. Even the best base stealers are bound to get caught sometimes. But Reyes was 370-for-462 in stolen base attempts -- an 80.1 percent success rate.
CAREER BASES ON BALLS: DAVID WRIGHT, 613
Runner up: Darryl Strawberry, 580
Wright has never reached base via a walk more than 94 times in a season but he has steadily had the patience to draw deep counts, as also evidenced by his strikeout total. Wright has also been intentionally walked 63 times in his career.
CAREER TIMES STRUCK OUT: DAVID WRIGHT, 1,006
Runner up: Darryl Strawberry, 960
Wright, who has a reputation as more of a doubles hitter, is a reflection of his times. Although Wright set the single-season Mets record with 161 strikeouts in 2010, there were still eight major-leaguers who struck out more than him that year.
CAREER BATTING AVERAGE: LANCE JOHNSON, .326
(min. 500 plate appearances)
Runner up: John Olerud, .315
Active leader: David Wright, .300
Oft-forgotten in the pre-Mike Piazza era, Johnson was a solid leadoff hitter for the Mets in the mid-1990s. Though he played for them just one and a half seasons, he hit 27 triples and totaled an impressive 309 hits. Moises Alou, who hit .342 in his injury-plagued two years in New York, fell 86 plate appearances short of qualifying for this list.
CAREER ON-BASE PERCENTAGE: JOHN OLERUD, .425
(min. 500 plate appearances)
Runner up: Rickey Henderson, .416
Active leader: David Wright, .380
Olerud was a throwback in an era sullied by steroid use. Difficult to whiff and steadfastly patient, Olerud was a prototype traditional No. 3 hitter. He drew 306 base on balls and smacked 524 hits while striking out only 206 times in 1,662 at-bats during his three seasons with the Mets.
CAREER SLUGGING PERCENTAGE: MIKE PIAZZA, .542
(min. 500 plate appearances)
Runner up: Darryl Strawberry, .520
Active leader: David Wright, .508
No Mets player has ever had a more powerful line-drive swing than Mike Piazza, who hit 220 homers and 193 doubles in his seven-plus seasons here. He batted .296 for the Mets and struck out far less than his closest competitor on the list, Darryl Strawberry.
SINGLE-SEASON BATTING AVERAGE: JOHN OLERUD (1998), .354
Runner up: Mike Piazza (1998), .348
In Olerud's second season with the Mets, he batted .354, drove in 93 runs, hit 22 homers and had 36 doubles. He also had a .447 on-base percentage, second in the majors behind Mark McGwire, who was on his way to a 70-home run season. He finished 12th in NL MVP voting.
SINGLE-SEASON SLUGGING PERCENTAGE: MIKE PIAZZA (2000), .614
Runner up: Mike Piazza (1998), .607
The Mets have probably had more talented teams in the past 20 years, but the 2000 squad reached the World Series largely because of Piazza's heroic performance. He hit 38 home runs, drove in 113 runs, batted .324 had 26 doubles.
SINGLE-SEASON AT-BATS: JOSE REYES (2005), 696
Runner up: Jose Reyes (2008), 688
As the Mets unquestioned leadoff hitter for the past eight seasons, the only thing preventing Reyes from reaching 650 at-bats each year has been his health. He played 161 games in 2005, batted .273, stole 60 bases and had 17 triples. Third on this list is Lance Johnson, who had 682 at-bats in 1996.
SINGLE-SEASON RUNS SCORED: CARLOS BELTRAN (2006), 127
Runner up: Edgardo Alfonzo (1999), 123
The Mets were among the top offensive teams in 2006, a year in which Beltran batted .275, hit 41 home runs and stole 18 bases. Hitting in front of power hitters Carlos Delgado, David Wright, Cliff Floyd and Xavier Nady for most of the year, Beltran scored 127 times, tied for third-most in the majors in 2006.
SINGLE-SEASON HITS: LANCE JOHNSON (1996), 227
Runner up: Jose Reyes (2008), 204
Johnson became the first Met to eclipse the 200-hit mark when he led the majors with 227 knocks in 1996. His record has not been challenged since then. In fact, no one in the National League has had more hits since then.
SINGLE-SEASON DOUBLES: BERNARD GILKEY (1996), 44
Runner up: David Wright (2005, '07 and '08), 42
Another overlooked member of the pre-Piazza 1990s Mets, Gilkey produced a 1996 season that rivals the best in team history. Along setting a new franchise mark with 44 doubles, he scored 108 runs, drove in 117, hit 30 homers, stole 17 bases and batted. 317.
SINGLE-SEASON TRIPLES: LANCE JOHNSON (1996), 21
Runner up: Jose Reyes (2008), 19
Casual Mets fans will be shocked to learn the Jose Reyes, the franchise's career leader in triples, does not own the single-season mark. That belongs to Lance Johnson, who played for the Mets from 1996-97. In '96, he produced a season to rival any of Reyes' best, batting .333, scoring 113 runs, stealing 50 bases and hitting 21 triples. Other than Johnson and Reyes, only one Met has hit more than 10 triples in a season: Angel Pagan, who had 11 in 2009.
SINGLE-SEASON HOME RUNS: TODD HUNDLEY (1996) / CARLOS BELTRAN (2006), 41
Runner up: Mike Piazza (1999), 40
In part due to the ballparks they've played in, the Mets have never boasted gaudy home run totals. But in the 2006 and 1996 seasons, Beltran and Hundley, respectively, did their best to make Shea Stadium look tiny. Hundley established the team record in '96 and finished in the top 20 in MVP voting. His 40 home runs were the most by a catcher in a major league season until Javy Lopez swatted 42 in 2003. Beltran and Carlos Delgado both challenged Hundley's record in 2006, but neither could break it. (Delgado finished with 38.)
SINGLE-SEASON RBIs: MIKE PIAZZA (1999) and DAVID WRIGHT (2008), 124
Runner up: Robin Ventura (1999), 120
Not surprising to see these two names atop this category. Piazza's 124 RBIs in 1999 helped the Mets reach the NLCS. Wright's 124 RBIs in 2008 (and .302 average) helped the Mets finish a game short of the NL East title for a second straight year.
SINGLE-SEASON BASES ON BALLS: JOHN OLERUD (1999), 125
Runners up: Keith Hernandez (1984) and Darryl Strawberry (1987), 97
Olerud dominates this category in the Mets record books -- not a suprise when you consider he's also the Mets' all-time leader in on-base percentage. Interestingly, two of the top three players on this list, Olerud and Hernandez were clutch, high-average, low-power, Gold Glove first basemen.
SINGLE-SEASON TIMES STRUCK OUT: DAVID WRIGHT (2010), 161
Runner up: Tommie Agee (1970), 156
Wright wasn't always a major strikeout liability -- he averaged 115 from 2005-08. But since the move to Citi Field, perhaps he's been distracted by the stadium's cavernous dimensions and attempting to the pull the ball more. His strikeout numbers jumped to 140 in 2009 and 161 in 2010.
SINGLE-SEASON STOLEN BASES: JOSE REYES (2007), 78
Runner up: Roger Cedeno (1999), 66
One year after failing to break Cedeno's record by two swipes in 2006, Reyes shattered it in 2007. He led the majors with 78 steals and finished in the top 10 in runs. He also walked a career-high 77 times that season. Unfortunately, his average dipped by 20 points, and the Mets missed a playoff berth by one game.
CAREER WINS: TOM SEAVER, 198
Runner up: Dwight Gooden, 157.
Active leader: Mike Pelfrey, 50.
Tom "Terrific" was the best pitcher in Mets history and the only one inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Met. He won three Cy Young Awards and the led the NL in wins twice, including a 25-win season in 1969.
CAREER LOSSES: JERRY KOOSMAN, 137
Runner up: Tom Seaver, 124.
Active leader: Mike Pelfrey, 54.
The saying goes, you have to be a good pitcher to lose a lot of games. Jerry Koosman fits the bill: Despite owning the career losses record, his 140 wins are third-best in Mets history. The crafty lefthander suffered in the late '70s as the Mets plunged to the basement of the National League. In 1977, he led the majors with 20 losses, and he lost 15 more games in 1978, despite a combined 3.62 ERA over those seasons.
CAREER ERA: TOM SEAVER, 2.57
(min. 500 innings pitched)
Runner up: Jesse Orosco, 2.73
Active leader: Johan Santana, 2.85
Seaver is the only pitcher in Mets history to finish a season with an ERA under 2.00. He led the majors with a 1.76 ERA in 1971 and did it again in 1973 with a 2.08 ERA. In his 11 1/2 seasons here, he had an ERA over 3.00 just twice -- one of those times coming in 1983 when he posted a 3.55 ERA at age 38.
CAREER APPEARANCES: JOHN FRANCO, 695
Runner up: Pedro Feliciano, 459
Active leader: Bobby Parnell, 175
After coming to the Mets in a trade for Randy Myers prior to the 1990 season, Franco became the team's closer for the next 10 seasons. The Brooklyn native then spent six more seasons in New York as a setup man and lefthanded specialist. He appeared in 50 or more games in eight of his 14 seasons with the Mets.
CAREER COMPLETE GAMES: TOM SEAVER, 171
Runner up: Jerry Koosman, 108
Active leader: Johan Santana, 7
Here's a record that may never broken. Seaver finished double-digit games in every season as a Met, excluding 1983, when he was 38 years old. He had an 21 complete games in 1971, one of five times he had 18 or more CGs in a season as a Met. For comparison purposes, no MLB pitcher has had more than 15 in a year since 1987.
CAREER SHUTOUTS: TOM SEAVER, 44
Runners up: Jerry Koosman and Jon Matlack, 26
Active leader: Johan Santana, 4
Another untouchable record. Seaver averaged four shutouts a year over his first 10 seasons with the Mets. Meanwhile, the active Mets leader, Johan Santana, has four in his three healthy seasons -- and he's the only current Met with more than one in his career.
CAREER WHIP: TOM SEAVER, 1.076
Runner up: Bret Saberhagen, 1.079
Active leader: Johan Santana, 1.175
No stat better expresses pitching dominance than WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched), so it's no surprise to find Tom Seaver on top of this list. He led the majors in the category three times. While WHIP often rewards a pitcher who keeps his walk totals low, Seaver was not known as being a dominant control pitcher. Instead, he kept hitters off base by striking them out and limiting hits. He had five one-hitters and seven two-hitters as a Met.
CAREER SAVES: JOHN FRANCO, 276
Runner up: Armando Benitez, 160
Active leader: Bobby Parnell, 7
During 10 seasons as the team's closer, Franco never had more than 40 saves in a season, but he averaged 27 saves a year. He saved his 200th, 300th and 400th games as a Met and is currently fourth in MLB with 424 career saves.
CAREER INNINGS PITCHED: TOM SEAVER, 3,045.2
Runner up: Jerry Koosman, 2,544.2
Active leader: Mike Pelfrey, 876.2
This is one of Seaver's records that could someday be broken. But if you consider that the average star pitcher only throws about 235 innings per season, it would take a modern-day hurler 13 injury-free, top-quality seasons to have a shot to pass Seaver. Under those conditions, the Mets' closest active pitcher, Mike Pelfrey, would need to pitch at least nine more seasons to have a shot. It's possible, but not likely to be broken any time soon.
CAREER STRIKEOUTS: TOM SEAVER, 2,541
Runner up: Dwight Gooden, 1,875
Active leader: Johan Santana, 496
A pitcher would have to average 170 strikeouts for 15 seasons, or 200 whiffs for almost 13 seasons, to catch Seaver. Today's top K guys average around 220 per season, so it's not out of the question, but it's not likely that any current Met is going to threaten Tom Terrific.
SINGLE-SEASON WINS: TOM SEAVER (1969), 25
Runner up: Dwight Gooden (1985), 24
Tom Seaver earned the nickname "The Franchise" as he almost singlehandedly made the Mets contenders in the late 1960s and early 70s. That was never more true than in the miracle season of 1969, when Seaver won his last eight starts of the season, and each of his last 10 decisions. The last Met to win 20 was Frank Viola in 1990.
SINGLE-SEASON ERA BY A STARTER: DWIGHT GOODEN (1985), 1.53
Runner up: Tom Seaver (1971), 1.76
Gooden's 1985 season was one of the most dominant in Major League history. Since 1919, only Bob Gibson pitched to a lower single-season ERA (1.12 in 1968). In addition to his MLB-best ERA, Gooden led the majors with 24 wins and 268 strikeouts and led the NL with 16 complete games in '85. And he was just 20 years old.
SINGLE-SEASON ERA BY A RELIEVER: JESSE OROSCO (1983), 1.47
Runner up: Tug McGraw (1971 and 1972), 1.70
Orosco's 1.47 ERA in 1983 technically ranks as the best ever by a Mets pitcher in one season, but we're separating relievers from starters since their roles are so different. Not only did the 25-year-old lefty stop opposing teams from scoring in '83, he barely even allowed them on base. His 1.04 WHIP ranks as one of the best in Mets history. He also won 13 of the Mets' 68 victories that season.
ROGER CRAIG (1962) and JACK FISHER (1965), 24
Runner up: Roger Craig (1963), 22
If you were a good pitcher and you were healthy, you were going to lose a lot of games for those early Mets teams. Craig lost 24 of his 33 starts in the Mets' first season, then went 5-22 in 1963. Fisher joined the Mets in 1964 and lost 17 games. In 1965, things got worse: He went 8-24 with a 3.94 ERA. In his four-year Mets career, Fisher lost a total of 73 games, the seventh-most in franchise history.
SINGLE-SEASON APPEARANCES: PEDRO FELICIANO (2010), 92
Runner up: Pedro Feliciano (2009), 88
In eight seasons with the Mets, lefthanded reliever Feliciano was one of the team's most trusted bullpen arms. He was not merely a specialist, but was often used to neutralize other team's best lefthanded power threats. He threw just 62 2/3 innings in his 92 appearances in 2010. Only three pitchers in MLB history have appeared in more games in a season: Mike Marshall (106 in 1974), Kent Tekulve (94 in 1979) and Salomon Torres (94 in 2006).
SINGLE-SEASON COMPLETE GAMES: TOM SEAVER (1971), 21
Runner up: Tom Seaver (1970), 19
The top five slots on this leaderboard belong to Seaver. Next on the list is Jerry Koosman, who completed 17 games in 1968 and 1976. In 1971, Seaver finished second in NL Cy Young balloting despite an MLB-leading 1.76 ERA and 0.946 WHIP and an NL-best 289 strikeouts. The award instead went to the Cubs' Ferguson Jenkins, who won 24 games but had fewer strikeouts and an ERA that was a full point higher (2.77).
SINGLE-SEASON SHUTOUTS: DWIGHT GOODEN (1985), 8
Runner up: Jerry Koosman (1968) and Jon Matlack (1974), 7
The most surprising aspect of the Mets' single-season shutout list is that Seaver is not in the top five, although he owns the franchise record by a wide margin. Gooden's 1985 campaign, as we previously discussed, was one of the best in modern baseball. During an eight-start span from July 14 to August 20, Gooden had three shutouts and another game in which he allowed 0 earned runs but was charged with an unearned run. Overall, he allowed no earned runs in 13 of his 35 starts that year.
SINGLE-SEASON WHIP: TOM SEAVER (1971), 0.946
Runner up: Pedro Martinez (2005), 0.949
The 1971 season was one of three in which Seaver allowed fewer than one walk or hit per inning in his Mets career. Pedro Martinez's appearance on the list is less surprising when you consider that he also owns the best single-season WHIP in baseball history: 0.737 with the Red Sox in 2000.
SINGLE-SEASON SAVES: ARMANDO BENITEZ (2001), 43
Runner up: Armando Benitez (2000), 41
For a brief time, Benitez was one of the game's most dominant closers. He saved 207 games from 1999-2004, 160 of those with the Mets. He became the Mets' relief ace when he supplanted John Franco in 1999 and his reputation grew when he set the franchise mark with 41 saves in 2000. He saved 43 games in 2001, but the Mets missed the playoffs and Benitez's reputation had been damaged by a blown save in Game 1 of the 2000 World Series against the Yankees. He was essentially booed out of town in 2003.
SINGLE-SEASON INNINGS PITCHED: TOM SEAVER (1970), 290.2
Runner up: Tom Seaver (1973), 290
Seaver owns seven of the top eight spots in this category. (Sixth place belongs to Dwight Gooden, who threw 276 2/3 innings in 1985.) Part of what made Seaver so great was his durability. He was a classic workhorse ace. He threw 250 innings or more in nine of his 10 1/2 Mets seasons. The next time someone tells you a modern-day starter who throws 200-plus innings is a workhorse, remind them about players like Tom Seaver.
SINGLE-SEASON STRIKEOUTS: TOM SEAVER (1971), 289
Runner up: Tom Seaver (1970), 283
Seaver outduels even Dwight "Dr. K" Gooden for the top two spots on the list. (Gooden is third and fourth with 276 strikeouts in 1984 and 268 K's in 1985). In his 35 starts in 1971, "The Franchise" struck out 10 or more batters 13 times. His career-high (and Mets record) of 19 strikeouts came in 1970, when he fanned 19 Padres batters on April 22. That record was later tied by David Cone in 1991.