You know their uniform numbers, as well as the numbers on the back of their baseball cards (and Baseball Reference). But did you know about Matt Harvey's love affair with cheese? Or that Daniel Murphy wanted to be an "Insurance person" when he was in elementary school? Learn a little more about each of the New York Mets players on the 2015 World Series roster.
Juan Uribe's old Dodgers teammates built a makeshift shrine to him in the dugout for his bobblehead day, cutting out pictures of his face and taping it to Popsicle sticks. One problem: Uribe had already been traded. Even though he was sent to the Braves in May, the Dodgers went on with their July bobblehead tribute, and the team only saw it fitting that Uribe would be there, one way or another.
Curtis Granderson is one of the three originators and primary curator of "WeFollowLucasDuda" -- an Instagram account dedicated to all things Duda that's now amassed close to 50,000 followers. The account generally shows clips of Duda going about his business and turning on Granderson when he realizes he's being filmed. "I'm like a hippopotamus," Duda told Newsday in July. "They try to catch me in the wild when I'm doing stuff."
August 6 will always hold a special place in Wilmer Flores' life, and not just because it's his birthday. On that day in 2007, 16-year-old Flores signed with the Mets for $750,000 and on Aug. 6, 2013 -- his 22nd birthday -- he made his major-league debut. The next day, he hit a bases-loaded double against the Rockies.
Before he was Captain America he was . . . Strawberry Shortcake. In September 2004, a then 21-year-old David Wright swapped his baseball cap for a moppish pink wig for the Mets' annual rookie hazing. Wright admitted it himself during a fan chat on MLB.com but refused to elaborate, saying "the costume was called Strawberry Shortcake. Enough said."
It all runs in the family for Travis d'Arnaud. His brother, Chase, is a free agent who had a brief stint as the Phillies' backup catcher this year, and the two met on the field at Citizens Bank Park in September, when Chase pinch hit with Travis behind the plate (Chase struck out).
The autumn cold won't bother Kirk Nieuwenhuis. A junior running back for Denver Christian High, he ran for 268 yards to win the Colorado state championship . . . in a blizzard. He was a three-sport athlete, and got offers to play football from Colorado, Colorado State and Air Force before settling on baseball.
We've heard the dulcet tones of Juan Lagares' walk-up music -- the "oh, oh, ooooh" that doesn't quite seem suited to strike fear into the hearts of pitchers -- but it turns out, the outfielder's choice is apropos for the "Ya Gotta Believe" crowd. The opening lyrics to the Spanish-language song, "Creeré" by Tercer Cielo, translate to "I will believe, I will believe, I will believe."
When Lucas Duda made his major-league debut in 2010, he became the 97th player from the University of Southern California to make it to The Show. He's in pretty good company -- his college roommate was Padres pitcher Ian Kennedy and these days, he gets to be up close and personal with another USC product, Tom Seaver.
Kevin Plawecki made a little local history in April, when he became the first player to hit his first major-league home run in the Subway Series. He smacked CC Sabathia's two-out offering for a two-run home run in the fourth inning to give the Mets a four-run lead in the eventual 8-2 win.
Michael Cuddyer has spent plenty of time on the left side of the diamond despite not being able to hear anything from that side. The former third baseman and current leftfielder is deaf in his left ear, product of a viral infection when he was 11.
Jeurys Familia hated baseball as a kid growing up in the Dominican Republic, and preferred to play basketball, like his idols Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant. But when all his friends took up baseball, he decided to follow suit, hoping it would be a ticket to a better life. It worked, and after he signed, he began depositing money into his mom's account. This year, he used that money to build his family a house.
Now a Mets playoff hero, as a fifth-grader, Murphy had more . . . modest aspirations. In a recently unearthed yearbook photo (thanks, social media), a grinning Murphy, wearing a safety patrol badge and belt, says he hopes to one day become an "Insurance Person." Insurance runs, maybe.
Next week, MIchael Conforto will become one of only three players to be part of the "World Series Slam" -- a three-person brotherhood of players who have appeared in the Little League, College and Major League World Series. The other two are retired journeyman reliever Ed Vosberg and former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek.
Steven Matz is from Long Island. Wait, you knew that? OK, how about this one: Matz was one growth spurt away from being in his current position. Though he was always a good pitcher at Ward Melville -- he allowed two hits over five innings in his varsity debut as a freshman -- it was only until he went from 5-7 to 6-2 his junior year that his fastball earned that zip we all know so well.
Matt Harvey is a cheese fiend, a connoisseur of queso, and a strong believer that Kraft Parmesan is not Parmigiano-Reggiano at all. "Cheese is my favorite food of all time," he told The New York Times while he was rehabbing from Tommy John surgery last year. "I spend more on cheese at Whole Foods than all my other groceries combined. It's a disgusting habit." His passion has been recorded on Instagram, where team chef Theresa Corderi posted a picture of Harvey aghast at the Kraft cheese-type product.
Noah Syndergaard's glove game is strong. His current gamer is named "Thor" (it's inscribed and everything) but the collection doesn't stop there. Named gloves, dating to his minor-league days, include Lion, Heisenberg (from "Breaking Bad"), Rick Grimes (from "The Walking Dead"), and Drago (from "Rocky IV"). He keeps the pattern going for his at-bat music, the theme from "Game of Thrones."
In the great tradition of most relievers anywhere, Sean Gilmartin was pretty superstitious in his days at Florida State, the then-senior telling Warchant.com (a Seminoles-based website) that he always eats chicken before games, puts his items of uniform on in the same order and that he never steps on the foul lines.
They call him Big Sexy. Bartolo Colon is 42 and keeping up with the young guns, and his fun (and productive) at-bats were cited by commissioner Rob Manfred as a reason against the universal DH. No wonder various teammates could be seen around the clubhouse sporting T-shirts with Colon's visage and the words "Big Sexy." The shirts, courtesy of Barstool Sports, are being sold for $25.
Addison Reed quit chewing tobacco cold turkey after Tony Gwynn died of oral cancer in 2014. Gwynn was his coach at San Diego State and was one of the big reasons Reed chose to attend the college. After learning of his death, the reliever, who had been chewing for seven years, immediately threw out the seven cans of tobacco he had in his locker.
Didn't make it through high school baseball tryouts? Don't feel bad. Neither did Tyler Clippard. He didn't make varsity his first two years at Palm Harbor University High, in Florida, and eventually had to transfer to another high school in order to get a shot.
A starter with the Single-A Brooklyn Cyclones, Hansel Robles once carried a perfect game into the eighth inning before allowing a hit . . . and didn't earn the win. That was because his opponent, the Vermont Lake Monsters, used three pitchers to take a no-hitter into the ninth before the Cyclones eventually won the game, 1-0. Cyclones reliever Tyler Vanderheiden got the "W".
Jacob deGrom is known for taking the bull by the horns on the field, but it was another type of cattle wrangling that nearly cost him his big break. DeGrom broke his finger helping a neighbor castrate a calf a week before spring training with the Vegas 51s in 2013. The break was on his glove hand, but the discomfort led to a tough year, and a 4.52 ERA.
Who's got your nose? Well, if you're Jonathon Niese, it's Carlos Beltran. The Mets lefty came into spring training in 2012 with a brand-new nose, paid for by Beltran to the tune of $10,000. Niese said the nose job helped him breathe better but was originally cosmetic. "It was messed up," Niese told the New York Post. "[Beltran] thought I'd look better in interviews."
Yoenis Cespedes has a stuffed version of the Mets' "Rally Parakeet" in his locker. The real parakeet, possibly attracted to Cespedes' yellow parakeet-colored armband, appeared near home plate for two of Cespedes' at- bats against the Rockies on Aug. 12. He homered the second time around, and the Rally Parakeet was born.
Kelly Johnson, 33, proposed to his then-girlfriend Lauren at the Horseradish Grill in Atlanta in 2007. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Johnson got so choked up, he had a hard time even getting the proposal out. The two were wed in 2008 and have three kids, Cole, Grant and Penn.
Matt Reynolds gave Steven Matz the bat Matz used to drive in his record-setting four RBIs in the lefty's major-league debut. The two were teammates on the Las Vegas 51s before Matz got called up, and Matz had previously expressed interest in Reynolds' bats. When rumors circulated that Matz was about to get called up, Reynolds parted with a black bat and told him to rake. Spoiler alert: It worked.