The former GM celebrates his 54th birthday by giving himself a vesting option for a 55th.
Today's a pretty dreary day in Mets history. The closest thing to news relating to the team to happen on this date is that a couple of future Mets picked up MVP awards. In 1965, Willie Mays won his second Kenesaw Mountain Landis Memorial plaque on the strength of perhaps his best season: a league leading 52 homers, NL best marks in OBP (.398) and slugging percentage (.645) and a career-high 10.9 rWAR. For perspective, according to Baseball Reference, the entire output of the 1965 Mets offense was worth just 1.3 wins above replacement.
Six years later, Joe Torre was the BBWAA's choice for top player in the National League. Freed from the rigors of catching for the first time, Torre played 161 games at the hot corner and put together a .363/.421/.555 line. The closest Torre came to matching that gaudy batting average was in 1976, when he hit .306 as the Mets' sometimes first baseman.
- Shawn Green hits the big 4-0 today. The outfielder closed out his 15-year career by playing 164 games for the Mets in 2006 and '07. Green came out retirement this September to play with Team Israel in qualifiers for the 2013 World Baseball Classic, but the chosen nine were knocked out by Spain.
- Butch Huskey, who played just like how his name sounds, is 41. The 6' 3", 244 pound Oklahoman hit 55 home runs for the Mets between 1993 and 1998, many of the tape measure variety. In 1997, his only season as a full-time player, Huskey slugged .503 to join Bobby Bonilla, Dave Kingman, and Darryl Strawberry as the only Mets right fielders to reach that plateau in over 500 plate appearances.
- Omar Minaya has lobby today for a 54th birthday. The former GM currently works as the Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations for the San Diego Padres. The Mets, meanwhile, continue to work at getting out from under the onerous contracts Minaya saddled the team with.
- Milciades Arturo Noboa, known affectionately as Junior, is 48. Used primarily as a pinch hittter/runner, Noboa hit seven singles in 47 at-bats for the 1992 Mets.
- Also turning 48 is Kenny Rogers. The Gambler made 12 starts for the 1999 Mets after being acquired at the July trade deadline. Down the stretch, he posted a 5-1 regular season record (good), but that mark fell to 0-3 mark in the playoffs (not so much). He was last seen negating one of the great Mets comebacks of all time by walking home the winning run in the 11th inning of Game Six in the '99 NLCS.
- Once Mike Vail was the future of the New York Mets. Today, he's 61. As a rookie in 1975, Vail slapped a single in his first big league at-bat, then picked up a base knock in the next 22 straight games. At the time, that was the longest hitting streak in Mets history and the longest such streak for a rookie in MLB history.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
Upwards of 7 million children sat down in front of the TV on November 10, 1969 to watch the premiere of Sesame Street. Several Mets have made appearances during the show's 4,326 episode run including Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez, and Mookie Wilson.