On the Amazin' Avenue Facebook Page over the past few weeks, we've been asking Mets fans which player from Mets history they associate with a certain uniform number. This series proved to be very popular, so we decided the offseason would be a perfect opportunity to ask this same question to the general Amazin' Avenue readership! Each day, we'll post a different number with a few of the longest tenured or most well-known options for each uniform number up until we get to the #50. Be sure to vote in the poll at the bottom of the page!
Things get more interesting once we get to #4. Thought it's only been worn on 28 separate occasions throughout the history of the Mets franchise, #4 has a lot of well regarded players to choose from. The four listed below are likely the most memorable, not only because of their regular season accomplishments but thanks to their postseason work, as well. Other memorable Mets to wear #4 include Duke Snider, Bruce Boisclair, Bob Bailor, Mike Cubbage, Cookie Rojas, Chris Woodward, and Mike Nickeas. Okay, memorable might be a bit strong there.
Lenny Dykstra (1985-1989)
The man known as "Nails" was a homegrown Mets player and a huge part of the team's mid-1980's success. While sharing center field with Mookie Wilson, Dykstra was a sparkplug at the top of the lineup who could beat you with his speed, some on base ability, and sneaky pop. Two of Dykstra's most memorable moments with the club are home runs that he hit during the 1986 World Championship run: his dramatic walk-off home run in Game 3 of the NLCS versus the Astros, and the leadoff home run he hit off of Oil Can Boyd in Game 3 of the World Series at Fenway Park. During parts of 5 seasons with the Mets, Dykstra hit .278/.350/.418 before getting dealt to the Phillies in 1989.
Ron Swoboda (1966-1970)
After signing with the Mets organization in 1963, Ron Swoboda quickly made his way to the majors in 1965 and became one of the first homegrown position players developed in franchise history. During his six seasons with the Mets, his most iconic moment is the catch that he made while diving almost fully horizontal against the ground in game 4 of the 1969 World Series. He also hit .400 in 16 plate appearances during that World Series. Overall, Swoboda's Mets career featured a .242/.319/.387 line in nearly 2500 plate appearances.
Rusty Staub (1972-1974)
"Le Grand Orange" spent two stints with the Mets, the first in the 1970's as a starting outfielder, and the second in the 1980's as a bench player. It was during his first stint with the club, however, where he wore the number 4 before switching to number 10 in 1975. Staub was a fan favorite and brought a big bat to the team when they acquired him from the Expos in 1972. He also played a large role in the team's trip to the World Series in 1973, injuring his shoulder making a catch in the NLCS and then managing to return with a bang for the World Series, where he hit .423/.464/.615 in his 28 plate appearances. Overall while wearing number 4, Staub hit .273/.357/.420 and even received some MVP votes in 1972.
Robin Ventura (1999-2001)
Ventura spent three years as the Mets third baseman, posting a stellar 1999 campaign followed by two injury-plagued years in 2000 and 2001. Known for his Gold Glove caliber defense at third, a powerful bat, and even that fight he had with Nolan Ryan while with the White Sox, Ventura's Mets claim to fame is undoubtedly the Grand Slam Single he hit to defeat the Braves in game 5 of the 1999 NLCS. In his stellar 1999, Ventura hit .301/.379/.509 with 32 home runs and received a 6th place MVP finish along with a Gold Glove award. In his three seasons with the club, Ventura hit a combined .260/.360/.468 with 77 home runs before they dealt him to the Yankees for David Justice.
Along with the above four, our Facebook poll saw Bruce Boisclair, Mike Cubbage, and even Wilson Valdez (yeah, really) get nominations.