The New York Mets announced today that team luminaries Jon Matlack, Ron Darling, and Edgardo Alfonzo will be honored during the 2020 season with induction to the team’s Hall of Fame. The ceremony honoring the three players will be held prior to a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates scheduled for Sunday, May 17 at 1:10 p.m. In addition, original Met Al Jackson will be posthumously honored with an Achievement Award for contributions to the organization.
A first round draft pick by the Mets in 1967, Matlack made a brief late season debut with the franchise in 1971, then went on to win the National League Rookie of the Year award in 1972, going 15-10 with a 2.32 ERA that season. The lefty was instrumental in the team’s run to the 1973 National League pennant, throwing a complete game shutout in Game 2 of the NLCS against the Reds, then going 1-2 with a 2.16 ERA in three starts in the World Series against the A’s. He was named an All-Star for three consecutive seasons from 1974-76, earning co-MVP honors in the 1975 Game. In seven seasons with the Mets, Matlack went 82-81 with a 3.03 ERA, putting up 26.5 bWAR as a member of the franchise. He ranks in the top 10 in franchise history in wins, complete games, ERA, strikeouts, shutouts, and innings pitched.
Darling spent parts of nine seasons with the Mets, and was a key figure in the team’s run of success in the 1980s. A member of the 1986 World Championship squad, Darling started three games in the World Series, earning the win in Game 4. Darling was named to his sole All-Star team in 1985, and won a Gold Glove in 1989. Overall the right-hander went 99-70 as a Met with a 3.50 ERA, putting up 16.0 bWAR over that time. Darling is also familiar to a whole new generation of Mets fans as one of the voices of the team’s exceptional SNY broadcast team, which he has been a member of since its inception in 2006—in addition to his work as a national broadcaster for MLB.
A beloved member of the late 1990s Mets, the steady, versatile Alfonzo excelled at both second and third base, as needed by the team. He was a key member of the 1999 playoff team, winning the Silver Slugger at second base and finishing eighth in the National League MVP voting with 27 home runs, 108 RBI and an .886 OPS. He hit a home run in the one-game tiebreaker in 1999 at Cincinnati to get the Mets into the playoffs, then blasted three more in the team’s NLDS victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Alfonzo followed that season up with an All-Star appearance in 2000, putting up a .967 OPS in helping lead the Mets to the National League pennant. Over eight seasons with the team, Alfonzo recorded 120 home runs and 538 RBI, putting up an OPS of .812—good for 29.7 bWAR as a Met. He ranks in the top five in team history in hits, runs, batting average and WAR for position players.
The beloved Jackson suffered through the 1962-65 seasons with the fledgling franchise before returning for parts of 1968-69. He later became a major league coach, minor league pitching coordinator and front office advisor for the club. All told, Jackson spent 50 years in the New York Mets organization. Many Mets—including Darling—cited him as a mentor in the minor leagues, echoing what the franchise noted when he passed away on August 19, 2019, that “it would be impossible to calculate the number of players and staff he touched and influenced during his career.”