Have you ever played the Mt. Rushmore game? If you haven’t, it works like this, you pick an field, group, or category etc. and pick the four best in that category. For example, at the time Mt. Rushmore was being completed, for of the most influential presidents were Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, and Roosevelt. You can do this for almost any category; Mt. Rushmore of 80’s bands, Mt. Rushmore of the Boston Celtics, Mt. Rushmore of sci-fi movies, the possibilities are endless and it’s a great way to pass the time.
So recently, ESPN did a Mt. Rushmore of sports poll, and other columnists have done Mt. Rushmore columns for various sports and teams. Each member of the Mt. Rushmore could be there because they are simply the four best, or they could each be the best of a different category(best pitcher, best hitter, most clutch, face of the team, etc.). Another idea is to have at least one representative from different eras of good teams. If a player is still active, you are allowed(and encouraged) to project how good they may be to see where they would rank.
So here’s my Mt. Rushmore of the New York Mets, and an explanation of my picks:
Tom Seaver: Well, this one was the easiest. He was the best pitcher that the Mets have ever had, a part of the 1969 Championship team, and still holds many of the Met pitching records. He is the first and, to date, only player in the Hall of Fame as a Met, and he also had the record for highest percentage of HOF votes. Tom Terrific was a Cy Young winner, an SI Sportsman of the Year, and still one of the most popular Mets ever.
Darryl Strawberry: Okay, so his career was filled with many inglorious moments, time missed, antics which were reported in his newest book, and even a stint with the Yankees, but he still holds many on the Met hitting records. He was a large part of the Met teams on the mid to late 80’s, including the 1986 Championship team. He still holds the record for most HR, most RBI, most walks, most Runs Created, most extra-base hits, and more.
Mike Piazza: He was the greatest offensive catcher in MLB history, even though be only spent half his career in Flushing. He was the face of the run of good teams at the turn of the century, which culminated in a National League championship. He hit the game-winning homerun in the first game in New York after 9/11, he feuded with former Yankee and current pariah Roger Clemens; and he even received a standing ovation after he homered against the Mets as a Padre in 2006. In four-and-a-half years, he will be the second Met in Cooperstown, and his number 31 will eventually be retired.
David Wright: I’m projecting here, but if he spends the next 10-12 years as a Met, he’ll own most of the hitting offensive records, as Reyes will hold the speed offensive records. It was between Wright and Reyes for this spot, but Wright may be the better player and more of the face of the team. He is the face of this generation of Mets, and the top jersey seller. He should continue to be a perennial all-star, and MVP candidate, and top-four fantasy player.
There are many other names can be thrown in. I used four players from four different generations of Met teams. One player was the statistical best pitcher, two were strong offensive players, and one I’m projecting to be a great player and an icon.
Who would you select and why? Jerry Koosman? Keith Hernandez? Carlos Beltran? Gary Carter? Eddie Kranepool? Would you count the 1999 infield as one entity; would you project a current prospect like Fernando Martinez?
Till Next Time.