As a member of the Anaheim Angels Mo Vaughn missed the entire 2001 season with an injury and many thought that he was washed up and could no longer be a useful Major League ballplayer. But Mets General Manager Steve Phillips along with Manager Bobby Valentine liked what they saw when they witnessed Vaughn take batting practice during the off-season. Based on that the Mets thought Vaughn was ready to return to the form that won him an MVP with the Boston Red Sox in 1995 and traded Kevin Appier to the Angels to acquire his services. But it didn’t work out that way as Vaughn never returned to his old form. Instead he became the poster child for Met futility in the early 2000’s.
In his second game as a Met in 2002 he hit his first home run of the season; it was also the 300th of his career. By the end of the month he was hitting .311 but with very little power. As the season wore on he struggled at the plate and would end up leading the Mets in strikeouts with 145. He did manage to finish the season with 26 home runs, many of the moon-shot variety, but only drove in 72 runs for the season. A far cry from the 100 or so RBIs he used to accumulate while with the Angels and Red Sox. His lack of range as the team’s first baseman also didn’t help matters as the fans and the press began to regularly get on his case. The only time the fans really embraced him was when he hit a game winning three run home run against the hated Yankees on June 16th.
Mo Vaughn entered the 2003 season looking for a fresh start but a knee injury at the beginning of May not only sidelined him for the season it also ended his career. At the time, he was hitting just .190 with 3 home runs and 15 RBIs.
In 166 games for the Mets Vaughn hit .249 with 29 home runs and 87 RBIs.
While with the Mets Vaughn wore number 42.
Mo Vaughn also played for the Boston Red Sox from 1991-1998 and the Anaheim Angles in 1999 and 2000.