The Mets drafted Dave Magadan in the second round of the 1983 amateur draft. A former college player of the year at the University of Alabama Magadan worked his way through the Mets minor league system. He hit .300 at every stop but with very little power.
Magadan made his Major League debut as a September call up in 1986. He singled in his first at bat as a pinch hitter on September 7. But it was his performance on September 17 which really endeared him to Met fans. On that night the Mets were in position to clinch the National League Eastern Division, but their All-star first baseman Keith Hernandez was sick and unable to play. Manager Davey Johnson inserted Dave Magadan into the lineup to replace Hernandez and in his first start of his career Magadan excited the crowd by going 3 for 4 with two RBIs as the Mets won the game 4-2 to clinch the division. During the game many Met fans started to jokingly chant “Keith who.” Magadan finished the season hitting .444 (8 for 18) in ten games.
Magadan played the entire 1987 with the Mets appearing in 85 games. He was used as a part time player and pinch hitter, splitting time between first and third base. Showing incredible discipline at the plate Magadan hit .318 with 3 home runs and 24 RBIs. He served in pretty much the same role over the next two seasons, but his average dipped below .300 both times. He hit .277 in 1988 and .286 in 1989.
In 1990 Magadan became the Mets everyday first baseman and enjoyed his finest season as a Met. His .328 average led the team and was good enough for third highest in the National League. He also drove in 72 runs. But his average slipped to .258 in 1991 as well as his run production, he drove in just 51 runs. He raised his average to .283 in 1992 but only drove in 28 runs.
Following the season, the Mets brass decided they wanted more power out of their first baseman and let Magadan leave as a free agent. He signed with the Florida Marlins.
In his seven seasons with the Mets Magadan hit .292 with 21 home runs and 254 RBIs.
While with the Mets Magadan wore number 29 from 1986-1989 and in 1992. He wore number 10 from 1990-1991.
Dave Magadan also played for the following teams:
Seattle Mariners – 1993
Florida Marlins – 1993,1994
Houston Astros – 199
Chicago Cubs – 1996
Oakland A’s – 1997,1998
San Diego Padres – 1999-2001
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A hardnosed gritty player Wally Backman symbolized the feistiness and tenacity of the great Met teams of the mid 80’s especially the 1986 World Championship team.
Wally Backman started his Met career as a September call up in 1980 and would spend parts of the next four seasons with the Mets. During that span he showed signs of promise but could never stick with the big club, injuries also played a factor. When not playing in New York Backman spent much of the time with the Mets Triple A affiliate the Tidewater Tides. It was with Tidewater where Backman caught the eye of manager Davey Johnson who liked his style of play. When Johnson was named the manager of the Mets in 1984, he immediately made Backman his starting second baseman and leadoff hitter. He became a fan favorite due to his hardnosed style of play, leading the league in dirty uniforms. Backman would hit .280 while also stealing 32 bases as the Mets surprised many and won 90 games for their first winning season since 1976.
In 1985 he hit .273 with 1 home run and 38 RBIs and led the team in stolen bases with 30. During the month of August, he enjoyed a 14-game hitting streak.
In 1986, Backman’s struggles against left-handed pitching forced Davey Johnson to platoon him with Tim Teufel. But he still managed to hit a career best .320 while batting in the number two spot in the lineup setting the table for the Mets big hitters, Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter and Darryl Strawberry, as the Mets ran away and hid in the National League and won the World Series.
During the 1986 League Championship Series, he hit just 0.238 but was in the middle of some of the most pivotal moments. In game 3, with the Mets trailing 5-4 entering the 9th inning Backman led off with a bunt single. He beat out the bunt when he lunged past Astros first baseman Glenn Davis. Two batters later he scored on Len Dyktra’s walk off home run. In game 5 with the game tied in the 12rh inning, he led off with an infield single and would eventually come around to score the winning run on Gary Carter’s single. During the World Series against the Boston Red Sox, he hit .333 (6 for 18) and drove in one run.
Backman’s production began to fall off in 1987 and by 1988 and with the emergence of Gregg Jefferies and Keith Miller from the Mets minor league system he became expendable. He was traded to the Minnesota Twins following the 1988 season in exchange for three minor league prospects.
Backman hit .283 over his 9-year career with the Mets, playing in 765 games.
In 2010, Wally Backman returned to the Mets organization as manager of the Brooklyn Cyclones, their single A minor league affiliate. He went on to manage their double A affiliate the Binghamton Mets. He also managed their Triple A affiliate in both Buffalo and Las Vegas from 2012-2016.
While with the Mets Backman wore number 28 in 1980 and number 6 from 1981-1988.
Wally Backman also played for the following teams:
Minnesota Twins – 1989
Pittsburgh Pirates – 1990
Philadelphia Phillies – 1991,1992
Seattle Mariners – 1993
Terry Leach, a right-handed pitcher who pithed side-armed, was originally signed by the Mets as a minor league free agent on July 27, 1980. A year later he made his Major League debut on August 12, 1981 when he pitched one inning of relief in the Mets 7-4 win over the Chicago Cubs, He allowed 3 hits and 2 runs. He finished out the season with the Mets and appeared in 21 games, all but one out of the bullpen, and posted a 1-1 record with a 2.55 ERA. He earned his first Major League win on September 9 against the Pittsburgh Pirates when he pitched 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. In his only start of the season on August 15 against the Philadelphia Phillies he pitched 5 innings and allowed 3 hits and 1 unearned run. He got a no-decision as the Mets won 3-1.
He started the 1982 season in the minors before getting brought up to New York in June. Once again, he appeared in 21 games, all but one out of the bullpen, and posted a 2-1 record with 1 save and a 4.17 ERA. His only start came on October 1 was a memorable one. He pitched a complete game shutout and allowed only 1 hit and struck out 7 in 10 innings of work as the Met won 1=0.
Leach spent the entire 1983 season in the minors pitching for the Tidewater Tides. He posted a 5-7 record with 6 saves and a 4.46 ERA. Following the season, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs, He started the 1984 season in the Cubs minor league system before being traded to the Atlanta Braves. He didn’t last long in the Braves organization. He was released by the Braves on May 25 and was immediately picked up by the Mets. He finished out the season in the minors.
He started the 1985 season in the minors before once again getting called up the New York in June. This time he appeared in 22 games 4 as a starter, and posted a 3-4 record with 1 save and a 2.91. His best performance came on August 22 when he pitched a compete game 3 hit shut out against the San Francisco Giants.
Leach started the 1986 season with the Mets but made only 6 appearances, all out of the bullpen, before being shipped back to the minors. He posted a 0-0 record with a 2.70 innings in 6 2/3 innings.
He spent the entire 1987 season with the Mets and enjoyed his best season with the Mets. He started the season in the bullpen before a rash of injuries in the Mets starting staff he was forced to join the rotation. In 12 starts he posted a 7-1 record, He finished the season with an 11-1 record and 3.22 ERA. His best appearance came on July 2 when he pitched a complete game shutout against the Cincinnati Reds
Leach pitched exclusively out of the bullpen in 1988 appearing in 52 games. He finished with a 7-2 record with 3 saves and 2.54 ERA in helping the Mets win the National League Eastern Division title. In the postseason he appeared in 3 games and did not allow any runs in 5 innings of relief. But the Mets lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games.
In 1989 he appeared in 10 games before being traded to the Kansas City Royals on June 9. At the time of the trade his record 0-0 with a 4.22 ERA.
In 176 games for the Mets over 7 seasons Leach posted a 24 and 9 record with 7 saves and 3.11 ERA.
While with the Mets Leach wore number 43 in 1981 and 1986 and number 26 from 1985 to 1986.
Terry Leach also played for the following teams:
Kansas City Royals – 1989
Minnesota Twins – 1990-1991
Chicago White Sox – 1992-1993
The Mets signed left-handed pitcher Bob McClure as a free agent on July 13, 1988. He made his Met debut the next day pitching 2/3 of an inning in the Mets 9-8 win over the Atlanta Braves. He would go on to pitch in 14 games for the Mets, all out of the bullpen, posting a 1-0 record with 1 save and 4.09 ERA. His one win came on August 6th against the Pittsburgh Pirates when he pitched an inning of scoreless relief in the Mets 5-3 victory. His one save came on October 1st against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Though the Mets won the Eastern Davison McClure was not included on the postseason roster and was released following the season.
While with the Mets McClure wore number 27.
Bob McClure also played for the following teams:
Kansas City Royals – 1975,1976
Milwaukee Brewers – 1977-1986
Montreal Expos – 1986-1988
California Angels – 1989-1991
St. Louis Cardinals – 1991,1992
Florida Marlins – 1993
If it wasn’t for a little roller hit behind the bag by Mookie Wilson that went through the legs of Bill Buckner, Rick Aguilera would be known as the pitcher who lost game six of the 1986 World Series. Fortunately for Aguilera the Mets pulled the game out and won the series and he is now remembered as a very good pitcher who won 37 games in five seasons for the Mets mostly as their number five starter.
In his Mets debut on June 12, 1985 Rick Aguilera pitched two innings of scoreless relief against the Philadelphia Phillies to earn his first big league victory. He appeared in 21 games, 19 as a starter, in 1985 and finished the season with a 10-7 record. He followed that up with an identical 10-7 record during the Mets World Championship season in 1986.
During the postseason in 1986 Aguilera pitched out of the bullpen and as previously stated was on the mound during the tenth inning of game six of the World Series. With the scored tied and the Mets having no margin for error as they trailed the series 3 games to 2, Aguilera gave up two runs to the Boston Red Sox. In the bottom of the inning the Mets were down to their final out before staging one of the most remarkable comebacks in baseball history. The Mets won the game and went on to win the series in seven games.
Injuries limited Aguilera to just 18 games in 1987 but when healthy he managed to post an 11 and 3 record. The Mets moved Aguilera to the bullpen in 1988 where he went 0-4 in just 11 games in another injury plagued season. In 1989 Aguilera pitched exclusively out of the bullpen posting a 6 and 6 record with 7 saves before the Mets traded him along with David West, Kevin Tapani, Tim Drummond and Jack Savage to the Minnesota Twins for Frank Viola, the American League’s reigning Cy Young Award winner.
Rick Aguilera pitched in 114 regular season games for the Mets posting a 37 – 27 record with 7 saves and an ERA of 3.58. He was also a fine hitter, hitting three home runs during his Mets career.
While with the Mets Aguilera wore number 38 in 1985,1986 and 1989 and number 15 in 1987 and 1988.
Rick Aguilera also played for the following teams:
Minnesota Twins – 1989-1999
Boston Red Sox – 1995
Chicago Cubs – 1999,2000
The Mets acquired right-handed pitcher Edwin Nunez from the Seattle Mariners on July 11, 1988 in exchange for pitcher Gene Walter. He made his Met debut on July 16th against the Atlanta Braves, he pitched a scoreless 7th inning to earn the victory. Nunez would go on to appear in 10 games for the Mets, all out of the bullpen, and post a 1-0 record with a 4.50 ERA. Following the season, he was released by the Mets and he signed as a free agent with the Detroit Tigers.
While with the Mets Nunez wore number 45.
Edwin Nunez also played for the following teams:
Seattle Mariners – 1982-1988
Detroit Tigers – 1989,1990
Milwaukee Brewers – 1991,1992
Texas Rangers – 1992
Oakland A’s – 1993,1994
The New York Mets drafted left-handed pitcher Randy Myers in the first round of the 1982 amateur draft with the 9th overall pick. After spending 4 seasons in the Mets minor league system, Myers made his Major League debut on October 6, 1985. He pitched the final 2 innings of the season and allowed no runs and no hits while striking out two as the Mets lost 2-1 to the Montreal Expos.
Myers started the 1986 season in the minors before getting recalled in July, he would appear in 10 games for the Mets and finished with a 0-0 record and 4.22 ERA.
In 1987 Myers became a regular member of the Mets bullpen serving mainly as a setup man. In 54 games Myers won 3 and lost 6 while also saving another 6 games. His first major league win came on July 1 against the St Louis Cardinals.
In 1988, following the trade of Jesse Orosco, Myers became the Mets full-time closer and helped them reach the postseason by saving a team best 26 games. Myers also won another 7 games and posted a 1.72 ERA. During the postseason, Myers won 2 games during the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers but the Mets lost the series in 7 games.
Myers returned as the Mets closer in 1989 and once again led the team in saves with 24 while posting a 7-4 record and 2.35 ERA. But following the season the Mets decided to trade Myers to the Cincinnati Reds for John Franco; the Reds all-star closer who was more of a finesse pitcher as opposed to the flamethrower that Myers was.
During his Mets career Randy Myers appeared in 185 games and posted a 17 -13 record with 56 saves and a 2.74 ERA.
While with the Mets Myers wore number 48.
Randy Myers also played for the following teams:
Cincinnati Reds – 1990,1991
San Diego Padres – 1992,1998
Chicago Cubs – 1993-1995
Baltimore Orioles – 1996,1997
Toronto Blue Jays – 1998
On March 27, 1987, the Mets completed one of the greatest trades in franchise history when they traded Ed Hearn, Rick Anderson and Mauro Gozzo to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for Chris Jelic and right handed pitcher David Cone. While Hearn, Anderson and Gozzo didn’t amount to anything Cone went on to become one of the best pitchers in Met history winning 80 games over the next six seasons.
But Cone’s Met career did not get off to a great start as he lost his Met debut on April 11, 1987 when he pitched three innings of relief and allowed the winning run to score in the ninth inning. After his first four appearances, all out of the bullpen, his record was 0-1 and his ERA was 4.66 but he was averaging a strikeout an inning. Despite his bad start the Mets decided to move him to the starting rotation. Cone proved to be an effective starter over his next six starts, he posted a 2-1 record. His first victory as a Met came on May 12th against the Cincinnati Reds when he pitched a complete game allowing four hits and two earned runs. However just as Cone was beginning to hit his stride he was sidelined for two months after breaking a finger on his left hand while trying to bunt. He returned in the middle of August and finished the season with a 5-6 record and a 3.71 ERA.
1988 would turn out to be Cone’s best season with the Mets. After starting the season in the bullpen, where he won two games in seven appearances he was moved to the starting rotation in May. He made his first start on May 3rd and pitched a complete game shutout. Cone would go on to finish the month of May winning all five of his starts while allowing just three earned runs. For his efforts, he was named the National League Pitcher of the Month. From that point on Cone was the Mets top starting pitcher as the Mets dominated the National League and coasted to their second National League Eastern Division title in three seasons. He won his final eight starts of the year to finish with a 20-3 record and a 2.22 ERA with 213 strikeouts. In any other year Cone would have been a shoe in for the National League Cy Young Award but he finished third in the voting behind Danny Jackson of the Reds who finished with a 23-8 record and Orel Hershiser who also finished with a 23-8 record but managed to set a MLB record with 59 consecutive scoreless innings.
In the postseason against the Los Angeles Dodgers Cone was tabbed to pitch game two, but he got roughed up and allowed five runs in two innings. He bounced back to pitch a complete game five hitter in game six to send the series to a decisive seventh game. Unfortunately, the Mets lost game seven and the series.
Cone got off to rough start in 1989, his record was just 4-5 in the first half of the season, but he turned things around in the second half. From July 3rd to the end of the season his record was 10-3. He finished the season with a 14-8 record and 3.52 ERA.
Cone would go on to win 14 games over each of the next two seasons while also managing to lead the National League in strikeouts both years. On the final day of the 1991 season against the Philadelphia Phillies, Cone put his name in the record books by striking out 19 batters to tie the National League mark held by former Met Tom Seaver and Hall of Famer Steve Carlton.
In 1992 Cone started the season 9-4 and was named to his second all-star team. But with Cone enjoying his best season since 1989 and the Mets out of the pennant race they traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays on August 27th in exchange for Jeff Kent and Ryan Thompson. Cone was going to be a free agent after the season and the Mets were fearful they would not be able to resign him. General Manager Al Harazin figured it would be better to get something for Cone than nothing at all in the off-season. It would be a trade the Mets would come to regret as he would go on to help the Blue Jays win the 1992 World Series, then he would win a Cy Young with the Royals in 1994 before moving on to the New York Yankees where he won three World Series titles and even pitched a perfect game. In his final appearance for the Yankees in game four of the 2000 World Series against the Mets Cone pitched just 1/3 of an inning but managed to get Mike Piazza out at a crucial spot in the game. The Mets would lose 3-2 and eventually the series.
David Cone spent the 2001 season with the Boston Red Sox. After sitting out the 2002 season the Mets invited David Cone to spring training in 2003. Not much was expected of Cone but he surprisingly made the team. In his first start for the Mets on April 4th he looked like his old self pitching five innings of shutout ball to earn the win. But that would be the only highlight for Cone in 2003. He lost his next three decisions and with his record at 1-3 with 6.50 ERA Cone decided to retire.
In 187 games for the Mets David Cone won 81 while losing 51 with a 3.13 ERA.
While with the Mets David Cone wore number 44 from 1987-1991 before switching to number 17. When he returned to the Mets in 2003 he wore number 16.
David Cone also played for the following teams:
Kansas City Royals – 1986,1993,1994
Toronto Blue Jays – 1992,1995
New York Yankees – 1995-2000
Boston Red Sox – 2001