Kevin Bass – His New York Mets Career 1992

Kevin BassA former All-star outfielder Kevin Bass was nearing the end of his career when the Mets acquired him from the San Francisco Giants on August 8, 1992.  He made his Met debut the same day and went 1-3 with an RBI. Bass would finish out the season serving primarily as a fourth outfielder.  He put up decent if unspectacular numbers for the Mets appearing in 46 games.  He hit .270 with 2 home runs and 9 RBIs. 

Following the season the Mets let him walk as a free agent and he signed with the Houston Astros. 

Though Bass’ brief tenure with the Mets was unspectacular he is remembered fondly by Met fans.  In 1986 as a member of the Houston Astros Kevin Bass struck out against Jesse Orosco to end game six of the NLCS which clinched the pennant for the Mets.

While with the Mets Bass wore number 21.

Kevin Bass also played for the following teams:
Milwaukee Brewers – 1982
Houston Astros – 1982-1989, 1993,1994
San Francisco Giants – 1990-1992
Baltimore Orioles – 1995

Mike Birkbeck – His New York Mets Career 1992,1995

The Mets signed right-handed pitcher Mike Birkbeck as a free agent on January 2, 1992.  He pitched most of the 92 season in the minors with the Tidewater Tides before getting called up to New York at the end of August.  He made his Met debut on August 31 as their starting pitcher against the Atlanta Braves.  In what would be his only appearance of the season for the Mets he allowed 7 runs and 12 hits over 7 innings and suffered the loss.

Following the season Birkbeck left the Mets as a free agent only to return to New York in 1995.  After starting the season in the minors, he was called up in the middle of May.  He made four starts for the Mets and pitched reasonably well but failed to win a game and was released on June 13.  He finished with a 0-1 record and 1.63 ERA in 27 2/3 innings.

In five starts for the Mets over two seasons Birkbeck posted a 0-2 record with a 3.12 ERA.

While with the Mets Birkbeck wore number 49 in 1992 and number 36 in 1995.

Mike Birkbeck also played for the Milwaukee Brewers from 1986-1989.

Eddie Murray – His New York Mets Career 1992-1993

eddie-murrayEddie Murray was at the tail end of his career when he joined the Mets as a free agent in 1992.  In his two seasons in New York Murray lived up to his nickname “Steady Eddie” and put up solid numbers while playing for some bad Met teams.   In 1992 he hit just .261 but managed to drive in 93 runs to lead the team.  In 1992 he also reached two significant milestones.  On May 3rd, he hit his 400th career home run and on June 6th he knocked in two runs to push him past Mickey Mantle for the most RBIs by a switch hitter in baseball history.

Murray continued his steady run production in 1993 leading the Mets in RBIs (100) and average (.285) while hitting 27 home runs.  But 1993 would be his last season in New York for the first baseman, With the Mets coming off two dreadful seasons a youth moment was taking shape in New York and Murray was allowed to leave as a free agent.  He signed with the Cleveland Indians and would play another four seasons eventually reaching 500 home runs and 3,000 hits.  In his two season in New York Eddie Murray hit .274 with 43 home runs and 193 RBIs.   

In 2003 Eddie Murray was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame along with another former Met Gary Carter.

While with the Mets Murray wore number 33.

Eddie Murray also played for the following teams:
Baltimore Orioles – 1977-1988, 1996
Los Angeles Dodgers – 1989-1991, 1997
Cleveland Indians – 1994-199
Anaheim Angels – 1997

Daryl Boston – His New York Mets Career 1990-1992

daryl-bostonThe Mets claimed Daryl Boston, a former number 1 draft pick, off waivers from the Chicago White Sox on April 30, 1990.  Three days later he would make his Met debut as the Mets starting centerfielder, he went 0-2 with a walk.  Boston would go on to play 3 seasons in the Mets outfield. An excellent defender Boston put up solid offensive numbers while in New York.   His best season came in his first, 1990, as he hit .273 with 12 home runs and 45 RBIs.  His best game occurred on September 22nd; with the Mets battling the Pittsburgh Pirates for first place, Boston went 3-4 with a homer and 4 RBIs against the Chicago Cubs.  The Mets would win the game 11-5 but would ultimately fall short of their quest to win the National League East. 

Boston’s power numbers dipped in his second season as he hit just 4 home runs with 21 RBIs but he still managed to hit a respectable .275   His third season the opposite occurred with his average dipping to .249 and his power numbers returning to their 1990 form, 11 home runs and 35 RBIs.

Following the 1992 season Boston signed with the Colorado Rockies as a free agent, he spent 1 season with the Rockies before joining the New York Yankees in 1994.  He would retire following the 1994 season.

In 382 games with the Mets Daryl Boston hit .266 with 27 home runs and 101 RBIs.

While with the Mets Boston wore number 7 in 1990 and number 6 from 1991-1992

Daryl Boston also played for the following teams:
Chicago White Sox – 1984-1990
Colorado Rockies – 1993
New York Yankees – 1994

Barry Jones – His New York Mets Career 1992

The Mets signed right-handed pitcher Barry Jones following his release from the Philadelphia Phillies on August 14, 1992.  His Mets debut on August 18 against the Los Angeles Dodgers was inauspicious to say the least; he gave up two runs in just 1/3 of an inning.  Jones would finish out the season pitching out of the Mets bullpen appearing in 17 games.  He managed to win 2 games and save another despite posting an astronomical 9.39 ERA in 15 1/3 innings. His two victories came in back to back appearances against the Cincinnati Reds.  

Following the season Barry Jones signed as a free agent with the Chicago White Sox.

While with the Mets Jones wore number 46.

Barry Jones also played for the following teams:
Pittsburgh Pirates – 1986-1988
Chicago White Sox – 1988-1990, 1993
Montreal Expos – 1991
Philadelphia Phillies – 1992

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Willie Randolph – His New York Mets Playing Career 1992

Willie Randolph.pngWillie Randolph, a former all-star second baseman who played the majority of his career with the Yankees, was nearing the end of his career when the Mets signed him as free agent in 1992.

Randolph was the Mets opening day second baseman and would go on to put up decent numbers before an injury sidelined him in August.  At the time of his injury, he was hitting .252 with 2 home runs and 15 RBIs.  Randolph would return to play one last game on the final day of the season.  He went 0-3 with a walk.  It would be his last appearance as a player as he retired following the season ending his 18-year career.

While with the Mets Randolph wore number12.

Willie Randolph also played for the following teams:
Pittsburgh Pirates – 1975
New York Yankees – 1975-1988
Los Angeles Dodger – 1989,1990
Oakland A’s – 1990
Milwaukee Brewers – 1991

David Cone – His New York Mets Career 1987-1992, 2003

david-coneOn 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