New York Mets: Wilmer Flores is the modern day Ed Kranepool
By Tim Boyle
Wilmer Flores has a lot of Ed Kranepool in him. While neither is an all-time greatest member of the New York Mets, both are beloved and care about the franchise.
Ed Kranepool spent his entire career as a member of the New York Mets. It’s an uncommon occurrence in the free agent era when nearly everyone swaps uniforms at some point in their career.
The Mets may have someone else who spends his career with Amazins as well. Among everyone on the current roster, it’s Wilmer Flores you would have the toughest time dragging out of Citi Field.
From what I can see, Flores is the modern day Kranepool. Neither has put up Hall of Fame numbers. In fact, they’ve shared some poor seasons with a few glimmers of hope along the way.
Kranepool spent parts of 18 years with the Mets. He debuted for the 1962 squad as a 17-year-old. He amassed a career WAR of just 4.4 over that time and made one trip to the All-Star Game. Flores would be lucky to do either. His current career WAR is a big fat 0.
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Nevertheless, Flores offers his team something else. He draws in fans. He comes up with big hits, too. All the while, Flores remains humble.
If you needed one guy to get a hit in the ninth inning for this team, Flores is the one you should pick.
I wasn’t alive when Kranepool played for the Mets. I don’t think many of Rising Apple’s readers were either. Based on the love I see from older fans and the connection he still has with the organization, I see shades of Flores.
Coincidentally enough, they have similar numbers. At the time of writing this, Flores owns a career batting line of .261/.301/.429. Kranepool finished his career batting .261/.316/.377. Flores’ power is the biggest difference between these two life-long Mets.
From the numbers, Kranepool was nothing special. That’s because numbers are often deceptive. He held down first base in Flushing for what felt like forever. Flores has done a similar thing for the ballclub, but at multiple positions since his debut in 2013.
Fans should consider themselves lucky whenever a beloved player sticks around for his entire career. I don’t believe most fans take for granted how much love Flores has for them and the city he represents.
They give him that love back and one day I imagine he will continually return to Citi Field with the warmth he has always shown.
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That’s the Ed Kranepool way.