Wally Backman’s resume with the Mets has just about everything you could ask for other than an All-Star appearance. The first-round pick in 1977 managed to win a championship with the team in 1986. Only 50 players can say they won a World Series with the Mets. Backman is one of those guys.
Outside of the team accomplishments, Backman did a lot on his own. Although it took a few years until he received regular playing time, once he did, Backman became a mainstay at second base in Flushing.
Through nine seasons with the Mets and over 2700 plate appearances, Backman hit only seven home runs. He made up for it in other ways. Twice, he stole 30 bases. In total, he wrapped up his Mets career with a very favorable .283/.353/.344 batting line.
Backman was a key part of a skilled team in the mid-1980s. Likely overlooked by many, the man hit .320/.376/.385 in 1986. He added another great slash line in the World Series, finishing that with a line of .333/.429/.333.
Backman’s numbers don’t jump out at us to suggest he’s an all-time great. Unlike some who followed, he played baseball in an old-school kind of way. His role often involved moving runners over and allowing the big bats to knock them in. This was truly evident in 1985 and 1986 when in each season he had 14 sacrifice hits.