Before WAR was even a twinkle in its father’s eye, Mets third baseman Howard Johnson set a new high on offense for the statistic. His 1989 season included a solid 8 WAR, besting the second-highest in franchise history by 0.7.
Obviously, back then we had to look at other numbers to know just how powerful a guy was. Johnson delivered in those departments in more than just that one awesome season.
In his nine years with the Mets, Johnson smacked 192 home runs. He hit 36 twice and set a new personal best in 1991 when he led the league with 38 bombs. Along with the four-base hits, HoJo also led the league with 117 RBI.
As a long-time member of the Mets, some power numbers stand out in Johnson’s career. The .459 slugging percentage is ranked only 14th because of how poorly his tenure ended. However, the 192 home runs rank fourth all-time in the franchise’s history.
Johnson’s nearly full-decade with the Mets included a run with the 1986 champions and a limp with the infamous 1993 team. In the middle is where he put his power numbers to work.
Although never appreciated much outside of New York, he’s clearly one of the best sluggers to wear a Mets uniform.