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New York Mets All-Time Lists

New York Mets: 30 greatest players in franchise history

NEW YORK - APRIL 05: Fans outside the stadium prior to the Opening Day Game between the New York Mets and the Florida Marlins at Citi Field on April 5, 2010 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - APRIL 05: Fans outside the stadium prior to the Opening Day Game between the New York Mets and the Florida Marlins at Citi Field on April 5, 2010 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
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New York Mets
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

John Stearns

John Stearns. 27. 3. . C. 1975-1984

Believe it or not, the Mets have a history of employing talented catchers. You might not know it from the past decade. If you travel back in time a little further, you’ll see what I mean.

In the 1970s, it was John Stearns who handled the catching duties. A near lifetime Met if not for his MLB debut taking place with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1974, he’s an all-time top-30 player this organization has had.

Four All-Star appearances highlight his accomplishments. During the era when Johnny Bench was guaranteed a roster spot on the National League squad, this was quite a feat.

Stearns was solid both defensively and at the plate. His strongest attribute with a bat in his hand was an ability to get on base. His career slash line of .260/.341/.375 tells the story of a hitter with limited power, but a knack for making the most of his at-bats.

Stearns was an athletic catcher who could run. In 1978, he stole 25 bases. In total, we would see him swipe 91 in his Mets career.

Another testament to his athleticism, Stearns learned to do more than catch. He played some first base, third base and left field in parts of his career.

As a catcher, though, he got to show off his fielding abilities. He only had a negative WAR in his final season, when he played in just eight games. For those who don’t agree with WAR, throwing out 37 percent of attempted base runners against the league average of 33 percent should please you.

Stearns was a rock behind the dish. In the era between World Series trips, The Mets could count on him.

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