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New York Mets History: Top 10 individual seasons by catchers

FLUSHING, NY - JUNE 5: Mike Piazza #31 of the New York Mets smiles during the second game of a double header with the San Francisco Giants at Shea Stadium on June 5, 2005 in Flushing, New York. The Mets won 12-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac /Getty Images)
FLUSHING, NY - JUNE 5: Mike Piazza #31 of the New York Mets smiles during the second game of a double header with the San Francisco Giants at Shea Stadium on June 5, 2005 in Flushing, New York. The Mets won 12-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac /Getty Images)
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6) Todd Hundley in 1997

Nobody played more games for the Mets in the 1990s than catcher Todd Hundley. A career which began in 1990 lasted through the 1998 campaign. In 1997, he put together his final great year in New York.

Hundley’s 1997 season may not be the one we first think about when he crosses our mind. Still, it was a year with 30 home runs and an outstanding slash line. Hundley hit .273/.394/.549 and made the second All-Star team of his career.

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Due to the era he played in, Hundley didn’t receive even a nudge for the MVP award. Put these numbers on a catcher in almost any other five-year period and he’s likely to challenge for first-place.

Instead, Hundley settles for a memorable season that helped push the Mets toward relevancy.

5) Mike Piazza in 2001

I give a hat tip to Mike Piazza’s 1998 season. I decided to leave it off of this list because it wasn’t a full year with the Mets. Even so, it’s only his fourth best year with the team.

The third best (a preview of what is on the way) happened in 2001. In a year where he helped New York and America heal after 9/11 with his big September home run, Piazza had another MVP-worthy season.

At season’s end, Piazza added 36 more home runs to his career total and 94 RBI. He slashed .300/.384/.573 for the year and took home yet another Silver Slugger. This was the final year he would receive MVP consideration with the following year as his last “ungodly” campaign.

4) Todd Hundley in 1996

The second time Todd Hundley makes this list is with his record-setting season in 1996. His 41 home runs set a franchise record later matched by Carlos Beltran.

Hundley was about more than power. The 112 RBI showed his home runs were more than meaningless. His 32 doubles added to the fear he put in the minds of pitchers whenever he stepped up to the plate. Thanks to this performance, Hundley was awarded an All-Star selection.

One of the more underrated achievements, Hundley started 142 games at catcher. You wouldn’t catch most backstops start this many games at any position in the modern era. The season was made even better because of Hundley’s ability to play nearly every day.

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