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New York Mets: Top 10 seasons by first basemen in team history

SAN DIEGO - 1986: First baseman Keith Hernandez #17 of the New York Mets fields a grounder during a 1986 game against the San Diego Padres at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO - 1986: First baseman Keith Hernandez #17 of the New York Mets fields a grounder during a 1986 game against the San Diego Padres at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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9 Mar 1999: Infielder John Olerud #5 of the New York Mets throws the ball during the Spring Training game against the Atlanta Braves at the Disney”s Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Florida. The Mets defeated the Braves 9-3. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons /Allsport

3) John Olerud 1999

You had to know John Olerud’s name would appear on this list at least one more time. Well, he’s here at least one more time.

Back in 1999, Olerud had the third best season of any first baseman in Mets history. Not only did he play in all 162 games, but Olerud also put up some fantastic numbers.

In what turned into his final year with the Mets, Olerud slashed .298/.427/.463 with 19 home runs and 96 RBI. He went on to score 107 runs and draw an astonishing 125 walks for the season. This set a franchise record. While doing so, he became the first player in franchise history to walk 100 times in a season.

2) Keith Hernandez 1984

Keith Hernandez is an iconic member of the Mets franchise. Following his successful stint with the team in the latter part of 1983 following a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals, Hernandez came into the 1984 season ready to have his best year yet.

For the first time since 1980, Hernandez was an All-Star. He was, however, far more than that. His season numbers were good enough to award him a second-place finish in the MVP vote. These statistics included a slash line of .311/.409/.449 and 15 home runs to go with 94 RBI. Though these numbers don’t really stand out in the history of Major League Baseball, it’s important to put them in perspective.

Hernandez’s runner-up finish in the MVP was hardly his lone crowning achievement. He won a Gold Glove this year and also earned himself a Silver Slugger.

The big first year in New York may have been his best, but that doesn’t mean he went downhill after. His first year was just difficult to match thereafter because of how productive he was in several different ways.

1) John Olerud 1998

The 1998 season was historic for John Olerud. His .354 batting average set a new franchise record for the Mets as the highest single-season total for any player. Along with some other numbers, it became the best individual season for any first baseman.

Olerud did more than hit for a high average. In his 160 games played, Olerud also knocked 22 home runs and drove in 93. His 197 hits became the second-highest in Mets history. Jose Reyes has since passed, but at the time, only Lance Johnson’s 1996 total beat what Olerud did.

Unfortunately, Olerud had no shot at the MVP. This was the same year when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa set home run records. For what it’s worth, he did have the third highest WAR in the league. Only pitcher Kevin Brown and future home run champion Barry Bonds had a higher total.

Though he didn’t get the ultimate individual award, Olerud claimed his piece of Mets history.

Next. Top five Mets first basemen of all-time

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