4. Mookie Wilson, 1980-89, 20.8 WAR, #9 All-Time in Mets History
“MOOOOOOOOOOOOOK!” rang through Shea Stadium whenever Mookie came up to bat. He usually batted from the leadoff spot, though his on-base percentage is 10 points lower than Bud Harrelson’s.
Mookie was not a patient hitter, never walking more than 35 times in a season while leading the team in at-bats three times. He did, however, lead the Mets in runs, triples, and steals four times, plus twice leading in games, hits, doubles, batting average, and yes, OBP—he did play on some really poor teams early in his career.
As the team got better in the mid-1980s, Mook found himself platooned with the younger Lenny Dykstra. Though a natural right-handed hitter, Wilson was a better left-handed hitter: .279 left vs. .266 right. Yet his ability to bat right-handed got him regular starts against southpaws.
Mookie broke Bud Harrelson’s marks with 62 triples and 281 steals (both later surpassed by Jose Reyes). Wilson is still in the top 10 in several team categories, including runs (592), hits (1,112), games (1,116), total bases (1,586), and plate appearances (4,308). When the Mets finally broke up the platoon of Mook-Stra, they traded both Wilson and Dykstra the same month in 1989 in two of Frank Cashen’s poorer deals.
Of course, Mookie is best remembered for what may be the most important at-bat in franchise history in the 10th inning of Game Six of the 1986 World Series. His ability to keep the bat on the ball—and duck out of the way—allowed the Mets to tie the game and then his ground ball made Shea shake.