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New York Mets History

Five Mets players who lived up to the hype during their time in New York

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 30: Mike Piazza talks with the media before the start of a game between the Colorado Rockies and New York Mets at Citi Field on July 30, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Piazza will have his number 31 retired by the Mets during a pre-game ceremony. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 30: Mike Piazza talks with the media before the start of a game between the Colorado Rockies and New York Mets at Citi Field on July 30, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Piazza will have his number 31 retired by the Mets during a pre-game ceremony. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NY – MAY 28: Darryl Strawberry #18 of the 1986 New York Mets greets fans on the red carpet before the game between the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field on May 28, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The New York Mets are honoring the 30th anniversary of the 1986 championship season. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The hype for athletes on New York sports teams is greater in the Big Apple than anywhere else. These New York Mets players managed to live up to the hype of their arrival.

New York Mets fans know how to get excited about their young or recently acquired players. Though there have been many major busts in franchise history, some men have lived up to the hype.

I don’t have the benefit of truly knowing how much hype there was for older players such as Tom Seaver. Back then, I’m not sure anyone but the most devoted sports fans really even knew much about the guys yet to make their big league debut. So, with this in mind, there’s a bias in favor of guys who began their careers a little more recently.

In other words, you don’t have to yell at me to get off your lawn; I’m not even standing on it.

Darryl Strawberry

With the first overall pick in the 1980 MLB Draft, the Mets selected outfielder Darryl Strawberry. Straight out of high school, Strawberry joined the Mets organization. In 1983, he made his debut and put together a Rookie of the Year winning season.

Strawberry was more than a one-hit wonder. He was an All-Star every season thereafter during his Mets tenure. He managed to set multiple franchise records during the time, even hitting a franchise-best 252 home runs. At the time, he also owned the single-season record with 39 bombs.

It’s hard to live up to the expectations of being the first player taken in a draft. Often, these men fall short of those lofty expectations. In the history of the MLB Draft, only Ken Griffey Jr. and Chipper Jones have been selected first and gone into Cooperstown. Harold Baines will join them in the summer of 2019.

Strawberry isn’t quite a Hall of Fame level player, but he is one of the greatest Mets to put on a pair of cleats. He certainly lived up to the massive hype and even managed to help bring this team a championship while doing so.

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