No. 4: Mets trade with Astros for Ray Knight
When there’s a list of the greatest Mets of all time, the name Ray Knight is unlikely to appear. That’s because until 1986, there wasn’t all that much to adore about him.
Knight’s time with the Mets back after an August 28, 1984 trade with the Houston Astros. The late summer trade originally required the Mets to send the often-traded “player to be named later” to Houston except this time it was his plural cousin, “players to be named later.” Within the next two weeks, they sent Gerald Young, Manuel Lee and Mitch Cook to the Astros.
As time was running out in 1984, Knight did help the team with a .280/.337/.355 batting line in his 101 plate appearances. The following season, with 290 opportunities to hit, the veteran infielder hit just .218/.252/.328. Fortunately, a kid named Howard Johnson was able to put up better numbers as the primary third baseman.
The results from Knight were far different in 1986. In his age-33 season, he produced a slash line of .298/.351/.424 and added 11 home runs. The regular season performance landed him a 14th place spot in the MVP vote.
This was only the beginning. The Mets went to the postseason and in the first round against his former team, Knight had something to play for. Unfortunately, he batted .167/.192/.167 against his former team in the NLCS. Luckily, the team did still win.
It was the World Series against the Boston Red Sox when Knight shined brightest. A crowning achievement of his career, Knight helped the Mets battle back in one of baseball’s greatest championships of all-time. He hit .391/.440/.565 versus the Red Sox. In Game 6, he was the man to score on the ball off the bat of Mookie Wilson that trickled between Bill Buckner’s legs.
Maybe more notable yet often overlooked by the mainstream, Knight hit a home run in the seventh inning of Game 7 to put the Mets ahead, 4-3. They didn’t look back after taking the lead either and the wild 1986 MLB season ended with the Mets on top.
For his amazing efforts, Ray was knighted the MVP of the World Series.
Who says even seemingly average trade deadline deals can’t lead to something greater?