Known affectionately as “Fonzie,” Edgardo Alfonzo was a fixture of the Mets’ famously good defensive infield in the late 1990s. He made his major league debut with the Mets in 1995, splitting his time between third base and second base in his rookie season. This pattern would continue throughout his Mets career, where he continued to be defensively valuable at both positions, year after year.
Wherever he played on defense, Alfonzo was consistently among the league leaders in fielding percentage. He also finished second in NL Gold Glove voting at third base in both 1997 and 1998.
When he moved to second base in 1999, Alfonzo continued to shine defensively. Though he finished in second in 1999’s Gold Glove voting to Cincinnati Reds’ second baseman Pokey Reese, Alfonzo was undoubtedly a huge part of that season’s incredible defensive infield.
Alfonzo’s hitting prowess also steadily improved throughout his Mets career. He hit over .300 four times in his seven years in Queens, finishing in the top 15 in MVP voting three of those years. Alfonzo also finished in the NL’s top 10 in hits, doubles, walks, OBP, and singles across 1999 and 2000.
His Mets teammates always spoke highly of him and thought of him as a model example of a major league ballplayer. Teammate Matt Franco had this to say about Alfonzo in June 2000: “He’s just a model of consistency. He is a great teammate. He is on an even keel. He plays immaculate defense. He is a tremendous, tremendous hitter. He’s just the best player we have.”