Mets Right Fielders
The Mets always seemed to be looking for that coveted power bat in right field. And they had one…once…Darryl Strawberry. But the troubled guy with the world of talent packed his bags and left to head home to Los Angeles, never to return. But another big bat who toiled in right field for the Mets did, in fact, return.
Rusty Staub (4, 10) was one of the most beloved Mets to ever where the uniform. And he deserved it. He was successful everywhere he went. He accumulated over 2,000 base hits and, believe it or not, smacked 500 for four different teams – Houston Astros, Montreal Expos, Mets, Detroit Tigers. And although he did it for the Mets, his time with the Mets was not his most productive.
Rusty was the player that Gil Hodges coveted prior to the 1972 season. Unfortunately, Hodges didn’t live to see it. Rusty was injured quite a bit during his first tour with the Mets, although he led the team to the 1973 World Series. He was sent away following the 1974 season for an over the hill Mickey Lolich and some guy named Billy Baldwin.
When he came back in 1981, he was a shell of himself. But spent four seasons playing first base, some outfield, and a lot of pinch hitting. The shame of it all was that, because of personnel numbers, he was forced to retire at the end of the 1985 season at the age of 41 and missed being a part of the ’86 championship team. Keith Hernandez attributes a lot to Rusty and credits him for a lot of success achieved by the players of that generation.
Jay Bruce (19) was acquired during the 2016 stretch run when the Mets were looking for a big bat. Bruce had averaged 26 home runs over eight plus seasons with the Cincinnati Reds. When the team fell out of contention in 2017, they sold the soon-to-be free agent to the Indians for some prospects. The Mets re-signed him and brought him back for 2018, only to see him flounder, and they dumped him after a horrible season.