The 2007 New York Mets roster had an amazingly high number of players over 40.
Whenever there’s not much going on in the baseball world, I like to look back at older seasons and see if any number jumps out at me. Usually, there’s a high batting average from a guy on the bench with 200+ plate appearances I feel inspired to write about. Sometimes, it’s a reliever with an ERA below 3.00 that I either completely forgot about or was too busy with other things to even notice he played for the New York Mets.
Somehow landing on the Baseball-Reference page for the 2007 Mets, what jumped out at me was the high number of old guys on the roster.
From the main starting eight, the Mets had only two younger players. This was the age 24 season for Jose Reyes and David Wright, the lone players below 30 with 230+ plate appearances.
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Catcher Paul Lo Duca and Carlos Delgado were each 35. Shawn Green wasn’t far behind at 34. Already out of their 20s and into their 30s, we also find Luis Castillo (31) and Carlos Beltran (30). Finally, we get into a brand new decade. Listed as the primary left fielder, there’s 40-year-old Moises Alou.
The vast major league and life experience went beyond the starting eight. The bench wasn’t full of younger players hoping for their shot either. Damion Easley and Jose Valentin each played 2007 at age 37. Catcher Mike Difelice beat them out with 38 candles on his birthday cake.
It doesn’t end there. The Mets gave at-bats to Jeff Conine and Sandy Alomar this year—both at 41.
The ageless wonder, Julio Franco, also stepped up to the plate 61 times for the Mets in 2007. According to the Baseball-Reference page, he was 48. Some, however, believe he was in his mid-300s.
This lot of older position players had company from the mound. Although the Mets did have a few younger pitchers, they also had a pair of 41-year-olds. Tom Glavine and Orlando Hernandez each helped to represent the over-the-hill club.
Amazingly, the Mets didn’t have too many other pitchers at age 35 or older. Billy Wagner, Pedro Martinez, and Aaron Sele are it.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise to learn this was actually the oldest group of position players in franchise history but only by a hair. Weighted by at-bats and games played, they averaged 30.7 years of age. It narrowly beat the 2002 Mets at 30.6.
Because of the weight, they were still younger than the average age of pitchers at 31.3.
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Age can matter to some extent in Major League Baseball. Older players tend to get hurt more and sometimes are limited to the number of innings they pitch or games they play all together. In 2007, many of these older players may have run out of gas near the end. The club’s famous collapse wasn’t a direct result of having a roster full of veterans. Still, one has to wonder if some fresh legs and arms may have helped them muscle it out for a better result.