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2 Mets players that became folk heroes this season, 1 who can join them

May 12, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets center fielder Kevin Pillar (11) slides in to third base for a triple during the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
May 12, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets center fielder Kevin Pillar (11) slides in to third base for a triple during the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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May 18, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New York Mets outfielder Kevin Pillar supports teammates after he was hit in the face with a ball suffering a nasal fracture the night before against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Becoming a New York Mets folk hero requires a couple of factors. I believe you need to have at least one moment every fan thinks about whenever they hear the player’s name. It’s usually a singular moment or attribute associated with the player.

Star players aren’t quite at folk hero status because they give us a lot more than just one triumph. It’s a spot reserved for the second-tier players on a baseball team. Already, through this early part of the 2021 season, I think the Mets have a pair of them. By year’s end, we may have another.

Kevin Pillar became a Mets folk hero in the most painful way possible

What will we always think of when we hear the name Kevin Pillar after this season? It’s going to be Pillar taking a fastball to the face!

Anyone can do that. It was Pillar’s toughness that raised him from veteran outfielder with a bruised up face to a legendary member of Mets folklore.

Seeing Pillar’s face was painful enough. The blood. The bruises. A lesser man may not have picked himself up so quickly as Pillar did after taking the ball to the face.

Pillar’s story with the Mets is far from over and how he recovers from this hit by pitch will tell us a lot about where he falls in Mets folk hero history. Does he become one of those guys that suffered a devastating injury and toughed it out to get back on the field to help his team only to not give them much? I don’t think so. Instead, I’m expecting Pillar to pick up where he left off and give the Mets some much-needed production while the rest of his teammates recover on the IL.

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