4) Mets manager Willie Randolph
Willie Randolph is best known as the catalyst at the top of the lineup for the New York Yankees during the time period known as The Bronx Zoo…immortalized by Sparky Lyle’s book of the same name. He had been acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates in a trade for the very popular pitcher Doc Medich.
Randolph was one of a trio of highly-touted second basemen the Pirates had, along with Dave Cash and Rennie Stennett. Cash was thought to be the most talented but he was packaged in a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. Randolph admired Cash so much that he wore his No. 30 on his back when he got to the Yankees. Stennett, the least heralded of the three, didn’t last very long in Pittsburgh, nor did Cash last long in Philly, but Randolph had a long and productive career.
With chaos going on all around him, Randolph was the quiet one, doing his job getting on base, stealing bases, moving runners over, and fielding his position seemingly effortlessly. He was a six-time all-star and was a Silver Slugger winner. Randolph accumulated over 2,200 base hits and 1,200 walks, with an on-base percentage of .373 during his 18 years in the Major Leagues.
Randolph spent one season (1992) in a Mets uniform at age 37 but his skills had already deteriorated, playing in 90 games and batting .252. He retired at the end of that season.