And the No. 1 team in New York Mets history is Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling, more affectionately known simply as Gary, Keith, and Ron.
This team has been together since 2006, now in their 18th consecutive season, having surpassed Nelson, Kiner, and Murphy as the longest running broadcast team in Mets history. They are more commonly known by what is now basically an acronym – Gary Keith and Ron…and even have a Facebook page called Fans of GKR.
Gary Cohen is the play-by-play guy in the booth, and with very few exceptions, handles the calling of the action. He replaced Gary Thorne on the radio side in 1989 and then moved to TV for the 2006 season.
Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling work together as color commentators. Keith began back in 1999 and Ron came on board in 2006 after doing Montreal Expos games.
There are times when either Keith or Ron may be off, and the other is left alone to work with Gary. But when the two of them are together, they work flawlessly.
“Work flawlessly”…that is what is fascinating about this team. They are three people in the booth, and they always seem to be in sync. They don’t step on each other, rather, they seem to be in a constant flow with each other.
Gary makes it no secret that he grew up a Mets fan. Keith and Ron were teammates and members of the 86 World Series Championship team and a part of that dominant team of the mid to late 1980’s. It would be easy to be “homers.” And, yet, they are pretty close to objective observers. Clearly they want the Mets to be successful and win. But they have no problem pointing out flaws, mistakes, and even, in their opinions, stupidity.
Lindsey Nelson, Ralph Kiner, and Bob Murphy are names that are unified, strewn together easily, and are truly part of Mets legacy. And although the same could be said for Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling, we were not on a first-name basis with the formers like we are with Gary, Keith, and Ron.
Both of those teams were/are special. But what I believe makes GKR No. 1 is that little extra that Keith and Ron bring to the sights and sounds of a broadcast, taking you inside the baseball mind.