Number 17 in New York Mets history is one of the more interesting numbers in my opinion. There is an obvious best player who has worn the number, but the Mets took forever deciding whether or not they were going to retire the number or not. 14 Mets players have worn the number since this player retired.
Some notable Mets players to wear number 17 include Felix Millan, Bret Saberhagen, and David Cone. It was Cone's second of three numbers as a Met. The most recent Met to wear it was Fernando Tatis who wore it from 2008-2010.
Keith Hernandez is the best Mets player to wear number 17
The Mets finally decided to do the right thing and retire number 17 in Keith Hernandez's honor. The legendary first baseman and broadcaster is the best first baseman and one of the best infielders in Mets history.
The first captain in Mets history was acquired during the 1983 season in exchange for Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey. It's safe to say the Mets won that trade in what is one of the better trades they've ever made.
Hernandez was seen as a key piece of turning the Mets around. They had some good players on the roster, and a young Dwight Gooden waiting in the wings. After being hesitant to sign a long-term extension with the club, Hernandez signed a five-year extension with them in a deal that benefitted both sides greatly.
During his tenure as a Met, Hernandez won five straight Gold Gloves from 1984-1988. He was a two-time all-star and won a Silver Slugger as well. He wasn't much of a power hitter which was rare from a first baseman, as he never hit more than 18 home runs in a season as a Met, but he did just about everything else.
Hernandez is arguably the best defender the Mets have ever had. He was a guy they could rely upon to consistently hit .300 with an OBP above .400. He ranks fourth in Mets history with a .387 OBP, a number that is lower than you'd expect mainly due to two lackluster seasons to end his Mets career.
Hernandez hit in the middle of the order and consistently came up with clutch hit after clutch hit for some of the best Mets teams in history. He was the best position player on the 1986 Mets and should be in the Hall of Fame someday as one of the more complete first baseman in MLB history.