I expected the best New York Mets player to wear number six to one day be Jeff McNeil. He burst onto the scene after not being a very highly touted prospect and ended up being an all-star and posting three straight seasons of hitting at least .310. However, McNeil struggled in 2021 and ended up changing his jersey number as well. To top it off, he might not even be a Met when the lockout finally ends.
The best Met to have worn number 6 is Wally Backman.
Wally Backman was not the flashiest player the Mets have ever had. He hit just seven home runs as a Met. He never drove in more than 38 runs in a season. Backman was still a contributor in many ways for some very good Mets teams.
Wally Backman is the best Mets player to wear number 6
When the former 1977 first round pick debuted in 1980, he was nothing more than a utility player. It wasn't until 1984 for Backman to take the second base job and run with it.
In his nine year Mets career Backman slashed .283/.353/.344 with the seven home runs and 165 RBI. His calling card was his speed and grit. He stole 30+ bases twice in his career.
Backman might not have been one of the stars on the 1986 World Series winning team, but he did have his best season that year. He slashed .320/.376/.385 with one home run and 27 RBI. His .761 OPS was a career high for Backman.
He also came up big in the postseason as he had six hits in 18 World Series at bats in the Mets series victory over the Red Sox.
His numbers don't scream impact player but his leadership and hustle were instrumental to the 1986 Mets and his ability to move runners over and make the right baseball play helped as well.
He might not be so successful in 2022 without the ability to hit for power but teams could always use guys who move runners over and put bat on ball.
Backman's longevity with the Mets and World Series ring help make him the best Met to ever wear number 6.