Number 26 is a little bit better than the last couple of numbers. Frank Viola wore it for his first season with the New York Mets before switching to number 29. Orlando Hernandez wore it during his solid Mets tenure, too. Kevin Plawecki wore it after switching from number 22.
The best player who's worn number 26 as a Met is Dave Kingman.
Dave Kingman is a little bit more liked than Bobby Bonilla among Mets fans. Kingman was a prime example of an all-or-nothing type of hitter. He had the reputation throughout his career that it was either going to be a home run or a strikeout each time he stepped up to the plate.
Dave Kingman is the best Mets player to wear number 26
During his six-year Mets career, Kingman slashed .219/.287/.453 with 154 home runs and 389 RBI. He didn't get hits very often, but when he did, they left the ballpark a lot. 154 of his 509 hits were home runs, 30%. That's a very high number.
The most home runs Kingman hit in a season was 37 and he did it twice. He also led the National League in strikeouts twice.
His best season came in 1976 when he slashed .238/.286/.506 with 37 home runs and 86 RBI. He was an all-star and he finished 18th in the National League MVP balloting.
Kingman was not good defensively either, so he would've served well in a DH role. His home run or nothing approach would actually work pretty well in today's game as there seem to be a lot more hitters nowadays with that approach.
His 156 home runs are good for fifth in Mets history and he's 16th in RBI. He certainly wasn't the most complete player the Mets have ever had, but he was one of the better pure power hitters in Mets history.