3) Endy Chavez
It was on December 22, 2005, when the Mets stole Endy Chavez away from the rival Philadelphia Phillies. Big deal, right? A light hitting outfielder who posted a .216/.260/.302 slash line the year prior would be quickly forgotten. Yes, he had some speed and could play defense. He’d never have a big moment for the Mets.
Dickey is remembered for one big year. Chavez has the singular moment. His game-saving home run robbery in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS is quite possibly the most remarkable defensive play in club history. It’s up there with Mike Baxter protecting Johan Santana’s no-hitter. Ron Swoboda’s catch in the 1969 World Series, while in a more significant spot and a more positive outcome, doesn’t compare to the athleticism of what Chavez did.
A loss later that evening didn’t take away from how Mets fans feel about Chavez. He was already playing a significant role on them. In the regular season, Chavez found his way into 133 games for them. He batted .306/.348/.431. An outfielder with little expectation turned out to become one of the most important players of the year.