On January 25, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America will announce the voting results of the final Hall of Fame vote.
Will Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens make it? How is Alex Rodriguez received? Will Billy Wagner Make a Leap?
All of these questions – and more – will be answered shortly.
For now, here are five players on the ballot who have connections in one way or another with the New York Mets.
Fan Favorite: Billy Wagner
Mets fans may have a deep interest here: Billy Wagner pitched for the team from 2006 to 2009. In the first three years, the closer threw for a 2.40 ERA in 187 2/3 innings. He earned All-Star nods in 2007 and 2008.
To be clear, Wagner, like almost all relievers, pitched for multiple teams. He started his career with Houston, then went to Philadelphia and then to the Mets. He pitched briefly for Boston and finished his career with Atlanta.
If Wagner were elected, the Mets fans would be celebrating.
The Enemy of the World Series: Roger Clemens
The Mets twice faced Roger Clemens, who is in his 10th and final year on the ballot, twice in the 1986 World Series.
The Memorable: Game 6, better known as the ‘Buckner Game’.
Clemens started that game for Boston and held the Mets to a run over seven innings. However, the Mets won that game and took the next to capture the second World Series championship in franchise history.
In total, Clemens gave up four runs in 11 1/3 innings against the Mets in that World Series.
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The ‘what-if’ candidate
What if Sammy Sosa was traded to the Mets?
In 2000, the Chicago Tribune ran a story stating that there was a buzz around the idea of the Mets and Cubs entering Sosa trade talks. In 2004, the New York Post reported that the two teams discussed the same thing at the GM meetings that fall.
You can find other reports of Sosa-to-the-Mets trading rumors from years ago.
Sosa hit 609 home runs and nearly 2,500 total hits in his MLB career. He posted a career OPS of .878.
The problem: Sosa’s Hall of Fame case may be marred by mistrust of performance-enhancing drugs and how they may have contributed to the elite slugger’s numbers.
Sosa is now in the mood for the last time. Last year he won 17 percent of the vote, well below the 75 percent threshold for elections.
Don’t Forget Him: Jeff Kent
Remember when Jeff Kent played for the Mets?
It might not come to mind for the casual fan. Kent is best known for his tenure with the Giants.
He won an NL MVP in 2000 with San Francisco. He went on to play for the Astros and the Dodgers. Overall, Kent made the All-Star Game five times: three times with the Giants, one with Houston, and the last with the Dodgers.
None with the Mets.
That’s because he played in New York early in his career. The Blue Jays traded him to the Mets during his rookie season in 1992. (Toronto received David Cone in the deal).
In parts of five seasons with the Mets, Kent hit .279 with a .780 OPS. He hit 67 home runs during that period.
Kent, who appeared on 32.4 percent of the ballots last year, is on the ballot for its ninth year.
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The division’s rival: Andruw Jones
Mets fans know this name.
Andruw Jones, a center fielder, won 10 Golden Gloves and a Silver Slugger Award… for the Atlanta Braves. As one of Atlanta’s most important pieces during his time in the majors, he and the Mets knew each other well.
Jones had as many at bats against the Mets as any other team (the Mets and Nationals were both tied and had to take on Jones 679 times). Against the Mets, Jones hit .258 with a .784 OPS.
So he didn’t really kill the Mets, but he didn’t perform too badly on the record. As for Jones’ opponents, the Mets are near the middle of the pack in terms of his OPS versus a specific team.
Still, he was a great player for many years.
Justin Toscano is the Mets beat writer for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to all Mets analytics, news, trades and more, subscribe today and download our app.