The New York Mets announced on Wednesday night that they will remove franchise first baseman Keith Hernandez’s No.17 jersey ahead of the July 9 game against the Florida Marlins.
“I’m thrilled,” Hernandez said. “It truly is a special honor that lasts beyond a lifetime. I cannot thank Steve and Alex Cohen and the Mets Hall of Fame committee enough. I was very moved when Steve called me to ask. inform me of the number’s retirement.
“It’s the greatest honor an organization can bestow on a player. I also want to thank the Mets fans, who have treated me like family since I arrived in 1983. ”
Following his acquisition from the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1983 season, Hernandez helped change the perception of the lowly Mets as a team to be reckoned with in the National League – helping to change the culture that resulted in a title. World Series in 1986.
In his six-plus years with the Mets, Hernandez ranks second in team history for batting average (0.297) and has won six Gold Glove Awards with the team, the most of l history of the franchise.
“Keith was the first captain in team history and a great leader and catalyst for this 86-league team,” said Mets owner Steve Cohen. “He was a defensive wizard early on and was a clutch artist late in games. We pledged to continue to celebrate and honor our great history and this is another deserving step in that direction. Congratulations, Keith.
After his playing days, Hernandez was elected to the Mets Hall of Fame in 1997 and two years later he joined the team’s TV booth as an analyst – a position he still holds today. hui on SNY alongside Gary Cohen and Ron Darling.
Hernandez will become the fourth pieceer for his number to be withdrawn by the Mets organization, joining Tom Seaver (41), Mike Piazza (31) and Jerry Koosman (# 36). The Mets also pulled out 14th place for 1969 World Series-winning manager Gil Hodges, 37th for team first manager Casey Stengel, and 42nd in baseball for Jackie Robinson.