Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mets Hit Parade

A player with the most hits in a team's history usually possesses two qualities:  greatness and longevity.  Several legendary stars lead their teams with 3000 or more hits, including Willie Mays (Giants), Ty Cobb (Tigers), Pete Rose (Reds), Carl Yastrzemski (Red Sox), Hank Aaron (Braves), Cal Ripken (Orioles), Stan Musial (Cardinals), Roberto Clemente (Pirates), and most recently, Derek Jeter (Yankees).

Even some of the 1960s expansion teams can claim players with 3000 or more hits:  George Brett (Royals), Robin Yount (Brewers), Craig Biggio (Astros) and Tony Gwynn (Padres).

Hall of Famers such as Mike Schmidt (Phillies), Cap Anson (Cubs), Sam Rice (Senators/Twins), Zack Wheat (Dodgers) and Luke Appling (White Sox), while not reaching the hallowed 3000, have the most hits on their long-time teams.

And then there are teams like the Mets, celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year, whose all-time hit leader can boast longevity but not greatness.  Except for the Marlins, Rays and Diamondbacks, who all came into existence in the 1990s, no team other than the Mets have a career hit leader with less that 1500 hits.

Ed Kranepool, who played for the Mets in their inaugural season of 1962, all the way through 1979, is their all-time hit leader with 1418.  For better or worse Kranepool played in far more games than any other Met and, as a result, is in the top 10 in most offensive categories.  But pretty soon we won't have Kranepool to kick around anymore.

29-year old David Wright, is in his ninth year with the Mets and having his greatest season.  After starting off his career in spectacular fashion, the five-time All Star has had an uneven last few years, which included a beaning and a concussion in 2009, and missing more than two months from another injury last year.  But he is putting it all together in 2012, with an MVP-type year.

David Wright is the Met all-time leader in runs scored, RBIs, and doubles.  He is about 75 hits behind Kranepool, and is sure to pass him sometime this year.  Hopefully, he will be a Met for many years to come, and if so, he will fit right in there with the great hit leaders of the other Major League clubs.

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