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What was it about Wayne Garrett?

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  • What was it about Wayne Garrett?

    On a mere two of Cowtippers' Mets Hall of Fame ballots, what was it about Wayne Garrett that gernered so little support? A couple of votes on his first ballot (ballot 8) and no support at all on the subsequent ballot.

    Number 29 on my '04/'05 list of top 100 Mets, it's quite baffling to me that he was shown such little reverence here.

    The Mets went to and won a World Series with Wayne Garrett playing most of their games at third base. He drove in the decisive runs in the final game of the '69 NLCS. Then the team he helped as a rookie couldn't wait to demote him.

    Joe Foy came. Bob Aspromonte came. Jim Fregosi came. Garrett hung around while all three imploded. Three years in a row, the Mets had themselves a third base messiah yet barely used him at the position.

    By 1973, there was nobody but Wayne to play third. And he did, at the highest level of his career. During the stretch of all stretches, September '73, Wayne Garrett was at least the second-best reason to Believe in the Mets. From September 4 through the October 1 clinching, Wayne hit safely in 19 of 23 games, including the last nine in a row. He batted. 333, hit six homers, drove in seventeen runs and scored twenty. In the World Series, he hit two more homers. Wayne Garrett not only brought the Mets within one game of ultimate victory, he secured himself another year as third baseman.

    Naturally, the Mets went out after that and got themselves an old Joe Torre to take his place. Garrett continued to persevere, though, winning back his job before '75 was done, eventually putting in 709 games at the position, about a million more than any Met third baseman before him.

    Wayne was finally ousted from the hot corner by Roy Staiger. Yes, that Roy Staiger.

    Any input for his lack of support here would definitely help shed some insight, at least for me.
    Put it in the books.

  • #2
    You make him sound better than his numbers are.

    He was only good in 1973 and 1974. And that's being generous because he hit .256/.348/.403 and .224/.337/.337, respectively. It does look better when you use OPS+. He had a 110 in 1973 and 91 in 1974 but even then he was nothing more than average over those 2 years.

    He hit well in the 1969 NLCS. Other than that series, he was not good in the post-season.

    Fielding stats are difficult, but judging by RFg and RF9, he had a below average glove.

    Should the Mets have played him more from 1970 to 1972? Probably. But he seemed to have been nothing more than an average player.
    "I'm happy for [Edwin Encarnacion] because this guy bleeds internally, big-time" -Dusty Baker

    "If on-base percentage is so important, then why don't they put it on the scoreboard?" -Jeff Francoeur

    "At the end of the day, the sun comes up and I still have a job" -Joba Chamberlain


    • #3
      I think that Wayne Garrett is one of these guys who will always loom larger in Mets memory than a balanced look at his Mets career would justify. In this respect, I think he's like Endy Chavez, or George Theodore, or Ed Charles, or Al Weis. His particular myth was created by his incredible September of 1973 and by the fact that he was such an appealing freckle-faced kid who was playing so well in the clutch when it really mattered. He was a real fan favorite. That will always make him meaningful in our history, but I would find it hard to argue that it's enough to get him into a Hall of Fame.
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