Mets Old-Timers reminisce about New York memories

Three gamers from completely different eras of Mets historical past have joined the checklist of contributors for Outdated-Timers’ Day, scheduled for Aug. 27 at Citi Subject. 

The group held a Zoom name Thursday with Billy Wagner, Howard Johnson and Ken MacKenzie, all of whom have dedicated to the occasion. The Mets final held Outdated-Timers’ Day in 1994. 

Wagner, the Mets nearer from 2006-09, acquired 51 % of the vote on the latest Corridor of Fame poll and has three alternatives at enshrinement remaining. A participant wants 75 % of the vote for induction by the Baseball Writers’ Affiliation of America. 

“I’m trending in the suitable method and I’ve obtained a variety of good individuals who have mentioned very nice issues about me,” Wagner mentioned. 

The left-hander’s main league debut got here with the Astros in opposition to the Mets at Shea Stadium in 1995. Wagner recalled going through Rico Brogna, who almost homered in opposition to him. 

“However who cared?” Wagner mentioned. “It was my main league debut, and I used to be throwing it as onerous as attainable, and plus at that time, I used to be throwing strikes, so everyone was all excited.” 

Billy Wagner
Getty Photographs

Johnson, who performed third base for the Mets’ final World Sequence successful group in 1986, had his personal reminiscences of Shea Stadium. 

“I do not forget that stadium being huge, and it shook when the folks have been actually riled up,” Johnson mentioned. “Within the World Sequence, it was unbelievable what was occurring throughout that Recreation 6, particularly. Only a loud ballpark, not a lot anymore do you hear the airplanes crossing. I feel that was a giant deal again within the day.” 

Amongst Johnson’s notable accomplishments with the Mets was 3 times reaching 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in the identical season. Johnson stole a career-high 41 bases in 1989. 

Howard Johnson
Howard Johnson
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“I by no means was the quickest man, however I cherished stealing bases, and my focus nearly at all times was to get on base and attempt to steal, and I had that in me,” Johnson mentioned. “I wished to be that form of participant. If someone walked me, I might steal and be in scoring place, to attain a run for my group and make them form of pay.” 

MacKenzie, 87, was an unique Met — becoming a member of the franchise at its inception in 1962. The lefty managed a successful file (5-4) for a group that misplaced 120 video games. 

“We didn’t have an infield that obtained very near floor balls, so that they didn’t make a variety of errors,” MacKenzie mentioned. 

The Mets beforehand introduced a listing of attendees that features Robin Ventura, Jon Matlack, Ron Swoboda and Daniel Murphy, amongst others. Mike Piazza introduced on Twitter his intent to attend. The group will roll out additional attendees because the yr progresses. 


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