Darryl Strawberry

Darryl Eugene Strawberry Sr. (born March 12, 1962) is an American former professional baseball right fielder and author.[1] Strawberry is well known for his 17-year career in Major League Baseball (MLB). Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Strawberry was one of the most feared sluggers in the sport, known for his prodigious home runs and his intimidating presence in the batter's box with his 6-foot-6 frame and his long, looping swing that elicited comparisons to Ted Williams.[2][3]

During his career, he helped lead the New York Mets to a World Series championship in 1986 and the New York Yankees to three World Series championships in 1996, 1998 and 1999. He was also suspended three times by MLB for substance abuse, leading to many narratives about his massive potential going unfulfilled.[4] A popular player during his career, Strawberry was voted to the All-Star Game eight straight times from 1984–1991.[5] Strawberry was formerly an analyst for SportsNet New York.[6] His memoir, Straw: Finding My Way, was written in collaboration with author John Strausbaugh, was published on April 28, 2009 by Ecco Press, an imprint of HarperCollins publishers.[7]

Darryl Strawberry
Darryl Strawberry 2008-09-28
Strawberry at Shea Stadium in 2008
Right fielder
Born: March 12, 1962 (age 57)
Los Angeles, California
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
May 6, 1983, for the New York Mets
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 1999, for the New York Yankees
MLB statistics
Batting average.259
Home runs335
Runs batted in1,000
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Background

Strawberry was born to Henry and Ruby Strawberry in Los Angeles. He played high school baseball for the Crenshaw High School Cougars along with Chris Brown. Strawberry was drafted first overall in the 1980 Major League Baseball draft by the New York Mets.[8] Darryl's older brother, Michael Strawberry, was also selected in that draft, going to the Dodgers in the 31st round.

Baseball career

Early career

Employing a distinctive batting stance with a high leg kick, Strawberry rose through the Mets system and reached the major league level in 1983, posting 26 home runs, 7 triples, and 74 runs batted in, while hitting for a .257 average.[8] He was named the National League's Rookie of The Year.[8][9] In 1984, he made it to the All-Star game for the first of 8 consecutive appearances (the first 5 as a starter), and he once again hit 26 home runs, this time driving in 97 runs.[8]

Prime years

Strawberry's Mets from 19841990 formed one of the premier teams in the National League, finishing either first or second in the division every year.

During the period from 1983 to 1990, Strawberry was very popular, with his image used on action figures (Kenner's Starting Lineup), posters and banners. He was also known for his disruptive behavior. He got into a physical altercation on team picture day with team captain Keith Hernandez[10] and in the midst of a war of words with infielder Wally Backman, threatened to "bust that little redneck in the face".[11] He often overslept and was late for, or missed, team workouts.[11] He publicly complained about Manager Davey Johnson after he was removed from the game in a double-switch during the 9th inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, which the Mets would go on to win.[11] During the regular season in 1986, Strawberry hit 27 homers and had 93 RBIs.[8]

Darryl Strawberry 1986
Strawberry in 1986

In 1987, Strawberry hit 39 home runs and stole 36 bases, joining the exclusive 30–30 club[12] at the time becoming one of only 10 players in baseball history to accomplish the feat. In addition to that, he hit 32 doubles and drove in 104 runs. Despite this, the 1987 team missed the playoffs.

In 1988, Strawberry once again hit 39 home runs to lead the National League. He also drove in 101 runs and led the league in slugging percentage at .545 and OPS at .911.[8] He finished a very close second in MVP voting to the Dodgers' Kirk Gibson. Strawberry led the Mets to the playoffs, losing to the Dodgers in seven games in the National League championship series.[8]

In 1989, Strawberry's offensive numbers declined: He had 29 home runs and 77 runs batted, but only had a .225 average.[8] Nevertheless, the Mets came in a close second place to the Chicago Cubs in the National League East.

In 1990, Strawberry rebounded by hitting 37 home runs, while driving in 108 runs and batting for a .277 average.[8] His Mets, however, came once again in a close second place in the NL's east, losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates by three games. Strawberry himself finished third in MVP voting that season.

Strawberry signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers on November 8, 1990,[8] inking a lucrative five-year $22.25 million contract. In California, he was named Big Brother of The Year for 1991. After hitting 28 home runs and bringing in 99 runs batted in a successful first year for the Dodgers, injuries and personal problems kept him sidelined for much of the next two seasons, hitting five home runs in each season.

By the end of the 1991 season, he had 280 lifetime homers at the age of only 29, drawing comparisons to home run king Hank Aaron.[13]

Later years

Strawberry's numbers tailed off considerably after 1991; over the next two years he only played in 75 games. In 1994, he was released in May by the Dodgers and signed with the San Francisco Giants, where he saw limited playing time as he tried to make a comeback, hitting only four home runs and driving in 17 runs that year.[8]

After a suspension from the league at the beginning of 1995 after testing positive for cocaine,[14] Strawberry signed with the New York Yankees for the stretch run. The next year, Darryl signed with the Saint Paul Saints of the Northern League on May 3, 1996 in an attempt to rehabilitate. On June 2, the Saints faced the Duluth–Superior Dukes at Wade Stadium, where Strawberry hit his first home run for the Saints, at a distance of 522' off of pitcher Pat Ahearne.[15] Soon thereafter, he found himself back with the Yankees who signed him on July 4, 1996.

With the Yankees, he showed flashes of his former brilliance, belting 11 home runs in a part-time role and helping his team win the World Series in 1996 alongside former Mets teammates Dwight Gooden and David Cone. His second career three-homer game came against the Chicago White Sox on August 6 of that season.[16]

He had a big series against the Baltimore Orioles in the 1996 ALCS as he blasted three home runs with five RBIs and a .417 average in four games.[8] In 1997, he did not have any home runs, with his playing time limited by injuries. He played in just 11 games that year, collecting just two runs batted in.[8]

But in 1998, he had 24 home runs, once again helping the Yankees win the World Series and playing 100 games for the first time since 1991. This was also the year he was diagnosed with colon cancer.[17] In 1999, he made a comeback from his cancer treatment, but saw limited playing time, hitting 3 home runs. He did however hit a crucial 3-run home run against the Texas Rangers in the 1999 American League Division Series helping the Yankees advance to the ALCS.[8]

Career accomplishments

Strawberry was the starting right fielder five straight times and appeared at nine All-Star games. He batted .333 with two stolen bases and two runs in 12 career All-Star at-bats. He had two three-home run games in his career, both of which came against Chicago teams and were almost 11 years to the day between each other. The first came against the Cubs on August 5, 1985, and the second was on August 6, 1996, against the White Sox.

He is one of only five Major League Baseball players to hit two pinch-hit grand slams in the same season. The others are Davey Johnson of the Philadelphia Phillies, Mike Ivie of the San Francisco Giants, Ben Broussard of the Cleveland Indians, and Brooks Conrad of the Atlanta Braves.[18]

He is one of only three players in MLB history to have played for all four of the former and current New York-based MLB teams- the Mets, Yankees, Dodgers and Giants. The others are Ricky Ledée and José Vizcaíno.

Post-playing life

Darryl Strawberry
Darryl Strawberry, American Century Celebrity Golf Classic, July 13, 2008

Strawberry attended the Mets' 1986 World Champion team reunion on August 19, 2006, where the team received a standing ovation from fans at Shea Stadium in an on-field ceremony.[19] He worked as an instructor for the New York Mets in 2005 and 2008, and was inducted to the Mets Hall of Fame in 2010.

He has made regular appearances at the New York Yankees' Old Timer's Day, most recently in 2012.[20]

He threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Shea Stadium before Game 1 of the National League Championship Series between the Mets and the St. Louis Cardinals on October 12, 2006. He was given a rousing ovation by the Shea Stadium crowd. He served as an anchor on the Mets pre- and post- game shows on SNY in 2007 and 2008, eventually settling into a part-time analysis role for the 2009 season.

He opened his own restaurant, Strawberry's Sports Grill, in Douglaston, Queens in August 2010.[21] The restaurant closed in October 2012.[22]

Personal life

He is an evangelical born-again Christian and has appeared on The Trinity Broadcasting Network. In 1999, he and Tiny Lister appeared on evangelist Benny Hinn's T.V. program giving their testimonies. Strawberry has also appeared on The 700 Club to talk about his life and his newfound faith in Jesus.[23]

Darryl frequently donates to charity and was a headliner of the BGC Charity Day event at BGC Partners in 2010.[24]

In October 2005, his wife Charisse filed for divorce.[25]

He now resides in St. Charles County, Missouri with his third wife Tracy whom he met in a drug recovery convention. The couple were married in October 2006 and have since founded "The Darryl Strawberry Foundation", an organization dedicated to children with autism. Strawberry's son, Darryl "D.J." Strawberry, Jr., born in 1985, was a star shooting guard with the Maryland Terrapins men's basketball team and was drafted by the Phoenix Suns in the 2007 NBA Draft. Strawberry has another son, Jordan, who is currently a starter on the Mercer Bears basketball team.

Legal and health problems

On December 19, 1995, Strawberry was charged in California with failing to make child support payments. When he missed a June 5, 1996, deadline to pay the child support, a Los Angeles judge set a trial date of July 17, at which time Strawberry agreed to use his signing bonus to pay the debt.[26]

In August 1998, Strawberry was sued by attorney Robert Shapiro for failing to pay $100,000 in legal fees, dating back to 1994, when Shapiro represented him in a contract with the Dodgers.[27]

On October 1, 1998, Strawberry was diagnosed with colon cancer. Two days later, he had surgery to remove a tumor and 24 inches of his colon. On October 14, doctors announced that cancer had been detected in a lymph node so he would also have to undergo chemotherapy.[28]

On April 3, 1999, Strawberry was arrested in Tampa, Florida for soliciting sex from a policewoman posing as a prostitute and for having a small amount of cocaine. On April 24, he was suspended for 140 days by Major League Baseball for the incident. On May 29, he pleaded no contest to the charges and was sentenced to 21 months probation and community service.[29]

On July 28, 2000, a C.T. scan suggested that Strawberry's cancer had spread to his lymph nodes. The next month, he had surgery to remove a tumor near his left kidney on August 7.[30]

On September 11, 2000, in Tampa, Strawberry tried to drive to see his probation officer after taking painkillers. While driving, he blacked out, rear-ended another car, and then tried to drive away. An off-duty police officer witnessed the episode and arrested him at gunpoint. The next day, Strawberry admitted to the charges and his probation was changed to two years of house arrest. On November 21, he was sentenced to a year of probation and community service.[31] On October 25, 2000, Strawberry left a Tampa drug treatment center to use drugs with a female friend violating his house arrest and parole. On November 9, he was sentenced to 40 days in jail with credit for time served.[32] On November 3, 2000, Strawberry told a judge in Tampa that he had lost his will to live and had stopped chemotherapy. On November 30, he was released from jail and sent back to rehab.[33] On April 2, 2001, Strawberry was arrested for again disappearing from his house arrest drug treatment center in Tampa. On May 1, he was sentenced to more time at a drug treatment center.[34]

On March 12, 2002, Strawberry was back in jail for violating several non-drug rules at the drug treatment center where he was on probation in Ocala, Florida. On April 29, he was ordered to serve the 22-month suspended prison sentence from 1999.[35] On April 8, 2003, he was released from prison after 11 months.[36]

In September 2005, Strawberry was charged with filing a false police report after he claimed his SUV was stolen. He admitted that he had lied on the report but was not arrested because it was a misdemeanor.[37]

Strawberry has described himself as having struggled with a sex addiction. After retirement he admitted to having routinely had sex between innings of MLB games in which he played.[38]

In media

Strawberry appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated seven times: five times by himself, once with Don Mattingly, and once with Dwight Gooden.

In 1988 he was featured heavily in the William Goldman and Mike Lupica book "Wait Till Next Year" which looked at life inside the Mets over a whole season (among other New York sports teams). It gives a frank account of both his importance to the team and his problematic behaviour.

In 2004, the Rebecca Gilman play The Sweetest Swing in Baseball premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in London. The lead character ‒ Dana, as portrayed by Gillian Anderson ‒ adopts the personality and speech of Darryl Strawberry in an attempt to pass herself off as schizophrenic. The title is a reference to Strawberry's playing skills.

Strawberry appeared, as himself, in The Simpsons episode "Homer at the Bat".[39] He was a featured pro on the second season of the physical reality game show Pros vs. Joes. He currently does occasional commentary for baseball on SportsNet New York.

In 2010, Strawberry appeared on NBC's The Apprentice with Sharon Osbourne, Cyndi Lauper, Bret Michaels, and others. At the end of the third episode, Strawberry was fired after he admitted he was the weakest contestant, was tired, and wanted to go home. Donald Trump agreed and let him go home. After Strawberry made a successful return in the season finale to assist Bret Michaels, Trump made a donation of $25,000 to The Darryl Strawberry Foundation. Strawberry placed 12th.

On February 8, 2011, Strawberry appeared along with Clara Hughes and Stephane Richer on a Canadian documentary by Michael Landsberg to talk about his battle with depression.[40]

On Wednesday, November 15, 2017, Strawberry appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to talk about his new book that sheds light on addiction and recovery, Don't Give Up on Me.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Finding Your Way : Restoring Lives and Relationships through the Power of God and the Process of Change!".
  2. ^ Fazzone, Amanda; Derfner, Jeremy; Gibby, Siân (April 13, 2001). "Hawk Me a China" – via Slate.
  3. ^ "Tom Watson: The Straw Stirs". tomwatson.typepad.com.
  4. ^ "ESPN Classic - Strawberry's story one of unfulfilled potential". espn.go.com.
  5. ^ "Chat: Chat with Darryl Strawberry – SportsNation – ESPN". Espn.go.com. January 2, 2011. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  6. ^ "NYFS ny mets message boards • View topic – Darryl Strawberry no longer working with Mets/SNY". Nyfuturestars.com. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  7. ^ Strawberry, Darryl (April 2009). Straw: Finding My Way. Ecco Press. ISBN 978-0-06-170420-8.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Darryl Strawberry Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  9. ^ "Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry inducted into the Mets' Hall of Fame". Content.usatoday.com. August 1, 2010. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  10. ^ "ESPN.com – Page2 – I hate you like a brother". Espn.go.com. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  11. ^ a b c "Lisa Clayton Darryl Strawberry | Darryl Strawberry Chronology". Los Angeles Times. May 26, 1994. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  12. ^ Mancari, Jim. "New York Mets: Darryl Strawberry and the Top 10 Power Hitters in Team History".
  13. ^ "Who Can Catch Hank Aaron?". Wcnet.org. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  14. ^ "Darryl Strawberry Chronology". CNN. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  15. ^ Darryl Strawberry Info Archived December 6, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ D.L. Cummings (August 8, 1996). "After His Huge Three-homer Night, Darryl Rounds Third And Heads Straight Home". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  17. ^ "ESPN biography of Darryl Strawberry". Retrieved July 12, 2006.
  18. ^ "MLB.com news article".
  19. ^ Olson, Lisa (August 20, 2006). "Reunion like it oughta be". New York Daily News. Retrieved August 21, 2006.
  20. ^ "Yankees to hold 66th Old-Timers' Day on Sunday, July 1 | yankees.com: News". Newyork.yankees.mlb.com. June 25, 2012. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
  21. ^ Williams, Alex (October 14, 2010). "Up Close – Making Peace by Serving Wings". New York Times. Retrieved October 14, 2010.
  22. ^ Orovic, Joseph (October 18, 2012). "Darryl Strawberry's restaurant closes for good – Queens Chronicle: North/Northeast Queens News". Qchron.com. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
  23. ^ "Darryl Strawberry's Way to the Cross". Cbn.com. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  24. ^ "BCG Charity Day", September 2010.
  25. ^ "Charisse Strawberry files for divorce from Darryl". ESPN. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
  26. ^ "Strawberry agrees to pay support for wife, children". USA Today. Associated Press. June 6, 1996. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  27. ^ ""Strawberry Sued Over Legal Fees"". AP News Archive. The Associated Press. August 19, 1998. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  28. ^ "Darryl Strawberry leaves hospital after cancer surgery". CNN. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  29. ^ "Sports". The Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  30. ^ "Strawberry In Stable Condition". CBS News. August 7, 2000.
  31. ^ "Strawberry sentenced to probation, community service". CNN. Archived from the original on April 14, 2010. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  32. ^ "Strawberry sentenced to 30 days in jail". CNN. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  33. ^ "Strawberry stops chemotheraphy, wants release from jail". CNN. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  34. ^ "Strawberry remains hospitalized after cocaine binge". CNN. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  35. ^ "Former slugger gets 18 months for violating probation". CNN. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  36. ^ "Strawberry released 11 months into 18-month term". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
  37. ^ "Strawberry charged with filing false report". ESPN. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
  38. ^ Rapaport, Daniel (December 21, 2017). "Darryl Strawberry says he used to have sex between innings". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  39. ^ Charles Curtis (February 22, 2017). "For the 25th anniversary of the Simpsons softball episode, 6 facts you didn't know". USA Today. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  40. ^ "Watch TV Online".

External links

Preceded by
Andre Dawson
National League Player of the Month
September 1987
Succeeded by
Bobby Bonilla
1983 New York Mets season

The New York Mets' 1983 season was the 22nd regular season for the Mets. They went 68–94 and finished in sixth place in the National League East. They were managed by George Bamberger and Frank Howard. They played home games at Shea Stadium.

1985 New York Mets season

The New York Mets' 1985 season was the 24th regular season for the Mets. They went 98-64 and finished 2nd in the NL East. They were managed by Davey Johnson. They played their home games at Shea Stadium.

1986 National League Championship Series

The 1986 National League Championship Series was a best-of-the seven Major League Baseball postseason series between the NL East champion New York Mets and NL West champion Houston Astros. It is the lone MLB playoff series in which the opponents were two "expansion" teams that had begun play in the same season (1962) and was won by the Mets, four games to two, culminating with their 7–6, 16-inning triumph at Houston in Game 6. New York then defeated the Boston Red Sox in the 1986 World Series, four games to three.

1987 New York Mets season

The New York Mets' 1987 season was the 26th regular season for the Mets. They went 92-70 and finished 2nd in the NL East. They were managed by Davey Johnson. The team played home games at Shea Stadium.

1988 New York Mets season

The New York Mets' 1988 season was the 27th regular season for the Mets. They went 100–60 and finished first in the NL East. They were managed by Davey Johnson. They played home games at Shea Stadium.

1989 New York Mets season

The New York Mets' 1989 season was the 28th regular season for the Mets. They went 87-75 and finished 2nd in the NL East. They were managed by Davey Johnson. They played home games at Shea Stadium.

1990 New York Mets season

The 1990 New York Mets season was the 29th regular season for the Mets. They went 91-71 and finished second in the National League East. They were managed by Davey Johnson and Bud Harrelson. They played home games at Shea Stadium.

1991 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The 1991 season featured an exciting National League Western Division race between the Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves. The Braves edged out the Dodgers to win the division by one game. Center fielder Brett Butler set a National League record with 161 errorless games while Darryl Strawberry hit 28 home runs, the most by a left-handed hitter in Los Angeles history at that point. On the debit side, the Dodgers became the first franchise to be on the receiving end of three perfect games when Dennis Martínez prevented any of their batters from reaching base on July 28.

1992 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The 1992 Los Angeles Dodgers season was a poor one for the team as it finished last in the Western Division of the National League with a record of 63 wins and 99 losses. Despite boasting what was nicknamed the "Outfield of Dreams", being manned by Eric Davis, Brett Butler, and Darryl Strawberry, injuries to key players and slumps from others contributed to the franchise's worst season since moving to Los Angeles. Additionally, the Dodgers cancelled four home games during the season due to the L.A. Riots. Despite the poor finish, the Dodgers had some hope for the future as first baseman Eric Karros won the National League Rookie of the Year Award, the first of five consecutive Dodger players to do so. The 1992 season also saw the Dodgers drop television station KTTV Ch.11 as their chief broadcaster of Dodger baseball, ending a 34 year-35 consecutive season association with that station. Additionally, it was the first time the Dodgers lost 90 games in a season since 1944.

D. J. Strawberry

Darryl Eugene "D. J." Strawberry Jr. (born June 15, 1985) is an American-Cameroonian professional basketball player for Herbalife Gran Canaria of the Liga ACB and the EuroLeague. He is the son of former Major League Baseball player Darryl Strawberry.

Homer at the Bat

"Homer at the Bat" is the seventeenth episode of The Simpsons' third season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 20, 1992. The episode follows the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team, led by Homer, having a winning season and making the championship game. Mr. Burns makes a large bet that the team will win and brings in nine ringers from the "big leagues" to ensure his success. It was written by John Swartzwelder, who is a big baseball fan, and directed by Jim Reardon.

Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Ken Griffey, Jr., Steve Sax, Ozzie Smith, José Canseco, Don Mattingly, Darryl Strawberry and Mike Scioscia all guest starred as themselves, playing the ringers hired by Mr. Burns. Terry Cashman sang a song over the end credits. The guest stars were recorded over several months, with differing degrees of cooperation. The episode is often named among the show's best, and was the first to beat The Cosby Show in the ratings on its original airing. In 2014, showrunner Al Jean selected it as one of five essential episodes in the show's history.

Independent baseball league

An independent baseball league is a professional baseball organization located in the United States and Canada that is not operated in conjunction with either a Major League Baseball team or an affiliated Minor League Baseball team. Being independent allows teams to be located close to major league teams without their consent. Such leagues have been around for many years and were once known as "outlaw leagues" due to their position outside the rules of affiliated minor league baseball.

The Northern League and Frontier League both started play in 1993, and the Northern League's success paved the way for other independent leagues like the Texas-Louisiana League and Northeast League. The Atlantic League has had more marquee players than any other independent league, including Jose Canseco, Rickey Henderson, Ozzie Canseco, Rubén Sierra, Carlos Baerga, and John Rocker. The Northern League alumni include Leon "Bull" Durham, J. D. Drew, and Darryl Strawberry.

Independent leagues have flourished in northeastern states, where dense populations can often support multiple franchises. Because they are not subject to the territorial limitations imposed on affiliated minor-league teams, independent clubs can relocate as close to affiliated teams (and one another) as they choose to. For example, the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania cannot have an affiliated team because of its proximity to the Harrisburg Senators and Reading Fightin Phils, leaving the Atlantic League to place a team—the Lancaster Barnstormers—to fill the void. Another example is the greater New York City metropolitan area, where there are many independent teams: the Long Island Ducks, New Jersey Jackals, Rockland Boulders, Somerset Patriots, and Sussex County Miners. The Kansas City area is home not only to the American League's Kansas City Royals, but also the independent Kansas City T-Bones. The St. Paul Saints share a market with the American League's Minnesota Twins; both teams have frequently worked together to promote baseball in the Upper Midwest.

List of New York Mets first-round draft picks

The New York Mets are a Major League Baseball franchise based in New York City. They play in the National League East division. Since the institution of Major League Baseball's Rule 4 Draft, the Mets have selected 61 players in its first round. Officially known as the "First-Year Player Draft", the Rule 4 Draft is Major League Baseball's primary mechanism for assigning amateur baseball players from high schools, colleges, and other amateur baseball clubs to its teams. The draft order is determined based on the previous season's standings, and the team that had the worst record receives the first pick. In addition, teams that lost free agents in the previous off-season may be awarded compensatory or supplementary picks. The First-Year Player Draft is unrelated to the 1961 expansion draft in which the Mets initially filled their roster.

Of the 62 players picked in the first round by the Mets, 25 have been pitchers, the most of any position; 18 of these were right-handed, while 7 were left-handed. 17 of the players picked in the initial round were outfielders, while eight shortstops, six catchers, and three third basemen were selected. The team also selected two players at first base and one at second base. 14 of the players came from high schools or universities in the state of California, while Florida and Texas follow, with nine and five players, respectively.Four Mets' first-round picks have won championships with the franchise. No first-round picks were on the 1969 championship team. Outfielders Lee Mazzilli (1973) and Darryl Strawberry (1980), shortstop Wally Backman (1977), and pitcher Dwight Gooden (1982) played in the 1986 World Series for the Mets' second championship team. Three first-round draft picks have gone on to win the Rookie of the Year Award with the Mets: Jon Matlack in 1972, Strawberry in 1983, and Gooden in 1984. Gooden went on to win the Cy Young Award in 1985, his second season, after placing second in the voting his rookie year. Gooden is also the only first-round draft pick of the Mets to make the All-Star team in his rookie season.The Mets have made 11 selections in the supplemental round of the draft. They have also made the first overall selection five times (1966, 1968, 1980, 1984, and 1994), tied for the most such picks with the San Diego Padres. The first of these picks, Steve Chilcott (1966), is one of only two first overall picks (along with Brien Taylor) to never play in the major leagues. The Mets have had 18 compensatory picks since the institution of the First-Year Player Draft in 1965. These additional picks are provided when a team loses a particularly valuable free agent in the prior off-season, or, more recently, if a team fails to sign a draft pick from the previous year. One player, George Ambrow (1970), did not sign with the Mets after he was drafted but they received no compensation pick.

List of first overall Major League Baseball draft picks

The First-Year Player Draft, also known as the Rule 4 Draft, is Major League Baseball's (MLB) primary mechanism for assigning amateur baseball players from high schools, colleges, and other amateur baseball clubs to its teams. Unlike most professional sports, MLB does not permit the trading of draft picks, so the draft order is solely determined by the previous season's standings; the team that possesses the worst record receives the first pick. If two teams have identical records, the team with the worse record in the previous season will receive the higher pick. In addition, teams that lost free agents in the previous off-season may be awarded "compensatory" picks. The first draft took place in 1965; it was introduced to prevent richer teams from negotiating wealthier contracts with top-level prospects and therefore, monopolizing the player market. Originally, three drafts were held each year. The first draft took place in June and involved high-school graduates and college seniors who had just finished their seasons. The second draft took place in January for high school and college players who had graduated in December. The third draft took place in August and was for players who participated in American amateur summer leagues. The August draft was eliminated after two years, and the January draft lasted until 1986.In 1965, Rick Monday became MLB's first draft pick after being selected by the Kansas City Athletics. Adley Rutschman is the most recent first overall pick; he was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 2019. Overall, 23 of the 50 picks before 2015 have participated in the All-Star Game, and four (Bob Horner, Darryl Strawberry, Bryce Harper, and Carlos Correa) have won the Rookie of the Year Award. Twenty-five of the fifty picks before 2015 have been drafted from high schools, one has been drafted out of the Independent American Association, and the others were drafted from universities. To date, Arizona State University and Vanderbilt University are the only schools from which multiple number-one overall draft picks have been chosen. No first overall pick was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame until 2016, when Ken Griffey Jr. was inducted with a record 99.3% of votes cast. Griffey has since been joined by two other top picks, with Chipper Jones inducted in 2018 and Harold Baines elected in December 2018 and awaiting formal induction in July 2019.In the 54 drafts that have taken place through 2018, 22 of the 30 MLB franchises have had the first pick at least once. The Toronto Blue Jays, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Boston Red Sox, and Colorado Rockies have never had the first pick. The Montreal Expos never had the first pick, but the Nationals have had it twice. The Oakland Athletics have never had the first pick, but the Kansas City Athletics had the very first pick in MLB Draft history. The New York Mets, San Diego Padres, and Houston Astros have each had the first pick five times, and the Seattle Mariners, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Tampa Bay Rays have each had the first pick four times.

Mike Ivie

Michael Wilson Ivie (born August 8, 1952), is an American former professional baseball player. He played as a first baseman in Major League Baseball for the San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros, and Detroit Tigers during his career from 1971 to 1983. In addition to playing first base, Ivie put in considerable time as a third baseman, a left fielder and was a designated hitter.

Ivie is one of only five Major League Baseball players to hit two pinch-hit grand slams in the same season. The others are Davey Johnson of the Philadelphia Phillies, Darryl Strawberry of the New York Yankees, Ben Broussard of the Cleveland Indians, and Brooks Conrad of the Atlanta Braves.

Ricky Ledée

Ricardo Alberto Ledée (born November 22, 1973) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder who played for the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets in his decade-long professional career. He won two World Series championships with the Yankees in 1998 and 1999. Ledée, Darryl Strawberry, and José Vizcaíno are the only players who have played for all four current and former New York franchises—the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers and Giants.

Shawn Abner

Shawn Wesley Abner (born June 17, 1966) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder who played from 1987 to 1992. He is best known for being chosen first in the 1984 Major League Baseball Draft, although he would go on to have a marginal career.Abner attended high school at Mechanicsburg Area High School in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, where he was identified by New York Mets scouts as an all-around "can't miss" outfield prospect after his sophomore year. He was also a star at football, and his number "16" was retired by the school for use in both sports. The Mets made him the first pick in the 1984 amateur draft, having had recent draft successes with Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden, two players who became stars almost immediately despite their young age.

Abner never played a big league game for the Mets. After moving slowly through the minor league system, he was traded after the 1986 season to the San Diego Padres as part of an eight-player swap that sent Kevin Mitchell west in exchange for Kevin McReynolds. He would make his debut on September 8, 1987 in a loss to the Braves. Abner entered in the top of the eighth inning as a pinch hitter for Lance McCullers and flied out to center field in his first major league at bat.The light-hitting Abner played sparingly over the next five seasons for San Diego, being used mostly as a reserve outfielder. He would be traded to the California Angels in 1991 and signed by the Chicago White Sox in 1992. His season with the White Sox was probably his best, as he attained a .279 batting average over 97 games.However, Abner would injure his knee the following season playing basketball before a Triple-A game for the Omaha Royals, and never played in the majors again.

Terry Blocker

Terry Fennell Blocker (born August 18, 1959) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder who played for the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves. He was the Mets' first round selection (#4 overall) in the 1981 Major League Baseball Draft out of Tennessee State University.

The 6'2" outfielder batted and threw left handed. In his first professional season, 1981, Blocker batted .341 with seven home runs for the Little Falls Mets of the New York–Penn League. In 1982, he played for the Mets' minor league affiliate in Jackson, where he shared the outfield with two players who would go on to greater fame - Darryl Strawberry and Billy Beane.

In 1985 Blocker played in 18 games in the Major Leagues for the New York Mets. He got one hit in 15 at bats. He spent the entire 1986 and 1987 seasons in the minor leagues. He was traded in the Braves before the 1988 season, and had his most successful season for the Braves in 1988. He played 66 games for the Braves in 1988, mostly as their center fielder, and had a batting average of .212 in 198 at bats. He also had 2 home runs, 10 rbis and scored 13 runs. 1989 was his final Major League season and he only played 26 games. An attempt to become a pitcher did not prolong his career, and he only pitched 1 inning in his Major League career, for the Braves in 1989.

Home Run Derby champions

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