According to Steven Marcus of Newday, “The Mets seven-member Hall of Fame committee appears to be on the fence about retiring additional numbers.”
Tom Seaver is the only player to have his number, 41, retired. Gil Hodges, 14, and Casey Stengel, 37, were both retired in honor of their time as team manager. Jackie Robinson’s 42 is retired by every team.
“I think the general point of view is we don’t want to get to the point where it’s somewhat gratuitous and you’ve got dozens and dozens of people whose numbers are retired,” Mets VP of business operations Dave Howard told Marcus. “Historically, from a Mets perspective, this is a very high honor.”
In a poll on MetsBlog.com during late January, 82% of more than 7,000 Mets fans who votes said the Mets should retire Keith Hernandez’s 17.
As for Keith, I don’t know. I like that the Mets have this as such an exclusive club. The thing is, there is an element of legacy and storytelling here that is important. I can point to the outfield wall and tell my daughter about stories of Seaver. I assume I’ll be able to do the same with Piazza’s 31. But, there is no one up there associated with 1986, which was such as awesome and amazing season and such an important part of the team’s history. So, it makes sense to memorialize someone to make that connection from one era to the next.
To read more from Marcus, including quotes from Keith Hernandez, Howie Rose and Darryl Strawberry on if more numbers should be retired, click here.