The New York Mets are a major league baseball team based in the New York City borough of Queens. The Mets compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member of the National League (NL) East division. They are one of two major league clubs based in New York City, the other being the American League's (AL) New York Yankees. One of baseball's first expansion teams, the Mets were founded in 1962 to replace New York's departed NL teams, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants. The team's colors evoke the blue of the Dodgers and the orange of the Giants.
|New York Mets|
|2021 New York Mets season|
|Established in 1962|
|Major league affiliations|
|Major league titles|
|World Series titles (2)|
|NL Pennants (5)|
|NL East Division titles (6)|
|Wild card berths (3)|
|Principal owner(s)||Steve Cohen|
|General manager||Billy Eppler|
For the 1962 and 1963 seasons, the Mets played home games at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan before moving to Queens. From 1964 to 2008, the Mets played their home games at Shea Stadium, named after William Shea, the founder of the Continental League, a proposed third major league, the announcement of which prompted their admission as an NL expansion team. Since 2009, the Mets have played their home games at Citi Field next to the site where Shea Stadium once stood.
In their inaugural season, the Mets posted a record of 40–120, the worst regular-season record since MLB went to a 162-game schedule. The team never finished better than second-to-last in the 1960s until the "Miracle Mets" beat the Baltimore Orioles in the 1969 World Series, considered one of the biggest upsets in World Series history despite the Mets having won 100 games that season. The Mets have qualified for the postseason nine times, winning the World Series twice (1969 and 1986) and winning five National League pennants (most recently in 2000 and 2015).
As of the end of the 2021 season, the team's overall win-loss record is 4,551–4,927 (.480).
1960s: Founding and first World Series
After the 1957 season, the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants relocated from New York to California to become the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, leaving the largest city in the United States with no National League franchise and only one major league team, the New York Yankees of the American League (AL). With the threat of a New York team joining a new third league, the National League expanded by adding the New York Mets following a proposal from William Shea. In a symbolic reference to New York's earlier National League teams, the new team took as its primary colors the blue of the Dodgers and the orange of the Giants, both of which are colors also featured on the Flag of New York City. The nickname "Mets" was adopted: it was a natural shorthand to the club's corporate name, "The New York Metropolitan Baseball Club, Inc.", it hearkened back to the "Metropolitans" (a New York team in the American Association from 1880 to 1887), and its brevity was advantageous for newspaper headlines.
The 1962 Mets posted a 40–120 record, a record for the most losses in a season since 1899. In 1966, the Mets famously bypassed future Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson in the amateur draft, instead selecting Steve Chilcott, who never played in the majors. But the following year, they acquired future Hall of Famer Tom Seaver in a lottery. Seaver helped the 1969 "Miracle Mets" win the new National League East division title, then defeat the Atlanta Braves to win the National League pennant and the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles to win the 1969 World Series.
1970s: Second pennant and the "Midnight Massacre"
In 1973, the Mets rallied from 5th place to win the division, despite a record of only 82–79. They shocked the heavily favored Cincinnati Reds "Big Red Machine" in the NLCS and pushed the defending World Series champion Oakland Athletics to a seventh game, but lost the series. Notably, 1973 was the only NL East title between 1970 and 1980 that wasn't won by either the Philadelphia Phillies or the Pittsburgh Pirates. Star pitcher Tom Seaver was traded in 1977, on a day remembered as "the Midnight Massacre", and the Mets fell into last place for several years.
1980s: Success and second World Series win
The franchise turned around in the mid-1980s. During this time the Mets also drafted slugger Darryl Strawberry (#1 in 1980) and 1985 Cy Young Award winner Dwight Gooden (#5 in 1982). In addition, former National League MVP and perennial Gold Glove winner Keith Hernandez was obtained by the Mets in 1983.
In 1985, they acquired Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter from the Montreal Expos and won 98 games, but narrowly missed the playoffs. In 1986, they won the division with a record of 108–54, one of the best in National League history. They won a dramatic NLCS in six games over the Houston Astros. The sixth game of the series went sixteen innings, the longest playoff game in history until 2005. They came within one strike of losing the World Series against the Boston Red Sox before a series of hits and defensive miscues ultimately led to an error by Boston's Bill Buckner which gave the Mets a game 6 victory and their second World Series title. The Mets continued playing well after 1986 and won the division in 1988, but lost in the NLCS that year and declined into the 1990s.
1990s: Struggles and return to the postseason
The Mets struggled for much of the 1990s, finishing with a losing record for six consecutive seasons between 1991 and 1996. The Mets would not return to the postseason until 1999 after a one-game playoff against the Cincinnati Reds. Despite victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 1999 National League Division Series, the Mets were defeated by NL East rivals, the Atlanta Braves in the 1999 National League Championship Series in 6 games.
2000s: The Subway Series and new ballpark
In 2000, the Mets clinched a wild card spot in the playoffs, and earned a trip to the 2000 World Series against their crosstown rivals, the New York Yankees for a "Subway Series". The Mets were defeated by the Yankees in five games.
The Mets had a near playoff miss in 2001 and struggled from 2002 to 2004. In the aftermath of the 2004 season, the Mets hired a new general manager, Omar Minaya, who immediately turned the franchise around by signing pitcher Pedro Martínez and hiring a new manager, Willie Randolph. The Mets finished 2005 four games over .500, and the franchise's resurgence was complete by 2006 as they won 97 games and the NL East title behind new acquisitions Carlos Beltrán and Carlos Delgado, as well as young superstars José Reyes and David Wright. The Mets would eventually succumb to the St Louis Cardinals in game seven of the National League Championship Series.
In 2007, the Mets entered the final 17 games in the season with a seven-game lead in the division. But the team went on an ill-timed losing streak, losing 11 of the next 15 games resulting in the Philadelphia Phillies winning the division by one game. The Mets held a more modest 3.5-game lead after 145 games of the 2008 season, their final season at Shea Stadium. While their 7–10 mark down the stretch was better than the previous season's 5–12, it still allowed the Phillies to pass them once again for the division crown. In 2009, the Mets moved into the newly constructed Citi Field.
2010s: Fifth trip to the World Series
In 2012, Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz settled a lawsuit brought against them on behalf of the victims of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme for $162 million. As a result of this agreement the liquidator, Irving Picard, agreed to drop the charges that Wilpon and Katz blindly went along with the scheme for their personal benefit. Picard had originally sought to recover $1 billion from the Wilpon family and Katz, but settled for $162 million along with the admission that neither the Wilpons nor Katz had any knowledge of the Ponzi scheme. In 2011–2012, Mets ownership sold twelve minority 4% shares (48%) of the franchise at $20 million apiece to provide a cash infusion of $240 million for the team.
Though first half of the 2010s saw limited success for the Mets - who failed to finish with a winning record between 2009 and 2014, this period coincided with a number of milestones for the franchise, including the first no-hitter in franchise history by Johan Santana in 2012.
On September 26, 2015, the Mets clinched the NL East division title, and thus their first postseason berth since 2006, by defeating the Cincinnati Reds 10–2. They defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS, three games to two, and swept the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS for their first pennant in 15 years. In the 2015 World Series, they were defeated by the Kansas City Royals in five games.
The Mets returned to the postseason in 2016, marking only the second time in franchise history that the team qualified for the postseason in consecutive years. With an 87–75 record, the team qualified for the wild-card game, only to lose 3–0 to the San Francisco Giants. The Mets failed to make the playoffs for the rest of the decade, finishing no higher than third place in 2019 when they finished with a winning record of 86-76 (the highest of any team not to qualify for the postseason). The end of the decade also coincided with Jacob deGrom being awarded two consecutive Cy Young Awards (including for the 2018 season when the pitcher finished the year with a 1.70 ERA) and first-baseman Pete Alonso winning the 2019 Rookie of the Year Award and finishing the season with a major-league-leading 53 home runs, the most by any rookie in MLB history. On November 1, 2019, the Mets named Carlos Beltran as the new manager replacing Mickey Callaway.
2020s: New owner
On January 16, 2020, Beltran would step down as manager before the start of the 2020 season, due to his involvement in the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal. Two days later, the Mets hired Luis Rojas as manager. The team finished the 2020 season 26–34 record and a last place finish in the NL East.
On October 30, 2020, Steve Cohen became the majority owner of the Mets, owning 95% of the team, making him the current richest owner in baseball. He bought the team from the Wilpon family for $2.475 billion, with the Wilpons keeping the remaining 5%. On January 7, 2021, the Mets acquired pitcher Carlos Carrasco and all-star shortstop Francisco Lindor in a trade with the Cleveland Guardians. On April 1, 2021, Lindor and the Mets agreed to an extension worth $341 million dollars for the next 11 years.
World Series championships
"Meet the Mets" is the Mets' signature song, written in 1961, one year before the first season, by Bill Katz and Ruth Roberts. It is played on the radio, during television broadcasts and at Mets' home games.
Mr. Met is the official mascot of the New York Mets. He was introduced on the cover of game programs in 1963, when the Mets were still playing at the Polo Grounds in northern Manhattan. When the Mets moved to Shea Stadium in 1964, fans were introduced to a live costumed version. Mr. Met is believed to have been the first mascot in Major League Baseball to exist in human (as opposed to artistically rendered) form.
The Mets have had two mascots other than Mr. and Mrs. Met at different points in its history. The franchise's original official mascot was Homer, a beagle trained by Rudd Weatherwax that lived at the Waldorf-Astoria, was sponsored by Rheingold Beer and had his own platform behind home plate at the Polo Grounds. The dog was not included in the ballclub's transition to Shea Stadium. The brainchild of team owner Lorinda de Roulet's daughter Bebe, Mettle the mule represented the Mets for only the 1979 season. The name was the result of a contest won by Dolores Mapps of Mercerville, New Jersey whose explanation was that it typified the team's “spirit, ardor, stamina and courage, all of which the Mets have in abundance.” Mettle was not retained after the franchise was sold to Nelson Doubleday Jr. and Fred Wilpon the following year.
Uniform and logo symbolism
The Mets' colors are blue and orange, originally chosen to honor the city's history of National League baseball; blue for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and orange for the New York Giants. Blue and orange are also the colors of New York City, as seen on its flag.
In 1998, black was added to the color scheme, although beginning with 2012 the black elements in the uniform began to be phased out, and were eliminated in 2013.
The primary logo, designed by sports cartoonist Ray Gotto, consists of "Mets" written in orange script trimmed in white across a blue representation of the New York City skyline with a white suspension bridge in the foreground, all contained in an orange circle with orange baseball stitching across the image. Each part of the skyline has special meaning—at the left is a church spire, symbolic of Brooklyn, the borough of churches; the second building from the left is the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Building, the tallest building in Brooklyn at the time of the team's founding; next is the Woolworth Building; after a general skyline view of midtown comes the Empire State Building; at the far right is the headquarters of the United Nations. The suspension bridge in the center symbolizes that the Mets, by bringing National League baseball back to New York, represent all five boroughs; many of New York's major bridges are suspension designs. In 1999, the logo received a slight alteration; a small "NY" originally placed to the left of the team script was removed. No other notable changes have ever been made to the logo.
The cap logo consists of an orange, interlocking "NY" identical to the logo used by the New York Giants in their final years, and is on a blue cap reminiscent of the caps worn by the Brooklyn Dodgers.
With the introduction of black as an official color, an alternate team logo was created in 1999. It is identical to the original logo, but the skyline is black instead of blue and the "Mets" script is blue trimmed in orange and white instead of orange trimmed in white (the alternate black jerseys displayed the primary blue and orange logo on the left sleeves in 1998; in 1999 this was changed to the alternate black and blue logo). The logo fell into disuse after the Mets dropped the alternate black jerseys and caps in 2012. In 2021, alternate black jerseys returned.
Uniform color and design
Currently, the Mets wear an assortment of uniforms.
The home uniforms are white with blue pinstripes and feature the "Mets" script and block lettering and numbers in blue with orange outline. The uniforms are paired with a standard blue cap featuring the "NY" script in orange, plus blue undersleeves, belts and socks. The white pinstriped uniforms replaced both the cream pinstriped uniform and the alternate white uniform starting with the 2015 season.
The gray road jerseys feature a radially-arched "NEW YORK" script in Tiffany style, player numerals and names in blue outlined in orange, and blue placket and sleeve piping. Like the home uniforms, the road grays are worn with blue caps, undersleeves, belts and socks.
On November 14, 2012, the Mets introduced two new blue alternate jerseys. The home alternate features the "Mets" script, player numerals and names in orange outlined in white, while the road alternate feature the "NEW YORK" script, player numerals and names in gray outlined in orange.
On December 10, 2012, the Mets unveiled an alternate blue fielding cap, featuring an orange brim and a white trim around the orange "NY" insignia. Currently it is only worn in games featuring the home blue alternates. For 2015, another alternate blue cap was introduced, this time featuring the "NY" in gray outlined in orange and paired with the road blue alternates. In 2017, the alternate home blue cap was modified to feature a blue brim.
The Mets' standard blue batting helmet, with the "NY" in orange, is currently used regardless of the cap and jersey design they wear. This was in contrast to previous seasons, where they played with alternate batting helmets to match their caps and jerseys.
Players of note
Four players have been team captains for the Mets:
- Keith Hernandez 1987–1989 (co-captain with Gary Carter)
- Gary Carter 1988–1989 (co-captain with Keith Hernandez)
- John Franco 2001–2004
- David Wright 2013–2018
Baseball Hall of Famers
|New York Mets Hall of Famers|
|Affiliation according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum|
|New York Mets Ford C. Frick Award recipients|
|Affiliation according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum|
The Mets have retired six numbers in the history of the franchise.
Major League Baseball retired Jackie Robinson's number 42 on April 15, 1997, when the Mets played the Dodgers at Shea Stadium. Butch Huskey wore the number throughout the rest of his Mets career because of a grandfather clause placed on the retired number by MLB. Mo Vaughn also wore 42 during his stint with the Mets, because of the same clause.
On the final opening day at Shea Stadium, April 8, 2008, the Mets unveiled a sign bearing the name "Shea" next to the team's retired numbers honoring William Shea and his contributions to the franchise.
In 2014, a special memorial logo honoring broadcaster Ralph Kiner, depicting a microphone along with his name and the years 1922–2014, was displayed on the left-field wall adjacent to, but not as a part of, the Mets' retired numbers, from 2014 to 2016. In the 2016 Mets yearbook, a sidebar in an article on Mike Piazza's upcoming number retirement implies that Kiner has been "retired" a la William A. Shea. This was confirmed when the Mets' retired numbers were moved to the roof facade during the 2016 season to accommodate Mike Piazza's #31; the Kiner logo was placed next to the Shea and Jackie Robinson numbers, no longer separated from the others.
Numbers out of circulation but not retired
- 5: Not issued since the retirement of David Wright.
- 8: Not issued since Gary Carter was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2003 (as an Expo after requesting to go in as a Met). When the Mets honored Carter, they did not retire number 8, but instead gave him a replica of his Hall of Fame plaque depicting him as a Met instead of an Expo. Desi Relaford was the last Mets player to wear No. 8; Matt Galante, a coach, later wore the number. After Carter's death, the Mets honored him in a ceremony on opening day 2012, where they unveiled the "Kid 8" memorial logo (also worn on the uniform sleeve) on the outfield fence. However, the number 8 is still not officially retired.
- 17: Since Keith Hernandez's retirement, his number 17 has been worn by numerous players including David Cone, Jeff McKnight, Bret Saberhagen, Luis López, Mike Bordick, Kevin Appier, Satoru Komiyama, Graeme Lloyd, Wilson Delgado, Dae-Sung Koo, José Lima, David Newhan, and lastly by Fernando Tatís, who played for the Mets from 2008 to 2010. It has not been re-issued to any player or coach since 2010.
Numbers occasionally restored to circulation
- 24: After the retirement of Willie Mays, then-owner Joan Whitney Payson had promised it would not be issued again. The number was given to first baseman-outfielder Kelvin Torve in 1990, by mistake. The number was later issued to Rickey Henderson in 1999–2000 as a player and again in 2007 as a coach. The number 24 was brought back into circulation in 2019 when Robinson Cano, who wore it with the Yankees to honor Jackie Robinson, was traded to the Mets.
Subway Series: New York Yankees
The Mets – New York Yankees rivalry is the latest incarnation of the Subway Series, the competition between New York City's teams, the American League New York Yankees and the National League Mets. Until Interleague play started, the two teams had only met in exhibition games. Since the inception of interleague play the two teams have met every regular season since 1997, and since 1999 they have met six times each season, playing two three-game series, one in each team's ballpark. From the 2013 season however the number of games was reduced to four, two at each ballpark with the Mets winning six of the last eight games in that span. They have made the postseason in the same year four times: 1999, 2000, 2006, and 2015, and faced off in the 2000 World Series.
Although their first major confrontation occurred when the Mets swept the Braves in the 1969 NLCS, en route to their first World Series championship, the first playoff series won by an expansion team (also the first playoff appearance by an expansion team), the rivalry did not become especially heated until the 1990s, when a division realignment in 1994 put the Mets and the Braves in the NL East together (from 1969 to 1993, the Braves were in the NL West). The two teams faced each other again in the 1999 NLCS, and the Braves won the series four games to two. However, they would go on to lose to the Yankees in the 1999 World Series.
Aside from several brawls in the 1980s, the rivalry remained low-key before the 2006 season, as the teams had seldom been equally good at the same time. Since 2006, the teams have battled for playoff position. The Mets won the division in 2006 and contended in 2007 and 2008, while the Phillies won five consecutive division titles from 2007 to 2011. The Phillies' 2007 Eastern Division Title was won on the last day of the season as the Mets lost a seven-game lead with 17 games remaining while losing 12 of 18 games that season to the Phillies, including being swept at home in the first 3 games of the remaining 17, dropping their lead from 7 games to 3.5.
|New York Mets staff|
|Office of the Chairman
|40-man roster||Non-roster invitees||Coaches/Other|
39 active, 0 inactive, 0 non-roster invitees
New York Mets Foundation
A registered 501(c)(3) charity, the New York Mets Foundation is the philanthropic organization of the New York Mets. Founded in 1963, it funds and promotes charitable causes in the Mets community. One of these causes is Tuesday's Children, is a non-profit family service organization that "has made a long term commitment to meet the needs of every family who lost a loved one in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001". The Mets host the annual Welcome Home Dinner, which raised over $550,000 for the Mets Foundation in 2012. All proceeds were distributed to Katz Institute for Women's Health and Katz Women's Hospitals of North Shore-LIJ Health System and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Owners and executives
New York Mets broadcasters
Most Mets games are carried by SportsNet New York (SNY), a joint venture of the Mets and NBC Sports Regional Networks. The team's terrestrial broadcast home is WPIX, where the team has broadcast games since 1999.
Longtime Mets radio announcer Gary Cohen does the play-by-play, having moved to television with the launch of SNY in 2006. Former Mets Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling are the color commentators with Steve Gelbs being the on the field reporter.
In early January 2016, Keith Hernandez re-signed with SNY. Reports indicate that Hernandez received a raise and three-year contract.
Beginning in 2019, Mets games are broadcast on WCBS-AM 880. Howie Rose is the main play-by-play announcer; Wayne Randazzo, who previously hosted the pre- and post-game shows, is Rose's partner. Longtime Mets beat reporter Ed Coleman took over the pre- and post-game role for most games.
The Mets' previous radio flagship was WOR-AM, from 2014 to 2018. The Mets were previously carried by WFAN-AM, which inherited the team's broadcast rights from WHN when it took over its frequency in 1987, and in later years by WFAN-FM which simulcasts the AM signal.
Rose, who has spent much of his career covering the Mets, replaced Bob Murphy as Gary Cohen's broadcast partner in 2004 following Murphy's retirement. Cohen then left the radio booth for the SNY television booth in 2006 and was replaced by Tom McCarthy, who departed after two seasons and was replaced by Wayne Hagin. Josh Lewin joined the broadcast after the team parted ways with Hagin following the 2011 season; he departed when broadcasts moved to WCBS.
Coinciding with the move to WCBS, the Mets, abruptly and without public announcement (other than a brief e-mail to its affiliates days before the season began), stopped syndicating its games to other stations outside the New York City area, shutting down the New York Mets Radio Network.
Minor league affiliations
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