I know this post is a little late since the Mets announced that they’ll add John Franco to the Hall of Fame three days ago. But I wanted to make sure that I noted this event because Franco joined the Mets in 1990 so, presumably, there won’t be any more Mets from the ’86 team joining the Hall of Fame. But the importance is that Franco played 14 years with the team and closed for most of them. He could be shaky as a closer but he usually got the job done until he moved to set up relief in 2000.
Here’s the press release from the team:
January 26, 2012 – The New York Mets today announced that John Franco, the club’s all-time leader in saves and games pitched, will be inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame during the Mets Hall of Fame Induction ceremony presented by Citi Sunday, June 3 prior to the 1:10 p.m. game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Franco saved 276 games for the Mets over his 14-year career (1990-2004) with the team, the second-longest in franchise history behind Ed Kranepool’s 18 years of service. The four-time All-Star compiled 424 saves during his career, the fourth-most in major league history and the most by any lefthanded reliever.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be elected to the Mets Hall of Fame,” said Franco, who is currently in his fourth year as a Club Ambassador with the Mets. “I would like to thank Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz, Jeff Wilpon, the Hall of Fame Committee, all of my managers and coaches and of course my teammates. My entire family is looking forward to June 3.”
“John set a very high standard during his career both on and off the field,” said Mets COO Jeff Wilpon, who serves as Ex-Officio for the Selection Committee. “It’s great that during our 50th anniversary season we can have John – a true New Yorker in every sense – inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame.”
The Brooklyn native appeared in 695 games with the Mets and earned the National League Rolaids Relief Award twice (1988, 1990). Franco was named the Mets’ team captain on May 4, 2001 and was also honored on the 40th Anniversary All-Amazin’ team.
The Mets Hall of Fame now has 26 members. The previous Hall of Fame members in order of the year they were inducted are: Joan Payson (1981); Casey Stengel (1981); Gil Hodges (1982); George M. Weiss (1982); Johnny Murphy (1983); William A. Shea (1983); Ralph Kiner (1984); Bob Murphy (1984); Lindsey Nelson (1984); Bud Harrelson (1986); Rusty Staub (1986); Tom Seaver (1988); Jerry Koosman (1989); Ed Kranepool (1990); Cleon Jones (1991); Jerry Grote (1992); Tug McGraw (1993); Mookie Wilson (1996); Keith Hernandez (1997); Gary Carter (2001); Tommie Agee (2002); Frank Cashen (2010); Dwight Gooden (2010); Davey Johnson (2010) and Darryl Strawberry (2010).
The seven-member Mets Hall of Fame committee is comprised of a combination of Mets front office staff and media members with long-standing connections to the club. The members are: Dave Howard, Executive Vice President, Business Operations who has been with the organization for 20 years; Jay Horwitz, Vice President, Media Relations who enters his 33rd season with the team; Tina Mannix, Executive Director, Marketing who has been with the Mets for 11 years; former Mets pitcher and original Met Al Jackson, a pitching consultant who is in his sixth decade with the Mets; Marty Noble, the Mets.com writer who has covered the team for over five decades; Gary Cohen, a New York native and voice of the Mets on SNY, who is entering his 24th season of broadcasting Mets baseball; and Howie Rose, a Queens native and radio voice of the Mets on WFAN who has covered the team since 1987.
Franco did leave the Mets in 2005 to play for the Astros in his final season in MLB. Although the Astros designated him for assignment in July of that season.
Franco is a great choice for the Hall and I doubt that any Mets fan would argue that a 14 year team veteran that closed for 10 of those years shouldn’t be a Mets Hall of Famer.