Just in time for the holiday season, Mets 101's Seven in Seven series returns as our gift to you. Each week, the Mets 101 staff will begin a countdown of something related to the New York Mets ( i.e. best third baseman, worst defeat, etc.). We will begin our countdown on Sundays with the number seven and work all the way to number one. Inspired by recent comments from Curtis Granderson and Carlos Beltran, this week's countdown takes a look at the seven most notable people to wear both a Mets and Yankees uniform. We begin our countdown today with third baseman Robin Ventura.
#7) Robin Ventura
Mets Stats (1999-2001): 444 Games, 394 Hits, 219 Runs, 81 2B's, 77 HR's, 265 RBI's, .260 BA
Yankees Stats (2002-2003): 230 Games, 186 Hits, 99 Runs, 30 2B's, 36 HR's, 135 RBI's, .249 BA
Mets Story: Robin Ventura arrived in Flushing in 1999, signing a four year deal with the Mets. Venura had a strong debut with the Mets, batting .301 and clubbing 32 home runs with 120 RBI's as the Mets made the playoffs for the first time since 1988. Ventura also delivered one of the most memorable moments in Mets history when he hit a grand slam single against the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series. Ventura didn't have as strong a year at the plate in 2000 (.232, 24, 84), but the Mets were able to advance all the way to the World Series before falling to the Yankees in the Subway Series. Ventura's numbers dipped even further in 2001, as he hit only .237 with 21 home runs and 61 RBI's.
Yankees Story: Ventura's time with the Mets came to an end after the 2001 season. Ventura was part of a rare trade between the Mets and the Yankees, which saw the Yankees acquire the declining 34 year old in exchange for David Justice. While the Mets immediately flipped Justice to the A's for two pitchers, Ventura spent the 2002 season in the Bronx as a replacement for Scott Brosius. Ventura had a renaissance at lefty friendly Yankee Stadium, as he hit .247 with 27 homers and 93 RBI's. Ventura helped the Yankees reach the playoffs, where they fell to the Anaheim Angels in the divisional round. Ventura returned to the Yankees in 2003, where his decline resumed. Ventura struggled at the plate, hitting .251 with nine home runs and 42 RBI's in the early going. Ventura's defense was also uncharacteristically poor, as he committed 23 errors at third to tie for the major league lead. The Yankees cut their losses at the trade deadline, flipping him to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Bubba Crosby and Scott Proctor.
Who Got the Better Player?
In this case, the Mets got more production out of Ventura then the Yankees did. Ventura was a key cog in the Mets' lineup in 1999 and 2000, helping them reach the playoffs in consecutive seasons and earn a trip to the World Series in 2000. The Yankees reached the playoffs with Ventura in 2002, but ended up adding Scott Proctor when they traded him in 2003. Proctor would go on to become a key piece in the Yankees bullpen during the middle years of the 2000's.
Check back tomorrow as we reveal our sixth most notable player to wear both Yankee and Met uniforms!
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