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 continue our countdown today with outfielder Rickey Henderson.
#6) Rickey Henderson
Mets Stats (1999-2000): 152 Games, 159 Hits, 106 Runs, 31 2B's, 12 HR's, 44 RBI's, .298 BA, 42 SB
Yankees Stats (1985-89): 596 Games, 663 Hits, 513 Runs, 119 2B's, 78 HR's, 255 RBI's, .288 BA, 326 SB
Mets Story: Rickey Henderson arrived to Flushing at the tail end of his career as a free agent prior to the 1999 season. He continued his high level of production at the top of the Met lineup, hitting .315 with 37 steals in 1999. Henderson’s .423 on base percentage was good for seventh in the National League and was his ninth year with an on base percentage of over .400. Although it was short lived, Henderson’s tenure with the Mets was not without controversy. First, Henderson wore number 24, which hadn’t been worn by a Met since Willy Mays retired in 1973. Second, Henderson drew criticism following the Mets 1999 NLCS loss when reports surfaced that Henderson and Bobby Bonilla left the dugout to play cards after both players had been subbed out of a playoff game. The Mets released Henderson in May 2000.
Yankees Story: In December 1984, the Yankees acquired Henderson and Bert Bradley in exchange for five players: Tim Birtsas, Jay Howell, Stan Javier, Eric Plunk, and José Rijo. In his first season with the Yankees Henderson led the league in runs scored (146) and stolen bases (80). He was also was fourth in batting average (.314), walks (99) and on-base percentage (.419), 7th in slugging (.516), 3rd in OPS (.934) and hit 24 home runs to finish third in the AL MVP race. In 1986, Henderson led the AL in runs scored (130) and stolen bases (87) for the second year in a row. He was seventh in walks (89) and extra base hits (64) while hitting 28 home runs and 74 RBI. Henderson put together another great season in 1988 where he led the AL in steals (93), was third in runs scored (118), fifth in OBP (.394) and seventh in walks (82). When it was all said and done, Henderson held the Yankee’s franchise record with 326 stolen bases. The Yankees traded Henderson back to Oakland in the middle of the 1989 season.
Who Got the Better Player?
The Yankees clearly got the better player here. They had Henderson during the prime of his career as he stole at least 80 bases in three of his four seasons in the Bronx en route to the Yankee record. The Mets, on the other hand got a player who was on the tail end of his career and couldn’t match the production he put in with the Yankees.
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