Jose Valentin

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Posted by pompos 04/19/2009 @ 13:07

Tags : jose valentin, baseball players, baseball, sports

News headlines
Unlikely Players Are Helping Mets Hold Their Ground - New York Times
Jose Valentin, center, was nearly released by the Mets in 2006, but he bounced back to become the starting second baseman. Still, despite an abundance of injuries and an unsettling number of embarrassing moments, the Mets are still afloat at 32-29,...
Herd wins on Valentin's homer - Buffalo News
Older brother and longtime big leaguer Jose Valentin, who declined the Mets' offer to come to Buffalo during spring training as a player/coach, convinced Javier to hang on. “I didn't have the love for the game. I was losing it and he talked to me a lot...
Goal.com Preview: USA U20 - Egypt U20 - Goal.com
The Al Ahly senior team played against Jose Francisco Torres and Pachuca in the Club World Cup. Talaat was not a part of that game, but did get a few call ups to the senior team and tallied one goal. Miroslav Soukup is the man calling the shots for the...
The Art Of The Steal - ChicagoNow
They had two guys with over 125 RBI's ( Magglio Ordonez, Frank Thomas) and three more with over 92 (Paul Konerko, Carlos Lee, Jose Valentin) They had nine guys with ten or more home runs but they also had five guys with at least 13 stolen bases!...
Orland High honor roll - Orland Press Register
... Brittnee McMannamy, Rebecca Mello, Melissa Melville, Melissa Mercado, Valentin Meza, Garrett Miller, Taylor Miller, Jesus Mojica, Jose Ortiz, Ivana Posvancz, Nadyelli Ramirez, Erin Revie-Pflum, Alex Rodriguez, Diana Rodriguez, Taylor Rubie-Slaymon,...
New York Mets Discussion: Jerry Manuel's First Year, Chemistry ... - Bleacher Report
Yet they fail to bring up the positive things he has done, which include: Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran, Willie Randolph (who was a good manager, despite what many say), Billy Wagner, Carlos Delgado, Paul Lo Duca, Jose Valentin, Endy Chavez,...
Mets vs. Nats vs. Dodgers - Newsday
He gets a career year out of Jose Valentin in 2006, but you could not reasonably expect that to happen again. I think Marlon Anderson is good example as is Tatis. Ken Davidoff has said this and I agree that Omar's weakness isn;'t the core,...
Red Sox draft Puerto Rican center fielder in first round - Providence Journal
His high school, Fernando Callejo, also produced Beltran, brothers Javier Valentin and Jose Valentin, and infielder Ramon Aviles. The Sox picked a centerfielder in the first round in 2006, when they selected Jason Place, who is currently in A-ball....
Ken Davidoff - Newsday
And Hernandez, Kaz Matsui's and Jose Valentin's backup with the Mets for parts of 2006, drilled a ball over the leftfield wall. It marked Hernandez's first major-league homer since Sept. 19, 2006, the night after the Mets clinched the National League...
De Luca: All too quiet on Cub-Sox front - Chicago Sun-Times
We have seen Michael Barrett slug AJ Pierzynski and Jose Valentin mock Sammy Sosa. Now it's time for the managers to show a pulse. There is no way Guillen or Piniella can honestly say they are satisfied where their clubs sit today....

List of Major League Baseball players from Puerto Rico

Map listing the countries that participated in the first edition of the World Baseball Classic

Puerto Rico currently has the second-most active players in Major League Baseball (MLB) among Latin-American countries, behind only the Dominican Republic. More than two-hundred players from the archipelago have played in the league since 1942. This includes players that were born in either one of the archipelago's islands and immigrants of Puerto Rican heritage that have represented Puerto Rico in international competition. Only those players that have worked in the league are listed, not those active in the minor leagues.

The first player from the Puerto Rico to play in MLB was Hiram Bithorn. After the baseball color line was abandoned following Jackie Robinson's debut in the league, more players from the island signed contracts. This led to an improvement in their performance, and some of them were selected to participate in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Including their names in the Major League Baseball Draft is a requisite for first-year players born in Puerto Rico, because the league recognizes the island as a jurisdiction within the United States. Following the implementation of this measure, Puerto Rico's government requested exclusion from the draft and help to develop players, in order to reduce the impact of the change in the format of talent development.

Baseball was introduced to Puerto Rico by immigrants during the nineteenth century. The first sanctioned baseball game in the island was played on January 9, 1898 in Santurce, Puerto Rico, where two teams composed of Puerto Rican, American and Cuban players participated. After this game, baseball became a widespread sport and professional and amateur leagues were organized. During this time period, the Puerto Rico national teams experienced success on international competition and Afro-Puerto Rican players began to participate in the Negro Leagues.

The first player born in Puerto Rico that played in MLB was Hiram Bithorn, who debuted as a pitcher with the Chicago Cubs on April 15, 1942. This was followed by the introduction of African American players in Major League Baseball, which allowed more chances to players born in the island. Subsequently Afro-Puerto Rican players such as Orlando Cepeda and Victor Pellot began having solid performances in the league, and were selected to participate in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. In 1973, Roberto Clemente became the first player from Puerto Rico and first Latin American to be elected as a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Since then Puerto Rico has kept a stable amount of players in the league. During this timeframe, several players have been selected to participate in the All-Star Game or won awards for their performance, while others imposed records within the league. These include Javy López, who holds the record for most home runs hit by a catcher in a single season. Both Iván Rodríguez and Roberto Alomar hold the record for most Gold Glove Awards in their positions. Receipients of the Most Valuable Player Award include Orlando Cepeda, Juan González and Iván Rodríguez. Roberto Clemente and Mike Lowell also won the World Series MVP Award in their respective divisions.

Originally, players that were either born or nationalized in Puerto Rico were able to sign with MLB teams as free agents, usually receiving minor league contracts prior to their debut in the league. In 1989, Major League Baseball decided to include the island in the list of jurisdictions within the United States, which made mandatory that first year players include their name in the Major League Baseball Draft in order to receive a contract. This was based on an initiative that was supposed to create a national and international drafting system. The change reduced the amount of players that were able to participate in the league, by limiting the number of them selected by the teams; this led to the island's Secretary of Recreation and Sports, to formally ask to Major League's involvement in developing specialized schools to produce more players and other measures to reduce the impact of the draft's implementation. The original proposal included Puerto Rico's exclusion of the draft for a period of ten years, but this was not approved by the league.

Puerto Rico was one of sixteen teams to participate in the inaugural edition of the World Baseball Classic. The tournament was created by Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association, and other professional baseball leagues and their players associations around the world, including the Puerto Rican Professional Baseball League. The first event was organized in 2006, and was sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation. The Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico served as one of the venues for the first and second rounds. The stadium also hosted 22 Montreal Expos home games in 2003, after the league decided to relocate the team to San Juan as part of an experiment to "globalize" baseball. During the series there was an average attendance of 14,222.

This includes a total of 227 baseball players from Puerto Rico that have played in MLB from 1942 to the present day.

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2006 Caribbean Series

The XLVIII edition of the Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) baseball tournament was played in 2006 in the neighboring cities of Maracay and Valencia in Venezuela, making it the first one to be played in two different cities. It was held from February 2 through February 7 featuring the champions teams from Dominican Republic (Licey), Mexico (Mazatlán), Puerto Rico (Carolina) and Venezuela (Caracas). The format consisted of 12 games, each team facing the other teams twice. The games were played at Estadio José Pérez Colmenares (Maracay) and Estadio José Bernardo Pérez (Valencia).

The Venezuela home team won its first Caribbean Series title since 1989 after a dramatic rally with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning led them to a perfect 6-0 finish. Managed by Carlos Subero, Venezuela outscored opponents 45 to 15 and the defense committed three errors. Triple Crown winner Ramón Hernández was named the CBWS Most Valuable Player after leading all teams with a .542 batting average (13-for-24), eight RBIs and tying Mexico's Edgar González with three home runs. Hernández also hit for the cycle in Game Two. Other notable contributions came from Alex Cabrera (.360, 2 HR, 7 RBIs), Alex González (.409, 1 HR, 7 RBIs), Marco Scutaro (.304, 7 runs, 5 RBIs, 2 HR, including a grand slam), Luis Rodríguez (.310, 3 doubles, 5 runs, 8 RBIs) and Franklin Gutiérrez (.364, 4 runs, 4 RBIs). Overall, the Venezuelan club hit .327 with nine home runs. Geremi González led all teams with one victory and a 1.20 ERA over 15 innings pitched. He struck out 12 batters and walked three. Overall, the team finished with a 2.62 ERA.

The Dominican Republic finished the series in second place with a 4-2 record. Both losses were to Venezuela. The team was managed by Rafael Landestoy and included players as Alexis Gómez, who led his teammates with a .500 BA (10-for-20), and Miguel Tejada (.273, 1 HR, 8 RBIs), Sandy Martínez (.300, 1 HR, 5 RBIs), Napoleón Calzado (.321) and Rafael Belliard (.304, 1 HR).

Puerto Rico was guided by Lino Rivera and finished third at 2-4, both its wins coming against Mexico. Other than starter William Collazo (0-1) and relievers Iván Maldonado and Orlando Román, the pitching staff resulted ineffective. The offense was led by Luis Figueroa (.364, 1 HR, 5 RBIs), Rubén Gotay (.368, 1 HR), Alex Cintrón (.308, 1 HR) and José Valentín (.269, 1 HR).

The defending champion Mexico did not win a game in the series. Managed by Juan José Pacho, it was the fifth time a Mexican team had been held winless in Caribbean Series history. Edgar González led the attack with a .524 BA (11-for-21) and three solo home runs. The team also incluyed veterans players as Trenidad Hubbard, Oscar Robles and Francisco Campos.

Fox Sports en Español narrator on the final play.

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New York Mets

New York Mets Insignia.svg

The New York Mets are a professional baseball team based in Flushing, Queens, New York City, New York. The Mets are a member of the East Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Mets played home games in the Polo Grounds from 1962 to 1963. The Club moved into Shea Stadium in 1964, where they played until 2008. In 2009, they moved into Citi Field, located adjacent to the old Shea Stadium site. The original Mets were the New York Metropolitans, an 1880s baseball club.

An expansion franchise, the club was founded in Manhattan in 1960, to begin play in 1962. The Mets came into existence to replace New York's two previous National League teams, the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants, when these clubs left for California. Beginning play in the historic Polo Grounds, the Mets shared the venue with the New York Jets for two years, until Shea was completed.

During their history, the Mets have won two World Series titles (1969, 1986), four National League pennants (1969, 1973, 1986, 2000), and five National League East Titles (1969, 1973, 1986, 1988, and 2006). The Mets qualified for the post-season as the National League Wild Card Team in 1999 and 2000. The Mets have appeared in more World Series — four —than any other expansion team in Major League Baseball history. They have won two championships, tied with the Toronto Blue Jays and Florida Marlins for the most titles among expansion teams.

The Mets held the New York baseball attendance record for 29 years. They broke the Yankees' 1948 record by drawing nearly 2.7 million in 1970. The Mets broke their own record five times before the Yankees took it back in 1999.

No Met pitcher has ever thrown a no-hitter, and the Mets have gone longer than any other major league franchise without pitching a no-hitter — more than seven thousand games. Three potential no-hitters for Mets pitchers have been broken up by late-game infield hits. Pedro Martínez, Mike Pelfrey, and John Maine all lost their no hitter in the 7th or 8th inning. Tom Seaver twice pitched 8 1/3 innings without allowing a hit for the Mets.

In 1998, the Independent Budget Office of the city of New York published a study on the economic impact of the city's two Major League Baseball teams. The study included an analysis of where fans of both the Mets and the Yankees resided. The study found that 39% of Mets fans lived in one of the five boroughs of New York, 49% in the tri-state area outside the city and 12% elsewhere. Mets fans were more likely to be found in Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and the Long Island counties of Nassau and Suffolk, whereas Manhattan, the Bronx, New Jersey, Connecticut, and the counties of Westchester and Rockland, as well as the upper Hudson Valley and the upstate New York region, leaned more towards the Yankees - this despite Manhattan's one-time association with the Giants, one of the Mets' predecessors.

In 1957, the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants abandoned New York for California, leaving the largest city in the United States without a National League franchise. Two years later, on July 27, 1959, attorney William Shea announced the formation of a third major baseball league, the Continental League. He tried to get several existing clubs to move, including the Philadelphia Phillies, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Cincinnati Reds, but no National League club was interested.

One of the Continental League's five charter members was a team in New York City. Charles Shipman Payson and his wife, Joan Whitney Payson, former minority owners of the Giants, were the principal owners, along with George Herbert Walker, Jr. (uncle of future President George H. W. Bush), who served as vice president and treasurer until 1977. Former Giants director M. Donald Grant became chairman of the board. Grant and Joan Payson had been the only members of the Giants' board to oppose the team's move west.

The existing leagues, which had considerably more autonomy at the time, responded with plans to add four new teams, two in each league. One of the new National League teams was to be in New York. The NL offered this new franchise to the CL's New York group, provided that they commit to building a new park. Shea told New York Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr. that he had to personally cable every National League owner and guarantee that the city would build a new facility.

The new team required a new name and many were suggested. Among the finalists were "Bees", "Burros", "Continentals", "Skyscrapers", and "Jets", as well as the eventual runner-up, the "Skyliners." Although Payson had admitted a preference for "Meadowlarks", the owners ultimately selected "Mets", because it was closely related to the club's already-existing corporate name, "New York Metropolitan Baseball Club, Inc.," it hearkened back to "Metropolitans", a name used by an earlier New York team in the American Association from 1880 to 1887, and because its brevity would naturally fit in newspaper headlines. The name was received with broad approval among fans and the press.

From the beginning, the Mets sought to appeal to the large contingent of former Giants and Dodgers fans. The Mets' team colors reflect this: orange from the Giants, blue from the Dodgers (and even a reference to the Yankees via home pinstripes). Thus two rival fan-bases with 19th Century origins were largely united in support of the new club.

In October, 1961, the National League held an expansion draft to stock the rosters of the Mets and the Houston Colt .45s with players from other clubs. 22 players were selected by the Mets, including some with notable previous success such as Roger Craig, Al Jackson, Frank Thomas, and Richie Ashburn. But rather than select talented young players with future potential, Mets management preferred to sign faded stars of the Dodgers and Giants to appeal to fans' nostalgia. Legendary Yankees manager Casey Stengel was hired out of retirement to lead the team, but his managerial acumen wasn't enough to overcome the severe deficiency of talent among the players. Harry Chiti was acquired from the Cleveland Indians on April 25, 1962 for a player to be named later. The player to be named later was Chiti. He was traded for himself.

The Mets took the field for the first time on April 11, 1962 against the St. Louis Cardinals (the first game schedule for April 10 was delayed due to rain). In an apparent harbinger of things to come, pitcher Roger Craig went into his windup with the Cardinals' Bill White on third--and dropped the ball. Craig was charged with a balk, and the umpire waved White home for the first run scored against the Mets in their history. Despite Gil Hodges hitting the first home run in New York Mets history that day, the Mets went on to lose that game. It would be the first of nine straight losses to start the season en route to a 40-120 record. Their .250 winning percentage was the fourth worst in major-league history, and the third-worst of the modern era (since 1901). Throughout major league history only the 1899 Cleveland Spiders (20-134) lost more games in a single season than the 1962 Mets. It wasn't until 2003 that the record would be threatened by the Detroit Tigers, who finished the season at 43–119. The ineptitude of the Mets during their first year is chronicled in colorful fashion in the 1963 book Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?, written by New York columnist Jimmy Breslin.

Beloved by New York fans despite their losing ways — or perhaps because of them — the Mets of the early 1960s became famous for their ineptitude. Journeyman players like the ironically nicknamed "Marvelous Marv" Throneberry became icons of athletic incompetence. Ex-Dodger and Giant pitcher Billy Loes, who was selected by the Mets in the 1961 expansion draft, was credited with this ungrammatical quotation: "The Mets is a good thing. They give everybody jobs. Just like the WPA." Even the Mets proved to have standards, however. In 1962, Cleveland Indians catcher Harry Chiti was purchased by the Mets for a player to be named later in the season. After only 15 games and a .195 batting average, the Mets sent him back to the Indians; he never played another major league game. Chiti was the first player ever to be sent back to his original team in a trade in Major League history.

The 1963 Mets featured a pitcher, Carlton Willey, who was having a great year, pitching four shut-outs, when he incurred an injury and finished with a 9–14 won-loss record.

In 1964, the Mets, who played their first two seasons in the old Polo Grounds, the former home of the Giants, moved to the newly constructed Shea Stadium, a 55,300-seat multipurpose facility built in the Flushing neighborhood of the Borough of Queens, adjacent to the site of the 1939 and 1964 New York World's Fairs.

When a Mets player would hit a home run at Shea Stadium (pictured), a big red apple emerged from a giant top hat behind center right field, sometimes accompanied by a small fireworks display. The Home Run Apple was preserved outside the Mets' new home, Citi Field, but a new apple is used inside the ballpark during games.

One high point of Shea Stadium's first season came on Father's Day, when Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jim Bunning threw a perfect game against the Mets, the first in the National League since 1880. For perhaps the only time in the stadium's history, the Shea faithful found themselves rooting for the visitors, caught up in the rare achievement, and roaring for Bunning on every pitch in the ninth inning. His strikeout of John Stephenson capped the performance. Another high point was Shea Stadium's hosting of the 1964 All-Star Game. Unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight in the final hectic weekend of the 1964 season, the Mets relished the role of spoiler, beating the Cardinals in St. Louis on Friday and Saturday (keeping alive the hopes of the Phillies, Giants, and Reds) before succumbing to the eventual National League champions on Sunday.

In 1965 former Yankee great Yogi Berra came out of retirement and signed with the Mets as player–coach. He would only play 4 games and on May 9, 1965 he played his final game as a player. It was 3 days shy of his 40th birthday. He would serve as coach the rest of the way and proved to be a valuable asset to the team, especially with young talent like Jerry Grote coming up.

The Mets' image as lovable losers was wearing a little thin as the decade progressed, but things began to change slowly in the late '60s. In 1966, the Mets chose catcher Steve Chilcott as the first overall selection in the amateur draft. He became the first number one draft pick to retire without reaching the major leagues. The second pick that year was Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson. The Mets acquired top pitching prospect Tom Seaver in a lottery and he became the league's Rookie of the Year in 1967. Even though the Mets remained in last place, Tom Seaver was a sign of good fortune to come. He was originally signed by the Atlanta Braves in February 1966 out of the University of Southern California, but his contract was voided by Commissioner William Eckert on the basis that the USC season had already started when Seaver signed. In order to resolve this issue, the Mets, Indians, and Phillies were all placed in a hat since they were the only teams willing to match the Braves offer, and the Mets were fortunate enough to win the drawing. In addition to Seaver, two other young players were catcher Jerry Grote and shortstop Bud Harrelson. This trio of youth formed a new, determined clubhouse nucleus that had no interest in losing, lovably or otherwise. By the 1968 season, Wes Westrum would be replaced as manager by Gil Hodges. Pitcher Jerry Koosman joined the staff and had a spectacular rookie season in 1968, winning 19 games. Left fielder Cleon Jones developed as a batter and exciting center fielder Tommie Agee came over in a trade. But although much improved, the 1968 team still finished the season in 9th place.

The Mets began the 1969 season in a mediocre way: an opening day loss of 11–10 to the expansion Montreal Expos was followed by a record of 21–23 through the end of May. On April 10, 1969 Tommie Agee became the only player ever to hit a home run to the small area of fair territory in the upper level of Shea Stadium. A painted sign on the stands nearby commemorates the spot. By mid-August, the favored Chicago Cubs seemed safely on their way to winning the first ever National League East Division title (and their first postseason appearance of any kind since 1945). The Mets sat in third place, ten games behind; but Chicago went 8–17 in September, while the Mets, with outstanding pitching from their young staff, piled up victory after victory, winning 38 of their last 49 games. They took first place for good on September 9, and finished in first place with a 100–62 record for the season, their first winning year ever, a full eight games over the Cubs. The Mets finished with a team ERA of 2.99, and a league leading 28 shutouts thrown. Tom Seaver led the way with a 25–7 record, with lefty Jerry Koosman behind him at 17–9 record, while Cleon Jones finished with a .340 batting average. Seaver's best game occurred on July 9, at Shea Stadium, where he came within two outs of a perfect game, but gave up a one-out, ninth-inning single to the Cubs' Jimmy Qualls for the only hit in the Mets' 4–0 victory.

The "Miracle Mets" or "Amazin Mets," as they became known by the press, went on to win a three-game sweep of the strong Atlanta Braves, led by legend Henry "Hank" Aaron, in the very first National League Championship Series. The Mets were still considered underdogs in this series despite the fact that they had a better record than the Braves, the second place team in the National League East.

The Mets were given very little chance in the 1969 World Series, facing a powerful Baltimore Orioles team that had gone 109–53 in the regular season and included Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, and Jim Palmer as well as future Mets manager Davey Johnson, who would make the final out of the Series. Before the series began, pundits predicted Tom Seaver might win the opening game, but that the Mets would have trouble winning again in the World Series. As it turned out, just the opposite occurred; Seaver was roughed up, allowing four runs in the opener, which he lost - but the Mets' pitching shut down the Orioles after that, holding them to just five runs over the next four games, to win the World Series 4 games to 1. Seaver got his revenge in game four, pitching all 10 innings of a 2–1 victory.

For longtime Mets announcer Ralph Kiner and many fans, the turning point in the team's season, came in the third inning of the second game of a July 30 doubleheader against the Houston Astros. When left fielder Cleon Jones failed to hustle after a ball hit to the outfield, Mets manager Gil Hodges removed him from the game - but rather than simply signal from the dugout for Jones to come out, or delegate the job to one of his coaches, Hodges left the dugout and slowly, deliberately, walked all the way out to left field to Jones, and walked him back to the bench. For the rest of that season, Jones never failed to hustle.

The Miracle Mets magic wore off as the 1970s began. In subsequent years, Mets pitchers generally excelled but received lackluster support from the hitters with mediocre finishes the result. Efforts to improve the offense backfired with blunders such as trading Amos Otis for troubled infielder Joe Foy after the 1969 season as well as young pitcher Nolan Ryan for infielder Jim Fregosi after the 1971 season. Once out of the glaring New York spotlight, Ryan became one of the best pitchers in history, spending 22 more years in the majors and entering the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999 as a Texas Ranger. Fregosi battled injuries and played just 146 games for the Mets over a season and a half. Meanwhile Otis became a star with the Kansas City Royals while Foy lasted only one season in New York.

The team was thrown into confusion and shock prior to the 1972 season, when Manager Gil Hodges, who had led the team to the World Series victory in 1969, suffered a sudden heart attack at the end of spring training and died. Coach Yogi Berra succeeded Hodges.

Berra's Mets found themselves in last place with a 61–71 record at the end of August, 1973 but they recovered behind relief pitcher Tug McGraw and his "Ya gotta believe!" rallying cry (the team has since trademarked the phrase), winning 21 of their last 29 games. Berra also coined his most famous Yogiism that year: "It ain't over till it's over!" In a peculiar circumstance, their final record of only 82–79 was good enough to win the division while five better teams in the Majors missed the postseason. Despite the second-worst winning percentage ever by a division winner (until the 2005 San Diego Padres), the Mets then shocked the heavily-favored Cincinnati Reds "Big Red Machine" in the NLCS. Their record remains the worst of any pennant-winning team but they managed to push the defending World Series Champion Oakland Athletics to a seventh game. Their near-miracle season ended with a loss to Ken Holtzman in the final contest.

As the 1975 season ended, owner Joan Payson died, leaving the team to her husband Charles. While Joan Payson had been the driving force behind the Mets, her survivors did not share her enthusiasm. Charles delegated his authority to his three daughters, who left control over baseball matters to club chairman Grant. Contract disputes with star pitcher Tom Seaver and slugger Dave Kingman erupted in 1977. Both players were traded on June 15, the trading deadline, in what New York tabloids dubbed "The Midnight Massacre". The Mets received six players in the two deals, but none had any lasting impact. Attendance fell, to the point where Shea Stadium was nicknamed "Grant's Tomb." Coincidentally, the Yankees began their resurgence at roughly the same time, further eroding the Mets' fan base.

The team finished in last place yet again in 1978. By this time, it was obvious that Grant had mismanaged the team and failed to invest in its future. Charles Payson himself fired Grant at the end of the season. The Mets continued to struggle, and did not become a competitive team again until the mid-1980s, marking the first time that both New York teams were competitive at the same time, both on the field and at the box office.

In January 1980, the Payson heirs sold the Mets franchise to the Doubleday publishing company for $21.1 million. Nelson Doubleday, Jr. was named chairman of the board while minority shareholder Fred Wilpon took the role of club president. Wilpon quickly hired longtime Baltimore Orioles executive Frank Cashen as general manager to begin the process of rebuilding the Mets.

Cashen's positive impact on the organization took some time to be felt at the major league level. He began by selecting slugging high school phenomenon Darryl Strawberry as the number one overall pick in the 1980 amateur draft. Two years later, hard-throwing hurler Dwight Gooden was taken as the fifth overall selection in the 1982 draft. The pair rose quickly through the minors, winning successive Rookie of the Year awards (Strawberry in 1983, Gooden in 1984). Cashen's mid-season 1983 trade for former MVP Keith Hernandez helped spark the Mets' return to competitive contention. In 1984, new manager Davey Johnson was promoted from the helm of the AAA Tidewater Tides and led the Mets to a 90-72 record, their first winning season since 1976. In 1985 the Mets acquired catcher Gary Carter from the Montreal Expos and won 98 games, but lost the division title to the St. Louis Cardinals in the final days of the season in a memorable series. The Mets began the series three games behind St. Louis and won the first two, but faltered in the third game, allowing St. Louis to remain in first place.

Unlike the league champion Mets of 1969 or 1973, the 1986 Mets broke away from the rest of the division early and dominated throughout the year. They won 20 of their first 24 games, clinched the East Division title on September 17, and finished the year 108–54, which tied with the 1975 Cincinnati Reds for the third highest win total in National League history, behind the 1906 Chicago Cubs (116) and the 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates (110). The relative lack of excitement during the regular season was more than compensated for by the spectacularly suspenseful and dramatic post-season series.

In the National League Championship Series, the Mets faced their fellow 1962 expansion team, the Houston Astros. Unlike the Mets, the Astros had yet to win a pennant, but had former Mets pitchers Mike Scott, the league's Cy Young Award winner, and fireballer Nolan Ryan leading their pitching staff. The Mets took a two-games-to-one lead with a come-from-behind walk-off home run by Lenny Dykstra. In Game 6, the Mets turned a 3–0 ninth-inning deficit into a sixteen-inning marathon victory to clinch the National League pennant and earn their third World Series appearance. The Astros would have to wait until 2005 to finally win their first pennant.

In the World Series against the Boston Red Sox, the Mets faced elimination leading into Game 6. The Red Sox scored two runs in the tenth inning and twice came within one strike of winning their first World Series since 1918. However, the Mets rallied and would come back in typical Amazin' Mets fashion, as the game became one of the most famous games in baseball history.

With two outs and down two runs, three consecutive singles brought the Mets within 90 feet (27 m) of knotting the score. Hitter Mookie Wilson ran the count to 2-1, then fouled off 3 consecutive pitches. With the count 2-2, pitcher Bob Stanley threw a wild pitch that Wilson had to leap out of the way of. Boston catcher Rich Gedman made a wild stab for the ball but it went to the backstop. Pinch hitter Kevin Mitchell scored from third base, tying the game.

The Mets went on to win their second World Series title by taking Game 7, also in dramatic fashion, overcoming a 3 run deficit while scoring a total of 8 runs during the final 3 innings. They remain the only team to come within one strike of losing a World Series before recovering to become World Champions.

While the team around the 1986 championship was strong, they also became infamous for off-the-field controversy. Both Strawberry and Gooden were youngsters who wound up burning out long before their time because of various substance abuse and personal problems. Hernandez's cocaine abuse was the subject of persistent rumors even before he joined the Mets, but he publicly acknowledged his addiction in 1985 and made a successful recovery. Lenny Dykstra's reputation was recently tainted by allegations of steroid use and gambling problems. Instead of putting together a winning dynasty, the problems caused the Mets to soon fall apart. Despite Darryl Strawberry's numerous off-the-field mishaps, he remains the Mets' all-time leader in home runs and runs batted in.

After winning the World Series in 1986 the Mets declined to re-sign World Series MVP Ray Knight, who then signed with the Orioles. Also, they traded the flexible Kevin Mitchell to the Padres for long-ball threat Kevin McReynolds. But the biggest shock since the Midnight Massacre of 1977 was when Mets' ace Dwight Gooden was admitted to a drug clinic after testing positive for cocaine. But after struggling in the first few months of the 1987 season, "Dr. K" would come back, and so would the Mets. They would surge to battle St. Louis for the division title. But on September 11 in a game against St. Louis, 3rd baseman Terry Pendleton hit a homer to give the Cardinals a lead, and eventually the NL East title. One highlight of the year was Darryl Strawberry and Howard Johnson becoming the first teammates ever to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in the same season.

After missing the playoffs in 1987, the 1988 Mets again won the division. Thanks to some stellar pitching from Gooden, Ron Darling, and David Cone as well as offense from McReynolds, Strawberry, and Howard Johnson, the Mets won 100 games for the 2nd time in 3 campaigns. However, the clubhouse was distracted by the presence of a young Gregg Jefferies who was just called up. The veteran players took a dislike to Jefferies, who had a habit of excessive bragging, prompting his teammates to saw his bats in half as a form of hazing. The Mets played the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1988 National League Championship Series in a season where they beat them 10 out of 11 times but, led by Orel Hershiser, the Dodgers continued their Cinderella story season by beating the Mets in seven games.

The Mets (as well as the Montreal Expos) would battle the Cubs for the division title in 1989, but Chicago would prevail, despite a career year by Howard Johnson and a deadline trade with Minnesota for 1988 AL Cy Young winner Frank Viola. Those high points were tempered by injuries to Gooden, Hernandez and Carter as well as an ill-fated trade that sent Dykstra and Roger McDowell to Philadelphia in exchange for Juan Samuel. After the season, Samuel, who hit .235 that season, would be traded to the Dodgers for Mike Marshall, who would hit .239 in 53 games for the Mets before being traded to Boston. Dykstra, however, would become an All-Star in Philadelphia and help lead his team to a pennant in 1993.

That offseason, the Mets had a mix of triumph and tragedy. They would receive All-Star closer and native New Yorker John Franco in a trade with the Cincinnati Reds, and Strawberry, in legal trouble as well, would check into an alcohol rehabilitation center and miss the start of the season. The next season, the Mets would surge again to battle the Pittsburgh Pirates, but Pittsburgh's "B-B Guns" (which included Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla, Jay Bell and Wally Backman) led the Pirates to their first NLCS since 1979. In that campaign, general manager Frank Cashen fired Johnson from his managerial job and replaced him with former shortstop Bud Harrelson. Although he led them to a good finish in 1990 (Strawberry's last with the Mets, as he went on to sign with the Dodgers in the offseason), the Mets fell to 5th place in 1991. Before the 1991 season the Mets signed Vince Coleman to a $2 million contract after failing to sign defending batting champion Willie McGee. This was the first of what would lead to many bad free agent signings and trades that would doom the Mets during the mid 1990s.

With all of the personal problems swirling around the Mets after the 1986 championship, the Mets tried to rebuild using experienced superstars. They picked up Eddie Murray for over $3 million, Bobby Bonilla for over $6 million. They also traded McReynolds and Jeffries for one-time World Series hero Bret Saberhagen and his $3 million contract, along with signing veteran free agent pitcher Frank Tanana for $1.5 million. The rebuilding was supported by the slogan, "Hardball Is Back".

The experiment of building a team via free agency quickly flopped as Saberhagen and Coleman were soon injured and spent more time on the disabled list than on the field, and Bonilla exhibited unprofessional behavior towards members of the press, once threatening a reporter by saying, "I'll show you The Bronx" . At the beginning of the 1991 season, Coleman, Gooden and outfielder Daryl Boston were named in an alleged sexual abuse incident against a woman near the Mets' spring training facility; charges were later dropped. Meanwhile, popular pitcher David Cone was dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays during the 1992 season for Ryan Thompson and Jeff Kent. While the move was widely criticized by fans of both teams, the Jays went on to win the 1992 World Series.

The lowest point of the experiment was the 1993 season when the Mets lost 103 games. In April of that year, Coleman accidentally hit Gooden's shoulder with a golf club while practicing his swing. In July, Saberhagen threw a firecracker under a table near reporters. Their young pitching prospect Anthony Young started the '93 season at 0–13 and his overall streak of 27 straight losses over two years set a new record. After Young's record-setting loss, Coleman threw a firecracker out of the team bus window and injured three people resulting in felony charges that effectively ended his Mets career. Only a few days later, Saberhagen was in trouble again, this time for spraying bleach at three reporters. The meltdown season resulted in the worst record for a Mets team since 1965. Their descent was chronicled by the book The Worst Team Money Could Buy: The Collapse Of The New York Mets (ISBN 0-8032-7822-5) by Mets beat writers Bob Klapisch and John Harper. In addition, two of the three remaining links to the '86 team, Howard Johnson and Sid Fernandez, departed after the season via free agency.

The following season was filled with some bright spots, but there was still trouble for the franchise, and for the team's franchise player. Gooden, who had a 3-4 record with a 6.31 ERA in the final year of his contract with the team, shocked not only New York sports fans, but baseball fans around the country by testing positive for cocaine and was suspended by Major League Baseball for 60 days. Shortly after he began serving his suspension for the positive drug test, it was announced that he had again tested positive for cocaine and was now being suspended by Major League Baseball for one year, thus ending his Mets career and nearly his life. The day after receiving the second suspension, Gooden's then-wife, Monica, found him in his bedroom with a loaded gun to his head.

Still, the 1994 season saw some promise for the troubled Mets, as first baseman Rico Brogna and second baseman Jeff Kent became fan favorites with their solid glove work and potential 20-25 home run power, Bonilla started to become the player the Mets expected, and a healthy Saberhagen, along with promising young starter Bobby Jones and John Franco, helped the Mets pitching staff along. In the strike-shortened 1994 season the Mets were in 3rd place behind first-place Montreal and Atlanta when the season ended on August 12. When the strike finally ended in 1995, the Mets finally showed some promise again, finishing in 2nd place (but still 6 games under .500) behind eventual World Series champion Atlanta.

The 1995 season marked the emergence of pitchers Bill Pulsipher, Jason Isringhausen, and Paul Wilson. The trio were dubbed Generation K, a group of talented young hurlers who were destined to bring the Mets into greatness, much like Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman and Nolan Ryan did in the 60s. However, all three players succumbed to injury, preventing them from reaching their full potential.

The Mets dismal 1996 season was highlighted by the play of switch hitting catcher Todd Hundley breaking the Major League Baseball single season record for home runs hit by catcher with 41. Center fielder Lance Johnson set single-season franchise records in hits (227), triples (21), at bats (682), runs scored (117), and total bases (327). In 1997, as they missed the playoffs by only four games, and improved by 17 wins from 1996. On June 16, when the Mets beat the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the first ever regular-season game played between the crosstown rivals 6–0. Mets starter Dave Milicki pitched a complete game/shutout to pick up the win. In 1997 Hundley's great season was derailed by a devastating elbow injury and requiring Tommy John surgery.

In 1998 the Mets acquired Mike Piazza in a blockbuster trade that immediately brought star power and credibility to the Mets that had been lacking in recent years.

After the Piazza trade, the Mets played well, but missed the 1998 postseason by only one game. With five games left in the 1998 season, the Mets could not win a single game against both the Montreal Expos at home and the Atlanta Braves on the road. Following the 1998 season the Mets re-signed Mike Piazza to a seven-year, $91 million contract, the Mets traded Todd Hundley to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Trades netted the Mets Roger Cedeno, Armando Benitez, and John Olerud and the Mets signed free agents Robin Ventura, Rickey Henderson, and Bobby Bonilla.

The Mets started the 1999 season well, going 17–9, but after an eight-game losing streak, including the last two to the New York Yankees, the Mets fired their entire coaching staff except for manager Bobby Valentine. The Mets, in front of a national audience on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, beat the New York Yankees 7–2 in the turning point of the 1999 season. Both Mike Piazza and Robin Ventura had MVP-type seasons and Benny Agbayani emerged as an important role player. It was a breakout year for Mets second baseman Edgardo Alfonzo and Roger Cedeño, who broke the single season steals record for the Mets. After the regular season ended, the Mets played a one game playoff against the Cincinnati Reds, Al Leiter pitched the best game of his Met career as he hurled a two-hit complete-game shutout to advance the Mets to the playoffs. In the NLDS, the Mets defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 3 games to 1. The series-clinching victory included a walk-off home run by backup catcher Todd Pratt. The Mets would lose however in the 1999 National League Championship Series to the Atlanta Braves, in six exciting games which included the famous Grand Slam Single by Robin Ventura to win game 5 for the Mets. The Mets were at one point down 3–0 in the series.

In the 1999 offseason, the Mets traded Roger Cedeño and Octavio Dotel to the Houston Astros for Derek Bell and Mike Hampton. Todd Zeile was signed to play first base, replacing departing free agent Olerud.

The 2000 season began well for the Mets as Derek Bell became the best hitter on the team for the first month. The highlight of the season came on June 30 when the Mets beat the rival Atlanta Braves in a memorable game at Shea Stadium on Fireworks Night. With the Mets losing 8–1 to begin the bottom of the eighth, they rallied back with two outs to tie the game, capping the 10-run inning with Mike Piazza's three run home run to put the Mets up 11-8, giving them the lead and eventually the win. The Mets easily made the playoffs winning the National League wild card. In the playoffs, the Mets beat the San Francisco Giants in the first round and the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2000 National League Championship Series to win their fourth NL pennant. Mike Hampton was named the NLCS MVP for his two scoreless starts in the series as the Mets headed to the 2000 World Series to face their crosstown rivals, the New York Yankees. The Mets were defeated in the much-hyped "Subway Series." This marked the first all-New York World Series since 1956, when the Yankees defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers.

The most memorable moment of the 2000 World Series occurred during the first inning of Game 2 at Yankee Stadium. Piazza fouled off a pitch which shattered his bat, sending a piece of the barrel toward the pitcher's mound. Pitcher Roger Clemens seized the piece and hurled it in the direction of Piazza as the catcher trotted to first base, benches briefly cleared before the game was resumed with no ejections. In July 2000, Clemens had knocked Piazza unconscious with a fastball to the helmet, Piazza had previously enjoyed great success against Clemens, with 3 crucial home runs in previous encounters.

In 2001 the Mets finished with a record of 82–80. After the September 11th terrorist attacks Shea Stadium was used as a relief center and then saw the first sporting event in New York City since the attacks, in a game vs. the Atlanta Braves on September 21. Before the game the FDNY, EMT, NYPD, and all rescue workers were honored, Diana Ross sang God Bless America, the two teams shook hands to show that they were united in the face of tragedy, and Liza Minnelli sang "New York, New York" during the 7th inning stretch. In the bottom of the 8th inning the Mets were trailing 2–1 when Mike Piazza came to bat with a runner on first. Piazza dramatically sent Shea into a frenzy by crushing a home run to give the Mets a 3–2 lead and the eventual win. The game is considered to be one of the greatest moments in the history of the franchise. After the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Mets, as well as other teams in the league, wore Red Cross, FDNY, and NYPD hats. Unlike the other teams, the Mets wore these for the rest of the year, despite threats of fines by Major League Baseball.

In the following seasons, the Mets struggled mightily as the result of several poor player acquisitions, including Mo Vaughn, Roberto Alomar, and re-acquiring former Mets Roger Cedeño and Jeromy Burnitz. These acquisitions were made by then-general manager Steve Phillips, who was fired during the 2003 season. Phillips was credited with building the 2000 World Series team, but also blamed for the demise of the Mets' farm system and the poor play of the acquired players. The Mets did have a few bright spots in 2002. Al Leiter became the first major league pitcher to defeat all thirty major league teams with a victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. However, the Mets posted a 75–86 record, last in the NL East.

The team's 2002 difficulties reached off the field as co-owners Wilpon and Doubleday became embroiled in a bitter legal dispute over Wilpon's attempt to buy Doubleday's half of the team. Doubleday alleged that Major League Baseball attached an unrealistically low value to the team, thereby lowering the amount of money he would receive from Wilpon in the buyout. Wilpon sued Doubleday in federal court to force the sale. The purchase was finally settled and Wilpon became sole owner of the Mets on August 23, 2002. Wilpon, the founder of Sterling Equities, Inc., manages the Mets through his limited partnership firm, Sterling Mets.

The Mets' record in 2003 (66–95) was the fourth worst in baseball, and Piazza had missed two-thirds of the season with a torn groin muscle. His steady decline around that time mirrored the Mets' fortunes for the first half of the decade. José Reyes also made his debut on June 10, 2003.

In 2004, the Mets made more poor player acquisitions including signing Japanese shortstop Kazuo Matsui, who never lived up to his potential in two-and-a-half years with the Mets. General manager Jim Duquette acquired pitcher Kris Benson for third baseman Ty Wigginton at the trade deadline just before one of the worst trades in franchise history, sending highly-touted pitching prospect Scott Kazmir to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for the disappointing Victor Zambrano. On July 21, 2004, the Mets brought up third baseman David Wright. Since then, Wright and Jose Reyes have become the most outstanding products of the Mets' farm system since Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden. Nonetheless, The Mets finished 71–91 in 2004.

After the 2004 season, Mets ownership made significant changes to their management strategy. With their television contract with the Cablevision expiring at the end of 2005, they announced plans to establish their own cable network to broadcast Mets games. This investment in what became known as SportsNet New York was coupled with an aggressive plan to upgrade the performance of the team on the field. Jim Duquette was replaced as general manager by former Expos GM Omar Minaya. Minaya, an ex-Mets assistant GM, had achieved notable success in Montreal by making bold player moves on a limited budget. With the Mets, Minaya was given substantial financial resources to develop a winning team.

Minaya began by hiring Yankee bench coach Willie Randolph as manager, then signed two of that year's most sought-after free agents — Pedro Martínez and Carlos Beltrán — to large multi-year deals. Despite an 0–5 start to the season, the team finished 83–79, finishing above the .500 mark for the first time since 2001. The 2005 season was also the last by Mike Piazza in a Mets uniform.

During the 2005 offseason star first baseman Carlos Delgado and catcher Paul Lo Duca were acquired via trade and the Mets signed free agent closer Billy Wagner.

In 2006, led by a franchise record six All-Stars (Beltran, Lo Duca, Reyes, Wright, Glavine, and Martínez), won the division title, their first in 18 years. In a runaway similar to 1986, the Mets led the division from April 6 on, and only spent one day out of first the whole season. The Mets finished the season 12 games ahead of the Phillies, and with the best record in the National League. The turning point for the season was a 9–1 June road trip. The 2006 season was also the first time that the Mets and Yankees each won their respective divisions in the same year and both teams tied for the best record in baseball.

The 2006 Mets were the first team in MLB history to win eight consecutive road games after scoring in the first inning of each game. On July 16, 2006, the Mets set a franchise record by scoring 11 runs in one inning. It took place in the sixth inning against the Chicago Cubs. There were three home runs in the inning; a two-run homer by David Wright, and grand slams from both Cliff Floyd and Carlos Beltrán. The Mets sent 16 batters to the plate in the inning, which took 41 minutes to complete and started with a pop out by Chris Woodward. In July 2006, the Mets became the third team to hit six grand slams in a month, joining the Cleveland Indians of May 1999 and the Montreal Expos in April 1996. Carlos Beltrán tied the Major League record for slams in a month with three; José Valentín hit two and Cliff Floyd hit one.

The Mets swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2006 National League Division Series. In the 2006 National League Championship Series, the Mets lost in seven games to the St. Louis Cardinals, the eventual 2006 World Series champions, with the decisive blow coming on a ninth-inning home run by Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina off Mets reliever Aaron Heilman. After the Mets rallied in the bottom of the ninth to load the bases, Carlos Beltran memorably took a curve ball from Cardinals closer Adam Wainwright for a called third strike to end the Mets season.

After their success in 2006, there were high expectations for the Mets in 2007, and they started the season strong. One interesting moment during 2007 occurred on May 19, 2007, when David Wright hit a 460-foot (140 m), 2-run home run off New York Yankees reliever Mike Myers. The home run went over Shea's bleachers into the Citi Field construction site. Radio analyst Howie Rose joked that it was the first home run in Citi Field's history. The Mets would have a seven-game lead in September, with 17 games to go. The Mets, however, would lose 12 of their final 17 games allowing the Philadelphia Phillies to win the NL East by one game. The Mets were eliminated on the final day of the season as Tom Glavine allowed 7 runs to the Florida Marlins in the first inning. The Mets became first team in baseball history to blow a lead of seven or more games with only 17 games to play.

In the 2007 offseason the team acquired two-time Cy Young Award-winning pitcher Johan Santana.

The 2008 season marked the final season at Shea Stadium, the team's home for 45 years. Throughout the first half of the season, the Mets struggled, playing .500. On June 16, Omar Minaya fired Willie Randolph, Rick Peterson, and Tom Nieto. Jerry Manuel was named interim manager. The Mets improved under Manuel, highlighted by a 10-game winning streak in July. In September the Mets had 3.5 game divisional lead over the Philadelphia Phillies with 17 games left to play. However, the Mets lost 10 of their final 17 games including 3 to the Phillies. The Phillies went 13–4 during the same stretch and won the division. The Mets still remained in the NL Wild Card with the Milwaukee Brewers but on September 28, the final game played at Shea Stadium, the Mets were eliminated from playoff contention by losing to the Florida Marlins on the season's final day for the second straight season.

To improve the bullpen for the 2009 season, which was arguably the reason the Mets missed the playoffs in 2007 and 2008, the Mets signed free agent closer Francisco Rodriguez, who established a single-season major league record for saves (62) as a member of the Los Angeles Angels in 2008. They also acquired J.J. Putz of the Seattle Mariners in exchange for several players, most notably Aaron Heilman, Endy Chavez, and Joe Smith. Shortly thereafter, they sent Scott Schoeneweis to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a minor leaguer.

The 2009 season is the Mets' first season at Citi Field, a retropark following current architectural trends in stadium design. It follows the brick and steel-truss trend begun by the Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in 1992. The exterior facade resembles Ebbets Field, former home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. The stadium only holds 45,000 fans, which is less than the capacity of the former Shea Stadium. The lesser capacity creates better sightlines and a more contoured seating configuration, allowing seating closer to the field. The Mets' first exhibition game at Citi Field was played on April 3, 2009 against the Boston Red Sox. The first home game was on April 13, 2009 against the San Diego Padres, who spoiled the opener with a 6–5 win against the Mets.

The Mets' colors are blue, orange, black and white, symbolic of the return of National League baseball to New York after the Brooklyn Dodgers (blue/white) and New York Giants (orange/black) moved to California. Blue, orange, and white are, coincidentally, also the colors of the New York City flag.

Currently, the Mets wear an assortment of uniforms. One variation includes solid gray road jerseys with blue trim on the sleeves, the jersey front, and down the side of the pant legs. "NEW YORK" is printed across the front of road jerseys in old English style font. Another uniform combination includes a white home jersey with blue pinstripes and "Mets" written across the front in script. Prior to the 1997 season the Mets introduced "snow white" home jerseys as an alternate home jersey. Like the road uniforms, they feature blue piping but are completely white, devoid of pinstripes, and features the cursive "Mets" written across the front. The standard cap is blue with an orange "NY" logo, which is usually worn with the two white home jerseys. Before the 1998 season black was added as an official Mets color. Black drop-shadows were added to the blue and orange lettering on the white and gray jerseys. A solid black alternate jersey with blue piping and "Mets" written in blue lettering trimmed in orange and white was introduced. Two alternate caps were also introduced - a black cap with a blue brim and a blue "NY" logo trimmed in orange (worn with the white and gray jerseys) and an all black cap with a blue "NY" logo trimmed in orange and white (worn with the black jersey).

The Mets wear three styles of Coolflo batting helmets, depending what cap they are wearing that day. If they are wearing their black cap with blue brim, the batting helmets have a blue brim and fade to black in the back with a black "NY" outlined in white. If they are wearing their all-black caps, the batting helmets are all black with a blue "NY" outlined in white then orange, and if they are wearing their all-blue caps, the batting helmets are all-blue with an orange "NY" with no outlines.

There are also additional home games where the Mets wear pinstripe jerseys with the addition of a small "Los" above the script Mets across the jersey.

The cap logo is 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. In the primary logo, designed by sports cartoonist Ray Gatto, 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 Williamsburg Savings Bank, the tallest building in Brooklyn; next is the Woolworth Building; after a general skyline view of midtown comes the Empire State Building; at the far right is the United Nations Building. The bridge in the center symbolizes that the Mets, by bringing National League baseball back to New York, represent all five boroughs. With the introduction of black as an official color, an alternate team logo was created. 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.

In addition, Tom Seaver is the only Met ever to win the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Award in 1969 and was voted the Mets "Hometown Hero" in a 2006 poll sponsored by DHL.

Major League Baseball retired Jackie Robinson's number 42 on April 15, 1997, when the Mets played the Dodgers at Shea Stadium, although Butch Huskey wore the number throughout the rest of his Mets career (due to a grandfather clause placed on the retired number by MLB). Mo Vaughn also wore number 42 during his stint with the Mets, due to the same clause.

On April 8, 2008, the final Opening Day at Shea Stadium, the Mets unveiled a sign bearing the name "Shea" in the left-field corner above the fence, next to the team's retired numbers listed above.

The Mets have not issued number 8 since Gary Carter was elected to the Hall of Fame.

When the Mets honored Carter, they did not retire number 8 at that time, but instead gave him a replica of his Hall of Fame plaque depicting him as a Met instead of an Expo.

John Franco wore number 31 for the Mets until 1998, when he switched to number 45 to accommodate Mike Piazza, who wore it until leaving the Mets after the 2005 season. The Mets have not issued number 31 since Piazza's departure. There is also a growing debate that number 45 be retired in honor of the late Tug McGraw.

When Willie Mays retired after the 1973 season, owner Joan Whitney Payson (who had great admiration for Mays) promised Mays his number would not be issued to another player. Since then, number 24 has been issued only twice: to 1B-OF Kelvin Torve (by mistake in 1990) and to OF Rickey Henderson, as a player (1999–2000) and as a coach (2007).

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José Valentín

José Antonio Valentín (born on October 12, 1969 in Manatí, Puerto Rico) is a Major League Baseball infielder who is currently a free agent. Previously, he played with the Milwaukee Brewers (1992–1999), Chicago White Sox (2000–2004), Los Angeles Dodgers (2005), and New York Mets (2006–2007).

Valentín was signed on October 12, 1986, by the San Diego Padres as an amateur free agent. However, he was sent to the Milwaukee Brewers on March 26, 1992 with Ricky Bones and Matt Mieske in exchange for Gary Sheffield and Minor League prospect Geoff Kellogg. He made his major league debut with the Brewers in September 17, 1992. On January 12, 2000, and after eight seasons with the Brewers, he was traded with Cal Eldred to the Chicago White Sox in exchange of Jaime Navarro and John Snyder. He played five seasons with the White Sox before becoming a free agent in October 29, 2004.

As Valentín got older, however, his range in the field lessened with his foot speed. Therefore he shifted from a strict shortstop to a player who can handle duties at third base, second base, shortstop and left field. On December 21, 2004, he was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, during spring training, he went down with torn ligaments in his left knee, and ended up putting only a .170 batting average in 56 games that season after he returned, serving as a third baseman, left fielder and lefty pinch-hitter. On October 27 of the same year, the Dodgers granted him free agency.

On December 12, 2005, Valentín signed with the New York Mets hoping to make the team as a utility player off the bench, but rebounded from the previous season to have one of the best seasons of his career. He emerged as one of the most solid players on the line-up, becoming the Mets regular second baseman after they traded away Kazuo Matsui. His veteran leadership and consistent hitting played a big part in helping the Mets to the 2006 National League Eastern Division title. Valentín capped off his great regular season by hitting two home runs against the Florida Marlins on September 18, 2006, in the division-clinching game.

On November 14, 2006, Valentin re-signed with the Mets for one year, with an option for 2008. Valentín agreed to switch his uniform number from 18 to 22 for the newly-signed Moisés Alou a few days later. On July 20, 2007, Valentín fouled a ball off his right leg, breaking his tibia and ending his season after 51 games and a .241 batting average. He re-signed with the Mets to a minor league contract on January 18, 2008, with an invitation to spring training. With the Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs, Valentin told the Mets his season was over on June 21, due to physical and mental wear and tear. The Mets released him shortly thereafter. In February 2009, he re-signed with the Mets to a minor league contract; he was released after not making the team out of Spring Training.

Valentín had success as one of the few shortstops with good home run power, averaging 25 homers and 80 RBI over a 162 game season for his career. Although he only has a .243 lifetime batting average (the lowest average among all qualified active players), he has established a .332 lifetime on-base percentage, evidencing his propensity to walk.

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Atenienses de Manatí

The Atenienses de Manatí (English: Athenians) are a professional baseball team based in Manatí, Puerto Rico. The Atenienses are owned by José Valentín and were formerly known as the Cangrejeros de Santurce. The team moved to Manatí for the 2004-05 season. Their home stadium is Estadio Municipal Pedro Román Meléndez.

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Ricky Bones

Ricardo "Ricky" Bones (pronounced /ˈboʊ̪nɨs/; born April 7, 1969 in Salinas, Puerto Rico) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who had a 10-year career from 1991 to 2001. He played for three National League teams - the San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds, and Florida Marlins - and four American League teams - the Milwaukee Brewers, Kansas City Royals, New York Yankees, and Baltimore Orioles.

In 2009, Bones will be the pitching coach of the Mets' Triple-A farm team, the Buffalo Bisons.

Bones was signed by the Padres as an amateur free agent in May 13, 1986 making his Major League debut in August 11, 1991 against the Cincinnati Reds. He pitched seven innings, allowed only 2 hits, and received his first professional victory.

In March 26, 1992, Bones was traded with Matt Mieske and José Valentín to the Milwaukee Brewers for Gary Sheffield and minor league player Geoff Kellogg. He stayed with the Brewers for more than 4 seasons. During that time, he was elected to the American League All-Star team in 1994, but did not play in the game. On August 29, 1996, he was traded by the Brewers to the New York Yankees with Pat Listach and Graeme Lloyd for Bob Wickman and Gerald Williams. He only played four games with the Yankees before being granted free agency in October 25. After that, he started moving from team to team playing with the Cincinnati Reds, the Brewers again, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles, and Florida Marlins. In November 5, 2001, he was granted free agency by the Marlins and he chose to retire. He is currently the pitching coach of the Binghamton Mets.

Bones was noted for his dominance of left-handed batters and his long hair.

Bones was named in the Mitchell report for taking steroids/HGH.

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List of Major League Baseball hitters with three home runs in one game

Listed below are the occurrences of Major League Baseball players who have hit three home runs in a single game. To date, there have been 246 occurrences in the National League, 233 in the American League, and 1 in the American Association, for a total of 480 by 336 different players.

Johnny Mize and Sammy Sosa have accomplished the feat six different times. Dave Kingman, Joe Carter, Mark McGwire, and Carlos Delgado have done it five times. Only once has the feat occurred twice in the same game by two different players. On September 25, 2001, Richie Sexson and Jeromy Burnitz both hit three home runs for the Milwaukee Brewers in a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Twenty-nine players have hit three homers with more than one team. Kingman, Mize, and Alex Rodriguez have done it with three different teams.

The 15 players with four home runs are included and noted on this list; for a separate list of only those players, see MLB hitters with four home runs in one game.

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Olavarría

Olavarría is located in Argentina

Olavarría is a city in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is the capital of the Olavarría Partido and has over 83,000 inhabitants as per the 2001 census .

The settlement was officially founded on November 25, 1867, named in honour of General José Valentín de Olavarría (1801 - 1845) who was an Argentine military leader.

Municipal information: Municipal Affairs Federal Institute (IFAM), Municipal Affairs Secretariat, Ministry of Interior, Argentina.

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Source : Wikipedia