Darryl Strawberry will never get the call to Cooperstown, so he’ll have to settle for the Hall of Fame in Queens.
And he’s OK with that.
Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, former manager Davey Johnson and former general manager Frank Cashen will be inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. in a pregame ceremony prior to the Mets-Diamondbacks game.
“Of course everybody has their opinions about where we should be. They say, ‘You should be in Cooperstown in the Hall of Fame,’ ” Strawberry said on Saturday night. “Well, guess what? We’re going in the Mets Hall of Fame and that’s the most important thing and that’s all I really care about.
“That’s Cooperstown for me, because when I put on the Mets uniform, I believed in winning. Doc Gooden believed in winning. Davey Johnson believed in winning. Frank Cashen believed in winning. And that’s what we did.”
The Mets were criticized by fans and media when Citi Field opened in 2009 because the park offered little to recognize the great teams in franchise history. They’ve done well to remedy that this season. And the team’s 2010 Hall of Fame class is another step in the right direction.
Cashen was the architect behind the 1986 championship team, bringing in Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling, Sid Fernandez and Bobby Ojeda in via trade and drafting Strawberry and Gooden. Johnson managed the Mets to the 1986 World Series title and his 595 wins are the most in franchise history.
Strawberry, a seven-time All-Star with the Mets, is the team's all-time leader in home runs (252), RBI (733) and runs (662).
Gooden won the NL Rookie of the Year award in 1984 and the CY Young award a year later. He led the league in wins (24), ERA (1.53) and strikeouts (268). Gooden ranks second in franchise history in wins (157) and strikeouts (1,875).
“I’m still just overwhelmed at the whole thing. All I can think about being a kid in Tampa… (I) never even imagined going into a team’s Hall of Fame, it never crossed my mind,” Gooden said on Saturday. “And now to actually to be here, to accomplish the things I have. It’s overwhelming.”
CASHEN ON THE BOSS: Cashen built successful Mets teams in the mid to late 1980s. At the same time, across town in the Bronx, George Steinbrenner's Yankees were floundering. So Cashen said on Saturday that he took great pride in dominating the NL and New York City in the late 1980s. He said he was "sad" when Steinbrenner died earlier this month. But, he made sure to point out that The Boss was a "competitor first, friend second."
"He was sort of a half-a--ed friend of mine. But I was sorry," Cashen said when asked about his reaction to Steinbrenner's death. "He was good to compete against."