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Sunday, June 04, 2023

Howard Johnson, Al Leiter headline Mets hall of fame class

Howard Johnson and Al Leiter were inducted into the New York Mets hall of fame prior to the team’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.

Johnson played for New York from 1985 through 1993. He ranks third in team history with 202 stolen bases and fourth in homers (192) and RBIs (629). Leiter grew up a Mets fan in New Jersey before pitching for the team from 1998 through 2004.

The 62-year-old Johnson played his first big league game in 1982 for the Detroit Tigers and his last one with the Chicago Cubs in 1995.

“There’s probably not a day goes by that you don’t think about that—being able to play the game that we did when we were 25, play at that level,” Johnson said. “Every time you get out of bed is a reminder that was a long time ago. It’s almost like two different people. And the older we get, that person goes further and further away.”

Johnson and Leiter were joined in the 2023 class by broadcasters Gary Cohen and Howie Rose, who have called the team’s games on radio and television since 1989 and 1995, respectively. Longtime media relations executive Jay Horwitz also was honored with a hall of fame achievement award.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 04, 2023 at 01:36 PM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: al leiter, howard johnson, mets

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   1. tell me when i'm telling 57i66135 Posted: June 04, 2023 at 02:11 PM (#6131482)
and tom bodett was snubbed again.
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 04, 2023 at 02:33 PM (#6131487)
Too bad Johnson didn’t do better with the restaurants.
   3. Adam Starblind Posted: June 04, 2023 at 05:57 PM (#6131501)
A fun star on some excellent Mets teams, and a sliver of a reason to watch some very bad ones. A favorite of mine growing up.
   4. JJ1986 Posted: June 04, 2023 at 07:35 PM (#6131506)
Howie Rose really headlines the class.
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: June 04, 2023 at 08:59 PM (#6131512)
I went to see HoJo play on his 50th birthday, with his son (who played some organized ball) in an independent league game - he had signed a 1-day contract.

HoJo had two unmemorable ABs as a DH (which is respectable at that age), but mainly I just remember that the family seemed so happy all around.

meanwhile, his restaurants were must-stops for lunch on all of our station-wagon vacations in the 1970s.

he had hotels, too, but it was always Holiday Inn for overnights - and HoJo's for the "Big Joe" burger.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 04, 2023 at 11:42 PM (#6131530)
I still remember my dad (a Tigers fan) being mad about the Howard Johnson/Walt Terrell trade.
   7. rr: over-entitled starf@ck3r Posted: June 05, 2023 at 12:32 AM (#6131533)
I think team HOFs are pretty cool, even though no one seems to pay much attention to them.
   8. sanny manguillen Posted: June 05, 2023 at 10:21 AM (#6131551)
I still remember my dad (a Tigers fan) being mad about the Howard Johnson/Walt Terrell trade

The 1984 Tigers would have been pretty funny if Johnson had started hitting straight out of the minors.
   9. Karl from NY Posted: June 05, 2023 at 05:19 PM (#6131584)
I think team HOFs are pretty cool, even though no one seems to pay much attention to them.

Yeah, team fans already know who their team's figures are, and other teams' fans don't care.

The Mets have an argument for the the most team-HOF-but-not-real-HOF players, since the franchise has had so many half-career and hall-of-good players but virtually no franchise lifers.
   10. Howie Menckel Posted: June 05, 2023 at 05:42 PM (#6131588)
can confirm

1. Darryl Strawberry 252
2. David Wright 242
3. Mike Piazza 220
4. Howard Johnson 192
6. Dave Kingman 154
7. Carlos Beltrán 149
8. Michael Conforto 132
9. Lucas Duda 125
10. Todd Hundley 124


1. David Wright 1777
2. José Reyes 1534
3. Ed Kranepool 1418
4. Cleon Jones 1188
5. Edgardo Alfonzo 1136
6. Mookie Wilson 1112
7. Bud Harrelson 1029
8. Mike Piazza 1028
9. Darryl Strawberry 1025
10. Howard Johnson 997

10th Met to reach the hallowed 1000-hit mark and lock in a spot in the Mets Hall of Fame?

the race is on !


(the Astros/Colt .45s, who entered the NL with the Mets in 1962, have 15 players with more than 124 HR and 13 players with more than 997 hits. ok, that's not THAT bad of a differential. but the Astros have 6 guys with more than 1600 hits to the Mets' 1)
   11. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: June 05, 2023 at 07:00 PM (#6131594)
Is Hubie Brooks a poor man's Howard Johnson?

Both of them had some of their best years with the Mets, but notably played for other teams as well (Hubie MON and LAD, Howard DET)

both were only passably defensively, but played SS, 3b, and the outfield

Both didn't hit for great average but had some pop.

Howard Johnson took more walks, slugged a bit more, and perhaps played better defense. 22 WAR versus 13 WAR.

Both had about 14-15 year careers
   12. SoSH U at work Posted: June 17, 2023 at 11:44 PM (#6133471)
Here's a strange development on the team hall of fame front. David Freese turned down the Cards' invitation to join the club's hall of fame. He didn't think he was deserving.

   13. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 18, 2023 at 10:05 AM (#6133488)
HoJo stole a lot more bases than Brooks, too. He was a 30-30 guy three times and a remote threat to go 40-40 the year after Canseco did it (he finished with 36 HR and 41 SB).

But yes, it’s not a bad comparison.
   14. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: June 18, 2023 at 03:25 PM (#6133523)
Until David Wright came along, HoJo was easily the franchise's most potent bat at third base.

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