Photo Author: Wally Gobetz
Photo Description: The New York Mets have retired four numbers, which adorn the overhang above the outfield fence just in play of the left field foul pole at Shea Stadium.
Casey Stengel's 37 was retired on September 2, 1965. Although the Old Perfessor was best known for managing the Yankees, he helmed the expansion Mets through their inauguaral seasons before being forced to retire in August 1965 after breaking his hip. Stengel holds the major league record for most wins (37) and games (64) managed in World Series play. He is also the only manager to win five consecutive World Series (from 1949 to 1953). He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966 and inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame in 1981.
Gil Hodges' number 14 was retired on June 9, 1973. Best known for his years as a slugging first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers and later the Los Angeles Dodgers, Hodges closed out his career as an original member of the 1962 Mets after being selected in the expansion draft. He hit the first home run in franchise history on April 11, 1962 in St. Lous, but only tallied 65 games over 1962-63 before retiring. He took over as manager in 1968, and guided to team to a 339-309 record through 1971. In just his second season, he guided the 1969 Miracle Mets to their first World Series Championship. After identical third place seasons in 1970 and 1971, Hodges died suddenly of a heart attack in April, 1972. HE was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame in 1982.
Tom Seaver, the only Met player to have his number retired, saw his number 41 raised on June 24, 1988. Seaver helped transform the Mets from lovable losers into World Series champions, winning the Rookie of the Year award in 1967. He would go on to win three Cy Young Awards (1969, 1973, 1976), appear in 9 all star games (7 as a Met), and tally 311 wins over 20 seasons. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame and inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame in 1992.
Jackie Robinson's number 42 was retired throughout all of baseball on April 15, 1997--the 50th anniversary of his first game. In 1947, Robinson broke baseball's color barrier, becoming the first African American to play in the Major Leagues. He spent his entire career wearing a Brooklyn Dodger uniform, playing in six World Series and six All Star games. He won the 1947 Rookie of the Year Award, and the 1949 MVP Award. Robinson died from heart problems and diabetes complications in 1972. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
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