Mets retire Darryl Strawberry’s No. 18 jersey in an emotional ceremony

Jun 1, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets former player Darryl Strawberry speaks during a pregame ceremony to retire his number 18 before a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets hung Darryl Strawberry’s No. 18 jersey in the rafters on Saturday, June 1 in an emotional ceremony commemorating the franchise legend.

Darryl Strawberry praises the fans during his jersey retirement ceremony

Jun 1, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets former player Darryl Strawberry waves to fans from the back of a golf cart after his number 18 was retired in a ceremony before a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 1, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets former player Darryl Strawberry waves to fans from the back of a golf cart after his number 18 was retired in a ceremony before a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Per John Harper of SNY, Strawberry took center stage at Citi Field to give his speech, and honored the team and its fans for making his Mets tenure the best of his career:

“My greatest thank you is to you, the fans,” Strawberry said. “You pushed me to be great. The curtain calls, the boos, it all made the eight seasons here the greatest of my career.”

“From the bottom of my heart, I’m so sorry for ever leaving you guys. There was nothing greater than playing in front of you fans here in Queens and at Shea Stadium.”

Strawberry shined as an individual talent & World Series Champion with the Mets

Mets Daryl Strawberry hits a solo home run off Red Sox Al Nipper in the 8th inning putting the Mets up 7-5 in Game 7 of the World Series at Shea Stadium Oct. 27, 1986.  Mets Vs Red Sox 1986 World Series
Mets Daryl Strawberry hits a solo home run off Red Sox Al Nipper in the 8th inning putting the Mets up 7-5 in Game 7 of the World Series at Shea Stadium Oct. 27, 1986. Mets Vs Red Sox 1986 World Series Frank Becerra Jr/USA TODAY / USA TODAY NETWORK Credit: Frank Becerra Jr/USA TODAY / USA TODAY NETWORK

The 62-year-old played with the Mets from 1983-1990. Strawberry made seven of his eight All-Star appearances in New York along with winning the 1983 NL Rookie of the Year and two Silver Slugger awards in 1988 and 1990, the former of which he earned while leading the National League in home runs with 39.

The California native’s crowning achievement came when he helped lead the Mets to a World Series win in 1986. For his body of work, Strawberry was inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame in 2010 and now has his jersey entrenched in franchise history for the fans to look up at and always remember.

Strawberry paid tribute to his wife & Mets fans for his special jersey retirement

Strawberry honored his wife for helping him bounce back from a serious heart attack that threatened his life back in March. He cited her role in his recovery as the driving force behind him being where he’s at today and the life-altering experience as making his jersey retirement even more special, saying in part, “I came close to losing my life… I appreciate life more now because of it. And I have my wife to thank for that.”

His induction comes on the heels of Dwight Gooden’s jersey retirement in April. The two played together for a total of nine seasons on the Mets and the New York Yankees and were closely linked throughout their careers as appreciable young talents and championship cornerstones.

Strawberry is now the eighth player in Mets history to have his jersey retired by the team.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: