Mets to retire Keith Hernandez’s number 17 in July

Keith Hernandez, mets

From 1983 to 1989, an incredibly solid first baseman was a perennial presence in the New York Mets’ right side of the infield. Keith Hernandez, the man of the excellent on-base skills and the multiple Gold Glove awards (he won 11 during his career) will see his number 17 retired this year during a ceremony on July 9.

The pinnacle of Hernandez’s career with the Mets came in 1986. He was one of the primary contributors of a championship team, which happens to be the last time Mets’ fans have celebrated a World Series title.

Mets’ fans won’t forget that beautiful left-handed swing, and they will also remember July 9’s ceremony forever, which will of course take place at Citi Field.

“I’m thrilled,” Hernandez said in a statement. “This is truly a special honor that lasts beyond a lifetime.”

With Hernandez, the Mets have now retired for players numbers and six individuals in total: Tom Seaver (No. 41), Mike Piazza (No. 31), Jerry Koosman (No. 36), Gil Hodges (No. 14), and Casey Stengel (No. 37). In addition, No. 42 is retired across baseball for Jackie Robinson.

A truly outstanding player and the heart of the Mets’ championship team

The Mets’ first baseman went to three All-Star games and took five Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger with the team, hitting .297/.387/.429 with 80 homers and 159 doubles. He was named captain in 1987 and was always seen as a leader.

“The retirement of Keith Hernandez’s number 17 is one of the most joyous announcements in Mets franchise history,” radio broadcaster Howie Rose said via Twitter. “Long time coming, but just perfect in conjunction with the upcoming 60th anniversary season. Bravo to the soul of a championship team.”

Mets owner Steve Cohen also said in a statement: “We made a promise to continue celebrating and honoring our tremendous history and this is another deserving step in that direction. Congratulations, Keith.”