As much as I swoon over David Wright and Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran has always been my favorite Met.
I’ve been a Mets fan since birth. I still have “Metty Bear,” from when I was an infant. But as my friends and family can attest, I wasn’t diehard until 2005. (Heck, I even fell asleep during the 2000 World Series, something I will never live down.)
When Beltran signed with the Mets in early January ‘05, I was thrilled. Playoff beast coming to the Mets, a month after Pedro Martinez joined the club. These Mets were destined for greatness. A revitalized lineup, a crafty GM and nowhere to go but up.
‘05 for Beltran, as we know, wasn’t much fun. But during his ‘06 campaign, where he slugged 41 home runs, OPS’d .982 and all those great things, the team made it within one game of the World Series. Unfortunately, Beltran was the man at the plate with the game on the line, and that wicked curveball froze him. The season ended and it all fell on Beltran’s shoulders.
This “scar” on Beltran’s career is still fresh in many fan’s eyes. He’s continually called soft for missing most of the last two season. (No one seems to point out he played 151, 140, 144 and 161(!) games the previous four years for the Mets.)
This season, the last in his contract with the Mets, he’s raking to the tune of .293/.389/.528/.917, 61 RBI and an NL leading 30 doubles. He’s also played 92 of their 107 games, something not expected after his previous injury-shortened seasons.
Today is likely Beltran’s last home game with the Mets. He’s expected to be dealt before the July 31 trading deadline, and the Mets don’t return to Citi Field before the calendar turns.
I’ll miss Beltran – my favorite Met. He’s been there during my entire “die hard” fan life and I’ll be sad to see him go.