Mets retiring Keith Hernandez's No. 17 on July 9
"I'm thrilled," Hernandez said. "This is truly a special honor that lasts beyond a lifetime. I can't thank Steve and Alex Cohen and the Mets Hall of Fame committee enough. I was very emotional when Steve called to let me know about the number retirement. This is the highest honor an organization can bestow upon a player. I also want to thank Mets fans, who have treated me like family since I arrived in 1983."
Hernandez will become just the fourth Mets player to have his number retired, joining Tom Seaver, Mike Piazza, and Jerry Koosman. The Mets have also retired the numbers of managers Casey Stengel and Gil Hodges.
Hernandez starred for the Mets from 1983-89 after he was acquired in a trade from the St. Louis Cardinals.
During his time in New York, Hernandez was a three-time All-Star who earned six Gold Gloves for his impressive work at first base. He played a big role in the Mets' 1986 World Series title win, finishing fourth in National League MVP voting during the regular season.
"Keith was the first captain in team history and a great leader and catalyst on that '86 championship team," said owner Steve Cohen. "He was a defensive wizard at first and was a clutch performer late in games. We made a promise to continue celebrating and honoring our tremendous history and this is another deserving step in that direction. Congratulations, Keith."
Hernandez became an award-winning broadcaster for the Mets after retiring from baseball.
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