I’m very lucky that I’ve known the great Joe Benigno for over twenty years. Ten plus as a listener and the rest as a colleague and a very dear friend.
I mentioned to him earlier today the idea of the Top Met killers over the duration of my lifetime and he responded with a simple “Bro, it’s quite a list!”
He’s not wrong.
There have been a whole lot of brand names that took great pleasure in sticking it to the New York Mets.
So in my lifetime after what we decided to do last week with the Top 5 Yankee killers, it’s only fair that we return the favor.
I can guarantee you this. You won’t forget any of these 5 names.
5. Chase Utley. Look, the slide is the first memory, right? 2016 NLDS. Chase Utley hard-nosed right into the leg of Ruben Tejada. The slide shouldn’t overshadow the way Utley completely owned Mets pitching for close to a decade as a member of the Phillies. 39 homers and 116 RBIs and was a fixture in a lineup that took great satisfaction in killing Mets pitching.
4. Freddie Freeman, the future Hall of Famer played on some bad Atlanta Braves teams for a long while, but it didn’t matter if the Braves were a bad team or a good team. Freeman pounded Mets pitching and always seemed to come up in the biggest of spots to wreck a game.
3. Pat Burrell. This is easily the most obscure player of the five on this list, but there was nothing obscure about the 42 career homers Burrell clubbed against the Mets including 18 at the Old Shea Stadium. In a lineup that featured the likes of Utley, Rollins & Howard, it always seemed Burrell would be the one to wreck games against the Mets.
2. Derek Jeter. 2000. Game 4 World Series. Enough said right? Well, not only did Jeter totally seize the momentum of the Subway Series with that leadoff home run, he also went on to win WS MVP as the Yankees won in 5 games. 2000 aside, Jeter dominated Mets pitching. He hit .364 with a .955 OPS against his crosstown rival. He would’ve been number 1 on this list if the Yankees played the Mets more than 6 times a year.
1. Chipper Jones. The Ultimate Mets killer. The Hall Of Famer on the team in the National League East that the Mets could just never beat. Chipper named his son Shea for goodness sake. Imagine a stat line of .349-49-159. Well, that’s Chipper Jones against the Mets. Unstoppable, every which way.
Now that I’ve thought of the top 5 Yankee & Met Killers of my lifetime, I certainly hope I’m not adding to this list after the 2022 season!
You can listen to my podcast New York, New York on The Ringer Podcast Network on Spotify/Apple Podcasts every Sunday, Tuesday & Thursday evenings. You can also watch me on Geico Sportsnight nightly after Mets Postgame on SNY.