LHP Jon Matlack, RHP Ron Darling and infielder Edgardo Alfonzo will be inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame on Saturday, July 31 in an on-field ceremony at Citi Field that begins at 6:45 p.m. The three new additions will bring the total membership of the Mets Hall of Fame to 30. Al Jackson will be posthumously honored with the Mets Hall of Fame Achievement Award for contributions to the organization. This group was scheduled to be celebrated in 2020, but due to the pandemic, the ceremony was moved to this year. Tickets for Saturday are on sale at Mets.com/tickets.
Matlack was the 1972 Rookie of the Year and a three-time All-Star with the Mets. He ranks in the top 10 in franchise history in wins, complete games, ERA, strikeouts, shutouts and innings. Matlack won two games and had a 1.40 ERA in four starts during the 1973 postseason. He won double-digit games five straight years, led the NL in shutouts in 1974 and 1976 and was the co-MVP of the 1975 All-Star Game.
“I was honored when I got the call,” said Matlack. “I’m so grateful for the tribute. My time in New York was special to me and I am thrilled to be remembered with all the great players, especially the pitchers, this organization has been blessed to have. Congrats to my fellow inductees Ron Darling and Edgardo Alfonzo. I’m glad that Al Jackson is being recognized as well for what he gave to the organization.”
Darling was one of the backbones of the Mets pitching rotation in the 1980s. He ranks fourth in team history in wins with 99. Darling is also in the top 10 in club history in complete games, innings, strikeouts and shutouts. A member of the 1986 World Champions, he won Game 4 of the World Series in Boston to even the series. Darling was an All-Star in 1985 and earned a Gold Glove Award in 1989. He has been a member of SNY’s broadcast team since its inception in 2006.
“I’m humbled and honored to be part of the Mets Hall of Fame,” said Darling. “Congratulations to the other honorees, especially Al Jackson who was my mentor in the minor leagues. Al changed the path of my professional baseball career and for that, I will be forever grateful. I want to thank the New York Mets organization for this honor and allowing me to be a part of the orange and blue for all these years. This year will be my 26th year, in some capacity, as part of the Mets family. I want to thank all of my teammates, managers and coaches, but most importantly the diehard Mets fans who have made a Hawaiian-born, Massachusetts-raised ballplayer and broadcaster, feel like a true New Yorker.”
Alfonzo was one of the most clutch performers in Mets history. He ranks first in team postseason history in hits, runs and RBI. Alfonzo homered in the one-game playoff in 1999 at Cincinnati and then slugged two homers, including a grand slam, in Game 1 of the NLDS at Arizona. He ranks in the top 10 in franchise history in hits, runs, doubles, RBI, OBP, total bases and batting average. Alfonzo won a Silver Slugger Award in 1999 and was an All-Star in 2000.
“Getting into the Mets Hall of Fame is a dream come true for me,” said Alfonzo. “The Mets have had so many great players in their history and I’m so proud to receive this honor. This is something I never thought would be possible when I started out. I was never much for individual goals, I just wanted to help us win. I would like to congratulate Ron and Jon on their inductions. I’m really glad that Al Jackson is getting honored. He was our pitching coach for two years and was one of my favorites.”
Jackson, an original Met who spent 50 years in a New York Mets uniform, passed away on August 19, 2019. He pitched for the Mets from 1962-1965, 1968-1969 and later became a major league coach, minor league pitching coordinator and a front office advisor for the club. The other Hall of Fame Achievement Award recipients are: front office executive Bob Mandt (2010), head groundskeeper Pete Flynn (2012) and scout Harry Minor (2013).
The 30 Hall of Fame members in order of the year they were inducted are: Joan Payson (1981); Casey Stengel (1981); Gil Hodges (1982); George M. Weiss (1982); Johnny Murphy (1983); William A. Shea (1983); Ralph Kiner (1984); Bob Murphy (1984); Lindsey Nelson (1984); Bud Harrelson (1986); Rusty Staub (1986); Tom Seaver (1988); Jerry Koosman (1989); Ed Kranepool (1990); Cleon Jones (1991); Jerry Grote (1992); Tug McGraw (1993); Mookie Wilson (1996); Keith Hernandez (1997); Gary Carter (2001); Tommie Agee (2002); Frank Cashen (2010); Dwight Gooden (2010); Davey Johnson (2010), Darryl Strawberry (2010), John Franco (2012), Mike Piazza (2013), Jon Matlack (2020), Ron Darling (2020) and Edgardo Alfonzo (2020).
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