1999 New York Mets season

1999 New York Mets
NL Wild Card
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s) Nelson Doubleday Jr., Fred Wilpon
General manager(s) Steve Phillips
Manager(s) Bobby Valentine
Local television WPIX-TV/Fox Sports New York
(Ralph Kiner, Tom Seaver, Fran Healy, Howie Rose, Gary Thorne)
Local radio WFAN
(Bob Murphy, Gary Cohen, Ed Coleman)
WADO (Spanish)
(Juan Alicea, Billy Berroa)
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The New York Mets' 1999 season was the 38th regular season for the Mets. They went 97-66 and finished 2nd in the NL East but won the NL Wild Card by beating the Cincinnati Reds in a one game playoff. The Mets advanced to the National League Championship Series, where they were defeated by the Atlanta Braves in 6 games.

The Mets were managed by Bobby Valentine, who entered his fourth year as skipper. They played home games at Shea Stadium.


  • November 11, 1998: Bobby Bonilla was traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers to the New York Mets for Mel Rojas.[1]
  • December 1, 1998: Todd Hundley was traded by the New York Mets with Arnold Gooch (minors) to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Roger Cedeño and Charles Johnson.[2]
  • December 1, 1998: Charles Johnson was traded by the New York Mets to the Baltimore Orioles for Armando Benítez.[3]
  • December 1, 1998: Robin Ventura was signed as a Free Agent with the New York Mets.[4]
  • December 16, 1998: Rickey Henderson signed as a Free Agent with the New York Mets.
  • December 18, 1998: Josías Manzanillo was signed as a Free Agent with the New York Mets.[5]

Regular season

The Mets' 97 victories were their highest total since they won 100 games in 1988. They were led offensively by catcher Mike Piazza, who compiled a .303 average with 40 home runs and 124 RBI in his first full season with the team. New third baseman Robin Ventura put together a .301 average, 32 home runs, and 120 RBI while second baseman Edgardo Alfonzo hit .304 with 27 home runs and 108 RBI. First baseman John Olerud continued his consistent hitting, hitting .298 with 96 RBI, his third straight year with 90 or more runs driven in. Offseason acquisitions Roger Cedeno and Rickey Henderson recorded the two highest batting averages on the squad at .315 and .313 respectively. Benny Agbayani, a semi-regular outfielder who got more playing time as the year progressed, contributed 14 home runs.

The Mets' pitching staff was again led by Al Leiter with 13 wins. Orel Hershiser matched that total, with Masato Yoshii recording 12 wins and Rick Reed 11. Rookie Octavio Dotel went 8-3 in fourteen starts, and late season acquisition Kenny Rogers won five of six decisions while leading the team in complete games. The rotation was not as strong as keeping runs off the board; the team's four main starters recorded ERAs above 4.00.

The offseason acquisition of Armando Benitez from the Baltimore Orioles ended John Franco's tenure as the team's closer. Franco did manage to record nineteen saves and broke the Major League Baseball record for saves by a lefthander, but Benitez' 1.85 ERA and twenty-two saves ensured the closer role would be his for the foreseeable future.

Mercury Mets

As part of the now-infamous Turn Ahead the Clock promotion the Mets changed their name to the "Mercury Mets" while hosting the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 27, 1999.[6][7]

Opening Day starters

  • Edgardo Alfonzo
  • Bobby Bonilla
  • Rickey Henderson
  • Al Leiter
  • Brian McRae
  • John Olerud
  • Rey Ordóñez
  • Mike Piazza
  • Robin Ventura[8]

Season standings

NL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
Atlanta Braves 10359 0.636 56–25 47–34
New York Mets 9766 0.595 49–32 48–34
Philadelphia Phillies 7785 0.475 26 41–40 36–45
Montreal Expos 6894 0.420 35 35–46 33–48
Florida Marlins 6498 0.395 39 35–45 29–53

Record vs. opponents

1999 National League Records

Source: NL Standings Head-to-Head
Arizona 4–57–21–86–78–15–47–65–46–37–28–15–211–29–34–47–8
Atlanta 5–42–58–15–49–46–15–45–29–49–38–56–35–44–58–19–9
Chicago 2–75–25–84–56–33–92–76–62–53–62–77–66–31–77–56–9
Cincinnati 8–11–88–57–26–19–44–36–64–35–56–37–66–34–58–47-8
Colorado 7–64–55–42–75–42–68–56–36–34–55–42–74–94–94–54–8
Florida 1–84–93–61–64–52–77–25–48–43–102–113–43–64–53–411–7
Houston 4–51–69–34–96–27-26–38–57–24–56–15–78–15–45–712–3
Los Angeles 6–74–57–23–45–82–73–67–25–44–46–33–63–98–53–68–7
Milwaukee 4–52–56–66–63–64–55–82–75–42–55–48–43–54–57–68–6
Montreal 3–64–95–23–43–64–82–74–54–55–86–63–65–34–55–48–10
New York 2–73–96–35–55–410–35–44–45–28–56–67–27–27–25–212–6
Philadelphia 1-85–87–23–64–511–21–63–64–56–66–63–46–32–64–511–7
Pittsburgh 2–53–66–76–77–24–37–56–34–86–32–74–33–64–57–57–8
San Diego 2–114–53–63–69–46–31–89–35–33–52–73–66–35–72–711–4
San Francisco 3–95–47–15–49–45–44–55–85–45–42–76–25–47–56–37–8
St. Louis 4–41–85–74–85–44-37–56–36–74–52–55–45–77–23–67–8

Notable transactions

  • July 31, 1999: Brian McRae was traded by the New York Mets with Thomas Johnson (minors) and Rigo Beltrán to the Colorado Rockies for Darryl Hamilton and Chuck McElroy.[9]
  • July 31, 1999: Jason Isringhausen was traded by the New York Mets with Greg McMichael to the Oakland Athletics for Billy Taylor.[10]


1999 New York Mets
Pitchers Catchers



Other batters



Player stats


Starters by position

Note: Pos = position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
CMike Piazza141534162.30340124
1BJohn Olerud162581173.2981996
2BEdgardo Alfonzo158628191.30427108
3BRobin Ventura161588177.30132120
SSRey Ordóñez154520134.258160
LFRickey Henderson121438138.3151242
CFBrian McRae9629866.221836
RFRoger Cedeño155453142.313436


Other batters

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Benny Agbayani10127679.2861442
Darryl Hamilton5516857.339521
Todd Pratt7114041.293321
Matt Franco12213231.235421
Bobby Bonilla6011919.160418
Luiz Lopez6810422.212213
Shawon Dunston429332.344016
Jermaine Allensworth407316.21939
Mike Kinkade28469.19626
Melvin Mora66315.16101
Jay Payton1382.25001
Terrence Long330.00000
Jorge Toca431.33300



Starting pitchers

Al Leiter3232213.013124.23162
Orel Hershiser3232179.013124.5889
Masato Yoshii3129174.01284.40105
Rick Reed2626149.11154.58104
Octavio Dotel191485.1835.3885
Kenny Rogers121276.0514.0358


Other pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Relief pitchers

Armando Benítez7778.043221.85128
Turk Wendell8085.25433.0577
Pat Mahomes3963.28003.6851
Dennis Cook7163.010533.8668
John Franco4640.202192.8841



New York wins series, 3-1

1New York 8, Arizona 4October 5
2Arizona 7, New York 1October 6
3New York 9, Arizona 2October 8
4New York 4, Arizona 3 (10 innings)October 9


Game 1

October 12: Turner Field, Atlanta

New York000100001262
WP: Greg Maddux (1-0)   LP: Masato Yoshii (0-1)   Sv: John Rocker (1)
Home runs:
NYM: None
ATL: Eddie Pérez (1)

Game 2

October 13: Turner Field, Atlanta

New York010010010351
WP: Kevin Millwood (1-0)   LP: Kenny Rogers (0-1)   Sv: John Smoltz (1)
Home runs:
NYM: Melvin Mora (1)
ATL: Brian Jordan (1);Eddie Pérez (2)

Game 3

October 15: Shea Stadium, Flushing, New York

New York000000000072
WP: Tom Glavine (1-0)   LP: Al Leiter (0-1)   Sv: John Rocker (2)
Home runs:
ATL: None
NYM: None

Game 4

October 16: Shea Stadium, Flushing, New York

New York00000102X350
WP: Turk Wendell (1-0)   LP: Mike Remlinger (0-1)   Sv: Armando Benítez (1)
Home runs:
ATL: Brian Jordan (2); Ryan Klesko (1)
NYM: John Olerud (1)

Game 5

October 17: Shea Stadium, Flushing, New York

  • In the bottom of the 15th inning, the Mets managed to load the bases against Braves relief pitcher Kevin McGlinchy. Mets catcher Todd Pratt drew a bases loaded walk, tying the score at 3-3.
  • The next batter was Mets third baseman Robin Ventura. Ventura crushed the 2-1 pitch over the wall in right-center for a grand slam, winning the game for the Mets and driving the Mets players and fans into a frenzied celebration. Ventura, however, never reached second base as Todd Pratt, the runner who was on first, picked him up in celebration. Subsequently, Ventura was mobbed by his teammates, never finishing his trot around the bases. Because he failed to touch all four bases, the hit was officially scored a single. Roger Cedeño, the runner on third at the time, was ruled the only runner to have crossed home plate before the on-field celebration began and the Mets were awarded a 4-3 victory. Thus, Ventura was only credited with a single and one RBI. This play is now referred to as the grand slam single.
New York2000000000000024111
WP: Octavio Dotel (1-0)   LP: Kevin McGlinchy (0-1)
Home runs:
ATL: None
NYM: John Olerud (2)

Game 6

October 19: Turner Field, Atlanta

New York000003410109152
WP: Russ Springer (1-0)   LP: Kenny Rogers (0-2)
Home runs:
NYM: Mike Piazza (1)
ATL: None

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Norfolk Tides International League John Gibbons
AA Binghamton Mets Eastern League Doug Davis
A St. Lucie Mets Florida State League Howie Freiling
A Capital City Bombers South Atlantic League Dave Engle
A-Short Season Pittsfield Mets New York–Penn League Tony Tijerina
Rookie Kingsport Mets Appalachian League Guy Conti
Rookie GCL Mets Gulf Coast League John Stephenson



  1. Bobby Bonilla Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
  2. Todd Hundley Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
  3. Charles Johnson Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
  4. https://www.baseball-reference.com/v/venturo01.shtml
  5. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/manzajo01.shtml
  6. Todd Fitzpatrick (August 16, 1999). "Turn Ahead? Turn around". The Sporting News. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
  7. Orel Hershiser modelling the Mercury Mets jersey
  8. "Apr 5, 1999, Mets at Marlins Play by Play and Box Score". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  9. Brian McRae Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
  10. Jason Isringhausen Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
  11. 1 2 1999 New York Mets Statistics and Roster Baseball-Reference.com
  12. 1 2 https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYM/1999.shtml
  13. Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007
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