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John Franco to Be Inducted into New York Mets Hall of Fame: Fan Reaction
The New York Mets announced on Thursday, January 25, that John Franco, the team's all-time saves leader with 276, will be inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame in a ceremony to take place Sunday, June 3, prior to the team's game against the St. Louis Cardinals. He deserves it.
A four-time All-Star, Franco saved 424 games—148 with the Cincinnati Reds—over his long career, the fourth-most in the history of Major League Baseball and the most by any lefty. But aside from his worthy stats, Franco was a true New Yorker. A Brooklyn native, he starred at local Lafayette High School and attended St. John's University in Queens. So when he was traded to the Mets from the Reds as part of a multi-player deal in 1989, it was a true homecoming. You could say, Franco was meant to be a Met.
"I am truly honored and humbled by being elected into the Mets Hall of Fame," Franco told MLB.com. "Growing up as a kid in Brooklyn and … always rooting for the Mets, and then working my way through high school and college and having a good career here in New York, it's an honor for me to be inducted into the Hall of Fame."
From Randy Myers to Armando Benitez to Billy Wagner, the Mets have employed some of the hardest-throwing closers in baseball history. But none of them had the heart and grit of the kid from Brooklyn, who made the most of what he had—most notably, a disappearing change-up. Franco didn't throw hard, but he worked hard, a quality that most New Yorkers can identify with.
But it never came easy for Franco. And he never made it easy. His maddening habit of allowing base runners always kept Mets fans on the edge of their seats. During the early part of his Mets career, he often managed to wiggle out of trouble. He wasn't always so lucky in the later years. The one consistent, however, was that Franco always gave it his all. That's what I remember most about him.
Thank you, John!
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Adam Martini is a freelance sportswriter who grew up in Queens, N.Y. with a view of Shea Stadium from his bedroom window. He spent many nights in the upper deck at Shea rooting for the Mets.
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