Mets All-Time 9 voting close at first base
Hernandez, Delgado and Olerud currently in the running
ATLANTA -- Call Keith Hernandez the best defensive first baseman in Mets history, and you might not get much of an argument. But the best offensive first baseman?
Hernandez might have company.
Through nearly a week's worth of voting in MLB.com's "All-Time 9s" initiative, Hernandez's 1986 season holds a lead of about 3,000 votes over John Olerud's '98 season and Carlos Delgado's 2008 campaign as the best in history by a Mets first baseman.
Here's a look at how the Mets' closest races are shaping up:
Hernandez, who hit .310 with 13 homers and 83 RBIs in 1986, is roughly 3,000 votes ahead of Olerud, who hit .354 with 22 homers and 93 RBIs a decade later. Certainly, fans hold a special place in their hearts for Hernandez, who won a World Series with the Mets and spent twice as many seasons -- six -- in Flushing as Olerud.
Delgado, who ranks approximately 1,000 votes behind Olerud, hit 38 home runs last season.
The Mets also have a tight race in the outfield, where Lenny Dykstra, Bernard Gilkey and Cleon Jones are all vying for the final spot behind Darryl Strawberry and Carlos Beltran. Dykstra, who spent the first 4 1/2 years of his career with the Mets, hit .295 and stole 31 bases in 1986. Jones, also a World Series winner in '69, hit .340 with 12 homers and 16 steals that season. And Gilkey provided some fireworks with 30 home runs and a .317 average in '96.
Most of the team's other races are not close. Mike Piazza, who submitted one of the best seasons of all time by a catcher when he hit .324 and smacked 38 homers in 2000, is running away with the race at that position -- with a nod to Gary Carter and Todd Hundley, who are both receiving plenty of support.
Current Mets, meanwhile, are dominating the left side of the infield -- David Wright with his 30-30 season in 2007 at third base, and Jose Reyes with his 64 steals at shortstop in '06.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.