Top 100 Mets: #96 - Randy Myers

Randall Kirk Myers was as colorful a ballplayer as he was good. Certainly in the history of the Mets he remains an important figure. Because without Randall K., there would have been no John Franco. John Franco went to become the finest closer in New York Mets history. So if there was no Randy, there would have been no John, plain and simple. For that reason, he receives our nod as Greatest Met #96.

And that's just the beginning of the story. Randy Myers was a central figure on the last of the great Davey Johnson teams (1988), and he was probably involved in the "worst move that Davey didn't make" in that devastating Game #4 loss to the Dodgers in the 1988 NLCS. He wound up accumulating 56 saves for New York, before being dispatched to the Cincinnati Reds for Johnny B. Goode. Randy went on to the 1990 World Series Championship as one of Lou Piniella's "Nasty Boys".

Randall K was the Mets 1st Round draft pick in the 1982 draft, and the ninth pick overall. He threw extremely hard and went on to record a fantastic career total of 347 saves, and as I mentioned, the first 56 of those came as a Met.

With the fortunes of Roger McDowell and Jesse Orosco wearing down, Davey Johnson anointed Myers the new closer in 1988. He went on to record 26 saves with his nasty stuff. He could really bring it and gave the Mets their version of "Goose" Gossage. The 1988 Mets may very well have been the very best of the Johnson teams, 1986 notwithstanding. The team would go on to win 100 regular season games for the third time in its history, and Myers was the man selected to "seal the deal".

Year

Team

W-L

Svs

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

1985

Mets

0-0

0

2

0

1

2

0.00

1986

Mets

0-0

0

10.2

11

1

9

4.22

1987

Mets

3-6

6

75

61

30

92

3.96

1988

Mets

7-3

26

68

45

17

69

1.72

1989

Mets

7-4

24

84.1

62

40

88

2.35



Myers was a man just as famous for his idiosyncrasies. He loved to walk around in military fatigues, read "Soldier of Fortune" magazine, and kept a veritable arsenal in his locker. He also had a reputation of being a warm man, who was not led astray by his celebrity. Simply put, he was just one of the guys…albeit one possessing an M-15.

Following the 1986 World Championship, the Mets had suffered a major let down in 1987. Injuries to several key players had let the far less talented St. Louis Cardinals sleaze ahead of them that season, and cost them the NL East title. However, 1988 it was a different story. Johnson had his troops healthy… and Randy Myers closing out games. The team coasted to the NL East championship, and they simply obliterated the Dodgers (winners of the West) in the season series, winning an amazing 11 of 12 contests the teams played against one another.

It was no surprise then, that the Mets were heavily favored going into the NLCS. But sometimes, just sometimes, things just don't work out the way they are suppose to. Hmmm… The Scene: Game #4 at Shea Stadium, top of the ninth inning: Doc Gooden tiring with a 4-2 lead and a man on. Randall K has been lights out in the series thus far (2-0), and it's a perfect time for Davey Johnson to lift Doctor K in favor of Randall K. But after all, it's only that Punch-N-Judy hitter Mike Scioscia at the plate…and Doc can surely get him out!

The rest as they say, is history: Scioscia went deep against the exhausted Gooden, and tied the game…Dodgers won in extra innings, and "Bulldog" Hershiser took over the series. As for Randall K. Myers, he was traded virtually even up for John Franco in December of 1989. The trade worked out well for both teams.Lou Piniella formed his triumvirate of hard throwers that became his "lights-out" bullpen: Myers, Rod Dibble and Norm Charlton, or the "Nasty Boys". And they would go on to reward Lou, and the city of Cincinnati with a World Series win in 1990. Randy was named the MVP of the NLCS that season.

Following those events, Randy Myers became one of the finest closers for a number of teams over the next decade.
D. Henson
Randy Myers: Myers saved 53 games for the Cubs in 1993.
He would go on to set the NL record for season saves (since broken) with the Chicago Cubs in 1993, with an incredible 53. For that magnificent season, he was awarded the Rolaids Reliever of the Year.

He bounced around somewhat after that, and was reunited with Davey Johnson in Baltimore in 1996-1997. He had two fine seasons in Baltimore, before moving once again. David Wells tells us in his autobiography how, as teammates on the Birds, that Randy had his entire weapons stash confiscated by the FBI when Bill Clinton came to visit the clubhouse. Nevertheless, Myers had incredible seasons under Johnson, totalling 76 saves in two seasons. His 45 saves in 1997 resulted in his second Rolaids award.

Ironically, Randy played only one more season following that second Rolaids award. He split time with Toronto and San Diego (his second tour with the Padres), and called it a career following the 1998 season. He was only 35, but had accumulated the sixth most saves in history with his 347.

Randy remains much more than a footnote in baseball history and was instrumental in the last great Mets season until 2000. Now only if Davey Johnson had let Myers face Scioscia….ah yes, second-guessing, the stuff that dreams are made of…and gets Randy Myers our #96 distinction.

Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories