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Sometimes it all comes together. You have a favorite player wearing your favorite number on their uniform jersey. I have loved, absolutely loved, Francisco Lindor since he began his career with the Cleveland Indians. And for the longest time I truly believed he would be yet another one of those opposing players who I would watch and root for, and dream of him playing for the Mets someday. So when the Mets pulled the trigger and brought Lindor to Queens, it was certainly gratifying. And to have him wearing my favorite number on top of that…well…no fan could be happier.
I actually came to love the No. 12, believe it or not, because I really liked the way it looked in the full block style on the old Mets road uniforms when I saw Ken Boswell wearing it. Boswell was not my favorite player, but he was one of my favorites. It bothered me to see it assigned to a guy like Jack Heidemann (I know, who is he?) when he came to the Mets. And I got excited when Lee Mazzilli came up and wore it his first year, and then was disappointed when he swapped numbers with John Stearns and took the No. 16. Some very obscure players wore my No. 12 over the years, although there were some really good players like Tommy Davis, Stearns, Ron Darling, Willie Randolph and Roberto Alomar. Even Cleon Jones, who will forever be associated with No. 21, wore it, after first wearing the No. 34, believe it or not.
So I decided to take a look at the top player at each position who wore No. 12 during his Mets career:
The Mets announced that they will, at times, be sporting their "racing stripe" uniforms in honor of the 30th Anniversary of the 1986 World Series Championship team. I have always had a fascination with the Mets uniforms and to be quite honest, I absolutely hated those uniforms. The home uniforms were bad enough, but the road uniforms had a weird block lettering and then a silly looking script. Heck, Keith Hernandez has so often made his opinion of those uniforms known during broadcasts, calling them "hideous." I am a traditionalist, and although I liked the brief appearance of the blue and orange piping on the sleeves during the Lee Mazzilli era in the late seventies, early eighties, I am truly partial to the traditional home uniforms. But my favorite is the traditional away jerseys with the tiffany style lettering on the front and the full block numbers on the front and back.
And uniform numbers worn by the players always seemed to pique my interest. I am sure most people can be presented with a number and immediately associate it with a specific Mets player. In fact, sometimes you see a number on a player’s back and you either love the player or simply the way the number looks and all of a sudden that becomes YOUR number.
Alan Karmin is an award-winning journalist and author. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and spent most of his life growing up in the New Jersey suburbs. Alan's family were avid Brooklyn Dodgers fans and when the Dodgers moved west, the Mets became the team to root for. The Mets have always been a true focal point, Alan even wrote a term paper in high school to analyze what was wrong with the Mets. While at the University of Miami, Alan honed his craft covering the, gulp, Yankees during spring trainings in Fort Lauderdale for a local NBC affiliate, as well as the Associated Press and UPI. He broadcasted baseball games for the University of Miami, and spring training games for the Baltimore Orioles and Montreal Expos. New York Mets Mania is a forum for Alan to write about his favorite team and for baseball fans to chime in and provide their thoughts and ideas about New York's Amazin' Mets.