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Keith Hernandez's Mets Top Moment, No. 7: Defense rests

World Series Champion and beloved SNY analyst Keith Hernandez retired from 17th place at the Mets on July 9th, the fourth Become a player and manager Casey. He honors Stengel and Gil Hodges in the history of the franchise. This is the fourth of the10-part daily countdownof Hernandez's greatest moments and achievements after arriving in Flushing in 1983. 

No. 7: Defense rests 

When Elaine Benes meets Keith Hernandez in a short dating arc "Seinfeld next door," as ridiculed, the baseball team "always puts the worst player in first base. That's where they put me and I stinked." 

Former Mets star's reply that Elaine "doesn't know the first thing about first base" leads to a fun double-enterer exchange, but of course Hernandez in the best defense. First baseman — and probably the best — the best ever. 

No. 17 won the Gold Glove Award 11 times in a row during the seven seasons at Mets from 1983 to 1988. No one has won any more awards in that position. And given that active leaders Paul Goldschmidt, Eric Hosmer, and Anthony Rizzo each won four trophies, the Hernandez mark isn't immediately lost. 

Keith Hernandez
Getty Images

"I can't compare generations. I'm Vic. I've never seen Power play. I've seen Wes Parker. I have to say I'm in the top five. I have to believe it, "Hernandez told the post. "When I was growing up, it was a forgotten position. Harmon Killebrew played first base. The team just put a big power hitter there, not too much about defense. 

"But when we were kids, my dad [John] always told us: if you can play the field, your manager is you. Slump time lineup. You can win the game with your gloves. So I took my defense very seriously. I'm very proud of it. I had. " 

Indeed, Dave Kingman was the first baseman of Mets before Hernandez, who arrived in June 1983 in trade with the Cardinal. .. 

Hernandez's preference for diving stops and the ability to double play 3-6-3 were unmatched, but the aggression to charge the bunt was legendary. 

Perhaps the most famous example was the 12 innings of a brawl-filled 14 innings victory on July 22, 1986 in Cincinnati. 

All-star catcher Gary Carter had to be used by Davey Johnson on third base after Raynite and Kevin Mitchell were sent off following a knightly fight with Reds star Eric Davis. .. 

Hernandez rushed in front of the mound, throwing Carl Willis's bunt into the field and throwing it into Carter. play. 

"I was playing it aggressively, so it was really easy for me," Hernandez said. "I was already playing on artificial turf, so I was more worried because Gary was in 3rd place and he wasn't used to that play, but he made a perfect pitch."