Keith Hernandez

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Age: 60 (born October 20, 1953)
Position: First Base
Bats: Left Throws: Left
Number: 17
Acquired: Traded from Cardinals on June 15, 1983
Contract: Retired

Keith Hernandez was a first baseman for the Mets from 1983 to 1989. He had a .297 batting average with 80 homers and 468 runs batted in with the team. Hernandez won six National League Gold Glove Awards as a Met.

Hernandez came to the Mets in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals during the 1983 season. He had 98 hits in 95 games played over the rest of the year. At Shea Stadium on June 20, Keith hit a two-run homer in a 6-4 Mets victory over his former Cardinal team. He had two singles and a triple in his first game back in St. Louis as the Mets defeated the Cardinals, 10-1, in the first game of a doubleheader on June 28. Hernandez hit a game-tying two-run homer in the Mets’ 7-4 triumph over the Reds on July 14 at Shea. He singled twice and scored two runs in a 5-4 Mets comeback victory over the Braves at Shea on July 25. Keith singled four times in an 8-3 Mets win at San Diego on August 23. He also had three singles and two runs scored in the Mets’ 5-4 victory on September 9 at Montreal.

In 1984, Hernandez had a team-leading .311 batting average. His 171 hits and 247 total bases were also highs on the team. Keith had a run-scoring single to put the Mets ahead to stay in a 4-2 win over the Braves in Atlanta on April 10. He singled and homered in the Mets' 6-2 win over the Phillies on April 29 at Shea. Hernandez drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning for a 4-3 Mets victory over the Cubs at Shea on May 2. He hit a run-scoring sacrifice fly in the 11th inning for a 7-6 Mets win over the Giants at San Francisco on May 15. Keith doubled to drive in the Mets' first two runs of a 6-0 victory over the Cardinals at St. Louis on June 14. He had three singles and a double in the Mets’ 10-7 win over the Phillies at Shea on June 21 that put the team into first place. Hernandez had a double and a three-run homer in a 10-5 Mets win over the Phillies at Philadelphia on June 25. At Shea on July 3, he hit a two-run homer off Nolan Ryan to put the Mets ahead to stay in a 4-3 win over the Astros. Keith singled in the 10th inning to drive home the winning run for a 9-8 Mets triumph over the Cardinals on July 24. He hit a run-scoring double in the ninth inning to give the Mets a 3-2 victory over the Dodgers on August 29 at Shea. Hernandez had two singles, a double, two RBIs and a pair of runs scored in a 7-4 Mets win over the Padres in a doubleheader opener at Shea on September 1. He also drove in a run with a double to put the Mets ahead to stay in a 5-1 win over the Cubs at Shea on September 9.

Hernandez hit .309 with 10 homers and 91 RBIs in the 1985 season. He had 34 doubles and 87 runs scored to lead the team for the year. Keith singled to drive in the only run of a 1-0 Mets win over the Phillies at Philadelphia on April 19. He hit a home run in the first inning of both the Mets' 4-0 victory over the Braves at Shea on May 8 and 3-2 Mets win over the Phillies at Shea on May 12. In a 19-inning game at Atlanta on July 4, Hernandez hit for the cycle as the Mets came away with a 16-13 win over the Braves. He had two singles, a double and a home run in the Mets’ 7-5 victory over the Reds at Cincinnati on July 8. Keith hit a run-scoring single with two outs in the ninth inning in an eventual 5-4 Mets win over the Cubs in 10 innings at Chicago on August 3. He had a double and four singles in a 14-7 Mets win over the Expos on August 8 at Montreal. Hernandez homered as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning to give the Mets a 4-3 triumph over the Giants at San Francisco on September 1. He had four singles, a homer and four runs scored in the Mets’ 12-4 victory on September 2 at San Diego. Keith singled home the winning run in the ninth for a 7-6 Mets triumph over the Cardinals on September 12 at Shea. He also had two singles and a pair of runs scored in a 9-7 Mets win over the Pirates in 10 innings at Pittsburgh on September 29.

Keith appeared in a team-high 149 games in the Mets’ 1986 World Championship season. He led the team with 171 hits, 34 doubles, 94 runs scored and a National League high of 94 walks. Hernandez had a single, two doubles and three runs scored in a 10-5 Mets win over the Braves at Atlanta on April 29. At Cincinnati on May 3, He had a single, a double and a two-run homer in the Mets’ 4-1 victory over the Reds. Keith singled three times and drove in a run in a 5-1 Mets win over the Reds at Shea on May 10. He had a single and a home run in the Mets’ 10-3 triumph over the Cubs on June 20 at Shea. Hernandez had at least one hit in 20 of 24 consecutive games, going 40-for-100 (.400) from August 5 to August 31. He had three run-scoring singles in a 6-5 Mets win over the Padres in the second game of a doubleheader at Shea on September 7. Keith also drove in three runs with a pair of doubles in a 6-4 Mets victory over the Expos in 10 innings at Montreal on October 1.

In the ’86 post-season, Hernandez had 13 hits and 7 RBIs in 13 games played. In Game 2 of the National League Championship Series, he had a single and a two-run triple as the Mets defeated the Astros, 5-1, at Houston on October 9. Keith singled to drive in a run in the ninth inning of the Mets’ eventual 16-inning, 7-6 triumph that clinched the pennant on October 15 in Game 6 of the Series at Houston. In Game 7 of the World Series at Shea on October 27, Hernandez singled with the bases loaded to drive home two runs in the sixth inning. This hit propelled the Mets to an 8-5 victory over the Red Sox that made the team World Champions.

In 1987, Hernandez led the Mets in hits (170) and hitting (.290) for the fourth year in a row. He had 18 homers and 89 RBIs during the season. On April 30, Keith hit a three-run homer in the Mets’ 11-3 win over the Expos at Shea. He homered twice in a 13-2 Mets victory at Chicago on June 10. Hernandez had two doubles and drove in three runs in the Mets’ 7-4 win on August 2 at Montreal. He hit a home run in the 11th inning for a 3-2 Mets victory over the Phillies at Shea on August 3. Keith also hit a grand slam in the Mets’ 5-4 triumph over the Pirates on September 19 at Pittsburgh.

Injuries plagued Hernandez during the 1988 season. A torn right hamstring limited him to 95 games in the Mets’ division-winning season. At Atlanta on April 26, Keith hit a grand slam and a two-run homer in a 13-4 Mets win over the Braves. He hit a run-scoring single in the ninth inning to give the Mets a 5-4 win over the Reds at Cincinnati on April 29. Hernandez had a double, home run and three RBIs in an 11-0 Mets victory over the Reds at Cincinnati on May 1. He had a single and two doubles in the Mets’ 5-3 win over the Astros on May 10 at Houston. Keith singled, doubled and homered in a 5-2 Mets triumph at San Diego on May 18. He singled three times and drove in two runs in the Mets' 5-2 victory over the Dodgers on May 22 at Los Angeles. Hernandez had a double and a home run in the Mets’ 7-1 win over the Dodgers at Los Angeles on August 22. He slugged a two-run homer in the Mets' 6-0 triumph over the Expos at Montreal on September 10. Keith also drove in all the Mets’ runs with a single and a homer in a 6-3 loss in Game 2 of the NLCS on October 5 at Dodger Stadium.

In 1989, a knee injury kept Hernandez sidelined for much of the season. He appeared in 75 games and hit a career-low .233 for the year. At Houston on April 28, Keith had a three-run homer and a run-scoring single in the Mets’ 7-3 victory. He singled three times and drove in three runs in an 11-4 Mets win at Cincinnati on May 10. Hernandez had an RBI-double in the Mets’ 3-2 victory over the Cubs on September 5 at Shea. He also had a two-run homer in a 5-0 Mets win at Montreal on September 15.

Following the ’89 season, Hernandez signed with the Indians as a free agent. He concluded his career with the Cleveland team in 1990. Keith was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame in 1997. He became a television broadcaster for the Mets games in 2002.

Notes

  • In 1992, Hernandez made an appearance on the Seinfeld TV show. He played himself in Part 1 and Part 2 of an episode titled The Boyfriend.