Mike Friere - Blast From The Past (Hubie Brooks)


OK, so I will admit that the Mets' recent downturn has gotten to me a bit.  That has resulted in a bit of a negative turn in my recent contributions to this site.  While I try to "call them like I see them", I prefer to be positive whenever possible.

With that said, I wanted to switch things up a bit and take a different approach for this series of articles.  I am calling them my "blast from the past" and I will pick a player from the Mets' teams of the past and take a deeper look at them, using the fancy "new" statistical models that may not have been in existence at that time.

The first player that came to mind was none other then Hubie Brooks!  You may be wondering why I chose him first, since he played for several teams over the years and his best days were probably with the Expos, of all teams.  That is a fair question, so let me back up a step.

In the early 1980's, I was a young lad living in Upstate New York where there wasn't a lot to do if you weren't into farming (I wasn't), fishing or hunting.   Instead, my circle of friends played as many sports as we could and baseball was one of the more popular Spring and Summer activities (Little League, American Legion and High School baseball were some of the choices).  Since I could throw a baseball pretty far (compared to my fellow teammates), I was either going to pitch, catch or play third base.  I didn't have the control to pitch, I hated all of the gear you needed to catch, so I ended up at third base.

Around this time (1980), I also became a fan of the New York Mets based on my proximity to New York City and the fact that they were on television more then any other team in my area (I know, stupid me).

Kidding aside, I took a liking to my Mets' counterpart Hubie Brooks.  I likely had an inflated sense of what he could do on the field and I tried to play just like him.  time moved on and his Mets career was "solid", but he was eventually traded in late 1984 in a package deal for Gary Carter (not so bad).  Hubie went on to post his best statistical seasons after he left New York for the "Great White North" in Montreal.

So, what was the big deal with Hubie?

He played a total of fifteen seasons for five different ball clubs, to include two stints with our very own Mets.  As a testament to the power of inflation, he earned a total of 10 million dollars for his ENTIRE career!  Let's hope he invested his money well.

Additionally, he played mostly Third Base for the Mets, transitioned to Short Stop with the Expos before moving onto Right Field for the remainder of his career (minus a season of DH'ing with the Angels), so he was pretty versatile.

His career line was as follows;

.269/.315/.403  (.717 OPS)

149 HR/824 RBI/64 SB and 656 Runs

13 WAR

For his time with the Mets, if you use 600 AB as a "season", he produced exactly four seasons of statistics during his time in Queens.  Here is an average Hubie Brooks

.267/.318/.372  (.690 OPS)

11 HR/67 RBI/8 SB and 61 Runs

1.22 WAR

So what did I learn?  Hubie (who is now 61 years old, by the way), was a solid ball player and worth of my respect.  Maybe he wasn't the "star" that I thought he was, but that's OK, as I still appreciate what he brought to the team on a daily basis.

Sort of like visiting your favorite childhood spots as an adult......everything seems a bit smaller and not as consequential.

Plus, he was a part of the Gary Carter trade, which indirectly led to the 1986 World Series Title, so that's pretty cool.



Mack Ade said...

I played third all my life... how can I not love Brook-see

Reese Kaplan said...

I had an irrational respect and admiration for a non-Mets player, Rick Monday (and that was long before his "saving the flag" incident). He just struck me as a "professional" and did everything well albeit not at a Hall of Fame level.

Thomas Brennan said...

Hubie was a goodie - loved that, what was it, 23 game hit streak with the Mets?

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