Thanks to Mets by the Numbers we can take a look back at the roster of a number that really has not distinguished itself in Mets lore. Of course this if Bay wants that number and the Mets don't resign Tim Redding and then Bay has to pay ... Yeah ok I know not likely. Or maybe go back to his Pirate days and wear #38 . We will stick with chatting about #44 is more interesting. Of course Hank Aaron wore it for most of his career but he never played for the Mets.
Anyway the First Mets to wear the infamous # 44 was a player named Harry Chiti. The catchers claim to fame was he was traded to the Mets from the Cubbies for a player to be named later . The irony of this is the player to be named later was actually Chiti himself.
The number layed dormant until 1967 when pitcher Bill Denehy wore it briefly. The number has a number of pitchers. Of course being a child of the hapless Mets 70's my first encounter with the infamous# 44 was relief pitcher Bob Myrick who wore # 44 on his back for 3 years .
In the 80's the number saw its most use by mostly pitchers. Including Jeff Reardon for a brief time in 1981. Another infamous Met Ray Searage wore it for the second half of the 81 season. When Mets broadcaster Ron Darling made it to the big club he wore in 1983. Of course he later moved on to #12.
After the Mets stole David Cone from the Royals for catcher Ed Hearn he donned the #44 and wore it for the next 4 and a half years which makes him the longest tenured Met to have worn #44 .
The 90's saw players that really didnt lite up the Mets landscape like Tim Burke,Tom Filer and of course Ryan Thompson. Jason Isringhausen wore the number briefly over 3 different seasons until he was traded away and became a closer.
Of course we cant forget Jay Payton who had the 44 on his back while the Mets played in 2000 and the World Series that year.
As we close out another decade of Mets play that included Jay Bell, Mike Cameron and Lasting Milledge as the highlights of the # 44 it wont be long before Jason Bay is know as the Mets must proflic power hitter with the ## 44 on his back. Sorry Brady Clark.