Ralph Kiner, Davey Johnson and Casey Stengel have been inducted into the MetsRewind Hall of Fame. Kiner received more than 50% of the vote, followed by Johnson (44%) and Stengel (37.4%) to lead the class of 2021 voting.
This year’s inductees is the first class that did not include a former New York Mets player. Kiner served as one of the original Mets broadcasters, Johnson managed the major league team from 1984-1990 and Stengel was the first Mets manager in franchise history (1962-1965).
The Class of 2021 is the fourth class to be inducted. Kiner, Johnson and Stengel join previous inductees Tom Seaver, David Wright, Gil Hodges, Mike Piazza, Jerry Koosman, Keith Hernandez, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Rusty Staub, Gary Carter, Ed Kranepool, Bob Murphy and Tug McGraw in the Mets Rewind Hall of Fame.
Kiner, a member of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, played 10 major league seasons (1946-1955) with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians. He appeared in six All-Star Games as a player. Kiner was a career .279 hitter with 369 career home runs and 1,105 RBI. He led the National League in home runs the first seven seasons of his major league career, including 54 in 1949.
After spending one season in the broadcast booth for the Chicago White Sox in 1961, Kiner joined the original Mets broadcast team alongside veteran radio/television personalities Bob Murphy and Lindsey Nelson. His postgame show, “Kiner’s Korner,” is a significant part of Mets franchise history. Kiner continued broadcasting for 53 seasons.
Murphy is the first non-player or manager who has been voted into the Mets Rewind Hall of Fame. Murphy is one of the original broadcasters. He broadcast New York Mets baseball from 1962-2003. Murphy was elected to Hall of Fame in 1994 when his colleagues recognized him with the prestigious Ford Frick Award for broadcasting. After he passed away in August 2004 from lung cancer, New York Times writer and author Richard Sandomir wrote, “Murphy was as much an original Met as Al Jackson, Jay Hook or Don Zimmer, and he lasted longer with the team than any player, manager or owner.”
Johnson’s playing and managerial career are remarkable. His 13-year tenure were dominated between Baltimore and Atlanta. As a player and manager, Johnson is a two-time World Series champion, a three-time Gold Glove winner, four-time All Star and two time manager of the year winner. Johnson is the winningest manager in franchise history. From 1984-1990 he compiling a 595–417 record (.588 winning percentage), including the Mets last World Series title in 1986.
Stengel, who ranked third in the Class of 2021 voting, is a legendary figure — not only for his tenure with the Mets — but his incredible playing career and long, successful tenure as manager of the New York Yankees (1949-1960), where he won seven World Series titles including five straight from 1949-1953.
Stengel could not replicate the success when he arrived in Queens, compiling a 175-404 record. Age and limited talent minimized Stengel’s success as Mets manager, however, he is renowned for his skills to generate interest in the franchise.