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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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It's a Case of Mike Hessman Obsession

While we wait for Mike Hessman to resign the presidency of Club Hessman (players with exactly one Met home run, current membership 68), we notice he suffers from a touch of Dave Kingman. But just a touch. See, Mike strikes out a lot…while lagging 153 Met home runs behind SkyKing.

If you’re going to strike out in plentiful fashion, it really helps to leaven your standing by making things count when you actually hit the ball.

In our never ending quest to understand Mike Hessman’s developing role in Met history, we considered Mike’s 12 strikeouts in 33 at-bats and wondered whether any Met has ever struck out so much so often in a Met tenure that spanned no longer than Mike’s. So we entered the relevant data into Baseball Reference’s incredible Play Index tool and discovered once again that Mike Hessman stands nearly alone in yet another weird offensive category.

The only other Met to strike out as much as Mike Hessman has in a Met career that encompassed no more at-bats than Mike Hessman has collected was Eli Marrero, one of the more transient 2006 National League Eastern Division Champion New York Mets. Marrero was the warm body we gladly accepted from Colorado in exchange for the contract of and associated indignities connected to Kaz Matsui. Marrero did not let us down when he joined the Mets in June.

That is to say he was not Kaz Matsui, which is all any of us ever wanted out of anybody. He also wasn’t exactly Mr. Put the Ball in Play. Eli Marrero recorded an official at-bat 33 times — same as Mike Hessman. But he struck out more than Mike: 15 K’s in 33 AB’s. At that rate, over a full season…

Like we’d ever find out. Omar Minaya, who used to take a lot less time to rid himself of largely useless players, jettisoned Marrero after two months of his not being Matsui. Even that skill can take you only so far. Eli never played in the majors again. Kaz would eventually help the 2007 Rockies to the World Series (oh, the irony) but has spent most of 2010 among the Triple-A Colorado Sky Sox, where he’s been a teammate of another former/would-be future Rockie, Jay Payton.

As with most facts relating to Mike Hessman, I find this all very interesting, but it doesn’t obfuscate 12 strikeouts in 33 at-bats against two singles, one double, one unlikely triple and that one home run. But it does make me perhaps the only person not related to Mike Hessman who actually looks forward to seeing what Mike Hessman will do next.

Go Mike!

7 comments to It’s a Case of Mike Hessman Obsession