Ron Darling, Edgardo Alfonzo, and Jon Matlack were inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame.
“On behalf of ownership, I was thrilled to wholeheartedly approve the Hall of Fame Committee’s recommendation for Jon Matlack, Ron Darling and Edgardo Alfonzo,” Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said in a statement. “This group combines Mets eras from the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s. Matlack was a fierce lefty who was a rock in the rotation and helped the 1973 Mets to the NL pennant. Ron’s steady brilliance was capped with the ’86 world championship. He allowed just three earned runs in 17.2 innings during the World Series vs. Boston. Fonzie is always someone Mets fans wanted at the plate with the game on the line. He thrived in those situations. His monster years in 1999 and 2000 were a huge reason for our success.”
In addition to the inductions of Darling, Alfonzo, and Matlack, Al Jackson — who passed away in August — will be honored with the Mets Hall of Fame Achievement Award.
“Al was one of the Mets longest-tenured uniform members,” Wilpon said. “You can’t measure the impact he had on players as a major league and minor league coach. His laugh is greatly missed. We are honored to bestow this award to his family.”
Darling, who is currently working as a broadcaster for SNY, pitched for the Mets from 1983 to 1991.
“I’m humbled and honored to be part of the Mets Hall of Fame,” Darling said. “Congratulations to the other honorees, especially Al Jackson who was my mentor in the minor leagues. Al changed the path of my professional baseball career and for that, I will be forever grateful. I want to thank the New York Mets organization for this honor and allowing me to be a part of the orange and blue for all these years. This year will be my 25th year, in some capacity, as part of the Mets family. I want to thank all of my teammates, managers and coaches, but most importantly the diehard Mets fans who have made a Hawaiian-born, Massachusetts-raised ballplayer and broadcaster, feel like a true New Yorker.”
Alfonzo was one of the cornerstones of the Mets teams that reached the playoffs in 1999 and 2000, and was a member of what Sports Illustrated called “the greatest infield of all time” in 1999.
“Getting into the Mets Hall of Fame is a dream come true for me,” Alfonzo said. “The Mets have had so many great players in their history and I’m so proud to receive this honor. This is something I never thought would be possible when I started out. I was never much for individual goals, I just wanted to help us win. For me to get inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame on the 20th anniversary of our NL championship is a special thrill. I would like to congratulate Ron and Jon on their inductions. I’m really glad that Al Jackson is getting honored. He was our pitching coach for two years and was one of my favorites.”
Matlack won the Rookie of the Year award in 1972 and was a three-time All-Star with the Mets.
“I was honored when I got the call from Jeff [Wilpon],” Matlack said. “I was astounded when he called and I am so grateful for the honor. My time in New York was special to me and I am thrilled to be remembered with all of the great players, especially the pitchers, this organization has been blessed to have. Congrats to my fellow inductees Ron Darling and Edgardo Alfonzo. I’m glad that Al Jackson is being recognized as well for what he gave to the organization.”
The Mets’ 30 Hall of Fame members are listed below…
Joan Payson (1981); Casey Stengel (1981); Gil Hodges (1982); George M. Weiss (1982); Johnny Murphy (1983); William A. Shea (1983); Ralph Kiner (1984); Bob Murphy (1984); Lindsey Nelson (1984); Bud Harrelson (1986); Rusty Staub (1986); Tom Seaver (1988); Jerry Koosman (1989); Ed Kranepool (1990); Cleon Jones (1991); Jerry Grote (1992); Tug McGraw (1993); Mookie Wilson (1996); Keith Hernandez (1997); Gary Carter (2001); Tommie Agee (2002); Frank Cashen (2010); Dwight Gooden (2010); Davey Johnson (2010), Darryl Strawberry (2010), John Franco (2012), Mike Piazza (2013), Jon Matlack (2020), Ron Darling (2020) and Edgardo Alfonzo (2020).