10 players who you forgot played for the Mets

October 22nd, 2023

NEW YORK -- Every Mets fan of a certain age recalls Willie Mays playing the final two years of his career for the Mets in the early 1970s. Most remember Eddie Murray checking into Shea Stadium for a two-year stint during the back half of his Hall of Fame career. Pedro Martinez and Mo Vaughn both became superstars with the Red Sox before playing lesser roles with the Mets.

Over the franchise's first 57 years, plenty of players have made similar cameos in Flushing, often so quickly that their memories didn't linger. Here are 10 players whom you may not recall spent time with the Mets.

Bobby Abreu, 2014
At age 39, Abreu sat out the 2013 season, seemingly signaling the end of a career that saw him amass 2,470 hits, 288 homers and 400 stolen bases. But he signed a Minor League deal with the Phillies, was cut in Spring Training, then inked a new contract with the Mets on March 31. By mid-April, Abreu was back in the Majors, making the final 78 appearances of his career with the Mets.

Rick Ankiel, 2013
Ankiel's infamous yips, and his transition from pitcher to hitter, were long behind him by the time he joined the Mets in an attempt to prolong his career in 2013. The most memorable night of Ankiel's 20-game tenure occurred on the day he arrived. Because his equipment bag did not make it to Busch Stadium in time, Ankiel borrowed pitcher Jon Niese's glove, then dropped a seventh-inning liner that led to a tiebreaking run. Five weeks later, his career was finished.

Frank Catalanotto, 2010
A Long Island native, Catalanotto played in New York only as a visitor until 2010, when the Mets signed him as bench depth. A veteran of 1,240 games with the Tigers, Rangers, Blue Jays and Brewers, Catalanotto appeared in 25 more in front of his hometown crowd before retiring. He mustered merely three singles and a double in those games, finishing his 14-year career with 1,113 hits.

Jeff Conine, 2007
Best known for his two World Series rings with the Marlins, Conine attempted to make one last championship run when he arrived at Shea Stadium in an August 2007 waiver trade. Serving as a pinch-hitter and backup first baseman down the stretch, he hit just .195 in 21 games as the Mets lost a seven-game division lead with 17 to play. Conine retired before the start of the following season, later becoming a Marlins broadcaster.

Brian Daubach, 2005
A key member of the Red Sox as they began their development into an AL East superpower, Daubach hit 20-plus home runs each year from 1999-2002. He returned to the Red Sox in 2004, but did not make enough of an impact to join Boston's playoff roster. Instead, he played in 15 unmemorable games with the Mets in June and July 2005 before retiring.

Aaron Harang, 2013
Did you know: Harang won 128 games over 14 big league seasons, mostly with the Reds. Did you also know: none of those victories came with the Mets, who employed him for less than a month in September 2013. Harang went 0-1 in four starts at what seemed like the end of his Major League career. He rebounded the next season to go 12-12 with a 3.57 ERA over 204 1/3 innings for the Braves, finally retiring after the 2015 season.

Trot Nixon, 2008
Another longtime Red Sox contributor, Nixon played in all four World Series games in 2004, but moved onto Cleveland by the time Boston won its next title in '07. The following year, Nixon resurfaced in Flushing for the final 11 games of his career, batting .171 with the last of his 137 career home runs.

Chan Ho Park, 2007
Over 17 seasons, Park pitched for seven different teams, so it's not altogether surprising that the Mets were one of them. Unlike Brian Lawrence, who might have made this list had he not played a memorable role in the Mets' 2007 collapse, Park appeared in just one game that year. He gave up seven runs in four innings, was demoted to the Minors and never resurfaced. But Park did pitch well enough in ensuring seasons to make 152 more appearances elsewhere before retiring.

Gary Sheffield, 2009
Sheffield's tenure is probably the most memorable on this list, because it included his 500th career home run. The Hall of Fame candidate hit nine more during a 100-game stint with the Mets to close out his career, batting .276 at age 40. He's better known for the first 499 homers he hit with the Marlins, Dodgers, Yankees and four other teams.

Jose Valverde, 2014
A three-time All-Star, Valverde saved 286 games for the D-backs, Astros and Tigers before inking a Minor League deal with the Mets in 2014. He won a job at the back end of the bullpen and even closed out a pair of victories before things went south. With Valverde sporting a 5.66 ERA on May 26, the Mets released him. He never pitched in the big leagues again.