HoJo, Leiter, Cohen, Rose to join Mets' HOF in 2023

January 19th, 2023

The Mets’ ongoing quest to recognize and honor their history is set to continue this year, when the franchise will induct four new members into its team Hall of Fame. Players Howard Johnson and will enter the Hall on June 3 at Citi Field, along with broadcasters Gary Cohen and Howie Rose.

“It was an honor informing each of the four new members that they were going to be inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame,” Mets owner Steve Cohen said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to celebrating more Mets history on June 3.”

Johnson, a part-time player on the 1986 World Series championship team who developed into a star later that decade, is one of only three Mets players -- along with Darryl Strawberry and David Wright -- to hit at least 30 homers and steal 30 bases in a season. Johnson is a three-time member of the 30-30 club, achieving the rare feat in 1987, 1989 and 1991. He later became a coach in the organization.

Johnson will join Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter, Dwight Gooden, Strawberry, Ron Darling, manager Davey Johnson and general manager Frank Cashen as members of the 1986 team in the Mets Hall of Fame.

“When I got the call, I was in shock,” Johnson said on a video conference Thursday morning. “I’m a little bit emotional, I’ve got to admit. But it was very cool.”

Leiter was a key member of another National League pennant-winning club, the 2000 Mets, who lost to the Yankees in the World Series. He was an All-Star that summer and a rock in the postseason, producing a 2.93 ERA over four postseason starts. Overall, Leiter won 95 games with a 3.42 ERA during seven years in Flushing. He joins former teammates John Franco, Mike Piazza and Edgardo Alfonzo in the Mets’ Hall of Fame.

“What really went through my mind is, I think every little boy that dreamt of playing in the big leagues … you’re just grateful and hope that you can make it,” said Leiter, a New Jersey native. “And then when that happens and you establish yourself to some degree, there’s a next-level dream or fantasy, and that’s to play for the team that you rooted for as a kid. It’s real, and I did.”

Cohen and Rose have spent more than six decades combined in the radio and television booths, beginning with Cohen’s appointment to WFAN radio in 1989. By the time Cohen moved to SNY in 2006 to become the play-by-play man for the Mets’ fledgling cable network, Rose had shifted from TV to radio. He has been in that booth for the past 19 seasons.

“Mets fans are privileged to have two of the very best in all of baseball describing the action with years of institutional Mets knowledge,” Cohen said.

In addition to those inductees, who will bring the total number of Mets Hall of Famers to 34, the team intends to honor Jay Horwitz with its Hall of Fame Achievement Award for his contributions to the organization. The club’s longtime PR director, Horwitz transitioned to his current role as vice president of alumni relations in 2018. In that role, Horwitz has been instrumental in helping the Mets more regularly celebrate their history through events such as this year’s Hall of Fame induction.

“Jay is the Hall of Famer for the Mets organization -- somebody who has loved what he’s done for many years,” Leiter said. “I don’t know a player that didn’t care for, respect and like Jay. I don’t know of anybody who had a problem with him. I love Jay. More than deserving. I actually think he should have a little statue at the stadium. … There’s nobody more dedicated to the Mets organization.”