Howard Johnson, Al Leiter, Gary Cohen and Howie Rose elected to the Mets Hall of Fame
FLUSHING, N.Y., January 18, 2023 – The New York Mets today announced that infielder Howard Johnson, LHP Al Leiter and broadcasters Gary Cohen and Howie Rose will be inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame on Saturday, June 3 in a pre-game ceremony prior to the 4:10 p.m. game vs. the Blue Jays at Citi Field. The four new additions will bring the total membership of the Mets Hall of Fame to 34. Jay Horwitz will also be honored with the Mets Hall of Fame Achievement Award for his contributions to the organization.
The Mets will host a Zoom on Thursday, January 19 at 11 am with Johnson, Leiter, Cohen, Rose and Horwitz. Details will follow.
“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, Chairman and CEO Steve Cohen said. “Howard Johnson was the classic combination of speed and power, with three seasons of 30-homers and 30-stolen bases. Al Leiter, who grew up in New Jersey rooting for the Mets, ranks in the top 10 in team history in wins and strikeouts. Mets fans are privileged to have two of the very best in all of baseball describing the action with years of institutional Mets knowledge. Gary Cohen is set to start his 35th year of calling Mets games and Howie Rose has been covering the team since 1987. In addition, we are honoring Jay Horwitz, who has passionately worked for this organization for over 40 years, with the Hall of Fame Achievement Award. I’m looking forward to celebrating more Mets history on June 3.”
Johnson compiled three seasons of 30-home runs and 30-stolen bases (1987, 1989 and 1991), the most in team history. He became the first switch-hitter to join the 30-30 club in major league history. Johnson was acquired on December 7, 1984 from the Tigers in exchange for RHP Walt Terrell. He was a two-time All-Star (1989, 1991) and a two-time Silver Slugger (1989, 1991). Johnson ranks in the top five in franchise history in home runs, doubles, RBI and stolen bases. A member of the 1986 championship squad, Johnson finished in top 10 in MVP voting three times, including 1991 when he led the National League in home runs (38) and RBI (117).
Leiter won double-digit games seven straight years (1998-2004) with the Mets. The lefty ranks in the top 10 in franchise history in wins, innings, strikeouts and quality starts. He famously hurled a two-hit shutout in the one-game playoff at Cincinnati in 1999. In 2002, he became the first pitcher to defeat all 30 major league teams. Leiter was a two-time All-Star. He was honored by Major League Baseball with the Roberto Clemente Award and the Branch Rickey Award for his charitable efforts.
Cohen began calling Mets games on the radio in 1989, where he remained until moving to the SNY booth in 2006. He is the second-longest tenured Mets play-by-play announcer in team history. Cohen, who grew up going to Shea Stadium, was inducted into the New York State Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018. His distinct “Outta Here” signals a Mets home run. Cohen was a Dean’s List student at Columbia University.
Rose has been the play-by-play voice of the Mets since 1996, moving from television to the radio booth in 2004. He started with the Mets in 1987, hosting pre- and post-game shows for Mets radio. Rose’s signature “Put it in the books” emphasizes Mets wins. He was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in 2012. Rose was also welcomed into the New York State Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019. Rose graduated from Cardozo High School in Bayside, Queens and was a fixture at Shea Stadium, later graduating from Queens College.
Horwitz joined the Mets on April 1, 1980 as the director of public relations. He was later promoted to vice president, media relations in 2001. Horwitz moved into his current role as vice president, alumni relations and team historian on October 1, 2018. He was awarded the Fishel Award in 1998, presented annually from MLB to the top media relations staff member in baseball. The BBWAA honored Horwitz with the William J. Slocum/Jack Lang Award for Long & Meritorious Service in 2019. A native of New Jersey, Horwitz graduated from NYU with B.S. degree in journalism and a master’s degree in history.
The other 30 Hall of Fame members in order of the year they were elected are: 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).
For tickets to the June 3 game vs. the Blue Jays and the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, fans can go to Mets.com/tickets.