What If The Mets Drafted Reggie Jackson?

Why does Mr. Met look like a mad scientist? Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but it looks like he created Reggie in a lab somewhere in Flushing. But, I digress…

If the Mets selected Reggie Jackson with the first pick of the 1966 draft (instead of Steve Chilcott, who is 1 of 2 players to be #1 picks and never reach The Show), that would mean GM George Weiss wasn’t racist. Or, at least, not racist enough to pass on a winner when he saw one.

Here’s the abridged version / Cliff’s Notes of how things would’ve shaken out…

In 1969, Reggie wins the World Series MVP – either Tommie Agee or Ron Swoboda wouldn’t get a ring.

In one reality, Ken Singleton wouldn’t be traded for Rusty Staub – instead he became a lifelong Met. Rusty Staub also wouldn’t be the first Met to drive in 100 RBis in a single season – it would be Reggie.

In 1973, the Mets wouldn’t need a late season surge to capture the NL East title. Consequently, the phrases “You Gotta Believe!” and “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over” would never come into existence. They also would’ve won the World Series over the A’s and Reggie would’veearned his second MVP.

Tug McGraw would’ve never been traded to the Phillies and would remain a lifelong Met.

In one alternate reality of 1975, the Mets would’ve won the NL East but lost to the Reds in the NLCS.

In 1976, Don Baylor would’ve stayed with the Orioles and wouldn’t become an Athletic.

If I hadn’t already stated he’d be a lifelong Met, I’m very confident he would’ve bolted in ‘77 or ‘78 aka “Midnight Massacre” and “Grant’s Tomb”.

In 1979, the Mets wouldn’t have finished in last, which means they wouldn’t have selected Daryl Strawberry in the 1980 draft.

In one alternate reality of 1981 during the strike-shortened season, the Mets would’ve won the NL East in the second half of the season, beat the Phillies the Division Series, but lost to the Dodgers in the NLCS.

In 1982, the Mets wouldn’t have finished in last, which means they wouldn’t have selected Dwight Gooden OR Randy Myers in the draft.

In 1986, the Mets wouldn’t have won the division much less the World Series without Gooden or Strawberry.

In 1988, the Mets wouldn’t have won the NL East without Gooden or Strawberry.

In our current reality / timeline, Randy Myers and Kip Gross were traded by the Mets to the Cincinnati Reds for John Franco and Don Brown in December 1989.

In the alternate reality, Randy Myers isn’t on the Mets and thus can’t be traded for John Franco. John Franco would never have become a Met.

The Mets would still have 2 World Series titles (‘69, ‘73) instead of (‘69, ‘86).

They would have 1, possibly 2 LESS pennants (‘86, ‘00).

They would have 1 less division title (‘88), since the alt reality title in ‘81 would fill in for the one lost in ‘86.

Their wild card berths in ‘99 and ‘00 (and WS appearance in ‘00) are jeopardized because Franco’s not on the team.

Meanwhile, Reggie’s still a two-time World Series MVP (‘69, ‘73 instead of ‘73, ‘77) but only wins the World Series twice as opposed to 5 times with the A’s and Yankees.

Oh, and he never gets the nickname, “Mr. October”. Thus, Derek Jeter never gains the moniker, “Mr. November”.

So, I dunno – I think things are okay the way they happened, right?


Illustration by Benjamin DeRosa

%d bloggers like this: