Mets we’ve loved: Hubie Brooks

Hubie Brooks was a great Met.  Traded just before he emerged as an All-Star caliber shortstop, he nonetheless made his mark in the hearts of many a Met fan.

Brooks was the third player drafted in the 1978 amateur draft and was a September call-up in September 1980 (along with Mookie Wilson and Wally Backman).  That year, he hit .309 in 89 PAs with 1 HR and 10 RBIs.

He played his first full season for the team in 1981 and hit .307 in 389 PAs. Although the ‘81 season was marred by a mid-season strike, he finished third in the Rookie-of-the-Year voting behind Fernando Valenzuela and Tim Raines.  He earned Player-of-the-Week honors for the week of Sept 14-to-Sept 20 by hitting .500 (12 for 24).

In 1982, Brooks maintained his production despite a hamstring injury.  He had 7 game-winning hits for the Mets that year (second only to Dave Kingman’s 10).

At the beginning of the 1983 season, the Mets were recharged by the return of Tom Seaver.  By the end of May, however, the team found itself in last place.  To help out with the offense, the management called up Darryl Strawberry. Then, after Neil Allen’s ability to get hitters out hit critical levels, the Mets dealt Allen to the Cardinals for Keith Hernandez.  Despite the ups and downs of this season, Brooks remained a consistent presence in the line-up and continued to secure his place at third base.  He became known for his clutch hitting.  He led the National League with a .354 average with Runners in Scoring Position and he hit .336 with Runners on Base.  His PA and RBI total increased again; he had 624 PAs and 58 RBIs.

In 1984, Brooks had his finest season as a New York Met.  His power emerged; he hit 16 HRs and knocked in 73 runs.  He appeared in 153 games including 129 at third base and (thanks to new Met Manager, Davey Johnson) 26 games at shortstop.  From May 1 to June 1, he set a then-Mets record by hitting in 24 straight games (he broke the Cleon Jones record of 23 straight games).

At the end of the 1984 season, Brooks was traded (along with Mike Fitzgerald, Floyd Youmans, and Herm Winningham) to the Montreal Expos for Gary Carter.  While Carter helped the Mets win the 1986 World Series, Brooks became an All-Star shortstop for the Expos.

But wait; there’s more:

In December 1990, Brooks was reacquired from the L. A. Dodgers for Bobby Ojeda and Greg Hansell.

In the 1991 season, Brooks played in 103 games for the Mets in the outfield. His season started out exceptionally well. At the end of June, he was hitting .273 with 13 HRs and 40 RBIs but after a hand injury, he would only hit 3 more HRs and have 10 more RBIs for the rest of the year.

Brooks did not come back to the Mets after the 1991 season.  In 1992, he played for Angels.  He finished his career by playing the 1993 and 1994 seasons for the Kansas City Royals.

Despite missing out on his most productive years, Hubie Brooks captured the hearts of many a Mets fan.

4 comments for “Mets we’ve loved: Hubie Brooks

  1. steevy
    March 30, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    His numbers in 82 and 83 were abysmal overall.I’m glad he bounced back enough to be a piece we could trade to get Gary Carter.Sigh,those Mets should have won more than one WS.1988 still hurts !!

  2. Jim OMalley
    March 30, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    1988 and 1989 still hurt……

  3. Metsense
    March 31, 2013 at 8:10 am

    It must have been difficult to trade Brooks. It took some guts. It also took guts to trade for Hojo also. There was a plan and it bore some fruit but even with many good moves only one championship. As a Met fan the Dickey trade took guts and should also get results but to believe multiple championships are a guarantee is unrealistic. The 86 team won 108 games and dominated but only one championship. It isn’t easy to win a Word Series. Yes 88 and 89 really hurt. Hubie was a good Met, often forgotten, but a very good player. Thanks for the memory, Jim.

  4. March 31, 2013 at 8:30 am

    One of the first things I recall about Brooks is after hearing that he was traded he replied – uh, oh, now I’ve got to face Dwight!

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