The Mets announced their 2023 Hall of Fame class Wednesday afternoon, naming infielder Howard Johnson, left-hander Al Leiter and broadcasters Gary Cohen and Howie Rose to the club’s Hall of Fame. In addition, longtime former PR director and current team historian Jay Horwitz will receive the Mets Hall of Fame achievement award.
The four will be enshrined in Queens during a June 3 ceremony at Citi Field.
“It was an honor informing each of the four new members that they were going to be inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame,” owner Steve Cohen said in a statement. “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.”
Johnson was a member of the 1986 Mets team that won the World Series and later scouted and coached for the Mets. He was the first switch-hitter to join the 30-30 club — his three seasons with 30 or more home runs and 30 or more stolen bases are still the most in team history.
Leiter started and ended his career with the Yankees but spent seven years with the Mets, earning an All-Star nod in 2000 and helping the Amazins’ reach the World Series the same year. His son Jack was drafted second overall by the Texas Rangers in the 2021 draft.
But as beloved as Johnson and Leiter are, Rose and Gary Cohen hold a different place in Mets history. The two longtime broadcasters are two figures who fans have looked to during some of the club’s worst seasons.
Rose has been with the Mets since the 1980s and became the team’s radio voice in 2004. A Queens native who grew up in Bayside, Rose was the radio voice of the Rangers during their 1994 Stanley Cup run and worked alongside Butch Goring on Islanders telecasts.
Rose has a knack for signature calls and catchphrases. Hockey fans might remember his “Matteau! Matteau! Matteau!” call and Mets fans know him for saying, “Put it in the books” after wins.
Cohen, part of one of the most revered booths in baseball, works alongside Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling calling games on SNY. He has endeared himself to Mets fans with the way he deftly manages the two personalities in the booth, his deep knowledge of Mets history and his brutal honesty.
“Mets fans are privileged to have two of the very best in all of baseball describing the action with years of institutional Mets knowledge,” Steve Cohen said. “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.”
Few people love the Mets like Horwitz. He was known to be fair with media members and respected by many past Mets greats.
The newest members will bring the Mets Hall of Fame total to 34.
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