An Ode to HoJo

December 17, 2016

 

This is a poem written in freestyle dedicated to the New York Mets career of #20, Howard Johnson. A man strong in his faith and a dedicated baseball man, I decided to write a piece in honor of him.

 

To listen to the audio version of the poem, listen to Episode 199 of the Hardway Podcast here.

 

 

 

AN ODE TO HOJO – Jon Harder 12/17/16

 

--------

 

The year was 1985

And you were traded to the Mets

For Walt Terrell

Your first full season

The year before

You won a World Series

For those Alan Trammel led Detroit Tigers

However now

You left behind the navy blue and orange

For an orange and a blue of a different shade

 

Your first two years

You struggled mightily

Low batting average in ‘85

Hairline fracture in forearm in ‘86

Yet somehow you won

Another World Series

Despite your struggles

 

A did-you-know fact

When Mookie was at the dish

And the ball went through Buckner’s legs

You were on deck

My prediction

Will always be

Game winning hit

If Mookie got on base

 

Regardless

Ray Knight was not re-signed

And you got the everyday spot at 3rd

Well, let’s just say

You blew everyone away

 

You were the 10th guy

In Major League Baseball history

To join the 30/30 Club

36 home runs

32 steals

And, alongside DARRYL

Were the first teammates to do it in the same season

Also made the All-Star Team

And shoved it in people’s faces

 

Coincidentally

Everyone thought you corked your bat

In ‘87

However x-rays proved negative

And there was ZERO PROOF

Thankfully

You refrained by telling everyone

To go cork themselves

 

1988 was a step back

You still had over 20 home runs

But the playoffs were a moment

That I had to forget

Seeing tape years later

Your struggles were tough

But even I would have struggled mightily

Against that bulldog Hershiser

 

1989 brought you back into the fold

In a MAJOR way

In spite of early defensive problems

You pulled through big

36 homers and 41 steals

And single-handedly carried

The Mets on your back

Davey was fired

But Bud stayed the course

And you came within an eyelash of the playoffs

 

1990 was average

But more all-around than power

You showcased your talents strong

However 1991

Showed you were the MAN

You won two-thirds of the Triple Crown

 

Another All-Star berth

And another 30/30

For someone with impressive stats

You’ve always been overlooked

38 homeruns

117 RBIs

30 steals

The second man since BOBBY BONDS

To have three 30/30 seasons

It makes no sense to me

To see your ’91 campaign

Highly overlooked

 

Sadly

Just like our current Captain

Your body started breaking down

And struggles set in

1993 you were gone

And by the time I discovered your greatness

You were in Colorado

And Chicago

And then out as an active player

 

Looking back at your career

You were immensely skilled

For the Mets

During your time in Queens

 

#4 in home runs

5th in doubles

#10 in hits

6th in games with 1154 in a Mets uni

4th in runs

4th in RBIs

3rd in stolen bases

 

HOW ARE YOU NOT IN THE METS HALL OF FAME?

It’s preposterous you are not

HoJo, you need to be recognized

For your tremendous contributions

As a player

As a coach

As a mentor

You are a New York Met

And deserve to be treated

Like the legend you are

 

Thank you for the memories

And thank you for your skill

HoJo is my favorite Met

And he always will.

 

 

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