|Start date 1996|
Local radios WFAN, WSNR
|General manager Joe McIlvaine|
|Local television WWOR-TV/SportsChannel New York
(Ralph Kiner, Tim McCarver, Fran Healy, Howie Rose, Gary Thorne)|
Managers Dallas Green, Bobby Valentine
Owners Fred Wilpon, Nelson Doubleday Jr.
Similar 1997 New York Mets season, 1993 New York Mets season, 1990 New York Mets season
The New York Mets' 1996 season was the 35th regular season for the Mets. They went 71-91 and finished 4th in the NL East. They were managed by Dallas Green and Bobby Valentine. They played home games at Shea Stadium.
After back to back finishes near the top of the National League East, the Mets returned to the losing ways that had plagued the team since 1991. Manager Dallas Green, like his three predecessors in the position, was fired before the season was completed. His replacement was former Texas Rangers manager Bobby Valentine, the manager of the Norfolk Tides.
The Mets did not put up great power numbers as they had in recent years but managed to have two players reach 30 or more home runs. One was catcher Todd Hundley, who broke Roy Campanella's major league record for home runs by a catcher by recording 41. The other was outfielder Bernard Gilkey, who put up thirty home runs of his own. Lance Johnson, acquired in the off season after spending eight years with the Chicago White Sox, had a career year as well. The National League's All-Star center fielder, Johnson hit a career high .333, led the NL in hits with 227, stole 50 bases to set another career high, and recorded sixty extra base hits including a league leading 21 triples; no player since 1930 had that many in the National League.
The Mets traded away infielders Jeff Kent and Jose Vizcaino to the Cleveland Indians during the season. The promotion of rookie Rey Ordoñez to be the team's everyday shortstop had both players playing out of position, with Vizcaino at second base and Kent at third. In return the Mets received Carlos Baerga and Alvaro Espinoza, neither of whom made much of an impact.
Mark Clark led the Mets starters with a 14-11 record. Bobby Jones' 12-8 mark was good enough for second best on the team. Jason Isringhausen made more than twenty starts for the only time in his career, finishing with a 6-14 mark.
Alex Ochoa hit for the cycle on July 3 in a 10-6 win in Philadelphia. He was the sixth Met to hit for the cycle.
The Mets and San Diego Padres traveled to Mexico in August, marking the first time a regular season MLB game was played in Mexico.
Opening Day Roster
Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In
Awards and records
LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: St. Lucie