NEW YORK — This weekend, Terry Collins will break the record for most career games as manager of the Mets. Only five of the franchise’s 20 bench bosses have compiled 300 wins with New York. Here’s a look at the other four:
Promoted from within the minor league system, Johnson took over a young Mets team coming off seven straight losing seasons and turned it into a brash perennial winner. He went 595-417 as manager from 1984-90, guiding New York to the 1986 World Series title and a division crown two years later. He was replaced by Bud Harrelson in May 1990 but remains the winningest manager in Mets history. Led by the likes of Gary Carter, Keith Hernandez, Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, Johnson’s 1986 squad and the 1975 Cincinnati Reds are the only NL teams since 1910 to win 108 regular-season games.
Perhaps best remembered for returning to the Mets dugout in disguise — a fake mustache and glasses — after getting ejected from a game, Valentine actually enjoyed plenty of success in New York. A polarizing figure at times, he went 536-467 as manager from 1996-2002, piloting Mike Piazza and Co. to consecutive playoff appearances and the 2000 World Series, where the Mets lost to the crosstown Yankees in the city’s first Subway Series since 1956.
An eight-time All-Star with the Brooklyn Dodgers, the dignified and respected Hodges was an original Met who hit the franchise’s first home run in 1962. He went 339-309 as manager from 1968-71, transforming a losing team and leading Tom Seaver and the Miracle Mets to their improbable World Series championship in 1969. Hodges died in 1972 at age 47, and his No. 14 was retired by the club the following year.
After growing up in Brooklyn and spending most of his career across town with the Yankees, Randolph became an instant hit in Queens when he was hired by then-general manager Omar Minaya. Given the reins to a talented team, Randolph went 302-253 from 2005-08 and had the Mets within one win of the 2006 World Series. But they collapsed down the stretch the following season and Randolph, the first black manager in New York baseball history, created a stir early in 2008 by suggesting in a newspaper interview that he was portrayed on Mets broadcasts differently than a white manager might be. He apologized a couple of days later, but Randolph was fired that June with his struggling team on the West Coast. The move was announced in an email at 3:14 a.m. EDT. Still, his .544 winning percentage ranks second in Mets history.
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