There's a long list of players who have graced the rosters of both the New York Yankees and New York Mets. But that list shrinks significantly when trying to find players who have had long stretches of success for both teams, as there's really just one player who thrived for both New York clubs. So Yogi Berra, for instance, doesn't make the cut. Sure, he was one of the greatest catchers in baseball history during his years in the Bronx, but his 2-for-9 in four games cameo with the Mets in 1965 disqualifies him. There are plenty of interesting characters and fun names that crop up when perusing the list of dual Yankee/Met players -- Marv Throneberry, Ron Swoboda, Bill Sudakis, Dave Kingman, Willie Randolph, Frank Tanana, Dock Ellis, Doc Medich, Al Leiter and Mike Torrez, just to name a few. Robin Ventura and Elliott Maddox get honorable mention as they came close to making the Top 5, but here are the most notable players, ones who achieved some sort of success with both teams.
5. Dwight Gooden: We know all about his career with the Mets (157-85 record, 3.10 ERA, 1.175 WHIP, ERA+ of 116, 39.3 WAR), which spanned 11 seasons, from 1984 to '94, including his historic 1985 Triple Crown year, his World Series title, a Cy Young, a Rookie of the Year award and four All-Star Games, but what did he do for the Yankees? On May 14, 1996, against the Seattle Mariners, he tossed a no-hitter, which earns him a place on this list (trivia question: Who was the Yankee second baseman in that game? Answer: Robert Eenhoorn, the Netherlands native who had 67 career at-bats with the Bombers and Angels). Gooden's Yankee career ('96, '97, '00): 24-14 record, 4.67 ERA, 1.503 WHIP, ERA+ of 103, 4.7 WAR. He also appeared in three postseason games for Yankees, one start with a no-decision and two relief appearances.
4. Orlando Hernandez: El Duque defected from Cuba and was an instant hit with the Yankees. In his six years with the team, he helped them win three World Series titles, went 61-40 in 139 games, with a 3.96 ERA, 1.237 WHIP, 116 ERA+ and 17.9 WAR. Hernandez was even better in the postseason, compiling a 9-3 mark for the Yankees and was named the '99 ALCS MVP. He wasn't too shabby for the Mets, either, cobbling together an 18-12 record in parts of two seasons in Queens, with a 3.88 ERA, 1.199 WHIP, ERA+ of 112 and 3.6 WAR. Down the stretch in 2006, he went 2-2 with a 2.01 ERA in September. One day before he was scheduled to start in Game 1 of the ALDS that year, though, he tore a calf muscle running sprints, which shelved him for the postseason (how many fans forget that the Mets' top two starters -- Pedro Martinez being the other -- didn't throw a pitch for the Amazin's in the playoffs and they still made it to Game 7 of the NLCS?).
3. Rickey Henderson: Part of those good but not quite good enough Yankee teams of the 1980s ('85-'89), Henderson did his usual thing in the Bronx -- get on base, steal bases, hit a few home runs and exasperate many with his flashy, sometimes-not-all-out style of play. He led the league in stolen bases four times (and is second on the Yanks' all-time list, with 326, only behind Derek Jeter), runs three times and walks once while playing in the Bronx (though some of those league-leading seasons were split with the Oakland A's). His Yankee career, 595 games in all, looked like this: .288/.395/.455, .850 OPS, 513 runs, 663 hits, 119 doubles, 16 triples, 78 home runs, 255 RBIs, 406 walks, 135 OPS+ and 30.3 WAR. Rickey only had a short stint with the Mets, but his one full season was a great one. In 1999, he batted .315, with a .423 OBP, .466 slugging percentage (.889 OPS), 89 runs scored, 37 stolen bases, 82 walks, 30 doubles, 12 home runs and 42 RBIs, which translates to a 128 OPS+ and 1.6 WAR. He only hit .174 in the NLCS, but in the NLDS vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks, he put up a .400/.500/.400 line (he never made the playoffs with the Yankees). Of course, Henderson is mostly remembered for playing cards with Bobby Bonilla in the clubhouse during that postseason. He was released by the Mets the following season on May 13, after sinking to a .219 average.
2. Darryl Strawberry: Still the Mets' all-time home run leader (252), Strawberry won the Rookie of the Year award in 1983, a World Series (driving in the eventual game-winning runs in Game 7 with a moonshot of a home run) and played in seven All-Star Games in his eight years at Shea. His total numbers: .263/.359/.520, .878 OPS, 733 RBIs, 1,025 hits, 580 walks, 191 stolen bases, 145 OPS+ and 34.4 WAR. He spent parts of five seasons with the Yankees ('95-'99), contributing to three championship titles, with a high of 24 home runs in 1998. In the '96 ALCS vs. the Baltimore Orioles, he belted three home runs, drove in five runs and put up a .417/.500/1.167 line, good for a 1.667 OPS. His career Yankee numbers: .255/.362/.502, .864 OPS, 121 OPS+, 41 home runs, 114 RBIs and 2.5 WAR.
1. David Cone: Easily No. 1 on the list, Cone had a stellar Met career, being part of one of the great trades in team history. On the last day of the 1991 season he struck out 19 Philadelphia Phillies tying Tom Seaver's club mark and one shy of the all-time record. In his seven seasons (give or take a few months here and there) with the Amazin's, he won 81 games, losing 51, with a 3.13 ERA, 1.192 WHIP, 112 ERA+ and 18.2 WAR. His time with the Yankees was almost as long (six seasons, from '95 to '00), but he won four World Series with the Bombers and went 6-1 all-time in the postseason for them. In the regular season, he went 60-40, with a 3.91 ERA, 1.331 WHIP, 118 ERA+ and 19.1 WAR. Cone, of course, also threw a perfect game against the Expos on July 18, 1999, which just happened to be Yogi Berra Day, with Don Larsen throwing out the ceremonial first pitch to Berra before the game. Cone made two All-Star Games with each New York team.