Of course, a currently active player may one day take the lead in this category and prove himself a true Metsclusive star. David Wright already has a career WAR of 32.5 and is as likely a player as any to retire a Met. Then again, a few years ago I could have said something similar Reyes.
Is the Mets situation unusual? Is the nature of the sport, that few teams can hold onto a star for there entire career or is it a curse of the Mets? Perhaps, it is only because the Mets starting playing in 1962. Lets take a look.
Here are the leaders in WAR for each franchise among players who only played for that team. To make this easier to see, I have included 3 categories. The first is the club's all-time leader among retired players. The second category only includes players that started their careers in 1962 or later. This list will allow us to compare the other teams to the Mets who only started playing in 1962. The final category includes the active leaders. As an afterthought, I included each franchises first year of existence for reference purposes.
Clicking on the team name will provide a complete list of non-pitching WAR leaders among players who just played for that team, including not pitching WAR for pitchers. Pitchers who earned WAR for hitting and fielding are also included for those values, but not for their pitching value. For a list of the all-time single-franchise position players see here.
- While the Met's Ron Hodges WAR 5.8 is pretty low, two clubs in existence at the time of the Met's birth have not had a retired position player who started his career in '62 or later, played solely for them and do better. If fact those teams aren't even close. The Cubs haven't had a player with more than .5 WAR and the Indians with more than 1.5.
- The Atlanta Braves franchise began as the 1876 Boston Redstockings, an original NL franchise. The team has undergone 2 moves and 6 name changes, yet in the 135 years that the franchise has existed no position player has ammassed 10 career WAR and played solely for that franchise. Chipper Jones will likely end that streak, but it is remarkable none-the-less.
- The Blue Jays certainly don't have a star of their own. Even if you include active players, no position player that only played for the Blue Jays has accrued more than 4.9 WAR.
- The Montreal/Washington franchise has also been quite inept in this category. Since their birth in 1969, the team does no have a retired position player with a WAR above 1.2.