Mets introduce commemorative coins

Mets introduce commemorative coins

NEW YORK -- The Mets began their season-long salute to the 1986 World Series championship team with Friday's launch of a commemorative quarter series featuring six former Mets players. As a way to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of the '86 team, Dunkin' Donuts unveiled the six collectible, uncirculated coins at the Bayside store on Northern Boulevard.

The New York State quarters, featuring color images of Darryl Strawberry, Mookie Wilson, Sid Fernandez, Lenny Dykstra, Gary Carter and Keith Hernandez, will be available for $2.99 each with any Dunkin' Donuts purchase beginning Monday, June 19, for three weeks exclusively at participating Dunkin' Donuts stores. The first 25,000 fans in attendance at Friday's game against the Baltimore Orioles, though, will receive a free team quarter not available in stores, along with a cardboard coin carrier to collect the remaining quarters.

Two different players will be featured each week, starting with Wilson and Dykstra on June 19, followed by Hernandez and Fernandez on June 26 and Carter and Strawberry on July 3.

Al Hodges, regional vice president of Dunkin' Donuts, addressed the media and several passersby outside the Bayside store before unveiling the large cardboard cutout replicas of the coins. Hodges also announced a $2,500 donation from the Mets and Dunkin' Donuts each to the Queens Child Guidance Center in Woodside and The New York Child Learning Institute in College Point.

After the ceremony, Wilson spoke to the contingent of media members and fans in the area.

"The Mets have always been a big part in charitable events and helping organizations around the area, and I'm proud to be a part of this as well," said Wilson, who, along with Strawberry and Fernandez, was one of three former Mets players in attendance. "It's also an honor for the Mets to honor us in this way. It makes us feel good to think we are worthy of that type of recognition. I'm very proud of our team back then, and I hope this year's Mets keep on winning."

Fans reveled in being at the event.

"I stop here every morning to pick up coffee and a bagel and happened to see Darryl Strawberry standing outside," said 57-year-old Linda Rabe, a Bayside resident who first saw the Mets play in their inaugural 1962 season. "This is incredible, and they were so gracious in autographing my ['Let's Go Mets'] sign."

David Newman, senior vice president of marketing and communications for the Mets, said that the coin ceremony is the first of several events that will commemorate the '86 team throughout this anniversary season. In addition to other promotions around the region, the Mets will also have giveaway items celebrating the '86 squad on July 6, July 23 and Aug. 4-5, with a salute to the team on Aug. 19.

"This is the most beloved set of athletes in New York history," said Newman. "To honor them in this way is special, and to have the Mets playing as well as they are this season adds to the celebration."

The event brought back memories of the '86 season for fans and for the players themselves.

"This means we accomplished something great for the city," said Strawberry, who signed as many autographs as possible for the fans. "It is a reminder of how tough we battled throughout that year, especially in the playoff series against Houston and then the World Series against Boston. We did it as a group, and something like this makes you revert back to then and think about how many things happened along the way for us to win it all."

Chris Girandola is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.