NEW YORK -- Former Mets slugger Darryl Strawberry was at Citi Field on Saturday to unveil his All-Stars for Charities Fruit Snacks, and he had some advice for current Mets shortstop and future free agent Jose Reyes: Don't go.
Twenty years after leaving the Mets for Los Angeles in free agency, Strawberry said he wishes he'd remained and continued to play in the New York City spotlight.
"It looks good on the other side, but it's not always as good as the place that you're used to," Strawberry said. "When you're young, you don't realize that, and for me, I was young and didn't realize what New York meant to me. Tell Jose I said New York is a great place. No matter what you have to go through, how difficult it gets, this is the place you want to play."
"Being successful here, they appreciate it a little bit more than anywhere else you go. You're just another player that comes along in other places, but the fans here never forget. The legacy you leave for yourself here is incredible and Jose has a chance to do that. He's a remarkable player, he's had some wonderful years, done some wonderful things and he still has a chance to do some greater things before his career is all over."
Reyes has said repeatedly that he hopes he can stay in New York, where he has played the entirety of his nine-year Major League career. When asked if he had spoken about his upcoming decision to players who'd gone through free agency, Reyes said he has not because he wants to keep his mind clear as he finishes the rest of the baseball season.
"Everything is a consideration," Reyes said. "I think to play here in New York means a lot to me. Like I always say, I don't want to leave here. I want to stay here. But at the same time, I don't know. Everything's a consideration."
Strawberry was at the stadium to sign autographs for any fan who purchased a box of his fruit snacks, the sales of which go to the Darryl Strawberry Foundation's Fight for Autism. The Foundation has worked to help those affected with Autism in New York and St. Louis since 2006, and in 2010 opened the first daycare facility for adults with autism in St. Louis.
"I've been doing work with children affected with autism and raising money, and this is just another way to raise money for the Foundation and for the families and children affected with autism," Strawberry said.