NEW YORK -- An original Met, Ed Kranepool held the Mets' all-time hits record for several years in the 1960s, before Cleon Jones overtook him for a brief stretch. Kranepool then grabbed the record for good in 1976, holding it until David Wright passed him Wednesday with his 1,419th career hit.
"You never know how long it's going to last," Kranepool said in a telephone interview Thursday morning. "Obviously, guys have come and gone. A lot of players have been there and never maintained their standing. It lasted a long time. I'm proud of that fact, and obviously records are made to be broken. David passed it, so I'll just have to come out of retirement to take it back."
In reality, it may be at least another 36 years before someone surpasses Wright, particularly if he signs a long-term deal to stay in New York. Kranepool's hope for the organization that employed him for 18 seasons is just that -- that the Mets re-sign their franchise third baseman and build around him.
"He's a gentleman," Kranepool said. "He's been with the organization, the club for many, many years and he's been an asset to the organization and continues to do so. As opposed to the guys that create problems on and off the field, David certainly has held himself in a high esteem. To me, he's like the Derek Jeter of the Mets.
"How can you wish him bad luck? Certainly if anybody was going to break my record, I'm glad to see that it's David."
A frequent attendee of Mets games and charity events and, in that sense, an ambassador for the franchise, Kranepool sees a fellow emissary in Wright. The third baseman has a chance to join Kranepool as one of the franchise's few long-tenured players to play their whole careers in Flushing, prompting Kranepool to wish Wright "well on his contract."
As for the record-breaking hit, a squibber up the third-base line, Kranepool figures he caught a few similar breaks throughout his career.
"Everybody has," Kranepool said. "But he was going to pass me anyway. If I have to be second, I'd rather be second to him."