Like most players that are brought in through the New York Mets organization, the expectations put on Dave Magadan to be the saving grace of the team were immense. Magadan had already built an impressive resume as a collegiate player as he dominated for the University of Alabama while winning several individual awards as well as taking his team to the College World Series.
Drafted in the 1st round by the Mets in 1983, Magadan was on his way to a starring role with the team. Unfortunately for him, the Mets had a veteran and productive player at 3rd base in Howard Johnson. Magadan was also capable of playing 1st base, but that role was occupied by Keith Hernandez – one of the best defensive first basemen in baseball history. Still, the Mets wanted Magadan in their line-up and constantly tinkered with the roster to get him more playing time. Never able to take over a position on a full-time basis did not seem to slow down Magadan’s production. In just 85 games in 1987, he hit .318. The next year he batted .277 in 112 games. And then in 1989 he hit .286 while playing in 127 contests.
Dave Magadan’s best season was in 1990 where he played in 144 games – the most for 1 season in his entire career. That year, Magadan hit .328 while driving in 72 runs and scoring 74.
Of his 16 years in the big leagues, the first 7 years of Dave Magadan’s career were spent with the Mets. The next 9 were spread over 6 more teams. Magadan never regained his starring role on any of his new teams, yet he still performed well. In the 9 seasons after he and the Mets parted ways, Magadan hit .275 or better 4 times.
He ended his career with a lifetime batting average of .288 and 1,197 hits. Never known as a power hitter, his career home run tally rests at 42. But Magadan was productive – he scored 516 runs in his 16-season career while driving in 495.
Dave Magadan never made it to the World Series as a player. But as a batting coach with the Boston Red Sox, Magadan won a World Series title in 2007.