Mets to retire Keith Hernandez’s No. 17 in July

Frank Becerra Jr/USA TODAY / USA TODAY NETWORK
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NEW YORK- Keith Hernandez will have his No. 17 retired by the New York Mets this summer to honor his seven seasons as a player and nearly three decades as a beloved broadcaster with the franchise.

The Mets announced that Hernandez will become the fourth player to have his uniform number retired by the team in a ceremony prior to a game July 9 against Miami.

Hernandez’s No. 17 will stand alongside Tom Seaver’s 41, Mike Piazza’s 31 and Jerry Koosman’s 36 at Citi Field. Koosman’s number was retired in August.

Hernandez was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame in 1997. He ranks second in team history with a .297 batting average, and he won a team-record six of his 11 Gold Gloves in New York.

The Bay Area native propelled the Mets to a World Series title in 1986 and was named the franchise’s first-ever captain the next year by manager Davey Johnson.

Hernandez has broadcast Mets games since 1999 and has won three Emmys for Best Sports Analyst.

“I’m thrilled,” Hernandez said Tuesday in a statement released by the team. “This is truly a special honor that lasts beyond a lifetime. I can’t thank (owner) Steve and Alex Cohen and the Mets Hall of Fame Committee enough.

“I was very emotional when Steve called to let me know about the number retirement. This is the highest honor an organization can bestow upon a player. I also want to thank Mets fans, who have treated me like family since I arrived in 1983.”

Rays moving spring camp due to damage caused by hurricane

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rays are relocating their spring base for 2023 due to extensive damage to team training facilities caused by Hurricane Ian.

The Rays have trained since 2009 in Port Charlotte, Florida, about 90 minutes south of St. Petersburg, and intend to explore several options before making a decision on where to hold spring training and play Grapefruit League games when camp opens.

The team and Charlotte County released a joint statement Thursday, saying damage to Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte can’t be repaired in time to host games this winter.

“Charlotte County supports the Rays efforts to secure alternative accommodations for 2023 spring training,” the statement said.

“We are all disappointed for the residents of Charlotte County and the fans there. The community is in the thoughts and hearts of the Rays, and the team will continue to support recovery efforts,” the statement added. “The Rays and Charlotte County intend to develop a restoration plan for Charlotte Sports Park in the coming weeks.”