Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Wilmer Flores spoke about his connection to fans of the New York Mets and how he misses the city.
Wilmer Flores spent parts of six seasons with the New York Mets and 11 years in the organization. He became a fan favorite due to his emotional reaction to believing he’d been traded and his walk-off home run two days later after the trade fell through.
He was non-tendered this offseason, eventually landing with the Arizona Diamondbacks, who the Mets visited from May 31 through June 2. Flores admitted to Yahoo Sports’ Matt Ehalt that he misses living and playing in New York City.
“I like the calm cities, but you definitely need some New York in your life,” Flores said. “You can get anything you want at any time. I hate traffic, I don’t like traffic, but New York is just a city where you can get anything you want.”
While New York City traffic is enough to send anybody into a flying rage, it’s a city that you can do pretty much anything at any time day or night. The lure of a big city can be a big pull for athletes and there is none bigger than New York.
Flores is on the injured list so he hasn’t played in the series against his old team. He went on to speak about his special connection with Mets fans that stemmed from his tears that came from thinking he’d been traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Carlos Gomez. Zack Wheeler was also a part of the trade that never happened.
“It was meant to be,” Flores admitted. “It was crazy. I like that I still get the support and love from fans like everywhere I go Mets fans always talk about it. They say, ‘I cried with you, I was there with you, I was watching the game, I was feeling bad.’”
Flores slashed .263/.303/.423 with the Mets, playing all over the infield. He spent various times as a bench player and as a starter. He passed David Wright for the most walk-off hits in franchise history.
His fondest memory of his Mets time? The 2015 run to the World Series. “I know the walk-offs were fun, and we didn’t win the World Series, I think I only got one or two hits, but you never know when you’re going to do that again. I could hit a walk-off today or tomorrow, but to play in the World Series, that’s what I remember.”
Flores went 1-for-17 during the World Series, and slashed .195/.298/.293 during the playoff run. He appeared in 13 of the 14 games the team played in the playoffs during that time. He was deemed expendable by the Mets this winter, but will always have a special place in the hearts of Mets fans.