Magadan, a lefthanded line-drive hitter, showed the same skills as cousin Lou Piniella. The Mets’ second-round pick in the June 1983 draft, he was the offensive hero of the Mets’ division-clinching game in 1986 during a late-season call-up. His playing time was restricted by the presence of Keith Hernandez and Howard Johnson, but he hit .300 while filling in for the injured Hernandez in 1989, and manager Davey Johnson often moved Howard Johnson to shortstop to get Magadan’s bat into the lineup.
His performance earned him a more regular role in 1990, as he replaced the departed Hernandez at first base and played in a career-high 144 games, batting .328 and leading the league with a .425 on-base percentage. While he never duplicated his 1990 achievements, Magadan served as a valuable reserve over the next decade, including .300 seasons for Houston in 1995 and Oakland from 1998-99.