Jerry Koosman lastly will obtain a deserved day in his honor when his uniform No. 36 shall be retired earlier than the Mets’ sport Saturday evening towards the Nationals.
Serving because the No. 2 starter within the shadow of the most effective pitchers in baseball historical past, Tom Seaver, contributed to the delayed recognition for Koosman, the left-handed complement to Tom Terrific on the Mets’ 1969 World Series championship crew.
Koosman, who will be a part of Seaver (41) and Mike Piazza (31) as the one gamers to be so honored by the group, hurled a whole sport within the Game 5 clincher in 1969 towards the Orioles to finish the Miracle Mets’ title run. The Mets even have retired numbers for former managers Casey Stengel (37) and Gil Hodges (14).
“It’s a very humbling feeling when they called me and told me they were going to do it,” Koosman advised The Post’s Ken Davidoff earlier this week. “I didn’t realize I accomplished enough to get it done. But evidently, somebody recognized it. It’s a nice career accomplishment. I’m very pleased and excited about it.”
Koosman, now 78, completed loads over his 11 seasons with the Mets, starting with a second-place end in NL Rookie of the Year balloting (behind Johnny Bench) in 1968 with a 19-12 file, a 2.08 ERA, seven shutouts and 17 full video games over 263 ²/₃ innings. The Minnesota native additionally was a 21-game winner in 1976, inserting because the runner-up to San Diego’s Randy Jones for the NL Cy Young Award.
Koosman, who posted 140 of his 222 profession victories with the Mets, additionally not directly contributed to their 1986 championship squad. He was traded in 1978 to the Twins for future Mets nearer Jesse Orosco.
“The excitement of playing for the Mets when we won the 1969 World Series was an experience I never thought I’d be able to repeat. But retiring my number is another life-changing thrill and honor,” Koosman mentioned. “It was a privilege to play alongside a number of the most fantastic and proficient teammates for greater than 11 years and to hone my craft beneath Gil Hodges.
“This honor isn’t only for me and my family, it’s for the legions of fans I grew to love. To know that my number will be retired and sit alongside other team legends is one of the greatest tributes I could ever be granted. I was always proud to be a Met.”
The two-time All-Star ranks second in franchise historical past in begins (346), full video games (108), innings (2,545) and shutouts (26), third in strikeouts (1,799) and sixth in ERA (3.09).
Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins, whose Cubs had been overtaken within the NL East by the Mets late within the 1969 common season, advised The Post that he believed Koosman “got overshadowed a bit by Seaver,” however known as him “one of the best left-handed pitchers of that time.”
The ceremony initially was slated to happen final season, nevertheless it was postponed because of the pandemic. Koosman’s 1969 teammates Wayne Garrett, Cleon Jones, Ed Kranepool, Art Shamsky and Ron Swoboda are anticipated to be amongst these in attendance.