New York Mets finally giving Jerry Koosman his due

Flushing, N.Y.: New York Mets Jerry Koosman hurls a pitch during the first inning in the Mets -St. Louis Cardinals game played at Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York on April 22, 1975. The pitch was one of 165 pitches Koosman threw in his complete game. (Photo by Dick Yarwood/Newsday RM via Getty Images)
Flushing, N.Y.: New York Mets Jerry Koosman hurls a pitch during the first inning in the Mets -St. Louis Cardinals game played at Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York on April 22, 1975. The pitch was one of 165 pitches Koosman threw in his complete game. (Photo by Dick Yarwood/Newsday RM via Getty Images) /
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The New York Mets are set to honor another member of their 1969 Miracle Mets team as they will retire Jerry Koosman’s number.

Fifty years ago, the New York Mets were a miracle. They managed to escape the National League basement, a place that they had made their permanent residence since inception. The scrappy underdogs took out the mighty Orioles, winning the World Series and showing that miracles do sometimes happen on the diamond.

This season has been a celebration of that team. The surviving members of the ’69 Mets were welcomed to Citi Field, given a hero’s welcome as the franchise celebrated the 50th anniversary of their title. Naturally, the great Tom Seaver has received several honors with the franchise, as his number was retired, Citi Field is now located at 41 Seaver Way, and a statue in his honor will be forthcoming.

However, he is not the only member of the Mets first championship to get his due. Jerry Koosman, another member of that rotation, will have his number retired next season. With that honor, he will join Seaver and Mike Piazza as the only players in franchise history to have their numbers retired.

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Koosman was a solid pitcher during his dozen years in New York. He had a 140-137 record, his wins depressed by some mediocre Mets teams over the years. In his 2544.2 innings, Koosman posted a 3.09 ERA and a 1.219 WHiP, striking out 1799 batters.

A two time All Star, Koosman also finished second in the 1976 Cy Young vote. He won the most games of any left hander in franchise history, and ranks second in starts, complete games, innings, and shutouts. Koosman also ranks third in strikeouts and sixth in ERA. He certainly made his mark in franchise history.

Koosman’s 36 was still in heavy rotation after he left the Mets. A total of 26 other players wore that number, with Sean Gilmartin the most recent. He wore 36 from 2015 through 2017, and will have a place in Mets trivia as the final player to wear that number before it is officially retired.

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At long last, the New York Mets will give Jerry Koosman his due by retiring his number. He certainly deserves this honor.