Mets Retire Koosman’s 36 Five Decades After ’69 Heroics – CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — With Jerry Koosman on the mound, it was by no means too late for the 1969 New York Mets.

Greater than 5 a long time later, the franchise rewarded the big-game left-hander with its highest distinction.

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Koosman turned the fifth player or coach to have his jersey retired by the Mets on Saturday night time. His No. 36 was unveiled alongside these honoring Mike Piazza, Tom Seaver, Gil Hodges and Casey Stengel.

Former New York Mets Jerry Koosman acknowledges the group throughout his jersey retirement ceremony previous to the sport between the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals at Citi Discipline on August 28, 2021 in New York Metropolis. (Picture by Mike Stobe/Getty Photos)

“Humbly grateful that they thought that a lot of me to retire my quantity,” Koosman mentioned. “I do know I’m becoming a member of an awesome crew that’s already had their numbers retired.”

The 78-year-old Koosman was purported to be honored final season, however the ceremoney was postponed as a result of pandemic. As a substitute, he was welcomed by “Kooz!” chants on a cool night time in Queens forward to Saturday’s sport towards Washington.

His No. 36 was posted throughout Citi Field, together with on the pitcher’s mound and the home-run apple in middle subject. The enduring picture of him leaping into catcher Jerry Grote’s arms after the ultimate out of the 1969 World Collection was superimposed over his No. 36 on the videoboard.

Koosman was joined by 11 members of the family, together with his 4 grandchildren, as nicely former teammates Wayne Garrett, Ed Kranepool and Artwork Shamsky. Piazza, whose No. 31 was the earlier quantity retired by the Mets in 2016, was the final to talk earlier than Koosman’s quantity was revealed atop the grandstands down the third-base line.

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“Jerry, welcome dwelling,” Piazza mentioned. “That is your property, and that is your loved ones.”

Koosman and his shut good friend Seaver each debuted with the Mets in 1967 and rapidly helped flip the franchise from laughingstock to World Collection champs.

The pair mixed to go 11-1 with a 1.63 ERA and 11 full video games in 14 begins in September of 1969 because the Mets went 24-8 to make up a 4 1/2-game deficit within the NL East and win the division by eight video games.

Koosman gave up six runs towards the Atlanta Braves in his lone NL Championship Collection begin earlier than profitable each World Collection turns towards the Baltimore Orioles. After night the sequence by tossing 8 2/3 innings in Sport 2, the left-hander threw a five-hitter within the Sport 5 clincher to cap the miraculous worst-to-first climb for the Mets, who by no means misplaced fewer than 89 video games of their first seven seasons.


Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman communicate at a press convention commemorating the New York Mets fortieth anniversary of the 1969 World Championship workforce on August 22, 2009 at Citi Discipline within the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York Metropolis. (Picture by Jared Wickerham/Getty Photos)

“There’s the outdated saying: good pitching will get out good hitting,” Koosman mentioned. “In order that’s what occurred and our pitching type of took over.”

Seaver had his quantity retired by the Mets in 1988, however plans to do the identical for Koosman weren’t introduced till September of 2019. Seaver died on Aug. 31, 2020 from problems of Lewy physique dementia and COVID-19.

Koosman pitched 12 seasons for the Mets, rating second in full video games (108) third in wins (140) and strikeouts (1,799) and sixth in ERA (3.09).

He virtually helped the Mets to a different unlikely championship in 1973, when New York surged from final place in late August to the Sport 7 of the World Collection towards the dynastic Oakland Athletics. Koosman went 2-0 with a 3.55 ERA in three postseason begins.

“It’s secure to say that in 60 years, the Mets have by no means had a greater cash pitcher than Jerry Koosman,” Mets radio play-by-play man Howie Rose mentioned whereas emceeing Saturday’s ceremony.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Related Press contributed to this report.) | Mets Retire Koosman’s 36 5 A long time After ’69 Heroics – CBS New York

Huynh Nguyen

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