The Mets announced today that they plan on retiring Jerry Koosman’s number 36 next year.
Koosman was always the number two guy behind Tom Seaver in the Mets rotation, but he was a beloved member of the Miracle Mets and was well-respected among his teammates. He also could pitch a little: He was 17-9 with a 2.20 ERA (160 ERA+) in 241 innings across 32 starts for the ’69 Mets and won two games in the World Series against the heavily-favored Orioles. He’d go on to pitch 12 total years in New York, winning 140 games. In all he pitched 19 seasons in the bigs, winning 222 games and posting a career ERA of 3.36 (ERA+ 110).
The Mets had previously had a number-retiring policy that limited it to Hall of Famers. It’s good to see they’ve chucked that. It has never made sense to me that teams would let a matter like retiring a number — which is a local honor for a local hero and for the benefit of the local fans — to be determined by the voters of the Baseball Writers Association of America who have no dog in the hunt of the player’s memory or legacy in the town in which he starred.
No date is set yet for the ceremony, but it’ll be a big day in Queens when it happens.