The New York Mets are having a disastrous second half and are quickly falling out of playoff contention. That doesnâ€™t mean, however, that they canâ€™t honor their legends, such as former pitcher Jerry Koosman.
Before Saturdayâ€™s game, the Mets retired Koosmanâ€™s number 36 in a heartfelt ceremony in Citi Field. It was a very special day for a beloved member of the â€œMiracle Mets,â€ one who was a very important piece in the 1969 World Series, the first one won by the franchise.
Koosmanâ€™s in the third number that the Mets retire among players, after Tom Seaver (No. 41) and Mike Piazza (No. 31). Managers Gil Hodges (No. 14) and Casey Stengel (No. 37) also had their numbers retired.
Some of Koosmanâ€™s teammates, such as Art Shamsky, Wayne Garrett and Ed Kranepool, were present, as was Piazza.
â€œIâ€™m thankful that they thought so much of me to retire my number,â€ Koosman said according to the Metsâ€™ official site. â€œI know Iâ€™m joining a great crew that they had their numbers retired. I donâ€™t know if I deserve it. I guess we are going to get on with it.â€
Jerry Koosman’s #Mets career was fate. Now he receives the highest honor any player can earn. Today we retire 3?6?. pic.twitter.com/82JGdNxdZu
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 28, 2021
A fantastic career with the Mets
Koosman spent 12 years with the Mets and won 140 games, had a 3.09 ERA and had a 21-win season in ’76.
He reminisced some memories of his playing days and got to enjoy the applauses of Metsâ€™ fans. â€œA lot of things pop up — different memories. You see something, you have a related story,â€ Koosman said.
During a 19-year career in MLB, the pitcher also wore the Minnesota Twins, Chicago White Sox, and Philadelphia Philliesâ€™ uniforms. He was elected to a couple of All-Star games and achieved 222 career wins and 2,556 strikeouts.
He is perhaps best remembered for his complete-game victory in Game 5 of the 1969 Series, as he dominated a tough Baltimore Oriolesâ€™ lineup en route to the franchiseâ€™s first career Fall Classic win.