The New York Mets have set a date to make history. In just a few months, the team will retire Jerry Koosman’s No. 36 jersey.
In September 2019, the New York Mets announced that they would retire Jerry Koosman‘s No. 36. It took all offseason, but the Mets have finally stated that the ceremony will take place on June 13. New York will be playing the Washington Nationals that day at 4:10 p.m. ET at Citi Field.
This is a landmark moment for the Mets. It’s only the second time in franchise history that the team is retiring the number of a former individual who hasn’t been inducted into the Hall of Fame. The first was Gil Hodges, who managed the Mets to a World Series title in 1969.
Koosman spent 12 of his 19 playing years with the Mets. Over that span, the lefty recorded a 3.09 ERA, 3.12 FIP, 1,799 Ks, and a 140-137 record. Yes, the Mets’ inability to win games for their elite pitchers goes back way before Jacob deGrom.
Koosman was a two-time All-Star, a one-time Cy Young vote-getter, and a three-time MVP vote-getter. He also lost the 1968 Rookie of the Year Award to Johnny Bench by just a single vote.
The Mets great recorded a 39.5 rWAR during his 12 years with the ballclub. This statistic puts Koosman third all-time in the franchise’s history behind only Tom Seaver and Doc Gooden. deGrom isn’t far back though.
Koosman was an instrumental piece to the Mets’ 1969 World Series team along with their 1973 squad that lost in the Fall Classic. Thus, he’s definitely deserving of this honor.
No. 36 was a very common number in the Mets organization. Twenty-nine players had worn the number since Koosman left the team after 1978. The latest, player or coach, was Mickey Callaway, who sported it during his stint as the team’s manager from 2018-19. The last player to wear it was reliever Sean Gilmartin.
Now nobody will wear it ever again. With the Mets digging into their past to find retirement-worthy digits, who do you think will be next?