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New York Mets All-Time Lists

New York Mets: 30 greatest players in franchise history

NEW YORK - APRIL 05: Fans outside the stadium prior to the Opening Day Game between the New York Mets and the Florida Marlins at Citi Field on April 5, 2010 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - APRIL 05: Fans outside the stadium prior to the Opening Day Game between the New York Mets and the Florida Marlins at Citi Field on April 5, 2010 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
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11 of 31
New York Mets
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Jon Matlack

Jon Matlack. 21. 3. . P. 1971-1977

Yes, Matlack was there for the 1973 World Series, but he missed the 1969 championship. He was still a teenager at the time. For parts of the seven seasons he did pitch for New York, he was reliable even if wins weren’t always easy to come by.

Matlack finished his Mets career with an 82-81 record. It’s amazing he was able to do this with a 3.03 ERA. This isn’t the winning percentage he deserved. A rough year in 1977 and some bad offensive seasons from the team around him were often a factor.

From 1972 to 1976, Matlack enjoyed the prime of his Mets career. He won double-digit games each season and never finish with an ERA above 3.38. He managed to snag three All-Star nods in this time period when he was often considered the third man in a very talented starting rotation.

Matlack’s numbers don’t jump out at all. Maybe that’s because he was never truly an ace. He did win the 1972 Rookie of the Year and in 1976 finished sixth in the Cy Young voting. Other than those two seasons, he never received any major acknowledgment.

During the team’s unprecedented run to the 1973 World Series, Matlack was money as usual. He tossed a shutout against the Cincinnati Reds in the NLCS and started three of the World Series games. Amazingly, even with a 2.16 ERA in those three World Series starts, Matlack still ended up with a 1-2 record.

In his rather brief time with the Mets, Matlack helped round out one of the best starting staffs in baseball. Thanks to this, he’s in our top-30.

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