Jerry Koosman doesn’t always get the national love he deserves. We all know who he pitched beside. Even with this, I would have hoped more non-Mets fans would have an idea of who he is.
In case you aren’t aware, this is a guy who won 140 games for the Mets. He had a chance to win Rookie of the Year in 1968 as well, instead finishing in second place. Sadly, his 19 wins and 2.08 were not enough to beat Johnny Bench. Quite frankly, it should have. Bench didn’t have a terrific season.
I wouldn’t dip back into the past and get angry about voting results. I suppose in 1968, 19 wins weren’t as big of a deal as it would be today.
Regardless of this one missed opportunity, Koosman pitched well for the Mets. He did win 20 games once when in 1976 he took home 21 victories. Sadly, the next year he lost 20.
Even with this bruise on his career and a few others, we saw a very talented southpaw. During his dozen years in New York, Koosman managed to accumulate 1,799 strikeouts to go with his 140 victories and 3.09 ERA. I don’t care what era you’re pitching in. This is noteworthy.
I’m not spoiling the rest of the list by openly declaring right now that Koosman is the best left-handed pitcher the Mets have ever had. While others have shared some glory, nobody put together as many years with the team at his level.