New York Mets: Greatest left-handed starters in franchise history
1. Jerry Koosman
If Tom Seaver was the team’s #1 starting pitcher from the late 1960s through the mid-1970s, Jerry Koosman was 1A.
He enjoyed a long career, suiting up in Flushing from 1967 through 1978. In those twelve seasons, Koosman managed to amass enough stats to be among the Mets’ all-time leaders in multiple categories: pitcher WAR, strikeouts, ERA, and wins. In several other categories, such as innings pitched, complete games, and shutouts, Koosman ranks second only to Seaver in team history.
His statistics compare favorably with several Hall of Famers, such as Steve Carlton, Ferguson Jenkins, Mike Mussina, and likely future HOFer CC Sabathia. Koosman also has the notable distinction of having finished second to Johnny Bench, widely considered the greatest catcher ever, by a single vote in the 1968 Rookie of the Year voting.
And yet, because he was in Seaver’s shadow throughout his Mets career, Koosman never quite achieved the level of baseball-wide acclaim that he deserved.
The Mets are finally giving him the credit that he deserves by retiring his number this summer, where it will hang in the Citi Field rafters alongside other Mets legends Seaver, Mike Piazza, Casey Stengel, and Gil Hodges.
This will further cement Koosman’s legacy as the greatest left-handed starter in franchise history and one of the team’s best players ever, period.
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Which Mets lefty on this list is your favorite of all-time?