New York Mets: The all-time top five closers in franchise history
3) Jesse Orosco
Even disregarding his Mets career, Jesse Orosco has a well-deserved place in baseball lore. He has appeared in more games than anyone else in baseball history, pitching in 1252 games in a career that began in 1979 and did not finish until 2003.
The Mets acquired Orosco from the Minnesota Twins in 1978 in the somewhat infamous Koosman trade, and he proved to be a mainstay in their bullpen for the next eight seasons.
His first full year of excellence with New York was in 1982, when he hurled 109.1 innings in 54 appearances, ending the year with a 2.72 ERA. Orosco’s next two seasons were even better; he made the All-Star team in 1983 and 1984, posting a microscopic 1.47 ERA in 1983 and finishing 3rd in that year’s Cy Young voting.
Orosco reached his Mets peak in 1986, splitting closing duties with Roger McDowell and saving 21 games with a 2.33 ERA. He further proved his worth in the postseason and was a major factor in the Mets’ World Series win, appearing in four World Series games without allowing a single run. Orosco had the final moment of on-field glory that October, striking out Marty Barrett of the Red Sox to seal the championship for the Mets.
His joyous celebration on the mound immediately following that strikeout is one of the most famous images in Mets history, and has helped cement his legacy as one of the greatest closers they’ve ever had.