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Al Jackson
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Al Jackson
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Game Log Pitching
Memories of
Al Jackson
Al Jackson
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 80 of 1043 players
Alvin Neil Jackson
Born: December 25, 1935 at Waco, Tex.
Throws: Left Bats: Left
Height: 5.10 Weight: 170

Al Jackson was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on December 29, 2008, April 21, 2010, April 22, 2010, July 16, 2012, June 2, 2013, March 23, 2014, and January 30, 2016.

Non-playing roles with Mets
  • Coach 1999 - 2000

First Mets game: April 14, 1962
Last Mets game: May 22, 1969

Share your memories of Al Jackson


robert lanzarotta
Al Jackson was absolutely my favorite Met from the 60's. He was one of the most hard luck pitchers I've ever seen who had the best stuff on the mound. He suffered from lack of run support but was usually brilliant on the mound. However, the one thing that stands out most in my mind was that I had his wife for my teacher in high school. She was so sweet.

Juan Espinoza
I played minor league with Al Jackson and while he was a very personable guy he was very absent-minded when it came to paying back money. I mean the guy never seemed to have any money and all he did was borrow. Otherwise he was a decent fellow but don't lend him any money.

Willie Sanchez
Al was a good buddy of mine. Yeah he liked to borrow money all the time but as he always said when I have it I treat everyone. Unfortunately he never had it. He was always trying to get someone to buy him breakfast, lunch or dinner. He was the cheapest guy I ever knew. He would bother people to no end to buy him a meal and they would buy for him just to get rid of him. As a pitcher he had a few good years but overall he was just a mediocre pitcher. I don't know why but I really liked him.

In a 10-team league where every other team was better than the Mets every year, and the Mets scored runs basically only by accident, 10 of this guy's 43 wins were shutouts, and he threw 41 complete games. Show me a pitcher in the past 25 years with 43 wins, 10 shutouts and 41 complete games. You can't, 'cause there ain't any. Like it or not, this guy WAS a decent pitcher who would have won a lot more games on a better team.

Bob Hackett
Al was always dependable (bravo to Chris's comment). He got back in time for 1969, it's a shame the Mets had roster trouble and had to ship him to Cincinnati. He deserved a ring for wasting his best years with bad ball clubs. Hope we take it in 2000 and he gets one as bullpen coach.

Won Doney
January 6, 2001
How could you say he wasn't a good pitcher? He was great on those teams of the early 60's. An ERA in the 4 range isn't bad.

January 22, 2001
i met al jackson at pro player stadium last year when I was in florida to see the Mets play the marlins he was very nice.the one game I always think of that al pithed was when he beat bob gibson in stlouis on october 2nd 1964 1-0.

Rick S.
August 24, 2001
I've been involved in professional baseball for a decade. I haven't known many people, in the game, with a better personality than Al Jackson. He is a class act. He would have been an outstanding pitcher if he was on better teams. He definitely knows the art of pitching. Any pitcher who has learned from him will tell you that.

October 29, 2001
I'll always remember Bob Murphy refering to Al Jackson as "the battling little left hander from Waco, Texas". I remember him as a good pitcher and to think he won 13 games for the 63 Mets that only won 51 games all season is "amazin". I remember him pitching a complete 15 inning game (I believe he lost 3-1) against the Philles. I think it was 1963 and was typical of the non-support he got as a Met. What many people forget is how many out the Mets fielders of that era gave the other teams. Not only were most of the players behind Al Jackson "has beens", most were "never would be's"!

November 28, 2001
Through the 1962 season, Al Jackson provided some of the few bright moments. I saw the game on TV (remember black & white) when he pitched the first shutout in Mets franchise history against the Phillies (seven hits). He also pitched a one-hitter later that year against Houston. Joey Amalfitano got an infield hit in that one. Although, his record was 8-20, four of the eight wins were via shutout, which was something short of shocking considering the the rather shaky defense the club provided, particularly in the infield (which included Marv Throneberry). It's even more shocking when you consider the fact that Jackson depended on the batters hitting the ball into the ground to get them out. On any other club Jackson would have been a number three starter facing the likes of Johnny Podres, Ray Washburn, and Bob Buhl as the opposing pitcher. On the Mets, he was matched up against pitchers like Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Bob Gibson, and Warren Spahn. Not good-even with a good team behind you. On a final note, when he was traded to the Cardinals in 1966, his ERA dropped by about 1.5 runs per game from the previous season. You can look it up.

rich edwards
March 14, 2002
My first Met game ever was a twi-night doubleheader vs. the Colt .45's that Andy mentioned above. Little Alvin Jackson from Waco, Texas pitched a one hitter and Richie Ashburn homered. The Mets reverted to form in game two and lost 16-3. You could look it up.

July 23, 2002
Following the Mets right from the start, Jackson was an all-around player who could pitch, field, run and hit (a little). There are three things that mark his career, he gained "fame" with the losing Mets as a good pitcher and just missed out on two World Series rings ('67 Cardinals and '69 Mets). He was cheated.

Roger Craig, who pitched good with the Mets but not as well as Jackson, got a ring with the '64 Cardinals.

July 31, 2002
I played one year of little league ball, 1965, with Hunter LL in the Bronx. Al Jackson was the speaker at our LL dinner. I don't recall when or where the dinner was (I was 11 years old) but I remember Al being gracious and sticking around to sign autographs. It must have been in the summer or fall because I remember him referring to Wes Westrum as the manager, and Wes took over in mid-season after Casey broke his hip.

Richard Kissel
September 14, 2002
"L'il Al" was a great pitcher in the early years of the Mets. He had good stuff and would have had a winning record with a better team. I was glad when the Mets brought him back from the Cardinals. He played for the 1969 Mets but didn't make it to the end of the season. He was also the bullpen coach on the 2000 National League Champs.

December 24, 2002
Like Ed Lynch, Alvin Jackson had one of the most heartbreaking Mets careers. Bottom line is they both were average pitchers who had their occasional awesome days. But each suffered through lots of losing seasons, only to be banished mid season from an eventual championship team. I am just happy that Bobby Jones (narrowly) escaped making it a trilogy (even though 2000 didn't bring a championship.)

Karl de Vries
December 25, 2002
Apparently Al only had 19 losses going into the last game of the awful 1962 season. However, Casey was short of starters, so he looked at Jackson sadly and said, "Al, do you mind?"

Herbert Sweet
June 30, 2003
I believe Jackson's 15 inning complete game was in 1962. I also believe that Chris Cannizaro was forced to play the outfield in that game and made a miscue costing Jackson the game. It was the only time Chris ever played the outfield for the Mets. Does anybody remember this?

July 30, 2003
I lived across from Al Jackson and his wife for several years when I was younger and I have to say he is one of the nicest men I have ever met! Him and his wife invited me and my family over for dinner a couple of times and he even gave me some of his valuable baseball cards back when he played! I don't know what kind of baseball player he was, but I know a lot of baseball players who are currently playing that could learn a thing or two about being a caring good natured person! So in my opinion, Al Jackson is one of the BEST baseball players I know!

September 13, 2003
Jackie - Al was a good pitcher but he had the bad luck of pitching for the Mets when they were a terrible team. I'm glad to hear he turned out to be a nice guy, too.

Deb Deb
May 19, 2005
It's unfortunate Al played on so-so teams for the most part. He was such a great guy. Really nice, and very personable. Years ago, he gave my dad and brother tickets to a game in Seattle. My brother is now 22, and still has the baseball Al threw him!! Wonder how Po' Jack is?

original mets
May 20, 2005
Al Jackson was in the Pirates system when the Mets drafted him in 1961. Two games that he pitched stand out in my mind.

One was in June 1962 when he pitched a one hitter (the first of many Mets to do it) against the Houston Colt .45s. I think it was the first game of a DH (remember those?) and I believe it was Pidge Brown who got the hit.

The "Little Lefty from Waco" also pitched a game on October 2, 1964 against the Cardinals and Bob Gibson. Al won 1-0 and stalled the Cardinal pennant clinching by 48 hours. Ironically a year later he was traded to the Cardinals for Ken Boyer.

Jonathan Stern
June 13, 2005
Having Al Jackson back in 1999 and 2000 as a Mets coach was a really nice thing considering what he went through as a Mets player. I just wish we could have won it all while he was here, but a pennant is a pennant, even without smart baserunning. Jackson also played briefly for the 1969 team, only to be traded in mid-season. I hope he got a ring.

September 24, 2005
Another player way before my time! I've heard enough about him to know he was a warrior whenever he took the mound! Like Jack Fisher, Al was a regular in the rotation, and seemed to get 9-10 appearances each season in relief! What are the chances you would see something like that today? Pitched about as well as you could during those early days. I don't know if he's a Met Hall of Famer, but he should be!

jamey bumbalo
December 2, 2005
Regardless of what anyone thinks of his pitching ability, his claim to fame as far as I'm concerned is that he was the first Met to appear on a baseball card wearing a Mets uniform. His 1962 Topps card is number 464, and then Ed Bouchee appears as number 497. I think that every one of his cards describes him as a "little" guy, although at 5'10" he's taller than players like Freddie Patek, Albie Pearson, Jim Barbieri and others.

Choo Choo
December 21, 2005
As far as I'm concerned, Al has a new claim to fame. While working as a pitching coach for the Mets in Spring Training this year, Al noticed that struggling Aaron Heilman had a similar motion to Don Drysdale. After watching videotape of Drysdale's motion, Jackson and the staff were able to address Aaron's mechanics problem. Heilman was one or two starts away from the scrap heap. Whatever success Heilman has the rest of his career, he has Al Jackson to thank for doing his job.

feat fan
March 22, 2006
Former Reds outfield great, Vada Pinson ,described this 5'10" Texan as "very competitive, small, big heart - he knew how to pitch. He fought you every kind of way to help beat you."

Although Jackson went 8-20 for the fledgling Mets in both 1962 and 1965, the gutty southpaw threw all four of the Mets' shutouts in 1962. His 43 career victories were a pre-Seaver Met high. Jackson went 9- 4 with the World Champion '67 Cards but did not appear in the

I always traded him to better teams in my youth strat- o-matic leagues and one year, while hurling for the mid 60's Pirates (his original team), Alvin went 21-9 with a 2.67 ERA tossing 265 innings! He could have been that effective with a better team surrounding him.

George Fiala
May 24, 2006
I also remember that game against Gibson at the end of the 1964 season. I'm 53 now but was eleven then and I remember raking the leaves for my mom listening to the game on the radio - Lindsey Nelson commented that it was exciting to be able to play the role of the 'spoiler.' In other words the Cards were just a game away from clinching and that great game held off their clinching.

Mike B
December 8, 2006
I remember Al's wife on Kiner's Korner. She told us that Al's favorite meal was a hamburger and french fries. Mine too!

feat fan
December 22, 2006
July 26, 1964. Little Al takes Warren Spahn deep for his only big league dinger and I was there as an excited 9 year old. Two wild games, Alvin started the first, came on in the nightcap.

December 30, 2006
I was fortunate enough to have Al Jackson and family live in a rental apartment in the building next to the one I lived in with my Mom. One day early in 1963 my Mom meets the Jackson family in the Laudermat. She told Mrs. Nadine Jackson, that she's taking me up to the Polo Grounds Saturday to see the Mets. Mrs. Jackson was also attending the game and was gracious enough to drive us up to the game.

After the game ended we made our way down behind the screen where the players wives' still sit today. We then waited with her for Al to come out of the clubhouse. You can't imagine the thrill of a 13 year old had when every player I asked to autograph my Mets yearbook did so willingly. I still have that book, along with one from every season. The shelf is starting to sag.

From memory I know I got - Duke Snider, Charley Neal, Cliff Cook, Larry Bearnarth, Galen Cisco, Jay Hook, Rod Kanehl and eventually years later, Ed Kranepool. I know I missed and will never get Gil Hodges and Marv Thronberry. I think its a wonderful book to hand down to a grandson some day.

pete hamner
September 7, 2007
Al was my pitching coach in extended spring training of 1976. He was an excellent coach, stressing location over everything. He was also very nice, always upbeat. Oh yeah.....he never tried to borrow money from me

September 16, 2007
Al made it all the way to the '69 Mets but left the team before the end of the season. I always thought it was a shame he didn't get to pitch in the World Series that year, given the lean years he suffered through with the Mets. If Al had played for a good team his whole career, he would have had a good record.

October 21, 2007
Today he'd become a lefthanded one-batter specialist and pitch until he was 87 years old.

Bill W.
May 15, 2009
Al Jackson was also my favorite early Met. As a kid in the early-mid 60s, I tried to copy Al's pitching motion.

Last weekend my 14-year-old son and I met Ron Darling at a book signing event here on Long Island. When my son asked Darling who was the person who most influenced his baseball career, Ron answered, "Al Jackson". He said that when Darling first came over to the Mets organization (in 1983?) Al Jackson was a coach who really taught him the proper mental approach to pitching.

He also said that Al Jackson was (and is) a wonderful man. Agreed.

During a recent Mets spring training game I noticed Al Jackson, in uniform, congratulating a Mets player in the NY dugout. It really made me think: Like Ralph Kiner, Al Jackson is the thread that connects all Mets history. He was an original Met, was a top competitor in the early (tough) going, was a member of the Championship '69 roster, a Mets coach and an organizational manager. He really is MR. MET.

Frank S
August 5, 2009
Al pitched a one-hitter in 1962 and I remember sending him a congratulatory letter since this definitely was one of the high points of that season.

I was 11 at the time and it was the only letter I have ever written to any Met.

Michael Telford
April 4, 2010
Got to meet Al Jackson March 15, 2010 at the Mets/Cardinals Spring Training Game in St. Lucie.

I saw him on March 13 back in the practice fields before the Tigers game but couldn't believe it was him. When I got the program for the game that day, he was listed as a Minor League Pitching Consultant. I made the plan to get his autograph and if possible my photo with him on March 15.

Before they kicked us out of the practice fields, he walked my way and I asked him to sign a 1965 Opening Day Line-up 8 X 10 I had in my binder. He politely brushed me off and said he would sign in the stadium. Sure enough, when the pitchers came in down the 3rd base line, he took a seat by the bullpen mound. I had good 3rd base first level seats so it was easy to jump the railing and go over to him. No one was asking for his autograph or even talking to him. I asked him for an autograph and asked him if he recognized anyone in the old photo I had (Stengel, Cowan, Kranepool, Lewis, Cannizzarro, etc.) He got a big chuckle out of the photo and signed it and then I got my picture taken with him. Super cool old guy (he's 74!!).

He seemed to be tickled for being recognized for what he meant to Mets history when I told the guy taking our photo that Al is my "favorite '62 Met." After that a bunch of people started asking him for his autograph and getting a photo taken. Awesome.

December 6, 2010
Little Al Jackson was a giant of a man. At a time when not many black pitchers of such small stature were even in baseball, Mr. Jackson held his own. He was cursed to be on one of the worst teams in baseball history, yet he made the best of it. I personally saw him pitch, and he was never given the credit that he deserved. He was a hell of a man as well as a humanitarian. He definitely endured the hard times.

Deb Deb
August 18, 2011
Al Jackson was my dad's favorite pitcher, and he took me to see the Mets, what seems like every time he pitched. When Li'l Al (as my Daddy called him) was pitching on another team, I just couldn't wrap my little mind around what was happening. All I know is we always rooted for him. My Dad is gone now, and I always wondered where Mr. Jackson was. We went to a Yankee game when he was the pitching coach for Boston and Baltimore. He had good stuff my Daddy told me!

Michael T
March 29, 2013
Had another great encounter this Spring Training with Mr. Jackson at Tradition Field. He was at the first practice field talking with Terry Collins and then was batting balls back into the infield from the outfield. He looks great for 77 years old. Later in the stadium I went over before the game to the bullpen area and asked for an autograph. I had brought a 1963 Mets team collage sheet from a preseason magazine from that year in the hope that he would be there again and he seemed very tickled to see the faces from 50 years ago. He talked briefly about a few of the players (Choo Choo Coleman, Norm Sherry and Sherman Jones) and graciously signed it for me. He also signed his card from the 1982 Renata Galasso '62 Mets set. More prized possessions for the collection. Great original Met and cool guy.

Bill Deegan
February 7, 2014
Does anyone know if the Mets gave a World Series ring to Al in 1969?

Mike Wuttke
August 11, 2015
What a wonderful guy, I had the pleasure of a good 5-10 minute conversation with him in Port St Lucie this March. Talked about the ’62 Mets, and how Casey was a character and played it one way for the media and another way for the players. He told me that even though the ’62 team was a bunch of older guys they all respected and liked Casey. I asked him if Casey knew his name, and Al said “He knew it all right, but never called me by it.” He laughed and seemed to enjoy reminiscing about the old days. Class act got a picture with him and my boy…a true New York Met treasure!

Old Fashioned Met
April 9, 2017
The Mets had four complete game shutouts in 1962. Jackson pitched all of them, one of which was the first of many one-hitters in team history. From 2014 to 2016, a total of three shutouts (one each year) were turned in by Mets starting pitchers. This fact makes Al's accomplishment of '62 look superhuman, but it's really just a sign of the overuse of relievers in the game today. If pitching well enough, starters have always had the chance to finish their games. It gives his team its best chance of winning. There is no reason for it not to be looked at that way now.

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