Jerry Koosman
vs. the Mets
Jerry Koosman
vs. Other Teams
Game Log Pitching
Memories of
Jerry Koosman
Jerry Koosman
Inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame, 1989
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 18 of 1043 players
Jerome Martin Koosman
Born: December 23, 1942 at Appleton, Minn.
Throws: Left Bats: Right
Height: 6.02 Weight: 220

Jerry Koosman has been the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup 55 times, most recently on September 3, 2017.


First Mets game: April 14, 1967
Last Mets game: September 30, 1978

Winner of National League Player of the Month award, April 1973. (New York Mets)
Winner of National League Player of the Week award, April 29, 1973. (New York Mets)

Share your memories of Jerry Koosman


Koosman's time with the Mets pretty much paralled Tom Seaver's and he was always in Seaver's shadow. But he was an awfully good pitcher in his own right, and he finally got some of his due when he won those 21 games in 1976. The Mets got really bad starting in 1977, and Koosman's won-lost record reflected this. Finally, after the 1978 season, he was traded to the Twins for a young pitcher named Jesse Orosco.

Jerry the True Believer
Does anyone realize that the two pitchers that were each on the mound at Shea when the Mets won the Series were traded for each other?

He was the best left hander of his time! Overshadowed by Seaver, the best left/right combo in baseball at the time. Koosman never got any run support, He's always said shut em out and hit one out! That's what the poor guy had to do to win! Truly a great pitcher New Yorkers will never forget!

Mr. Sparkle
Awesome pitcher. Best Mets lefty ever. I remember a game that he stole 2nd base, apparently by accident because he misread the sign from the third base coach. After the game, Seaver presented him with the bag on Kiner's Korner. One of the funniest things I've ever seen on a Mets telecast. I'd love to see it again.

When Koosman won his 20th game in '76, I cut the box score out of the paper and sent it to him, asking him to autograph it. I got it back with his signature on it, but I think it was stamped. Aw...what the hell. I did meet him and get a real autograph at a spring training game in the mid-70's.

Won Doney
December 23, 2000
So why haven't the Mets retired Koosman's number yet. He pitched in Seaver's shadow, but it isn't that often when a team constantly has two starters that pitch so well.

Paul Sullivan
January 7, 2001
Koos was the Tom Glavine of his day (without the run support). # 36 should have been retired.

February 14, 2001
Best big game pitcher in Mets history. Perfect in post-season.

Felt bad for him in 77&78 when he had to endure such a lousy team.

Vastly underrated.

March 17, 2001
A true all-time Mets hero. Tough, smart, talented, stood up for his teammates and pitched big in big situations. I wore #36 in college in his honor. But the only appropriate honor is for it to hang on the outfield wall at Shea.

March 30, 2001
I agree with the consensus -- without Tom Seaver around this man would be remembered as a really outstanding pitcher.

In his second start of 1968 (4th of his career)he loaded the bases with the first three batters of the game and then struck out Mays or McCovey, followed by getting out of the inning and pitching a shutout.

Despite his rep as a poor hitter, had a few key hits in his time - hit a homer in one of his bids to be a 20-win rookie in 1968. Two of my favorite Mets, Hunt and Koosman, had the misfortune to be rookies opposite Pete Rose and Johnny Bench, but as I recall one of the writers split his own ballot and if he had gone with Jerry it would have been a tie.

Should have been the Cy Young winner in 1976. Randy Jones was kind of a sentimental favorite as many felt that he should have won in 1975 over Seaver. Give how Randy pitched as a Met, it's tough to feel sorry for him.

The only negative that I have to say about Koosman is that he demanded to be traded to Minnesota so he could be close to home, otherwise he would retire. SIX YEARS LATER, the guy is pitching for that great squad of the Upper Midwest, the Phillies. Given that we got Jesse Orosco in the deal, guess I shouldn't complain.

Richard Kissel
March 30, 2001
Kooz was a man of the people and the most popular Met starting pitcher of his era. He proved clutch in the 1969 World Series.

Doc E
April 20, 2001
Koosman was a tremendous pitcher. The only time he ever struggled was part of the 70-72 period due to injuries. Before and after that, he was the best guy to have on the mound in a big game. He probably was my favorite Met because he shutout the hated SF Giants in the home opener as a rookie in 1968 when I was 9 years old and already tired of the Giants kicking the Metsies around. He fanned Willie Mays with the bases loaded too. What a lefty!

April 29, 2001
Great thrill growing up as a kid watching jerry koosman take the mound for the Mets every fifth day. Great pitcher agree with all fans that his number should be retired. favorite Highlights include winning twenty games in 1976, beating Seaver in 1978 and funniest moment was his stealing base in game against reds. Any one out there who has either an audio or video replay of that play let me know.

May 16, 2001
for the love of God, please retire his number already.

Stephanie Landis
June 29, 2001
I'm from Baltimore, so the 1st time I really sat up & took notice of Jerry was in 69...OUCH! He totally dominated such a great O's team, and from then on I always followed his career. I remember him as having a very smooth, elegant motion and a superlative pickoff move. Obviously I'm not alone in thinking this guy has never gotten the respect he deserves. And I always wondered what the heck was with the Mets organization for not retiring his number. In later years I wrote to him, and received a very cordial reply back. I may be the only O's fan to have an autographed picture of Kooz, but you gotta give credit where credit is due!

Mr. Sparkle
December 7, 2001
As time goes by I love the Kooz more and more. No question he was the best Mets lefty of all time. There is nothing about this guy not to like. A true class act. I knew Phil Linz and he told me Kooz was the best guy on the team. Hard to believe the only reason he was a Met is because he owed them money for a car loan.

Jim Snedeker
December 18, 2001
"Class act" is a perfect way to describe Koos. Though I never met him, he seemed to be one of the nicest and most decent guys in all of sports. He's the type of guy who you'd want for your best friend. And his pitching record wasn't too shabby, either.

I'll never forget how he begged Mets management to let him pitch against Seaver when Tom Terrific came back to Shea in the hated Reds uniform. He did, and I don't even remember who won--but who cares?

January 5, 2002
I have always believed that retiring uniform numbers is somewhat silly. However, if you are going to do it, how is it that this number isn't retired. Maybe the current Mets administration doesn't appreciate the contributions of this man, or of the team's history beyond #41. The more time that passes by, the more I can appreciate how important a player he was for this franchise.

The fact that he was so willing to "take one for the team" in 1978 spoke volumes. Also, as I wrote before, in the entire history of this franchise, if you could take any Mets pitcher to start Game 7 of the World Series, who would it be? #36, without a doubt. (I am a much bigger Seaver fan, but the numbers speak for themselves. Also, I don't think Kooz spews arrogance like #41.)

Andy from Rego Park
January 23, 2002
A pitcher with brains, heart and guts, it was Kooz' fortune (or misfortune) to always be second best... runner up to Johnny Bench for '68 Rookie of the Year despite 19 wins, runner up to Randy Jones for Cy Young in '76 despite 21 wins, and always the #2 starter behind Tom Terrific. Despite all that, I agree with everyone else, #36 should be retired in his honor.

February 5, 2002
Koosman's last year as a Met was the year I was born, so I have no recollection of him as a player, though I'm well aware of his place in Met history. I did meet the man once. He was pitching coach of the Pittsfield Mets in 1991. During summer as a kid, I used to visit my grandmother in upstate Elmira, NY, where they used to have a NY-Penn team, the Pioneers. On this night in 1991, Pittsfield trounced Elmira pretty handily, but the highlight came after the game when Koosman left the Met clubhouse and I was able to get his autograph, and to tell him my dad was a big fan of his (which, looking back, I think made him feel old, more than anything else). In any event, even though I never saw him pitch, it was still pretty cool to meet a Met hall of famer.

May 5, 2002
I agree with you RG, Jerry was screwed over being runner up to Randy Jones for the Cy Young in 76. It seems that the Mets are given little respect in awards categories. Anyway, loved Koosman, My first year watching the Mets was in 1969..what a combo Seaver and Koosman..great years.

Paul S.
July 25, 2002
A solid pitcher, no doubt, but I don't think he was good enough to have his number retired. His Met career ERA was 3.09 (outstanding by today's standard), but only slightly above average for the late 60s to late 70s.

Also, he had some very good individual seasons (68, 69, 73, & 76) but never put together a run of great seasons in a row. He's kind of like Al Leiter today, very solid just not great.

Danny Goldstein
August 1, 2002
I remeber one occasion when Jerry Koosman won a game with the Mets and he then appeared with Ralph on Kiner's Korner. Koosman spent the first ten minutes of the show talking about soybeans (he had a soybean farm at home) and it was beyond hysterical.

Mrs. Met
August 19, 2002
Just saw Jerry Saturday at Shea for the "All Amazing Team" celebration. He is a true Met. Number 36 must be retired. Jerry is a class act, and the best lefty the Mets ever had, come to think of it. I guess only Steve Carlton was better at the time.

Mike Koosman
December 19, 2002
From time to time my family comes across sites like this and I would like to say thank you to all of you for the nice comments about my father. My Dad always tried to raise the three of us kids to never forget where you came from, how you got there, and to never let ourselves get too big for our own pants. Being raised on a farm, my Dad never thought he was better than anyone else and worked hard around our hobby farm in Chaska, Minnesota or helping others just as hard as he played ball. I'm 35 now and am on my way to having kids of my own and I want to raise them like my Mother and Father raised us. Although he was traded a few times, I have some very special memories of those days at Shea and a lot of it is due to all of you. Thanks again!

Bob R.
January 6, 2003
Jerry will always live in the shadow of Tom Seaver, but he was one of the best pitchers of his time. His rookie year in '68 was nothing short of fabulous. He should have beaten out Johnny Bench for Rookie of the Year. Jerry's career record suffered because he played for some weak-hitting teams, but nobody should forget just how good he was. The game he pitched to even the '69 World Series was sensational and resulted in changing the momentum away from the Orioles to the Mets. I was glad when he finally won 20 games as a Minnesota Twin. Love ya Jerry!

April 7, 2003
Without question, the most underrated Met and one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball history. Exceptional player who turned out some clutch performances. Note his World Series record - 3 wins, no losses. Over 220 career wins. Imagine what he would have done if he was not injured. On a Met telecast a few years ago, Hank Aaron said Koosman was one of 5 most difficult pitchers he ever faced (nasty inside stuff). Deserves consideration for the Hall of Fame.

Mike N.
July 27, 2003
No doubt, the best big game pitcher in METS HISTORY. His postseason numbers tell that story very clearly. Being a lefty myself, I always wanted number 36 (even though Seaver was my favorite Met.) His number should be retired. Overcame a ton of arm troubles to be a great (not just good)pitcher. Imagine if he played on teams that could score runs, he'd share the same number of wins as Steve Carlton and be recognized for what is a fact, the best lefty from 1968-1980, TOO BAD PHILLY FANS, BUT IT'S TRUE.

September 3, 2003
He was the left handed complement to Seaver and a big game pitcher in his own right. Narrowly missed a Cy Young in '76, when he won 21 games for a Mets team that only won 86 games total.

His #36 should be next to Seaver's on the wall at Shea.

September 14, 2003
I agree, Mitch45. Jerry's rookie year was amazing, with 19 wins and 7 shutouts for a team that nearly finished last. Along with Seaver that year he gave the Mets a respectability they never had before. And his two wins in the 1969 World Series (just 4 runs allowed total) brought them their first World Championship.

Mr. Topps
December 2, 2003
Here is the 1976 stats for Randy Jones and Jerry Koosman:

Koosman W-21, L-10, SHO-3, SO-200, ERA-2.69
R. Jones W-22, L-14, SHO-5, SO- 93, ERA-2.74

Jerry had a lower ERA, over one hundred more strikeouts and four less losses.

Jones had only one more win and two more shutouts. I would have given the Cy Young to Koosman based on these numbers.

To give you an idea of Jerry impressive career he has more strikeouts than Christy Mathewson, Dennis Eckersley, Juan Marichal, Jim Palmer, Catfish Hunter, and Whitey Ford. In addition, Jerry has more wins than Don Drysdale.

Joe Figliola
December 6, 2003
Koosman got screwed over by the writers in the Cy Young voting because Randy Jones went and cried to the press that HE, not Tom Seaver, should've won the award in 1975. (It's probably the first time the writers were intimidated by a junkballer.) In fact, I think the Mets beat Randy a couple of times in '76.

I also think Jerry should've won ROY over Bench in '68. And I understand that there are several Mets fans out there who thought he should've won World Series MVP over Clendenon, too.

Joseph Kohler
January 15, 2004
Great pitcher, always a pleasure to watch him pitch. It was sad to watch the last 2 Mets seasons though, I was almost relieved to see him traded if only because I couldn't stand to watch him lose with that pitiful Mets team that was assembled at the time.

Mr. Topps
February 23, 2004
The Mets offense in 1977 and 1978 was terrible.

Consider that in 1977 the Mets were last in team batting average in the NL with .244 and last in runs scored per game with 3.6.

In 1978, they were next to last with a team batting average of .245 (the Braves were last, remember those days?) and last with 3.7 runs scored per game.

Which brings us to Jerry Koosman. If the he had any offensive support he could have won 15 games in both those seasons. Remember he won over 20 in 1976 and 1979. Koosman's all time win total would be 241, possibly earning him an outside shot at the Hall.

March 23, 2004
If you take away his stat from 77 and 78, when the Mets were awful, and instead substitute those years with his average stats, combined with his playoff stats, he could have been in serious consideration for the Hall of Fame.

Bob R
April 10, 2004
I agree with JFK. Looking at Koosman's first two full seasons, his stats were outstanding. His rookie year particularly was incredible: 19-12 (including 7 shutouts) with a 2.08 ERA for a losing team that finished in 9th place out of 10 teams! And who can forget that sensational game he pitched in the second game of the 1969 World Series to get the Mets even against Baltimore? Talk about pitching in the clutch! Even in those two horrible seasons of '77 and '78, his ERA was still a respectable 3.49 and 3.75. Jerry had a couple of poor seasons in the early '70s due to arm trouble, but when he was healthy he was one of the best pitchers in baseball. By the way, Jerry was a major practical joker. He once told a reporter that he broke a pitching slump because he looked at an old baseball card with his picture on it and realized he had developed a hitch in his delivery. More recently, he dropped the "bomb" that Gil Hodges asked him to smudge shoe polish on the ball that hit Cleon Jones on the foot, an event that turned around Game 5 of the '69 World Series. Knowing what a joker Jerry is, I wouldn't be surprised if he made that story up. I can't imagine that a straight-and-narrow guy like Hodges would have ever done that.

April 13, 2004
Comparable stats to Drysdale. Absolutely should be in the Hall of Fame.

Stu Paul
April 15, 2004
One game that I will never forget involving Kooz was September 8, 1969, when the Mets and the Cubs were in the opening game of a 2-game showdown at Shea Stadium. I had completed my first day of school as a 6th Grader at P.S. 253 in Brooklyn and I couldn't wait for the game that night. Of course, I did my homework early so I can watch the game on Channel 9.

Needless to say, I was so pissed off when Cubs' starter Bill Hands knocked Tommie Agee down with a fastball towards his head. Koosman got even by nailing Ron Santo in the arm. It was obvious that Jerry was in no mood for any monkey business. Anyway, Agee homered in his next at-bat and then scored the winning run later in the game on Wayne Garrett's single that gave the Mets a 3-2 lead. I remember Cubs Catcher Randy Hundley going berserk and arguing with plate umpire Dave Davidson and kept jumping up and down like a Mexican jumping bean. Koosman fanned 13 that night. Looking back, I had respect for the Cubs who did have a solid team, but Leo Durocher was the main reason why I also wanted to see the Mets beat Chicago.

The man never had any respect for the Mets and some of his derogatory comments towards the team came back and haunted him. Kooz and Seaver combined to win 19 of their last 20 decisions between them in 1969. To quote one person, that season was "simply amazin"!!

Rick A.
April 24, 2004
A great pitcher who, if I'm not mistaken, came close to surpassing the rookie record for shut-outs in a season. His #36 should be retired!

August 3, 2004
His clean farmboy image was fairly real. He was reluctant, when being interviewed about fights and beanings, to use the dirty words that had been shouted during the fight.

He was the most underrated (an oxymoron, but a truth), unknown, and unsung pitcher in the game during his prime years. He was one of very few to win 20 in both leagues, a clutch performer, and earned his World Series ring. I'm glad his son signed in here, and I think he deserves endless respect from Met fans and the organization alike.

How many people know that the family names on "Growing Pains" were "Seaver" and "Koosman," in honor of the Mets' pair of aces? I guess if they had any more families, they could have had "Stone," "Capra," "McAndrew," "Gentry," "Ryan," or "Matlack."

Steve Green
August 10, 2004
Just some random memories...

My sister got married on (iirc) October 12th 1969, the same day that Koosman was no-hitting the flippin ORIOLES for seven innings -- in Baltimore. Half the wedding party was in the catering-hall bar on Atlantic Avenue, Queens, watching the game.

Kooz didn't take crap from opposing teams at all, rookie or veteran. He did have that fastball, and that ever-so-perceptible Koufax delivery, and a big curve, and seemed to work mainly through finesse, but still didn't take crap if the opposing team started anything.

Lookalikes through their youthful years: Koosman and Stephen Stills.

Koufax and Drysdale may have been the best enduring lefty-righty starters in recent baseball history, but Seaver and Koosman made other teams' batters throw up.

December 2, 2004
Although his w-l record was just 13 games over .500, this does not take away from this great southpaw's career. The dynamic duo of Seaver and Koozy was very comparable to the Sandy Koufax/Don Drysdale tandem. Also remember that the Mets were not known as an offensive firepower. The pitchers had to pitch to win games whether it was 1-0 2-1 whatever.

Besides being the greatest Met lefty starter of all time, Koozy was also known for his warmth and neighborly personality. This made him a Met favorite and he still is to this day.

It is a crime that #36 is not retired along with Seaver. To this Met fan's eyes Koozy will always be synonymous with #36. (Certainly not Grant Roberts!) Maybe one day #36 will be retired in the Shea outfield.

February 26, 2005
Jerry Koosman was the best big game pitcher in Met history. I tried to pitch like Tom Seaver in little league, but Jerry Koosman was the man I admired when he shut down the As and Os. His Number should be retired from the Mets. His Rookie year was one the best rookie years for a pitcher, in some ways better than Doc's, and he sould have won Rookie of the Year.

I also liked Jerry as a man.

Does anybody know what he is up to these days?

John L
March 6, 2005
One of my favorites growing up as a Mets fan in the 70's. Could've easily been the 69 series MVP. 4-0 post- season record as a Met.

Jonathan Stern
April 24, 2005
I have no recollections of Kooz as a player. But watching him go from being a 20-game winner in 1976 to being a 20-game loser in 1977 must have been brutal, especially given that it happened under the shadow of the Midnight Massacre. And look at his ERA's in 1977 in 1978! It's too bad that something like that should happen to such a good guy, and on the 25th anniversary video, you can see the pain in his Koosman's face as he discussed his asking to be traded.

In "The Year the Mets Lost Last Place," Koosman is interviewed before the start of the legendary July series against the Cubs at Shea. At one point, he is outside his home feeling the breeze in order to know what weather conditions to expect. At another point, he states that he has never been more nervous before a game in his life. There would be more excitement to come, and he was a big reason why.

John Rosa
May 23, 2005
Great memories! Those summer days in the early 70's are a time I'll never forget. But as great as Tom Seaver was, Koos seemed to be a better money pitcher. In the 69 series and the playoffs and World Series of 73, Jerry always seemed to walk off with a victory when it was needed.

July 4, 2005
I'm wondering what it will take to get Jerry's #36 retired! This is the biggest mistake the Wilpons have made during their ownership of the Mets organization! If you ask me, he did not pitch in Tom Seaver's shadow! He was an excellent # 2 starter on a team loaded with pitching talent and great arms! I never heard Jerry complain about his place in Mets history! The fans who remember him will never forget him! It was a mercy deal when the Mets sent him to Minnesota, and while I was surprised when he went to the White Sox, and then the Phillies, I remember he was still effective even when he was 42 years old. Good luck Jerry, don't give up hope! Some of us will help get your number where it belongs, on the wall at Shea!

Bob R
July 8, 2005
I totally agree with you, KMT! Koosman was such a vital part of the Met championship teams of '69 and '73. And in '68 he had an amazing rookie year...19 wins and 7 shutouts on a team that only won 73 games and didn't have much hitting. He would have been Rookie of the Year if some guy named Johnny Bench hadn't won instead. Just for what Jerry did in the '69 Series (two wins) he should have his number retired!

Lifelong Fan
July 21, 2005
I agree with most of the comments. Like Matlack, he had great stuff and was underrated partly because of being in Seaver's shadow. This guy like Doc Ellis was a headhunter. Throw at a Met, and Kooz wuz gonna git ya.

July 26, 2005
Kooz is my favorite all-time Met. In '76 he had one heck of a year, probably should have won the Cy Young with the team he had. He was on some very bad teams the next few years. I was happy for him when he got traded to his home state Twins. Won 20 games for them in '79! All in all, a clutch pitcher, a solid post season perfomer who will forever remembered for his contributions to the '69 team.

"Koosman Shuts The Door!"

Here is an irony. Koosman traded to Twins for Orosco; both left handers were on the mound for series celebrations.

August 27, 2005
1969 World Series, Game 5. Down 3-0. Kooz says, "not giving up any more runs." Mets come back and win the series, at home, in front of 57,000 screaming fans. Now that was a day to remember.

Ed Cain
August 27, 2005
I did the play by play for the Triple A Mets International League team in Jacksonville. Jerry, Tom Seaver, Bud Harrelson, Greg Goosen, Tug McGraw, etc. It was a hoot and they were all guys who had lots of fun in Jacksonville and turned the Mets around a couple of years later. Even Nolan Ryan was on the team as well as Jim McAndrew, Danny Frisella, so we had a heck of a pitching staff.

Ahh....great memories and I later moved on become sports director at KSTP TV in Minneapolis and host of a sports talk program. My FIRST guest on the talk show? Yup. Jerry Koosman.

richard morgan
November 6, 2005
My uncle Elmer owned the Western Auto Parts store in Bemidji Minnesota in the 1960's and Jerry Koosman worked there for a while before playing pro ball.

August 24, 2006
All you have to do is look at his World Series record to see what a great left hander he was for the Mets. Plus I think he was on the hill when the great blackout of 77 was happening. Talk about a bad omen.

Pat Cawley
October 5, 2006
The man won 220 games playing for mostly sub-500 teams. He is one of only a few pitchers in history to win 20 games in both leagues--for the METS and TWINS!! 2 teams not known for their dominance in the 70's!! He still remains the best BIG GAME pitcher in Mets history. When you absolutely needed a win it was Kooz who came through. Also, a true gentleman and a GREAT guy!! RETIRE 36 ALREADY!!

November 4, 2006
I was amazed to learn that #36 hasn't been retired yet! There would have been no Miracle Mets in '69 without Jerry, or a National League pennant in '73. As much as Seaver, Kooz was the backbone of the pitching staff for a full decade. He richly deserves to have his number retired.

Mike B
December 6, 2006
Amen to retiring his number. Koos was Mr. Clutch and with any support should have approched 300 wins.

Mike from da Bronx
December 12, 2006
Throughout his Met career, Jerry lost 137 games. In 39 games, the Mets allowed the opposition 3 runs or less. In those 39 losses, the Mets scored a grand total of 39 runs. Jerry pitched a total of 297 innings in those losses and gave up a total of 78 earned runs. This translates to an average start of 7 2/3 innings and a fitting 2.363636 ERA for Koos in those 39 loses. For the love of God Mr. Wilpon, retire #36 now!

Bob Inzerillo
March 9, 2007
Koosman was outstanding on a team that could never hit - especially in '77 & '78 when they never got any runs. He was the perfect left handed compliment to Seaver who always came through in the big game. I always remember him as having a great sense of humor and his appearances on Kiner's Korner were very entertaining. Koosman pitched for over 20 years, 12 with the Mets. His #36 should be retired, as should Keith Hernandez' #17.

Peter Stratakos
March 16, 2007
Jerry Koosman was a total stud. It is a shame that he was in Tom Seaver's shadow. Amazing since Koosman actualy out-performed Seaver in both the 69 and 73 World Series ( if my memory serves me well.) Andy Pettitte reminds me of Koosman in that respect. Never considered the ace, but always the man in the playoffs. JK could hurl!!!

Michael B
March 31, 2007
Take a look at the career stats of Koosman and Jim Bunning. With the exception of total losses their stats are eerily similar. So how does Bunning get his plaque hanging in the HOF in Cooperstown and Koos can't have his number painted on the outfield wall in Flushing? It's a disgrace.

October 19, 2007
To Jerry's son Mike: I've always had tremendous respect for your father. I met him a couple of times at card shows in the NY area and he is nothing but a gentleman. Just a great guy to have around. Had he been on better Mets teams especially in the last 2 years 77-78 respectively, there's no question he could've won over 250 games instead of the 222 he actually won. Why the Mets don't retire #36 in the Shea outfield is an enigma to me. Your father was just as important as Seaver was. Tom Terrific may have been the ace and the guy synonymous with this franchise but your dad was the pressure pitcher. This is evidenced by his 4-0 postseason mark. Hopefully, one of these days #36 will be in that outfield with Seaver and eventually Mike Piazza. Best wishes to you and your family and say hi to your dad.

Michael Brown
October 19, 2007
Kooz pitched for some great teams and for a lot of terrible ones. Saw him pitch only once when I was in the 5th grade, a long relief stint in '83 while a White Sock. Mets - retire his number, he got you to your most memorable moment ever in 1969. Imagine his legacy if he had sold out and played for contenders during his prime. From what I have heard, a real stand up guy.

October 21, 2007
No. 36 should be retired--no question.

If the 69 WS had been played today, Kooz wins the MVP. We all have to remember that Clendenon hit 3 HR-- a record for a 5 game series. This shows how the game has changed. It was expected in 69 to go deep in the game. In 69 home runs were not that common.

I didn't realize that Kooz went to the bulpen late in 78 and recorded 2 saves.

Mike N.
October 24, 2007
It's been four years since I wrote my memories about "Koos" here. Why isn't this great man in the Hall Of Fame? Classy, tough under pressure, the blue collar version of Steve Carlton. I wish the Mets organization would remember him with Seaver, Stengel and Hodges. Since the early 80's Mookie Wilson was Mr. Met in my eyes. He and Jerry should be honored at Citi Field when it opens in 2009 as the next Mets whose numbers to be retired and hung up on the outfield wall.

October 27, 2007
Here's something you can tell to your Yankee fan friends next time they say Mariano Rivera had the greatest cut fastball of all time...Jerry Koosman's was better! Yep, Kooz threw a cutter. The only reason it wasn't really noticeable was because the bats of his time were so much heavier and thicker at the handle. In fact, in the book "The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers" by Bill James (the stat guru) and Rob Neyer (ESPN writer and James' protege), they credit Koosman with probably inventing the pitch (another possibility was 1950's Indians reliever Ray Narleski)! While he's a borderline HoF candidate at best, Kooz definitely has a case for Cooperstown. Regardless, though, he should get his number retired. Here's to the best cut-fastballer New York has ever had!

Steve O'Rourke
November 25, 2007
Both Koosman and McGraw should be considered for the Hall of Fame. Koosman was a thinking man's pitcher who could really pinpoint his stuff. Never got flustered, undefeated in post season play, and despite being saddled with those horrible seasons of '77 and '78, he still won over 200 games in his career; more than several HoFers including Don Drysdale. On top of that Jerry Koosman was sincere and a truly nice guy...integrity....the '69 Mets were a gift from God! They set an example for all of us to follow as individuals and team players in our everyday life. KOOZ for the HALL! (Along with Gil and TUG!)

Jim "TAG" Tagariello
December 29, 2007
KOOZ was a great compliment to Seaver. Probably one of the most underated pitchers in major league history. He was a tough lefty who loved to pitch in big games. He never gets any hall of fame consideration. I am not sure if he is a hall of famer, but he is not even on the radar.

John S.
June 25, 2008
My all time Jerry Koosman memory was watching him win a 1-0 shutout in opening game of a late season 1969 doubleheader. What made it remarkable was he drove in the winning run, in a season where he batted (maybe) .050.

To top it off, we won the second game against the Pirates 1-0, with Don Cardwell driving in the only run...what are the odds? At that point I truly believed!

Phil DiLernia
September 6, 2008
I so appreciated Jerry's son Mike's comments! Your father had a great impact on my life. He was my all-time idol growing up. Baseball was, and is, a huge part of my life. My mom wrote Jerry a letter saying that her son sort of messes up in school once baseball season rolls around (I bet a lot of us did that!) He wrote me a beautiful personal letter about his dreams for his children in 1971. This would be right about the time Mike was born! He encouraged me to play ball but to put school first!

I wind up playing college ball, getting an Ivy League degree, getting cut by the Pirates, having a very successful business career, coaching ACBL Div I College all-stars, coaching my son's teams through High School, watching him play in college, and now have changed gears to pastor a church.

Jerry Koosman had a tremendous impact on my life. Getting a letter from him at 11 or 12 years old was like getting a letter from God (I wonder if kids feel the same about their sports heroes any more!)

Thank you Jerry. Mike, if you're reading this, thank your father for me!

Michael B
September 6, 2008
It really annoys me that sports announcers are now talking that Andy Pettitte should gain entry into the HOF if his Win/Loss differential is 100 games. Pettitte couldn't carry Koos' jock. Career ERA? Koos 3.36, Pettitte 3.85. Avg Innings/Start? Koos 7.33, Pettitte 6.33. Run Support with their NY team Koos 3.6, Pettitte 5.8. Oh yeah, let's not forget that the closer for Pettitte's career is Mariano Rivera. Jerry, I loved you pitching for my team but it cost you a shot at the HOF.

Want some more numbers? Career complete games? Koos 140 Pettitte 25. Career Shutouts? Koos 33 Pettitte 4. Also, while Pettitte has a 14-9 post season record (nice to have a good hitting team behind you), Koos was 4-0 in post season play.

September 6, 2008
Another factiod in the Koosman-Orosco circle.

I am looking at a 1969 Topps Jerry Koosman card on eBay, and he's wearing a jersey with the number -- you guessed it -- 47.

Mets by the Numbers ( didn't even record this, so it must have been a 1967 spring training issue (seeings how he had donned #36 from April 10 1967 through Oct 1 1978). Or Kooz borrowed the jersey for the pic. But still, the coincidence...

Peter Stratakos
October 13, 2008
Saying that Andy Pettitte can't wear Kooz's jock is a bit harsh. Comparing stats from the 70s to the 90s-00s is impossible. Pitchers are not really permitted to go deep in games, as the salaries of relievers have to be justified. Also, AP pitched in the steroid era, so comparing ERAs is not rational In short, the game is much different.

I loved Koos too, but don't diss Pettitte. The HOF is a tough call for both.

Michael B
October 24, 2008
That's my point. Koos has NEVER been considered for the HOF while Pettitte is considered a shoo-in if his win-loss differential is at least 100. McCarver said it on national tv that any pitcher with 100 more wins than losses is in Cooperstown. Jim Bunning is in because he won 100+ games in each league. Koos should have demanded a trade to the AL after reaching 100 with the Mets. Koos never got his due because he was playing second fiddle to The Franchise.

October 24, 2008
The '77 and '78 seasons were pretty bad, but I remember watching a game in my parent's basement. I was 14. Koosman was striking out everyone with something like 13 through 6 innings when suddenly the picture disappears from the screen. I thought the TV was broken but only the NY stations were out. I think it was the great '77 blackout and the game had to be finished later.

Typical Mets luck!

Steve B.
December 27, 2008
I agree with so many of the points that you all have made in your comments. The two that I want to echo are:
a. Koosman's jersey should be retired...period.

b. If they ever had ANY hitting, Koosman would be in the Hall. Year after year from 1970-1977 they lost because they did not hit. They traded for Rusty and then gave him away.

Jerry deserves a day at Citi Field and it is long overdue.

Peter Stratakos
June 12, 2009
It is really sad that nobody on the Veterans Committee has taken the torch and run with it to get Kooz in the HOF. But as everybody has said here, how in the hell have the Mets not retired his number? Mind-boggling. Maybe Mr Met has the answer.

Catch 22
June 18, 2009
My favorite memory of Jerry Koosman is not a memory of him at all, but a funny story.

When I took the bar exam in Delaware, everybody picked a secret number. Your bar exam grades were then assigned to that number. And you found out if you passed or failed by looking at the grades listed next to that secret number.

The number I picked was 36. Jerry Koosman!!!! One of my childhood heroes and winner of the deciding game of the 1969 World Series. I knew right then and there that I would pass the exam and, guess, what? I did!

Steve T.
June 16, 2010
How Jerry Koosman's number 36 is not retired by the Mets is insane. Without Jerry, the Mets would not have won the World Series in 1969. To this day, he is the best left handed pitcher the Mets have had. In a must-win game, I would choose him over Tom Seaver. He has always been a loyal member of the Mets family and should be treated as such. RETIRE 36.

Robert S
July 13, 2010
Was at the game when KOOZ stole 2nd. What a moment at Shea as a 10-year-old! No one could believe it, least of all Bill Plumber, the catcher he stole it off.

January 23, 2012
Second game I ever attended and my first night game. I was nine years old in 1968 and Jerry Koosman hit a HOME RUN. I was thrilled beyond belief. Then he went on to win. I think he pitched a complete game and I got to see the Mets win for the first time. What a thrill! Thanks Jerry.

shea tony
May 23, 2012
Koosman is the only Met pitcher to face off against two other Mets legends. He faced off against Seaver and then in his final year faced off against Dwight Gooden in 1985.

Shickhaus Franks
March 19, 2016
Jerry played in the big leagues for 18 seasons, not bad for a guy who was born in a place NOT noted as a baseball hotbed, Minnesota, (although Paul Molitor, Dave Winfield and Joe Mauer hail from the land of 10,000 lakes) but then again his state is more known for hockey (Many of the 1980 US OLympic Miracle On Ice team hail from the state including the coach, the late Herb Brooks) and for show biz (Frances Gumm aka Judy Garland, Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz, Prince Rogers Nelson and Robert Zimmerman aka Bob Dylan) than the summer game. Another story about Jerry is when in 1973 he tried to convince Willie Mays NOT to retire but the Say Hey Kid told him: "Koos, I'm tired".

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