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The Crimson King

Jerome Martin Koosman Appreciation Thread

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1 hour ago, The Crimson King said:

On June 13, the Mets will retire Koos' jersey, correcting one of the current owners’ mismanagement of this storied franchise (C'mon, #17 next)

 

Those of us from that time have fond memories of this wonderful pitcher. As we get closer to the day, those who wish to can post tribute here. 

 

Who among us who were kids from that era didn't imitate that straight leg motion of his?  

 

There is much to the story of Koosman, starting with a minor league trade for Freddie Patek that was almost made until the GM realized Koos owed him money. 

 

I always think of the home opener in 1968 vs the Giants. Sitting in an X box (you could actually get and afford seats behind the home plate screen back then), bases loaded on no out, he strikes out Mays, gets Hart to pop up to Grote and then blows away Jim Ray Hart who almost fell over swinging at the third strike. He goes on to throw a shutout and produce the best Mets pitching season in their history at the time. The next year, he was featured as an equal of Seaver (see the '69 yearbook). Few remember but he started out that year hurt, finally getting pulled from a late April game in Montreal and losing a whole month. He lost some velocity but adjusted with a better slider and had a nice career, just not Hall of Fame. Still, I thought he, not Clendenon was the 1969 World Series MVP.

 

A little known fact is that, like Doc Gooden, his first appearance in NY was not as a NY Met. (Which was during early 1967, rosters were 28 on opening day, then cut to 25 in mid May back then so it was kinda like a pre cup of coffee, he was brought back in Sept. of that year to stay). His first game in NY was in 1966 at Yankee stadium. Before a regular Yankee game, there was a NY-Penn minor league game between the Auburn Mets and the Yankees’ Binghamton Triplets. Both teams’ aces. Koosman for Auburn, and Mickey Scott (later had a short MLB career as a reliever) for the Trips’ started.

 

Another nice memory of him was the way that he conducted himself, crowned by his gracious appearance on Kiner’s corner on the fateful day he lost a game to an opposing pitcher named Seaver after that sad, but historic event. I think he is the only losing player to appear on Ralph’s show.    

 

Koosman’s final contribution to the Mets was during the 1978 winter meetings when he was sent home to Minnesota in exchange for Greg Field and a PTBNL, who ended up being young lefty named Jesse Orosco.

 

He won 222 games over his career, 76th in MLB history. More than hall of famers Don Drysdale, Pedro Martinez, and Hal Newhouser. He was also 33rd in K’s. Not shabby at all.

 

He was also noted as a really bad hitter, yet he only fell 712 HR’s short of Ruth’s career total. Trivia nuts note that his two HR’s were both at Shea. One off Bill Hands in ’68 and one off John Montefusco in ’77 so he beats Colon by 1.

 

Personally, I have a very fond memory. It was the 1987 ALCS, shortly after the Pendelton Disappointment. I was in Minneapolis for business. The lawyer I went to see had saved me a spot in the firm’s luxury box for a Tigers-Twins playoff game (mere coincidence of when I went up there, well that’s the story I’m sticking to). We exit the box and joined the traffic heading to the elevators. I looked up at the tall guy next to me and realized it was Jerry Koosman. He was with who I assumed to be a brother as he was a spitting image of him. My lawyer recognized him too. I wasn’t going to bother him but my host taps him on the shoulder and points at me.

 

“He’s a crazy Mets fan”, he says to Koosman.

 

Jerry smiled and said, “Well there’s a lot of them and they are ALL crazy”.

 

The lawyer says, “No look, he really is one of them” and points to the 1986 Championship Trophy pin that came from one of the giveaway days that year.

 

Koosman stops and looks at me and says, “Well what are you doing here?” I explained that I was from NY and here on business. So Koosman asks, “Do you go to the games”? I told him about season tickets and being there every day and he smiles and says” You are one of the crazy ones !”. Then he proceeds, unprompted, to engage me in a long conversation about the current Mets and assessed several pitchers on the staff (he thought that El Sid was the one with the most potential). He thought that Darling needed to just throw and stop trying to be so precise. He noted that Gooden is throwing away a hall of fame career. We ended up alone in the hallway until a guard gently reminded us to leave. He shook my hand when we left. I haven’t thought about that in years.

 

June 13. It’s long overdue.         

 

There was no doubt who was gonna pitch that game for the Mets, rotation be damned. Remember it like it was yesterday. I don't think there was a dry eye in any Mets fan that day, whether you were at Shea, watching or listening. Seeing those two guys on "our" mound, competing against one another, was surreal. Just writing this brings back so many memories. I believe that the crowd gave both of them standing O's when the came up to bat, thanking them as only New York can, for everything. Was truly a great day in Mets history. The real end of our "Tom and Jerry"show.😩

On a different note, one of the classic Kiner's Corners was on the night of Jimmy Qualls in 1969. Of course, Tom was on, along with Nancy. She was crying, and Tom said to her" what's wrong with a complete game, 1 hit, shut out?" But the greatest line was from Cleon Jones, who was also on. It seemed like he was on every other show that year, hitting.343. When Ralph was wrapping up, he thanked Cleon for being a guest, and told him" Cleon, I think you are gonna take over this show you've been on so much." Without missing a beat, Cleon said..."don't worry Ralph, I'll give you one more year."  Isn't it amazing what you remember when you were having the summer of your young life? I was 11 at the time.

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4 minutes ago, section314 said:

There was no doubt who was gonna pitch that game for the Mets, rotation be damned. Remember it like it was yesterday. I don't think there was a dry eye in any Mets fan that day, whether you were at Shea, watching or listening. Seeing those two guys on "our" mound, competing against one another, was surreal. Just writing this brings back so many memories. I believe that the crowd gave both of them standing O's when the came up to bat, thanking them as only New York can, for everything. Was truly a great day in Mets history. The real end of our "Tom and Jerry"show.😩

On a different note, one of the classic Kiner's Corners was on the night of Jimmy Qualls in 1969. Of course, Tom was on, along with Nancy. She was crying, and Tom said to her" what's wrong with a complete game, 1 hit, shut out?" But the greatest line was from Cleon Jones, who was also on. It seemed like he was on every other show that year, hitting.343. When Ralph was wrapping up, he thanked Cleon for being a guest, and told him" Cleon, I think you are gonna take over this show you've been on so much." Without missing a beat, Cleon said..."don't worry Ralph, I'll give you one more year."  Isn't it amazing what you remember when you were having the summer of your young life? I was 11 at the time.

dry eye?

teared up on both paragraphs !

Someone needs to invent a time machine

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Koosman was one of the best in his era. Had he been on a better hitting team, his W-L record would have been so much better.And he pitched in some terrible teams with the Mets in the mid 70’s. 222-209 record. You can argue Seaver had a much better record with the same team. Pitched for 18 years. 91 wins from 300.  Averages out to 5 wins per year and he hits 300 mark. May sound like a stretch BUT I can’t recall a pitcher losing more games 2-1 or 1-0 than Kooze. And yes he was the MVP of ‘69 WS. No question. Game 2 he was outstanding and turned the momentum totally around. Orioles we’re doomed after that. Hands down 2nd best pitcher in Mets history. 

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On 3/6/2020 at 12:39 PM, section314 said:

There was no doubt who was gonna pitch that game for the Mets, rotation be damned. Remember it like it was yesterday. I don't think there was a dry eye in any Mets fan that day, whether you were at Shea, watching or listening. Seeing those two guys on "our" mound, competing against one another, was surreal. Just writing this brings back so many memories. I believe that the crowd gave both of them standing O's when the came up to bat, thanking them as only New York can, for everything. Was truly a great day in Mets history. The real end of our "Tom and Jerry"show.😩

On a different note, one of the classic Kiner's Corners was on the night of Jimmy Qualls in 1969. Of course, Tom was on, along with Nancy. She was crying, and Tom said to her" what's wrong with a complete game, 1 hit, shut out?" But the greatest line was from Cleon Jones, who was also on. It seemed like he was on every other show that year, hitting.343. When Ralph was wrapping up, he thanked Cleon for being a guest, and told him" Cleon, I think you are gonna take over this show you've been on so much." Without missing a beat, Cleon said..."don't worry Ralph, I'll give you one more year."  Isn't it amazing what you remember when you were having the summer of your young life? I was 11 at the time.

I was 12 lol. I watched every single game that year. Went to about 25-30 home games. It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Just miraculous. 

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You guys remember being furious at Randy Hundley for trying to bunt for a hit leading off the ninth?

Jimmy freaking Qualls...

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12 minutes ago, Wonderboy said:

Koosman was one of the best in his era. Had he been on a better hitting team, his W-L record would have been so much better.And he pitched in some terrible teams with the Mets in the mid 70’s. 222-209 record. You can argue Seaver had a much better record with the same team. Pitched for 18 years. 91 wins from 300.  Averages out to 5 wins per year and he hits 300 mark. May sound like a stretch BUT I can’t recall a pitcher losing more games 2-1 or 1-0 than Kooze. And yes he was the MVP of ‘69 WS. No question. Game 2 he was outstanding and turned the momentum totally around. Orioles we’re doomed after that. Hands down 2nd best pitcher in Mets history. 

Koosman was my favorite, even over Seaver.

He’s not the #2 anymore though... Jake has 2 Cy Young’s now, he’s in the #1 discussion now.

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Just now, 14 in Green said:

Koosman was my favorite, even over Seaver.

He’s not the #2 anymore though... Jake has 2 Cy Young’s now, he’s in the #1 discussion now.

I'll take Kooze.  Degrom is special but Kooze was overlooked because of Seaver.  And Degrom still has much to prove. 

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8 minutes ago, 14 in Green said:

You guys remember being furious at Randy Huntley for trying to bunt for a hit leading off the ninth?

Jimmy freaking Qualls...

fastball up and away :(   Still no Mets pitcher has thrown a no-hitter.  Santana's was null and void as far as I'm concerned.

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7 hours ago, Wonderboy said:

I was 12 lol. I watched every single game that year. Went to about 25-30 home games. It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Just miraculous. 

We are almost the same age. I was 11. That was the best summer of my life. It followed up the Jets SB, and preceded the Knicks 1st title. Remember as young kids how we thought our teams would win every year? As Maxwell Smart would say....”missed it by that much.”😀 Today would have been opening day

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