On the fiftieth anniversary of the clinching of the 1969 National League East, we learn the New York Mets are retiring No. 36 in honor of Jerry Koosman . My, it feels good to write that.I had been clued in recently that something might be stirring in this area, yet Kooz didn’t immediately jump to mind. Now that he’s there, I love that 36 is next. Best lefty pitcher the Mets ever had. Best postseason pitcher the Mets ever had. Long and meritorious service and then some across twelve seasons. For the past forty years, you looked at 36 on anybody else, from Wayne Twitchell to Mickey Callaway (now clad in 26), and you thought, “Koosman,” regardless of current occupant. He’s owned 36 since 1967. Might as well make it official that it belongs to no Met but him.
Jeff Wilpon (hold your applause) indicates a few more number retirements are on the table, that the Mets have some catching up to do where filling the left field rafters are concerned. I say good. Celebrate this franchise’s cream of the crop. We’re already proud when we’re not disgusted. A little reminder to peek up and remember our best helps the cause. Certainly doesn’t hurt.
Kiner’s mic. Shea’s name. Robinson’s American history. 37. 14. 41. 31. 36. A few more to come.
I can definitely see it.