You would think it would be hard to rank a Pitcher who once lost 20 games in a season on a list for Hall of Fame consideration. Actually, it wasn’t that hard at all.
In the year that Jerry Koosman lost twenty games, his stat lines were actually decent. In fact, he led the National League in Strikeouts per Nine Innings that season; however the run support that he received from his woeful Mets was virtually non-existent. It wasn’t always that way, as he was the lefty half of a powerful combination (with Tom Seaver) that propelled the “Miracle Mets” to the 1969 World Series. Considered to be the best lefty that the Mets ever had, Koosman won 140 games for them which was impressive considering that New York was not particularly good for half of that tenure. With what was perceived as up and down seasons, Koosman was resurrected in Minnesota and won 20 games making a solid charge for the Cy Young, but again he was saddled with a mediocre team, but now one out of the National spotlight.
Jerry Koosman was a very good pitcher who always seemed to be under a shadow (Seaver) or in a small market. Sabremetrically, his career has enjoyed a better look (Career WAR of 58.8), but it probably won’t be enough o get him a serious look on a Veteran’s Committee Ballot. At least Mets fans knew how good Koosman really was.
The Bullet Points: Country of Origin: Appleton, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Eligible Since: 1999
Played for: New York Mets Minnesota Twins Chicago White Sox Philadelphia Phillies
Major Accolades and Awards: 2 Time All Star (1968 & 1969) World Series Rings (1) (New York Mets, 1979)
Other Points of Note: Top Ten Cy Young Finishes: (NL: 1976, 2nd) & (AL: 1979: 6th) 6 Top Ten Finishes (Earned Run Average) 5 Top Ten Finishes (Wins) 4 Top Ten Finishes (Innings Pitched) 8 Top Ten Finishes (Strikeouts) 5 Top Ten Finishes (Complete Games) 6 Top Ten Finishes (WAR for Pitchers) Notable All Time Rankings: 28. Strikeouts: 2,556 36. Games Started: 527 45. WAR for Pitchers: 58.8 48. Innings Pitched: 3,839.3 73. Wins: 222 87. Shutouts: 33 Vote Percentage Received for the Hall of Fame: 1991: 0.9