New York Mets should consider these four players for jersey retirement

David Wright, New York Mets. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
David Wright, New York Mets. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /

The New York Mets announced they will retire Jerry Koosman’s jersey number 36 next season. Here are some other worthy candidates for the honor.

New York Mets COO Jeff Wilpon announced that next season a second member of the 1969 World Series Champion “Miracle Mets” will have his number retired. Jerry Koosman, who spent the first 12 seasons of his 19-year career with New York, will have his jersey number 36 retired next season.

The 76-year-old southpaw issued the following statement:

"“This honor isn’t only for me and my family, it’s for the legions of fans I grew to love. To know that my number will be retired and sit alongside other team legends is one of the greatest tributes I could ever be granted. I was always proud to be a Met. Today, I am even prouder.”"

While it’s great that the franchise that has only enshrined two of its greatest players – Tom Seaver and Mike Piazza – with number retirements is adding to its list, the Mets should have scheduled the ceremony for this season, not 2020. After all, this is the 50th anniversary since the Mets defeated the Baltimore Orioles to capture its first World Series title.

Nevertheless, the honor is overdue. Koosman ranks third on the Mets all-time pitching list with a 39.5 WAR, 1799 strikeouts, 140 wins, and second in complete-game shut outs with 26 deserves to be on the list. But who should the Amazins’ honor next? Here are five names that deserve the honor.

#5 –  David Wright

Of course, it’s the obvious choice. The only reason his Number 5 isn’t proudly displayed at Citi Field is that the third baseman hasn’t officially announced his retirement. The slugger leads the franchise in at-bats (5,998), plate appearances (6,872), hits (1777), singles (1119), doubles (390), RBIs (970) and walks (762) over a 14-year cut short by injuries.

#15 – Carlos Beltran

New York Mets fans if you still haven’t forgiven Carlos Beltran for striking out in 2006, you clearly need to move on. The Puerto Rico native was arguably one of the best offensive player free agent signings in franchise history. Plus he gave us Zack Wheeler when it was time for Beltran to move on.

The center fielder clearly has a case for Cooperstown but he also deserves his Mets jersey retired. He ranks third on the Amazins all-time hitters list with a 31.1 WAR over his seven seasons in Flushing. He’s fourth with a .869 OPS, sixth in homers (159) and RBIs (559), as well as seventh with 208 doubles.

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#16 –  Dwight “Doc” Gooden

While it’s easy to imagine what his numbers would have been like, had the right-hander hadn’t lost parts of his career to substance abuse and alcoholism, Gooden is still an elite arm when talked about some of the greats to pitch in the 1980s. He and Darryl Strawberry were the homegrown parts of the team’s run to glory back then.

The flamethrower still holds one of the most dominant seasons in National League history with his 24-4 season in 1985 with a 1.53 ERA and 268 whiffs en route to the NL Cy Young award. He produced a 41.6 WAR during his 11 seasons wearing the orange and blue. He ranks second in franchise history in wins (157) and strikeouts (1,875).

#17 –  Keith Hernandez

No MLB player has manned first base defensively better than Keith. While I never saw him play in person, he’s transcended the game whether it be a guest appearance on the hit TV show Seinfeld or offering amazing insight on SNY broadcasts with Gary Cohen and Ron Darling.

“Mex” was a big part of the New York Mets 1986 team. He won five (straight) of his 11 Gold Gloves with the Amazins. The former NL MVP compiled a 26.6 WAR. He ranks third in OBP (.387), sixth in walks (471), and 10th with 468 RBIs.

Next. A Farewell Letter to Eli Manning. dark

Just missed the list: Edgardo Alfonzo, Ron Darling, and Jose Reyes.