Can you imagine yourself being a charter member of the New York Mets ? How do you think you would deal with being designated as playing for one of the worst teams ever assembled ? On top of that you would spend much of that decade with the Mets, but end up being sold to the Cincinnati Reds before the team reached the World Series in ’69?
Well you would have to ask number 34 on the countdown , Mr. Al Jackson.
Alvin Jackson was born in Waco Texas on Christmas day of 1935.
In 1955 , Al was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an amateur free agent . He toiled in the Pirates farm system for the next six years until the Mets selected him in the 1961 expansion draft.
Al would make his major league debut during the Mets inaugural season and finished with a record of 8–20 .His next three seasons with the Mets saw him go a combined 32-53. Al was also the first Met to ever pitch a one hitter. The date was June 22, 1962 and it was against fellow against the other National League expansion team, the Houston Colt .45′s . The only hit that was mustered by Houston came on a lead off hit by Joey Amalfitano in the first inning.
In 1966 Jackson along with utilityman, Charley Smith were traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for third baseman, Ken Boyer.
Jackson was traded back to the Mets in the middle of the ’67 season for pitcher, Jack Lamabe. Al was used as a reliever for the Mets that season.
Al was a member of the ’69 Mets, but he was sold to the Reds that June. While with the did Mets, he did not earn a decision , and his E.R.A was a horrendous 10.64. Al would retire just before the start of the ’70 season after being released by the Reds.
In his career with the Mets, Al had the distinction of being the Mets all time win leader with 43 wins until it was broken by Tom Seaver.
Jackson had the franchise record of 10 shutouts, but that was also surpassed by Seaver.
For the past thirty odd years, Jackson has worked in some capacity with the Mets whether as a coach or in the front office.
Tomorrow we will unveil the thirty third player on this list of 50. It is one of the most successful power hitters ever to wear a Mets uniform.
And with that said …. HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!!!
Mets alumni celebrating birthdays today include :
September call up Lucas Duda is 25 today ( 1986). Although he started off ice cold at the plate his during his first week with the Mets, his bat soon thawed and he ended up finishing the season batting .202 with four homers and13 RBIs. He also proved that he wasn’t a defensive liability in the outfield.
The New York Mets signed free agent catcher, Ed Hearn on February 3, 1983.
The Minnesota Twins signed middle reliever, Jeff Innis of the New York Mets as a free agent on February 3, 1994.
The St Louis Cardinals signed Mets outfielder/third baseman, Shawon Dunston of the New York Mets as a free agent on February 3, 2000. Dunston was a very good reserve player in his three three months with the Mets. He provided some clutch hits during that pennant chase that year.
And while you concern yourself if the Wilpons will end up living on skid row, just remember that there are just 57 Johan Santana days untill the Mets open the 2011 season against the Florida Marlins in Miami and just 64 more days until the Mets 2011 home opener against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field.
Mo Vaughn has just took a hammer to his piggy bank to see how much money he has to purchase the Mets. Something tells me that $ 1.98 and some coupons to Arby’s won’t do the trick.