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Greatest Mets Pitchers of All Time

Updated on April 3, 2007

Tom Seaver

Dwight Gooden

David Cone

1. Tom Seaver-Tom "Terrific" Seaver was the greatest Mets pitcher in history. Though he didn't pitch his entire career with the team, he was instrumental in leading the Mets to the World Series in 1969, when he posted a 25-7 record and also won the Cy Young Award, and to another World Series appearance in 1973. Seaver also won the Cy Young in 1973 and 1975, and Rookie of the Year in 1967. He pitched five one-hitters with the Mets, coming close to two no-hitters against the Padres but never accomplishing the feat until later on as a member of the Cincinnati Reds. Seaver posted 198 career wins as a Met, with 2,541 strikeouts and a 2.57 ERA. Seaver was traded to the Reds in 1977, but came back in 1983 when he was 9-14 on a sub par team. He later pitched for the White Sox and Red Sox before officially retiring in 1987.

2. Dwight Gooden-Dwight "Doc" Gooden came up to the Mets as a 19-year-old rookie in 1984, and led the re-emergence of a team that was in contention for the better part of a decade. Gooden won NL Rookie of the Year honors in 1984 when posting a 17-9 record with 268 strikeouts, then won the Cy Young Award in 1985 when he was 24-4 with a microscopic ERA of 1.53 and 276 strikeouts. Though he dealt with off-the-field issues beginning in 1986 that contributed to a decline in his stats, Gooden remained an integral force on the Mets pitching staff. He helped them to a World Series championship in 1986, and pitched for them until 1994, posting 157 wins, 3.10 ERA and 1,875 strikeouts with the team. Also, he had an incredible 47 games with 10 or more strikeouts as a Met. Like Seaver, Gooden flirted with no-hitters but didn't earn his first one until he was with the Yankees later in his career.

3. David Cone-David Cone was acquired from the Royals in 1987 and pitched for the Mets from then until 1992, and then for a brief stint again in 2003. He earned lofty status on this list because he had some of the nastiest stuff of any Mets pitcher ever. That stuff helped him to a 20-3 season with 213 strikeouts and a 2.22 ERA in 1988 when he helped the Mets reach the NLCS. Overall, Cone was 81-51 with a 3.13 ERA and 1,172 strikeouts as a Met. Cone also had 7 complete games in both 1989 and 1992, and 5 shutouts in 1992. He was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992, and also pitched for Kansas City, the Yankees, and Boston in his career.

4. Jerry Koosman-Like Seaver, Koosman was part of those Mets teams that won it all in 1969 and made it to the World Series in 1973. He pitched for them from 1967 to 1978, and though he posted a 140-137 career record for the Mets, he did that on a lot of mediocre to downright bad teams. His ERA was 3.09 with the Mets with 1,799 strikeouts, and his best year with the team was in 1976 when he went 21-10 with 200 strikeouts. Koosman later pitched for Minnesota, the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia.

5. Ron Darling-Like Gooden, Ron Darling led a re-emergence for the Mets in the mid-eighties. He was generally regarded as the #2 pitcher behind Gooden, but still posted great numbers in his time with the Mets, which ran from 1983-1991. Darling was 99-70 with 1,148 strikeouts and 3.50 ERA in his Mets career, and his out pitch was a forkball. He never posted more than 17 wins with the team, but was always steady and tallied 1,620 innings pitched for them. Darling led the Mets in strikeouts with 167 in 1987. He was traded to Montreal in 1991 and also pitched for Oakland before retiring in 1995.

6. Al Leiter-Al Leiter led the Mets to the World Series in 2000, and pitched for them for seven seasons, 1998-2004. Though his highest win total with the Mets was 17 in 1998, Leiter was incredibly steady and his best overall season with the team was 2000, when he went 16-8 with 200 strikeouts. Overall, Leiter was 95-67 with a 3.42 ERA and 1,106 strikeouts as a Met. Leiter began his career with the Yankees and also pitched for Florida and Toronto in his major league career.

7. John Franco-Franco was the longest tenured Mets closer, eclipsing such names as Neil Allen, Jesse Orosco and Armando Benitez. After coming over from Cincinnati in 1990, Franco pitched for the Mets until 2004. Though he battled injuries during his career, Franco still managed to post 276 saves, a 3.10 ERA and 48 wins in 695 games as a Mets reliever. His Brooklyn roots made him a fan favorite for many years and he was one of the most popular Mets of all-time.

8. Sid Fernandez-"El Sid" came over to the Mets in a trade with the Dodgers in 1983 and pitched for them from 1984-1993. Though he maybe is known more for his size than for his pitching prowess, Fernandez had one of the best fastballs of any Mets pitcher in history. He used that and some other nasty stuff to compile a 98-78 record with 1,449 strikeouts and 3.14 ERA. His best season was in 1986 when he had 16 wins and 200 strikeouts on a team that won it all. Fernandez later signed with Baltimore as a free agent and also played for Philadelphia and Houston before retiring in 1997.

9. Tug McGraw-While McGraw anchored the Mets bullpen for several years (he pitched for them from 1965-1974), he is best remembered for his slogan of "Ya Gotta Believe" that helped rally his team and the city of New York as the Mets reached the World Series in 1973. In his Mets career, McGraw pitched almost 800 innings and notched 85 saves while striking out 618 batters. McGraw's out pitch was a screwball, fitting his equally offbeat personality that endeared him to Mets fans. He went on to pitch for almost 10 more years with the rival Phillies before retiring in 1984. Sadly, McGraw (also known as the father of country mega-star Tim McGraw) passed away in 2004 from a brain tumor.

10. Bobby Jones-Bobby Jones was the Mets top pitcher during the nineties when they fielded a lot of losing teams. Nonetheless, Jones managed to win 74 games in eight seasons with 714 strikeouts and 4.13 ERA. He had great control, walking on 353 batters in over 1200 innings pitched, and was part of the 2000 team that reached the World Series. Jones later pitched for San Diego before retiring in 2002.

Honorable mention-Jesse Orosco, Tom Glavine, Armando Benitez, Jon Matlack, Randy Myers, Roger McDowell, Bob Ojeda, Skip Lockwood, Craig Swan, Pat Zachry, Frank Viola, Mike Hampton, Al Jackson, Gary Gentry, Nolan Ryan.


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    • sully516 profile image

      Stephen Sullivan 4 years ago from Silver Spring, MD

      One Day Matt Harvey will be on this list

    • profile image

      eL dAVE 5 years ago

      How about Santana..?.

      First mets EVER WITH NO HITTER..

    • profile image

      Ralph P 6 years ago

      How about Rick Reed, a nice pitcher who may deserve honorable mention.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      I've still got some VCR tapes of the 86' world series, and the all star game that year.

      I loved the 86 Mets, and the Red Sox too. That was a great year for baseball. I loved watching Doc, and Daryl, Sid, and Lenny; and the rest.

      Didn't Dwight get as many as 300 strikeouts one year?? I think he did, I'll have to check, I know he had three great years to start his career off, and then he had some great years off and on following that.

      I think the fastball and curve ball pitchers are the best pitchers for several reasons; of course they have to have good ones of both pitches.

    • profile image

      Eric 7 years ago

      What about Rick Reed? He pitched a solid 5 years.

    • profile image

      Paul 8 years ago

      Bobby Jones doesn't belong in this list but Rick Reed sure does. And if Tom Glavine warrants an honorable mention, then so should Warren Spahn if you're gonna include pitchers who had great careers but weren't so great when they were Mets. Al Jackson is much more than an honorable mention lest we forget that he held most of the Met pitching records prior to Seaver and did so with no support either offensively or defensively. FYI: Sid F's fastball wasn't much better than low 90s but his deceptive delivery made it look much faster than it really was. And for levity, Syd Finch should have been included as an honorable mention.

    • Nashville G-man profile image

      Nashville G-man 8 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      good call on Hershiser...I forgot he was a Met until I recently watched the Shea Goodbye video

    • profile image

      Reid Erickson 8 years ago

      What about Orel Hershiser as an Honorable mention since he only played in 1999?

    • Nashville G-man profile image

      Nashville G-man 9 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      excellent this stage I can't remember how I based the order I put these guys in.

    • DJ Funktual profile image

      DJ Funktual 9 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove

      Bobby Jones pitched a one-hitter to clinch the Playoff victory over the giants at Shea.  I was there.  jeff kent got the only hit, the bastard.  He CAN NOT MAKE THE CUT OVER JON MATLACK! Even Nolan Ryan won games in the playoffs in '69!

      I believe that you put Cone too high. Possible sentimental choice.  His wicked curve was like a frisbee in the early days.