Prince: Al Jackson, an Original Met and a family man

From SABR member Greg Prince at Fear and Faith in Flushing on August 20, 2019:

t used to freak me out a little to see pictures of the Mets from their first three years and find no numbers on the fronts of their jerseys. Just “Mets,” as if they had yet to fully sort themselves out. I guess there was some truth in that. We know the humble beginnings — 120 losses; 111 losses; 109 losses; and then, even with numbers by which to tell them apart as they came charging out of the dugout, 112 losses. Those Mets lost lots and they lost quickly.

But a corps of them endured, not just as figures in Met lore, but as men on this mortal coil. Consider the bulk of the starting rotation Casey Stengel depended on to carry him through 1962, when getting to 1963 was as grand an accomplishment as could have been hoped for.

• Jay Hook started 34 games.
• Roger Craig started 33 games.
• Al Jackson started 33 games.
• Craig Anderson started 14 games.

That’s 114 games started by Mets who lasted beyond their days in uniform in a big way. Roger Craig is 88. Jay Hook is 82. Craig Anderson is 81. And Al Jackson, who died Monday, made it to 83. Together, perhaps, they were the epitome of what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

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Originally published: August 20, 2019. Last Updated: August 20, 2019.