So the answer to the Josh Edgin Mystery is 66. He’d be the first Mets player ever to suit up in that number in a game, joining fellow number pioneer Chris Schwinden (63) among 2012 Mets.
There’s no doubt new equipment manager Kevin Kierst is wild about the high numbers, his reign as equipment manager also saw 60s assignments to Jon Rauch (60), Jack Egbert (61), Elvin Ramirez (62) and Josh Stinson (64); and a 73 issued this year to Robert Carson. These jerseys at one time were almost exclusively a spring-training thing, with the only exceptions being brief debut appearances of 61 (Jesse Orosco, Mario Ramirez) and 62 (Hubie Brooks) in 1979 and 1980.
The Mets then went more than 20 years without issuing a 60s jersey until Jeff Duncan came along in 2003. Chan-Ho Park and Livan Hernandez both later wore 61, but came to the Mets having worn that number elsewhere. Scott Schoeneweis broke 60’s cherry in 2007 but was also continuing a tradition. So perhaps then the spiritual grandfather of today’s common Met-relief-pitcher-in-the-60s is good old Elmer Dessens, who debuted 64 in 2009.
Kenny Rogers in 1999 became the first player to wear a 70s jersey, reversing the digits on his customary 37 which was unavailable here. Turk Wendell was the first and still only 99.
We have yet to see a 65, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, or 72, but there’s still time.