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.
Breaking: Elmer Dessens to be the first Met ever to wear No. 64.
Hey, and the first Elmer too. Longtime fan of the orange-and-blue:
Just like me to predict the Mets are poised to make a run as they approach new lows. Following a rain-soaked, dreary series with the Rays at home, the Mets on Monday placed Carlos Beltran on the 15-day DL with knee trouble and moved to patch a beleaguered with a series of moves.
Fernando Martinez was recalled to take Beltran’s spot and was reacquainted with the No. 26 jersey he wore when he was sent down to Buffalo last week. In the meantime pitcher Ken Takahashi was outrighted to Buffalo and and infielder Wilson Valdez was designated for assignment as Elmer Dessens and Pat Misch werecalled to the big club for the first time.
Dessens, a veteran starter, had been closing games for Buffalo with some success. Misch is a lefty who struggled in a few tryouts with the Giants when the Mets swiped him on a waiver claim earlier this month (he’s struggled in Buffalo too).
We spied Misch tonight in No. 48 but are still looking for Dessens to appear (he’s worn 45 and 71 before and rocked 64 in spring training with the Mets.) Let us know when you know…
Although recent roster cuts bled the organization of lefties including veterans Ron Villone and Valerio de los Santos, the team hasn’t stopped searching for Portside depth. On Monday, word came they signed Japanaese veteran Ken Takahashi to a minor league contract. Takahashi, who was recently released after an unsuccesful audition with the Blue Jays, is expected to report to Class AAA Buffalo. YouTube video out there shows him pitching for his former Hiroshima team wearing No. 22, now on the back of JJ Putz.
Elsewhere, looks like Rule 5 sidewinder Darren O’Day may sweat out the final bullpen slot, withElmer Dessens and Fernando Nieve his competitors.
Very busy with travel recently, but I plan to resume with the Top 10 countdown after we get through Opening Day: We’ll try to have the new rosters set, new player pages added, etc., later this week.