We've now reached the 1980's in our All Star Memories series, and our first 1980's Mets All Star memory will be about relief pitcher Jesse Orosco. Orosco, who was acquired in a trade for Jerry Koosman in 1979, is famous among Mets fans as being the pitcher who recorded the final out of the 1986 World Series and flung his glove in the air to celebrate the championship. Prior to those post season triumphs, however, Orosco made his only two All Star Appearances in 1983 and 1984.
Orosco had an outstanding 1983 campaign, going 13-7 out of the bullpen with a 1.47 ERA. Orosco also picked up 17 saves and struck out 84 batters in his 110 innings of work, and that body of work earned him an appearance in the All Star Game that year. The game, which was played at Comiskey Park in Chicago, was a 13-3 rout for the American League. Orosco did pitch a third of an inning in the game, however, as a lefty specialist. Orosco entered and struck out Milwaukee Brewers' outfielder Ben Ogilvie to end the seventh inning.
Orosco's 1984 campaign was not quite as good as 1983, which saw him finish third in the Cy Young voting. Orosco, nevertheless, was still a very valuable member of the Mets' bullpen in 1984. Orosco went 10-6 out of the bullpen in 1984 with a 2.59 ERA, and he recorded a career high 31 saves. Orosco also struck out 85 batters in 87 innings pitched, and his strong numbers helped him earn his second consecutive All Star appearance. Orosco made his second trip to the All Star Game for the 1984 mid summer classic, which was held at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. Orosco did not pitch in the National League's 3-1 victory, but a rookie from the Mets by the name of Dwight Gooden did record a hold in the game.
Orosco never made another All Star team, but he did go on to have a long and productive major league career. Orosco left the Mets after the 1987 season and bounced around the majors with stops for eight other teams. Orosco retired after the 2003 season, after which he set the major league record for most appearances by a pitcher with 1252. Orosco, who made his major league debut in 1979, was also the last active player from the 1970's to retire, outlasting former Met and future Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson by a week. Orosco also was the last member of the 1986 World Champion Mets to retire, outlasting Dwight Gooden by three years.
Check back later in the week as Mets 101's All Star Memories series offers a special preview of this year's All Star Game related events!Tags: All Star Memories, Baseball, Jesse Orosco, MLB, New York, New York Mets