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New York Mets icon Al Jackson dies at 83

By
Alex Butler
Former pitcher Al Jackson threw out the ceremonial first pitch for the New York Mets on Jackie Robinson Day in 2015 at Citi Field in Queens. Photo courtesy of the New York Mets/Twitter
Former pitcher Al Jackson threw out the ceremonial first pitch for the New York Mets on Jackie Robinson Day in 2015 at Citi Field in Queens. Photo courtesy of the New York Mets/Twitter

Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Former New York Mets pitching star Al Jackson has died at age 83.

The Mets announced Jackson's death Monday. He died at a nursing home in Port St. Lucie, Fla., the spring training home for the Mets. The Waco, Texas native is survived by his wife, two sons and two grandchildren.

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"We are saddened to hear about the passing of Al Jackson, an original Met, who spent 50 years in a New York Met uniform," the Mets said in the statement. "He was a pitcher, major league coach, minor league pitching coordinator and front office adviser.

"It would be impossible to calculate the number of players and staff he touched and influenced during his career. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Nadine, his sons Reggie and Barry, and grandchildren, Wesley and Kyle.''

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The Mets said Jackson died at Emerald Nursing Home "after a long illness."

Jackson made his Major League Baseball debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1959. He joined the Mets in 1962. The left-handed pitcher also played for the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds. He posted a 3.98 ERA and a 67-99 record in 303 career appearances.

Jackson won a career-high 13 games in 1963 and 1966. He also had 20 losses during the 1962 and 1965 seasons. He posted a career-best 2.51 ERA during his 1966 campaign for the Cardinals. He never pitched in the postseason.

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"Little Al" stood at 5-foot-10, 169 pounds. He was part of the 1962 Mets team that recorded the worst record in baseball history at 40-120. Jackson previously held the franchise record with 40 wins for the Mets, until he was passed by Tom Seaver in 1969.

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