R.A. Dickey is a card-carrying member of the New York Mets' 20-win club. The team's knuckle-balling ace won his 20th game of the season on Thursday, September 27, as the Mets defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-5, at Citi Field. It's the latest accomplishment for Dickey in his storybook season, which Mets fans hope ends with a Cy Young Award. Earlier this year, he tossed back-to-back one hitters in the process of stringing together a franchise-record 32.2 scoreless innings. Nevertheless, Dickey may be the most unlikeliest member of the team's exclusive pitchers club. The rest of the group includes former Cy Young winners and some of the greatest names in team history.
Frank Viola -- Viola, who played college baseball locally at St. John's University (Queens, N.Y.), had a homecoming in 1989 when the Mets picked him up in a blockbuster trade with the Minnesota Twins. The next season, he posted a record of 20-12. However, two years later,Viola left as a free agent. Incidentally, the lefty won 24 games and the Cy Young Award as a member of the Twins in 1988.
David Cone --Cone posted one of the best single seasons in franchise history in 1988, when he had a record of 20-3 with a 2.22 ERA. In my opinion, he is one of the five greatest pitchers in team history. So, it's ironic that ten years after winning 20 games for the Mets, Cone won 20 games for the New York Yankees. By the way, Cone won the Cy Young as a member of the Kansas City Royals in 1994.
Dwight Gooden -- Like a bolt of lightning, Gooden's arrival in 1984 jolted the franchise. He won the Rookie of the Year award and added the Cy Young in 1985. The fire-balling Gooden recorded one of the best single seasons in team history with a record of 24-4 and an ERA of 1.53. He never reached 20 wins again, but Gooden did win at least 17 games three other times for the Mets.
Jerry Koosman -- Koosman, who won 19 games as a rookie in 1968, was a two-time 20-game winner. He won 21 games for the Mets in 1976 and notched 20 victories in 1979 for the Minnesota Twins. Amazingly, Koosman also lost 20 games for the Mets in 1977. The lefty pitched 12 seasons in New York and ranks third on the team's all-time wins list with 140 victories.
Tom Seaver -- Seaver, who is the club's all time wins and strikeouts leader with 198 and 2,541, respectively, won at least 20 games four times for the Mets (1969, 1971, 1972 and 1975)*. Furthermore, his 25 victories for the 1969 World Series championship team is a single-season team record. A three-time Cy Young winner, Seaver is widely regarded as the best player in franchise history.
Note: Seaver won a combined 21 games between the Mets and Cincinnati Reds in 1977. The Mets traded Seaver to the Reds on June 15 in a deal known to Mets fans as "The Midnight Massacre."
Adam Martini is a freelance sportswriter who grew up in Queens, N.Y. with a view of Shea Stadium from his bedroom window. He spent many nights in the upper deck at Shea rooting for the Mets. Adam follows back Mets fans on Twitter @PegCitySports.Sources
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