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Al Jackson, original New York Met, dies at 83

Lefty pitcher took mound for inaugural 1962 season

(CNN) - One of the original New York Mets has died. Former pitcher and lifetime Mets figure Al Jackson died Monday in Port St. Lucie, Florida, at the age of 83.

The lefty pitcher saw the Flushing franchise at their first -- and at their worst. Jackson took the mound for the Mets' inaugural season in 1962. The shiny new team, full of big city hopes and dreams, tripped right out of the gate and ended the year with a 40-120 record, the worst record in modern baseball history. Jackson, however, put together several years of solid pitching between tenures with the Mets and the St. Louis Cardinals.

He left the Mets for good in the summer of 1969, just months before the team won their first World Series.

After his playing career, Jackson spent several decades as a coach and mentor around the league, eventually returning to the Mets as a minor league instructor.

The Mets announced Jackson's death on Monday.

"It would be impossible to calculate the number of players and staff he touched and influenced during his career," the franchise's statement said.


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