Photograph © Steven L.J. Russo
Future NY Mets’ Bill Denehy (13-9, 2.78) was the only pitcher however to show any major talents at the time (though Jim McAndrew, 5-5, 5.37, would go on to become a future NY Mets starter) and that would be the un-doing of the 1965 team. The Auburn Mets seemed to be following trends however, and if the title, no-title, title, no-title was any indication… 1966 should be a great year in Auburn. And… it was! Auburn would have their best season ever. The future superstar of the year? None other than Jerry Koosman who would be absolutely amazing going 12-7 and taking over the all time ERA by posting a 1.38 in 24 games. Koosman would go on to have two 20 win seasons in his 19 year All-Star MLB career. As for the Auburn Mets, the team would offer a 1-2-3-4-5 punch as Koosman was followed by an equally impressive future NY Mets’ Al Schmelz (12-0, 2.23), followed by Jerry Wild (12-4, 2.56), future Mets’ Jim McAndrew (11-7, 3.61) and future Mets’ Danny Frisella (5-4, 2.96) coupled with future Mets’ Les Rohr (4-7, 2.52). Future Mets' Billy Wynne was terrific out of the pen going 5-0, 1.73. The biggest problem with this team was the fact that they weren’t great with the bat. Future Mets’ Joe Moock was the best on the team hitting 18 2Bs and 21 HRs while batting .294. 1B Steve Renko also tried to help out with 10 HRs and a .232 batting average but he just wasn’t very good at the plate. Luckily Renko would eventually give up trying to hit and took to the mound where he thrived as a pitcher spending 15 years in the Majors with the Expos and others. The hitting was rather awful (which caused lower win/loss percentages in the starting rotation) but the pitching was still so strong that they would finish 80-49 (.629). With these 6 great pitchers in the rotation including Jerry Koosman, the rest of the NY-Penn League didn’t stand a chance and quickly gave up the title to the Auburn Mets. It was their 3rd Championship in 5 years and their 4th overall for Falcon Park.