Saturday, January 30, 2010

Al Jackson (#503)

Al Jackson's career spanned most of the 1960s. He was primarily a starting pitcher for the Mets in the pre-Tom Seaver era.

Jackson was signed by the Pirates in 1955, and played mostly in the Pirates farm system through the end of 1961. (He played in the Mexican league for all of 1956 and part of 1957, and made a few appearances for the Pirates in 1959 and 1961.)

After the 1961 season, Al was selected by the Mets in the expansion draft. For the Mets' first 4 seasons, Jackson was a fixture in their rotation, starting over 30 games each year, and winning in double figures twice.

After the 1965 season, Al and third baseman Charlie Smith were traded to the Cardinals for third baseman Ken Boyer. Jackson became the Cardinals' #2 starter behind Bob Gibson (and ahead of Ray Washburn and Larry Jaster) in 1966.

The following season, he slipped into a swing man role, as Steve Carlton, Dick Hughes, and (later) Nelson Briles replaced him in the rotation. After the season, Jackson was sent back to the Mets as the player to be named later in the Cardinals' mid-season acquisition of pitcher Jack Lamabe.

Jackson spent 1 1/2 seasons with the Mets (pitching mostly in relief) before being sold to the Reds in June 1969. The Reds released him after the 1969 season.

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