Baseball: Phenom from the Farm

Question: What big-league baseball team would hire a pitcher on the recommendation of an usher in its ballpark? Answer: the New York Mets. O.K. But when that same pitcher then goes out and wins three games in a row, striking out 24 batters, allowing only 15 hits, seven walks and one run in 27 innings — well, that's talent.

Meet Jerry Koosman, 24. "I haven't had this much fun since my third-grade picnic," says Koosman, a slightly flaky 6-ft. 3-in., 205-lb. farmboy from Appleton, Minn. (pop. 3,000), who had seen only two major-league...

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