Monday, April 23, 2012
Met Pitchers Who Have Thrown No-Hitters (But Not While They Were Mets)
2. Warren Spahn, Milwaukee Braves, September 16, 1960. This made him the oldest pitcher ever to throw a no-hitter. He was a Met in 1965, at the end of his career.
3. Spahn again, April 28, 1961. This broke his own record set the year before.
4. Dock Ellis, Pittsburgh Pirates, June 12, 1970. Claimed to have thrown this no-hitter while under the influence of LSD. Alas, no drug testing in baseball in those days. (I wonder what would have happened to him if he'd been caught after the fact.) A Met in 1979.
5. Nolan Ryan, California Angels, May 5, 1973. Mets 1966-71.
6. Ryan again, July 15, 1973.
7. Ryan a 3rd time, September 28, 1974. By this point, it must have dawned on Met fans, if not on Met management, that trading Ryan and 3 others for Jim Fregosi was a bit of a mistake.
8. Ryan a 4th time, June 1, 1975.
9. John Candelaria, Pittsburgh Pirates, August 9, 1976. A Met in 1987. Grew up in Brooklyn as a Met fan.
10. Tom Seaver, Cincinnati Reds, June 16, 1978. "The Franchise" for the Mets, 1967-77, with a return in 1983. This one hurt the most.
12. Mike Scott, Houston Astros, September 25, 1986. This game clinched the National League Western Division title for the Astros. Scott was a Met from 1979 to 1982, and getting rid of him nearly came back to bite the Mets in that year's NL Championship Series.
14. Ryan a 7th time, May 1, 1991. He was 44, still the oldest (and 2nd-oldest) human being ever to pitch a no-hitter in Major League Baseball.
16. Kenny Rogers, Texas Rangers, July 28, 1994. A perfect game. A Met in 1999, when he delivered the most famous base on balls in baseball history, to let in the Pennant-winning run for the Atlanta Braves. Rogers was the Tony Fernandez of pitchers: He was very good for teams outside New York, but for both the Yankees and the Mets, he was pretty much useless.
17. Al Leiter, Florida Marlins, May 11, 1996. Mets 1998-2004. Grew up in Berkeley, on the Jersey Shore, as a met fan.
18. Dwight Gooden, New York Yankees, May 14, 1996. The Met who was going to make everyone forget Ron Guidry, if not Seaver, 1984-94. This one hurt Met fans a lot, and not because it came 3 days after Leiter's. (After all, Met fans didn't yet know Leiter was coming to the Mets.)
19. David Cone, New York Yankees, July 18, 1999. A perfect game. Mets 1987-91, with a brief return in 2003. Another one that hurt. Don't forget that Cone, Gooden, Darryl Strawberry and, oh yeah, Joe Torre all won more World Series with the Yankees than win the Mets.