No Mets "No-No's"

A no-hit, no-run game, is one of the more unique achievements in baseball if not in all sports. It has been accomplished over 200 times in Major League history, and has been done by pitchers ranging from the in comparables, such as Sandy Koufax, Walter Johnson, Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, and Bob Gibson, to the obscure, such as Juan Nieves, Bobo Holloman, and Tom Phoebus.

It even has been done in back-to-back starts, back-to-back games in a series, and even in the World Series. Yet, in the 42-year history of the New York Mets, a stretch that encompasses well over 6,000 games and 203 different starting pitchers, no one has ever pitched a No-Hit, No-Run game in a Met Uniform.

On Sunday, Tom Glavine tried his hardest to end this run, which just might be the longest in major league history. The Mets, Padres, Rockies, and Devil Rays are the only franchises without such a performance in their history, despite an All-Time pitching roster than incredibly boasts 16 different men to have thrown a no-hitter, or have been part of a combo no-hitter at some point in their careers. That list is:

Don Cardwell (Cubs) vs Cardinals 5/15/1960
Warren Spahn (Braves) vs Phillies 9/16/1960, (Braves) vs Giants 4/28/1961
Dean Chance (Twins) vs Indians 8/25/1967
Dock Ellis (Pirates) vs Padres 6/12/1970
Nolan Ryan (Post Mets) (Angels) vs Royals 5/15/1973, (Angels) vs Tigers 7/15/1973, (Angels) vs Twins 9/28/1974, (Angels) vs Orioles 6/1/1975, (Astros) vs Dodgers 9/26/1981 (Rangers) vs A's 6/11/1990, (Rangers) vs Bluejays 6/11/1991
John Candeleria (Pirates) vs Dodgers 8/9/1976
Tom Seaver (Post Mets) (Reds) vs Cardinals 6/16/1978
Mike Scott (Post Mets) (Astros) vs Giants 9/25/1986
Alejandro Pena (Post Mets) (Braves with Kent Merker (starter), and Mark Wohlers) vs Padres 9/11/91
Bret Saberhagen (Royals) vs Whitesox 8/26/1991
Kenny Rogers (Rangers) vs Angels 7/28/1994 (Perfect Game) Al Leiter (Marlins) vs Rockies 5/11/1996
Dwight Gooden (Post Mets) (Yankees) vs Seattle 5/14/1996
Hideo Nomo (Dodgers) vs Rockies 9/17/1996, (Post Mets) (Redsox) vs Orioles 4/4/2001
David Cone (Post Mets) (Yankees) vs Expos 7/18/1999 (Perfect Game)
Octavio Dotel (Post Mets) (Astros with Roy Oswalt (starter), Peter Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge and Billy Wagner) vs Yankees 6/11/2003

- Special mention to Mets who were on the Major League roster, but either never played, or have yet to play; Jim Bibby (Post Mets) (Rangers) vs A's 7/30/1973 and Scott Erickson (Twins) vs Brewers 4/27/1994

It should be noted that 14 times an ex-Met has contributed to a no-hitter. Of course 7 of those no-hitters do belong to the legendary Nolan Ryan, but more on the Express to follow.

The Mets have come close many times, of course. Probably the most famous of these is the "Near-Perfection" game for Tom Seaver on 7/9/1969, losing out on a Perfect Game on a Jimmy Qualls bloop single with 2 out in the 9th at Shea. Before Glavine's flirtation, the last time a Met had carried "baseball immortality" as far as the 8th was David Cone on 4/28/1992 when Benny DiStefano of the Astros singled with 1 out. Seaver is also the last man to carry one into the 9th with his performance at Chicago on 9/24/1975 when Joe Wallis singled with 2 down. To their dismay, the Mets have had a no-hitter thrown against them 6 times. Iinterestingly enough, in the 40 year history of "Pitcher Friendly" Shea Stadium, only two men have thrown a no-hitter; Jim Bunning's Perfect Game on 6/21/1964 with the Phillies, and the Pirates' Bob Moose on 9/20/1969. The complete list of pitchers who have no-hit the Mets is as follows:

Jim Bunning, Bob, Moose, Sandy Koufax (Dodgers) 6/30/1962, Bill Stoneman (Expos) 10/2/1972, Ed Halicki (Giants) 8/24/1975 and Darryl Kile (Astros) 9/8/1993. Also noted is Jim Maloney and the Reds no-hitting the Mets through 10 innings on 6/15/1965 only to have the no-hitter, and game lost in the 11th.

The Mets certainly have had a pitching-rich history as they have developed through their system or in trades including standouts like Gary Gentry, Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack, Ron Darling, and Sid Fernandez. Even after acquiring proven major league pitching aces such as Randy Jones, Mickey Lolich, Frank Viola, and Tom Glavine, nothing more than sheer dumb luck can be given for why no Met has pitched a no-hitter in a Met uniform. However, there are two "theories" explaining why it has been so long:

Theory Number One: Nolan Ryan: As stated before, the Mets have on their All-Time Roster, the man who has pitched more Major League No-Hitters, with 7, than any other man. They traded him on 12/10/1971 with Leroy Stanton, Francisco Estrada, and Don Rose to the Angels for Jim Fregosi. This trade has been regarded as one of the worst deals, maybe THE WORST in team history. The fact that Ryan would go on to set a MLB record for no-no's pitched, while the Mets still have not had one, speaks to some instant karma action going on against the Mets.

Theory Number Two: King Korn Kurse: A bit obscure for those born after 1970, but one of the Mets sponsors in the early days of the franchise was King Korn whose stamps which could be redeemed at markets such as Mayfair, Packer's and Waldbaum's. Apart of their sponsorship they awarded Mets with various amounts of merchandise stamps, 5,000 for a home run, 10,000 for a complete game, 25,000 for a complete game shutout, 50,000 for a grand slam home run, and 100,000 stamps for a no-hit, no-run game. The company would go out of business in the mid-1960's and suffice to say, while the first 4 levels were, and still for the most part, attainable, no Met has ever pitched a no-hit, no-run game, decades after the end of the Trading Stamp industry's heyday.

It is interesting to note and illustrative of the sheer luck and happenstance involved with pitching a no-hitter, that Tom Glavine comes from one of the best eras that a team has ever had in terms of outstanding pitching, and yet Glavine, John Smoltz, and Greg Maddux have yet to hurl a no-hitter in their combined careers. Atlanta Brave pitchers during the Bobby Cox-Leo Mazzone era have thrown no-hitters, however both by Kent Mercker, of all people, The game previously referred to where Mercker, Pena and Wohlers combined for one in 1991, was the first and and the second was against the Dodgers on 4/8/1994. Also Kevin Millwood,who left the Braves following the 1992 season, pitched a no-hitter for the Phillies on 4/27 against the Giants.

I'd like to apologize for incorrect statements in my review of the book The Bad Guys Won. I had heard faulty information and had not bothered to check proper channels to make sure that it went the way it had. That being the case, I do take back what I said in regards to not having current interviews with Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry. I still recommend any Met fan to read the book. Jeff Pearlman did do an exhaustive job and the book is a great addition to my Met Library.

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