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CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 12: Phillip Humber #41 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Oakland Athletics on June 12, 2011 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Phillip Humber threw a perfect game yesterday for the Chicago White Sox, adding his name to the list of former Mets pitchers who have thrown no-hitters. While a couple pitchers had accomplished the feat prior to joining the Mets, most have done it after they have left the team. Humber is the second former Met to ever throw a perfect game, accomplished only by David Cone with the New York Yankees.
Going into the team’s 50th season, it is amazing that no pitcher has ever thrown one wearing the Mets uniform. Everybody is familiar with the fact that after the Mets traded future Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan to the Angels, Ryan would throw a record seven no hitters with the Angels, Astros and Rangers. The best player in franchise
history, Tom Seaver
, would throw one for the Cincinnati Reds
after being traded away from the Mets. The Mets would then watch as 1980s star pitcher Dwight Gooden would throw a no-hitter wearing a Yankees uniform in 1996, prior to Cone’s perfect game in 1999.
Mike Scott was traded in 1982 by the Mets for OF Danny Heep
. While Heep was a member of the 1986 World Series Champion team, Scott became a nemasis, nearly ending the Mets NL Pennant dream. He also clinched the NL West title for the Astros by throwing a no-hitter, becoming another former Mets pitcher to throw one. Hideo Nomo threw one when he pitched for the Dodgers in 1996, pitched for the Mets, then threw a second one pitching for the Boston Red Sox
Of course, the Mets have acquired their share of pitchers who had no hitters on their resume. The Mets acquired Cy Young winner Bret Saberhagen from the Royals in 1992, a year after he threw a no-hitter for the Kansas City
Royals. They traded for LHP Al Leiter from the Marlins before the 1998 season, after he threw a no-hitter for the Marlins in 1996. Hall of Famer Warren Spahn, who joined the Mets pitching staff in 1965 while doubling as pitching coach, threw two no-hitters for the Braves in 1960 and 1961.
The earliest no-hitter thrown by a pitcher that would later pitch for the Mets was Don Cardwell, who as a Cubs pitcher no-hit the Cardinals on May 15, 1960. Cardwell joined the Mets in 1967. Dean Chance pitched a no-hitter for the Twins in 1967 before pitching three games for the Mets in 1970. Dock Ellis threw a no-hitter for the Pirates in 1970 (reportedly while tripping on acid) and pitched for the Mets in 1979. John Candelaria, who pitched in a handful of September games for the Mets in 1987, threw a no-hitter pitching for the Pirates in 1976.
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 07: Phillip Humber #41 Chicago White Sox tips his cap after leaving the game in the seventh inning against the Seattle Mariners on June 7, 2011 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Sox defeated the Mariners 5-1. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Kenny Rogers is the only pitcher to throw a perfect game before pitching for the Mets. This happened in 1994 pitching for the Texas Rangers
. He would pitch for the Mets in 1999. Scott Erickson
, who briefly pitched for the Mets in 2004, threw a no-hitter for the Minnesota Twins
in 1994 as well.
In the history of the franchise, there are four relief pitchers who have been part of no-hitters. Alejandro Pena pitched the final inning of a combined no hitter started by Kent Merker (7 innings) and Mark Wohlers (1 IP) in 1991, not too long after being traded from the Mets. LHP Ricardo Rincon, who would see some action in 2008 with the Mets, was part of a 10 inning no hitter for the Pirates, relieving Francisco Cordova and pitching an inning of hitless ball. Two pitchers who are now members of New York Mets
alumni, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner, were part of that crazy no-hitter the Houston Astros
threw against the Yankees in 2003. They each pitched an inning, combining with Roy Oswalt (1 IP), Peter Munro (2 2/3), Kirk Saarloos (1 1/3) and Brad Lidge (2) to keep the Yankees hitless.
The only other pitcher who was part of the Mets roster to pitch a no-hitter is Jim Bibby, who was a September call-up in 1971. He never got into a game, but was on the roster and in uniform for the team. He would pitch his no-hitter in 1973, while pitching for the Texas Rangers.
All this history about no-hitters and the Mets, you would think one would have been wearing a Mets uniform when they did it. Of course not, and it will be 50 years or more before it ever happens, if it ever does at all.