50 years. Seven pitchers who threw no-hitters after leaving the Mets.Over 30 one-hitters. 8,019 games without a no-hitter. You already know the numbers, but each time they are said, it makes Johan Santana’s feat even more unbelievable.
Johan Santana’s feat last night was an amazing one for Mets fans. It was a true Hollywood storyline for a pitcher who absolutely deserves it. If it couldn’t be Seaver, it should be Johan.
This was the ultimate story of redemption. Johan has been a lot of things things throughout his career. Young, up-and-coming superstar, injury-prone older pitcher, and back to ace this season, and once again last night. Since signing his six-year $137.5 million contract a few years ago, many Mets fans gave up on the oft-injured shadow of a former ace. But Johan certainly did not give up. Last night was a showcase of his character as a ballplayer, a ballplayer who puts his heart into every pitch, and one who will work harder than anyone to succeed. He hasn’t let constant injuries stop him from getting back to doing what he loves.
Johan is the epitome of a “classy baseball player,” which makes him the perfect Met to be the one that finally does it. The story of Johan’s comeback and resurgence is incredible, and the story of the Mets and the elusive “no-no” is even more so.
There had been 131 no-hitters in baseball coming into Johan’s last night, of course, with none of them belonging to the Mets. 50 years went by before it finally happened. Greats like Dwigt Gooden, Jerry Koosman, and Tom Seaver couldn’t even do it with the Mets. There is a long, detailed history of the no-hitter and the New York Mets, a history filled with tears, near misses, and plenty of one-hitters.
The history is incredibly deep. Whether it’s Jimmy Qualls or Cole Hamels, there have been huge disappointments almost on a regular basis for this team. It’s almost expected that someone will come and ruin it all. Last night, every Mets fan was rewarded for the long years of these disappointments. But this no hitter makes me think of all the lifers. All of the people who have been around from the beginning.
I sat on my couch last night, watching from home along with my dad, who has been a Mets fan since the 1960s. Together, we watched Johan strike out David Freese on a 3-2, down and away changeup. Both of us were very, very excited- high-fiving and screaming as it finally happened. I was thrilled to see it, as I have suffered through my almost ten years of being a Mets fan. However, I still can’t imagine the pain and disappointment that a lifer like my dad has gone through. Countless, countless disappointments, year after year. One hitters. Tough playoff losses. Watching teams that were destined for greatness fall short. I was happy about the no-hitter, but also just as happy to see my dad finally get what he- and so many other Mets fans truly deserve. After Johan recorded the final strikeout to seal the deal, he told me:
“I never thought this would happen.”