Johan Santana might not have pitched the first Mets no-hitter until 2012, but the Topps Trading Card Co. apparently knew it was coming.
Topps in 2008 short-printed a 661st card in its Series 2 set (which is supposed to end at 660) showing Johan Santana in action with the caption “SANTANA TOSSES METS 1st NO-NO.”
On the back it provides the following details: On Sept. 28, 2008 against the Marlins, Santana apparently struck out 15 and walked one in a 1-0 win that ended in the bottom of the ninth with four consecutive walks. One of these cards apparently sold on eBay for quite a hefty sum.
I had bought some Series 2 packs for my kids back then and never stumbled upon the Santana card, which led me to believe that it was either a very, very short print or some kind of a Photoshop hoax. I had done some cursory research and couldn’t find too much additional information about the Santana no-no card, so I decided to see if I, too, could use Photoshop to alter Mets history and end the drought back in 1969 and 1975.
Yep, the Mets indeed have thrown no-hitters before. Need proof? Check out this 1970 Topps card celebrating Jerry Koosman’s no-hitter in Game 5 of the 1969 World Series, giving the Mets their first World Championship AND breaking the team’s seven-plus year streak of having never thrown a no-no.
And here’s a 1976 Topps highlights card celebrating Met pitcher Tom Seaver’s 1975 accomplishment of becoming the first Major League pitcher to hurl three no-hitters in the same season. And you thought he got his first no-hitter as a member of the Cincinnati Reds. Silly.
It’s nice to know that I can stop Photoshopping this into reality and just relish Santana’s June 1st gem.