When the Mets open the regular season tomorrow at Citi Field against the Florida Marlins, the team will be embarking on its 49th season of baseball.
And unless Johan Santana has a little magic in him, the club will also embark on its 49th season without a no-hitter. (For the record, The Cleveland Indians’ Bob Feller threw Major League Baseball’s only opening-day no-no on April 16, 1940, against the Chicago White Sox.)
As of the end of Season 48, the Mets have played 7,644 regular season games without a no-hitter, the longest current streak in the Majors. The Philadelphia Phillies actually topped that streak from 1906 to 1964, going 8,945 games (or 58 years, 1 month and 18 days) between no-hitters. Oddly, the Phillies’ streak ended at Shea Stadium on June 21, 1964, when Jim Bunning threw a 6-0 perfect game against the Mets during a Father’s Day doubleheader.
If the Mets can shake the infamous distinction this year, the team would leave the San Diego Padres, who began play in 1969, with the longest no-no drought. The Colorado Rockies (circa 1993) and Tampa Bay Rays (circa 1998) are the only other franchises never to throw a no-no.
Hall of Famer Tom Seaver came closest to breaking the streak on three different occasions:
- On July 9, 1969, he gave up a one-out, ninth-inning single to Jimmy Qualls during a 4-0 win over the Chicago Cubs. Seaver ended with a one-hitter.
- On July 4, 1972, during the first game of a doubleheader, Seaver gave up a one-out, ninth-inning single to the San Diego Padres’ Leron Lee during a 2-0 win. He ended with a one-hitter.
- And on Sept. 24, 1975, Seaver went further than ever, yielding a two-out, ninth-inning single to Joe Wallis during a 2-0 win over the Chicago Cubs. He wound up giving up two more hits in the 10th inning.
Seaver would finally get his one and only no-hitter on June 16, 1978, as a member of the Cincinnati Reds.
So there’s the Reader’s Digest condensed version of the Mets’ no no-no history for you newcomers. Explore our pages for more detail, and enjoy the 2010 season!