We re less than a month from Opening Day, so it s time to start previewing the season. Inspired by an old feature on The Black Table, we re going team-by-team and distributing Four Things You Don t Know about them. If you have suggested oddities on your team, send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Today: The New York Mets.
1. No One In Their History Has Thrown a No-Hitter. Yeah, seems surprising considering guys like Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Jerry Koosman, Pedro Martinez and Warren Spahn all pitched there. The closest they have come may have been on July 9, 1969, when Seaver lost a perfect game when rookie Jimmy Qualls of the Cubs singled with one out in the ninth. Also, no Met has ever won a batting title.
2. Call Him Mr. December. In 1966 the Mets took catcher Steve Chilcott with the No. 1 pick in the draft — and he became the first No. 1 pick ever to retire without ever playing in the Major Leagues. The No. 2 pick that year? Reggie Jackson. The only other player drafted with the first overall pick never to play in the majors was Brien Taylor, drafted by the Yankees in 1991. He broke his pitching arm in a bar fight.
3. Meet Mr. Met. The baseball-headed mascot was born in 1964 and, claims the franchise, is the first costumed mascot (as opposed to artistically rendered) in MLB history. He was also the first Met to become a bobblehead doll.
4. Glavine Still Has All of His Teeth. Pitcher Tom Glavine, who is closing in on 300 career victories (he needs 25), almost never made it to the majors. He was a three-time All-Conference hockey player at Billerica (Mass.) Memorial High School, and was drafted by both the Atlanta Braves and in the fourth round and by the Los Angeles Kings (NHL) in 1984. Of course, he did lose some teeth in that car accident a few years ago, so maybe he should have stuck with hockey.
(Tuesday: The Milwaukee Brewers)