Just in time for the holiday season, Mets 101's Seven in Seven series returns as our gift to you. Each week, the Mets 101 staff will begin a countdown of something related to the New York Mets ( i.e. best third baseman, worst defeat, etc.). We will begin our countdown on Sundays with the number seven and work all the way to number one. Inspired by recent comments from Curtis Granderson and Carlos Beltran, this week's countdown takes a look at the seven most notable people to wear both a Mets and Yankees uniform. We continue our countdown today with starting pitcher David Cone.
3) David Cone
Yankees Stats (1995-2000): 144 GS, 64-40, 3.91 ERA, 1 SHO, 922 IP, 1.331 WHIP
Mets Stats (1987-1992): 187 G, 169 GS, 81-51, 3.13 ERA, 15 SHO, 1209.1 IP, 1.192 WHIP.
Mets Story: The Mets acquired the 24-year-old David Cone prior to the 1987 season in exchange for Ed Hearn, Rick Anderson, and Mauro Gozzo. In his first season in Flushing, Cone went 5–6 with a 3.71 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 21 appearances and 13 starts. Cone made his first All Star Game in in 1988 after going 9-2 with a 2.52 ERA in the first half. He would go on to have the best year of his career as he finished third in the NL Cy Young voting with a 20-3 record and a 2.22 ERA. He also eclipsed the 200 inning (231.1) and strikeout (213) mark in 1988.
Cone and Doc Gooden provided the Mets with a formidable 1-2 punch at the top of the Met rotation throughout his tenure in Queens. Cone led the NL in strikeouts in in 1990 (with 233) and 1991 (with a career-high 241) and struck out a Met-record 19 Phillies on October 6, 1991. The Mets were dreadful in 1992 and moved Cone to the Toronto Blue Jays on August 27 for Jeff Kent and Ryan Thompson.
Yankees Story: Unlike the young fireballer the Mets acquired in the 1980s, the David Cone that arrived in the Bronx was on the tail end of his career. The Yankees acquired Cone in the middle of the 1995 season in exchange for Marty Janzen, Jason Jarvis and Mike Gordon. Cone helped the Yankees win the 1995 AL Wild Card where they fell to the Seattle Mariners in the ALDS. After missing much of the 1996 season with an aneurysm in his arm, Cone threw six innings of one run ball to win game three of the World Series against the Atlanta Braves. 1998 was Cone’s best season with the Yankees as he 20-7 with a 3.55 ERA and the Yankees went on to win the 1998 World Series over the San Diego Padres. In 1999, Cone delivered the best individual game performance of is career as he threw a perfect game on July 18 against the Montreal Expos. It was the last no-hitter to date by a Yankee and the only regular season interleague perfect game in the history of baseball. The Yankees and Cone would go on to win their third World Series in four years in 1999. Cone posted the worst statistical season of his career in 2000 as he went 4-14 with a 6.91 ERA. He faced one batter in the 2000 World Series, enduing an inning-ending popout against the Mets’ Mike Piazza in the fifth inning of game 4. Piazza would be the only batter Cone faced in the 2000 World Series as the Yankees defeated the Mets in five games to give Cone his fourth World Series ring in pinstripes.
Who got the better Cone? This one is a true toss up. On one hand, Cone put up some of the best statistical years of his career with the Mets as he emerged as one of major league baseball’s premier strikeout pitchers. On the other hand, Cone was a key cog on four World Series Championship teams with the Yankees. Post season and championship success certainly play a role in analyzing a player’s career and it should play a role in the way a person looks at David Cone’s career. With that in mind, if I had to pick one, I’d take the Yankee David Cone and his four World Series rings.
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