Sunday, March 9, 2014

1993 TOPPS FINEST #115 DAVID CONE


HAD HIS OWN CHEERING SECTION: THE CONEHEADS.




WANTED THE BALL IN THE BIGGEST GAMES.



DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Gamer. Battler. Red-ass. Descriptions, all, of an intense pitcher who did not give in. In other words, David Cone. He did a little of everything in his 17-year career. Cone won a Cy Young Award, hurled the 16th perfect game in history, struck out 19 in a game and pitched on five World Series winning clubs. He also won 194 games with a 3.46 ERA and struck out 2,668 batters, many on his patented Laredo slider. 

DEFINING MOMENT

  • The Mets-Phillies game on Oct. 6, 1991, shaped up as just another season finale for two teams about to head into the off-season. Cone made it a finale to remember. He tied an NL record for strikeouts in a game with 19 in the 7-0 three-hit shutout. Cone tied Tom Seaver's club record for K's, abusing poor shortstop Kim Batiste four times on 16 pitches.

DEFINING SEASON

  • In '94, Cone dominated AL hitters for his hometown Royals. In a strike season that limited him to 23 starts, Cone went 16-5 with a 2.94 ERA, 130 hits allowed in 171.2 innings. His ERA+ was a career-high 171 as he won the AL Cy Young and made his second All-Star team.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. The Mets pilfered Cone from the Royals in March '87 for Rick Anderson, Mauro Gozzo and Ed Hearn.
  2. Cone went the longest between 20-win seasons in major-league history: 20-3 for the Mets in '88 and 20-7 for the Yankees in '98.
  3. It was with the Yankees in '99 where he threw his perfect game against the Expos on Yogi Berra Day on July 18. Cone struck out 10 and overcame a 33-minute rain delay in the third inning.
  4. The Blue Jays got Cone for their World Series stretch drive in '92 for Jeff Kent and Ryan Thompson.
  5. After stints back with the Royals and Blue Jays, Cone pitched six seasons with the Yankees and was part of their four championships in five years.

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