We went to the Rotunda entrance where we were greeted by Sam Citron which set the tone for a memorable night.
We proceeded up to the upper deck to our usual perch. On this night, our bunch decided to sit in section 517. I wound up sitting in row 14 seat 5. I never moved.
We had a nice gathering on hand. We had the King, Frank Anichiarico, Bryan Gilligan, Ralph & Vincent Ascanio. Phil Butleman, David Sack & Joe Klein were all back for more on this night. In addition, we had Danny Werba and Donald Cohen aka Fuzzy a New York institution as he's known by many over the years.
Little did we know, we were going to see history on this night.
After playing 8,020 games in their 50 plus year history, the Mets finally got a no-hitter as Mets' pitcher Johan Santana etched his name in the history book as he didn't allow a hit as he beat the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals, 8-0 to become the first Mets' pitcher to finally throw a no-hitter.
Despite a blown call by third base umpire Adrian Johnson in the sixth inning, the no-hitter remained intact. In the seventh inning, Mets' outfielder Mike Baxter who's from nearby Whitestone, NY saved the day in his backyard as he reached out with his left arm to make a great catch before he ran into the wall. He managed to hold on to the ball. He wound up leaving the game with a shoulder injury though.
At 9:48PM, Santana got World Series MVP David Freese to swing at ball four to end the game which preserved his no-hitter with Yadier Molina left on deck. Santana finished the game allowing 5 walks and he struck out 8 while throwing 134 pitches to complete the game.
In unison, we all jumped for joy in stunned disbelief. Finally a Met pitcher has thrown a no-hitter.
It was the first no-hitter witnessed by many of the young fans who were amongst us.
It was my first National League no-hitter and my sixth overall that I've been fortunate enough to see.
Here's a list of the other ones I've seen.
1. May 14,1996 Dwight Gooden, a former Met, pitched a no-hitter for the Yankees as they beat the Seattle Mariners, 2-0 at Yankee Stadium. Gooden struck out 5 and he walked 6. Ironically he threw 134 pitches that was the same amount Johan Santana needed to secure his.
2. May 17, 1998 David Wells pitched a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins as the Yankees won, 4-0. Wells struck out 11 that day at Yankee Stadium.
3. July 18, 1999 David Cone, another former Met, pitched a perfect game on Yogi Berra Day at Yankee Stadium as the Yankees beat the Montreal Expos, 6-0. Cone fanned 10 batters in the process.
4. June 11, 2003 It took six pitchers to no-hit the Yankees as the Houston Astros accomplished the feat. Starter Roy Oswalt got hurt and he only lasted one inning. He was followed by Pete Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner who all combined to not allow a hit as the Astros beat the Yankees, 8-0.
5. July 27, 2011 I saw my first no-hitter on the road in Cleveland at Progressive Field with Paul Derrick. The Angels' Ervin Santana allowed a run but not a hit as the Angels beat the Indians, 3-1. He walked one and struck out 10.
Stay tuned as the amazing weekend continued.
Thank you for reading and following along.