Gooden, Bloomberg offer Johan congratulatory tweets
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news of Johan Santana's no-hitter in an 8-0 win against the Cardinals spread late Friday night, one of the most common reactions on social media was amazement that Santana was finally able to do what 50 years of Mets pitchers hadn't been able to accomplish.
Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan and Dwight Gooden all broke into the Major Leagues with the Mets. Pedro Martinez, Al Leiter and David Cone all pitched for years in Queens. None of them threw a no-hitter in a Mets uniform.
Ryan threw a record seven no-hitters in his 26 years in the Major Leagues. After throwing out the first pitch in Anaheim on Friday night, Ryan said it was "phenomenal" that the Mets had never had a no-hitter before.
"To me, it was phenomenal if you look at the history of their organization and the type of pitching they had at times, plus the fact they had pitchers throw no-hitters with other clubs," Ryan said while watching the Rangers play the Angels, referring to Seaver, Gooden and others.
Ryan, who is the Rangers' CEO, was at Angel Stadium for the Angels' series opener against the Rangers. Ryan pitched for the Angels for eight years and threw four of his no-hitters for them.
As great as Ryan was, Gooden's career began with even more promise. When he broke camp in 1984 with the Mets, Gooden was a 19-year-old phenom. He won a Cy Young Award the next year and was instrumental in the Mets' second World Series championship in 1986. Still, he didn't throw a no-hitter until 1996, when he was pitching for the Yankees.
Gooden, now 47, took to Twitter to congratulate Santana.
"Congrats to Johan Santana for throwing the first no hitter in #Mets history! Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy, very happy for Mets fans" Gooden tweeted.
Also on Twitter, Mayor Michael Bloomberg offered his congratulations:
"Congrats @Johansantana for pitching the first no-hitter in #Mets history"
Bloomberg then linked to an animated picture of him high-fiving Mr. Met at the news conference last month announcing that Citi Field would host the 2013 All-Star Game.
After a 7-2 victory over the Blue Jays in Toronto, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine spoke to reporters about Santana's feat. Valentine managed the Mets from 1996-2002 and said he was glad they finally had a no-hitter.
"Oh, I'm really happy for them," Valentine said. "That's been an albatross for that franchise and the pitching and New York Mets franchise forever, since '62. One of the best pitchers they ever had threw it, and that also gives a lot of credibility to it."
It wasn't just the game's dignitaries applauding Santana on Friday night. As word of the historic no-hitter filtered out to every clubhouse, Santana's former teammates praised him.
Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer, who played with Santana for seven years in Minnesota, said he was happy for his former teammate.
"He had a lot of special games with us, but never that big," Cuddyer said. "I'm sure it's a special one for him, and obviously a special one for the Mets."
Pirates catcher Rod Barajas caught Santana while the two were teammates in New York in 2010. He said he was excited for Santana and for the franchise.
"He's such a great guy, a great teammate, and has been one of the premier pitchers in this game for a while," Barajas said. "I'm happy he was the one able to break that curse."
Clint Hurdle, Barajas' manager in Pittsburgh, is also a former Met. Hurdle played for the team in 1985 and '87.
Like so many others in and outside the game, Hurdle said it was "awesome" that Santana had thrown the first no-hitter in Mets history.
"It's great, they've had so many great pitchers there," Hurdle said. "For that to never get knocked off the to-do list, been a long time coming. When I heard about it, I'm going in the dugout, 'Yeah, thataway.'