David Cone Should Be in Cooperstown

July 20, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

The New York Yankees defeated the Detroit Tigers 2-1 Saturday afternoon in the Bronx on the 10th anniversary of David Cone’s perfect game.

Cone, who recorded 2,688 strikeouts and went 194-126 with a 3.46 ERA in his Major League Baseball career, pitched his perfect game in a 6-0 Bombers victory against the Montreal Expos on July 18, 1999.

“The further I get away from the game, the more I appreciate that it is my signature moment,” said Cone, 46, who became only the 16th man in major league history to achieve the feat on that steamy summer afternoon.

Cone, a five-time All-Star selection and the winner of the 1994 AL Cy Young Award, said that he prefers the five championship rings that he acquired over his own personal accolades.

“If you’d ask me, I’d pick the World Series championships,” said the native of Kansas City, who won four crowns as a member of the Yankees and one as the ace of the Toronto Blue Jays staff in 1992.  “Those are the best moments for me.”

Still, Cone, who compiled an 8-3 postseason record over 21 starts in October, realizes the significance of his performance on the hill that day and relishes the memories he has from it.

“People remember me for that day and I am grateful for it,” said Cone, who last pitched in 2003 for the New York Mets.  “People tell me stories all the time about where they were on that day in the ninth inning.”

14 months after David Wells had thrown a perfecto for the Yankees in 1998, Cone whiffed 10 Expos and put the dreadful squad out of their misery with only 88 pitches.

Cone said last week that around the fifth inning he thought to himself, “I am 36 years old. This is probably the last chance I’ll ever have to be in this position.”

In 1996, Cone, the Yankees all-time leader in strikeouts per nine innings pitched (8.67), was diagnosed with an aneurysm in his pitching arm and he was placed on the disabled list for the bulk of that season.

Many medical professionals believed that both Cone’s livelihood and existence were in serious jeopardy.

However, Cone battled back from the grave injury and, in his first comeback start that September versus the Oakland Athletics, he unbelievably tossed a no-hitter through seven complete innings before he was removed from the game because of pitch count restrictions.

Considering the draconian ailment that Cone overcame, it is virtually miraculous that he even pitched until he was 36.

David Cone is a winner in every sense of the word. He was one of the most dominating and accomplished pitchers from his era.

If Cooperstown wants to enhance their neighborhood, David Cone should be invited up there for a lifetime stay.



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