Wednesday, December 10, 2008

He played for the Red Sox? - David Cone

I was going to hold off introducing this feature for a little while, but a response to my Hall of Fame post a couple of days ago changed my mind. Night Owl (incidentally, you should check out his blog if you haven’t already – it’s on my daily reading list) commented that he had forgotten that David Cone played for the Red Sox. Which is the whole point behind this feature – spotlighting players who played only briefly for the Red Sox and/or who are better known for playing elsewhere. Case in point, David Cone.

David Cone pitched one year for the Red Sox. He is much better known for his time with the Mets, with whom he started his career and established himself as a dominant starting pitcher, and with the Yankees, with whom he pitched a perfect game in 1999 and won 4 World Series. In 2001 however, the 15-year veteran signed an incentive laden minor league contract following a dreadful year with the Yankees in which his win/loss record was 4-14 with a 6.91 ERA. Cone justified the Red Sox signing of him, rebounding from his dreadful 2000 by appearing in 25 games and posting a 9-7 record with a 4.31 ERA.

The highlight of Cone’s 2001 season may have come on September 2, when he battled Mike Mussina of the Yankees for 8 scoreless innings. Though he eventually gave up an unearned run in the 9th inning (on an error by current NESN studio analyst Lou Merloni) and lost the game, Cone’s performance that night was a swan song, reminiscent of the dominance he showed earlier in his career. I should note that that particular game is remarkable in that Mussina came within one strike of throwing a perfect game (broken up by a pinch hit by Carl Everett) which would have made Cone the only pitcher in history to both win and lose a perfect game.

The card scans in this post are courtesy of the Baseball Card Cyber Museum (I actually have this card as part of my 02 Topps set but was too lazy to dig it out and scan it). If you haven't discovered this excellent site yet, I highly recommend it.
Joe McAnally's site features every Topps base card from 1969 to present as well as a healthy sampling of pre-1969 Topps cards. The site is free, but does require you to apply for a 4-day visitor pass which you can renew as often as you like. I have found it to be a valuable resource in putting my Topps sets and team sets together.

1 comment:

Dave - Fielder's Choice said...

I had forgotten about Cone's one year with Boston too, until I wrote my Hall of Fame post this weekend. I still think he just doesn't look right in that uniform...