History was made on Saturday when Philip Humber became the 21st pitcher all-time to record a perfect game when the White Sox defeated the Mariners, 4-0. A remarkable accomplishment for any pitcher, but especially gratifying for someone like Humber after numerous arm injuries and bouncing from one team to the next.
My first reaction of hearing the news of the perfect game was more sorrow than happiness for Humber. Now you might ask yourself how can someone be upset about a perfect game. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy great pitching and love seeing a pitcher throw a no-hitter or perfect game and did in fact applaud, but a part of me was bitter because once again it was accomplished by a former New York Met.
There has been 273 no-hitters, including 21 perfect games, but not one of those have come from a Mets pitcher in the 50 years the organization has been in existence. The Padres are the only other team yet to record a no-hitter. The Mets have come close, throwing 36 one-hit games. Humber joined the cast of Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, David Cone, Dwight Gooden, Hideo Nomo and Mike Scott as pitchers who either threw a perfect game or no-hitter after leaving the Mets. The Mets drafted Humber and was with the organization until he was traded to the Twins in the Johan Santana deal in 2008.
Humber spent two seasons with the Twins before signing a minor league contract with the Royals in the offseason of 2009. He spent most of 2010 with the Royals Triple-A Omaha before being waived again in the offseason. The Athletics came calling and claimed Humber off waivers in December 2010, but decided to release him a month later, and that was when the White Sox took a chance on the journeyman.
Despite what happens to Humber’s career going forward, he will always be in the baseball record books as the 21st pitcher to throw a perfect game and the seventh former Met to accomplish that feat. Being the seventh former Mets pitcher will become a mute point when finally Mets fans can celebrate a no-hitter, but for now we will sulk in our tears, continue counting, and wish for that day to come when a Mets pitcher is jumping for joy on the mound