Sunday's New York Daily News has a nice little profile of former Met Anthony Young.
AY is, of course, part of Met lore and baseball history for his 27-game losing streak in the early '90's.
Yet for those of us who watched this record unfold, AY is still registered in our collective mind as a good pitcher. The guy could throw, he was just ridiculously unlucky. AY was also ridiculously gracious throughout and after the streak. He never melted down or blamed anyone else. And it's great to see him years later, at peace with himself and his career.
AY also has a special bit of history in Loge13. The day he ended his streak - July 24, 1993 - was also the day our own Ron Hunt caught a foul ball IN HIS ARMPIT in Loge13. It is still one of the greatest catches - dare I say one of the greatest feats of athletic prowess - I have ever witnessed. The man had a cup of ice cream in one hand and a glass of Jack Daniels in the other and still caught the Benito Santiago foul ball. Try that, Endy Chavez!
Someday, Ron or I will write up that entire play for posterity. For now, here is the AY article:
Fans sent Anthony Young all sorts of good-luck talismans while he
was enduring his infamous losing streak - four-leaf clovers,
horseshoes, rabbit's feet. One woman gave him her treasured $2 bill.
Psychics called the Met offices offering aid. Letters of encouragement
poured in from folks who sat in the bleachers as well as Hall of Famer
More than 15 years after his record 27-game losing
streak ended, Young still holds onto his memories of "what I'm known
for," as he puts it. He still has most of the trinkets, stored in his
attic in the same box he kept them in at his locker at Shea. Recently,
he says, he poked around in the box and watched several old videotapes
- his appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and a meeting he had
with the family of Cliff Curtis, the pitcher who set the record from
1910-11 that Young eventually broke.
Nowadays, deep into a
coaching career, Young gets occasional reminders from the kids on the
five select teams he oversees. "Once they find out you were in the big
leagues, they 'Google' you," Young says. "Then they say, 'Coach, you're
known for a losing streak!'"
Young, who will be 43 later this
month, had a 9-5 job at a chemical plant for eight years after his
playing career ended in 1996. But he wanted to coach and now runs five
different teams of kids from 9-13 years old in Houston, his hometown.
He also gives private pitching lessons as part of his own company, AY
"It's a big business now and there's a lot of
competition," Young says. Young says his teams have played tournaments
against teams coached by ex-players such as Charlie Hayes, Chuck
McElroy and Eric Anthony.
"Life is good," Young adds. "I'm a
grandfather. It's been a pleasure watching my kids grow up and I'm
keeping busy with baseball."
Young, who is also a regular at Met
fantasy camps, knows that people will forever remember him as the
promising pitcher who dropped 27 consecutive decisions from May 6, 1992
to July 24, 1993 - he's gone to memorabilia shows where people want him
to acknowledge the streak next to his autograph. But sometimes he
wishes everyone also remembers that he didn't pitch that poorly during
the streak - managers don't keep giving you the ball if you're getting
clobbered every time you pitch.
"I got a bad rap on that,"
Young says of the streak, in which he had a 4.36 ERA. "I always said I
didn't feel like I was pitching badly. It just happened to happen to
me. I don't feel like I deserve it, but I'm known for it. It was an
82-year-old record and it might be 82 more years before it's broken.
"Everything that could happen, happened. It was just destiny, I guess."
one point during the streak, Young converted 12 straight save chances
and threw 23.2 straight scoreless innings subbing for closer John
Franco. He was 0-14 as a starter and 0-13 as a reliever.
ended on July 28, 1993 when the Mets scored twice in the bottom of the
ninth against the Marlins. Young had entered at the top of the inning
and allowed a tie-breaking unearned run after a Todd Hundley throwing
A few weeks later, Young flew to Los Angeles to be on
The Tonight Show. While mired in the streak, he had been prime
monologue material for Leno and when they met, Leno offered the chance
for comic retribution, telling Young, "You can make fun of my chin if
you want to."
"It was a lot of fun," Young says.
end of the streak offered relief, it is not nearly Young's favorite
moment of his six-year career with the Mets, Cubs and Astros. That
would be his debut against the Cubs on Aug. 5, 1991 when he relieved
Pete Schourek with the bases loaded in the seventh and got Shawon
Dunston to ground out to end the inning.
"That," says Young, "is one of the best memories of my life."