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DAYS LIKE THESE

Zack Wheeler

When the day arrives, and it's clear Zack Wheeler has "figured it out," this will be the day he will appreciate most. New York Mets fans will prefer to reflect on Wheeler's first MLB start, six shutout innings vs. Atlanta, but Sunday will be one of those starts that will educate the Mets rookie most as he moves forward.

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NO, NO, NO

santana

A pair of Chicago Cubs centerfielders, Jimmy Qualls (1969) and Joe Wallis (1975), stole two of Tom Seaver’s early bids for a no-hitter. One year after being traded from New York to Cincinnati, Seaver threw a no-hitter for the Reds. Nolan Ryan never pitched a no-hitter – as a New York Met – but after being traded to the California Angels in 1971 he nudged Mets fans every couple years, throwing seven no-hitters. “Every time he pitched you expected a no-hitter – or 15 strikeouts,” said Jay Horwitz, Mets VP/Public Relations, referring to Dwight Gooden. In May 1996, Gooden tossed the only no-hitter of his career – as a member of the New York Yankees. Even Duffy Dyer had to leave the New York Mets to catch his first no-hitter (John Candelaria, Pittsburgh, 1975), 11 years before Josh Thole was born.

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LOCKER ROOM REAL ESTATE VALUES

locker

You can learn a lot about a baseball team from its locker room. The clubhouse is where relationships form, character is revealed and leaders speak out (or not). For the major league rookie, clubhouse real estate is valuable -- sometimes priceless. Imagine being the rookie who spent eight months out of the year next to Sandy Koufax? Roberto Clemente? Lou Gehrig? Tom Seaver? These were model athletes, wise and humble men, who used their talent to teach.

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THE $66 MILLION MYSTERY

Jason Bay

This is what the New York Mets were expecting: a middle-of-the-lineup right-handed power hitter who'd hit 30+ home runs and drive in 100+ runs; an above-average defensive left fielder with a strong throwing arm; a clubhouse leader and team player.

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TIME TO MUTE KINER

kiner

I love Ralph Kiner. I respect him for his for his contribution to the game of baseball – both as a player and, later, a broadcaster. If you’ve been a New York Mets fan for any length of time you certainly understand Kiner's importance in team history.

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HAS THE BEAR FINALLY CAUGHT UP TO GLAVINE?

Tom Glavine

In the final chapter of his new book The Complete Game, former Mets pitcher Ron Darling shares the mixed emotions he felt when, in 1995, then Oakland Athletics manager Tony LaRussa broke the news that his career was effectively over.

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