I was a junior in High School and my friends and I were in the schools club called “Athletes helping athletes”. We were getting ready to go on the school bus that would take us to Citi Field. Our tickets for the game and the transportation to the game were free.
As we arrived at the stadium, I looked out the bus and saw an average crowd for a Friday night game. At the time there was no free shirt Friday’s. We arrived in our seats in section 506. I was row 10, seat 2. They weren’t the best seats but enough to watch history take place.
The pitching match up was Johan Santana against Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals. At the time, the Cardinals were only 3 games over .500.
It was a quiet, quick paced game going into the 4th inning until Kirk Nieuwenhuis led off the inning with an infield single. David Wright then doubled and Nieuwenhuis went to third. Lucas Duda then hit a sacrifice fly to bring in the first run of the game. The Mets took a 1-0 lead and never let it slip away.
During the 4th inning I told my friends and the teachers that went on the trip with us that Santana was going to throw a no hitter. My teacher, a huge Mets fan, started scolding me about how I was jinxing the no hitter. Apparently stating that there is a no hitter is a jinx!
As the game carried on, the zero’s kept going down the line. No hits, no runs, no errors.
In the top of the 7th, Mike Baxter made one of the most important catches in New York Mets history. He robbed Yadier Molina of a hit that would have broken up Santana’s no hit bid. Instead, he excited the crowd and kept the no hitter alive.
In the top of the 9th, no one in the stadium was sitting down. Everyone was anticipating history in the making. The last time the Mets came close to a no hitter was when tom Seaver through 8 1/3 innings of no hit ball against the Chicago Cubs on July 9th 1969. Since then, no New York Mets pitcher has come close to a no hitter. That is until June 1st 2012.
As David Freese stepped up to the plate for the final out, the crowd was roaring. Freese swung at a 3-2 changeup that resulted in a swing and miss. Mets players stormed the field and celebrated the first no hitter in Mets history. The crowd was rocking like Shea. People that didn’t even know each other were hugging and kissing each other. It was the first time I saw Mets fans show pure excitement since the magical 2006 season.
I never thought I would experience history. I never thought I would feel pure excitement again for the Mets in 2012, but then 2015 happened!