David Cone turns 50 today.
We got to take a look at David Cone just last week, with Sportsnet replaying the 1992 World Series. It was fun to get a look back at him. Cone had two short stints with the Jays.
We traded for him in 1992, at the end of August. At the time we were in first place, 2.5 games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles. We were doing alright except for the 5th starter spot. Dave Stieb had the role, but his last start was August 8th, he only went 3 innings and allowed 5 runs. His last real season with the Jays ended there, with a 5.04 ERA (he did try to make a come back in 1998). Rookie Doug Linton took his spot, made 3 starts, and had a 10.66 in those starts.
So the Jays sent Jeff Kent and Ryan Thompson (as the PTBNL) to the Mets for Cone. Kent went on to have a great career. But then Cone helped us win a World Series. Cone went 4-3, with a 2.55 ERA in 8 games, 7 starts, in the stretch run. We finished in first, 4 games up on the Brewers. Cone made 2 ALCS starts, picking up a win and a loss, with 3.00 ERA and didn't have a decision in 2 starts in the series against the Braves with a 3.48 ERA. Yeah, we might have won the World Series anyway, but you never know. The Mets did get pretty good value for a rental player.
After the 1992 season, David Signed with the Royals, but we traded for him again at the start of the 1995 season, giving up 3 guys that didn't amount to anything for him. He did a nice job for us, going 9-6, with a 3.38 ERA in 17 starts. He did well, but the team didn't, we were in 5th place with a 35-47 record, so we were sellers at the trade deadline. We traded him to the Yankees for, well, 3 players that didn't do much. Marty Janzen was the only one of the three to make it to the majors, and he went 6-7, with a 6.39 ERA, over 2 seasons for use.
Cone went on to win 4 more World Series rings with the Yankees.
David had a heck of a career. He was a 5 time All-Star. He won a Cy Young Award in 1994. He had a 19 strikeout game in 1991 as a Met and pitched a perfect game as a Yankee on July 18, 1999.. He retired with a 194-126 record with a 3.46 ERA in 450 major league games regular season games and an 8-3 record with a 3.80 ERA in 21 playoff games. He didn't get much love from the Hall of Fame voters, appearing on just 3.9% of ballots, falling short of the 5% needed to get on the ballot a second time.
Also having a birthday today is Royce Clayton, who turns 43 today. The Jays signed Royce, as a free agent, to play shortstop for them in 2007. Royce, 37 at the time, did do well, for us, hitting .254/.304/.344 in 69 games before the Jays, feeling sympathy for us fans, released him, giving John McDonald the full time job. Royce had a nice career, playing for 17 seasons.
Happy birthday to both David Cone and Royce Clayton.