Former New York Mets hurler Anthony Young pitched much better than his career record indicates. As a starter or reliever, at home or on the road, Young often pitched well enough to get the win.
However, for what seemed like forever, he never won. Young set a record of futility in the major leagues with 27 consecutive losses for the Mets.
On Monday, Young died at the age of just 51. Officials from the Mets said Young died following a long illness. Last summer during a fantasy camp he told his former teammates with the Mets that he was suffering from a brain tumor.
Doug Flynn, a former second baseman with the Mets and a coach at fantasy camp said Young took a great deal of kidding about the losing record he set.
However, Flynn added that Young suffered bad luck during that long losing streak and knew deep inside he was a far better pitcher than the numbers he put up would indicate.
The streak of consecutive losses for Young started in 1992, and stretched into 1993. In all, the consecutive loss streak covered 74 straight appearances. Over that span of appearances, Young’s ERA was not that bad at 4.39.
During 1992, Young had 15 saves for the Mets, but was 2-14 for the season. In 1993, Young was 1-16 for a Mets team that can only be described as miserable, as the team led baseball with losses at 103.
However, the highlight of the poor season by the Mets may have come at Shea Stadium on July 28. On that summer night, Young was called from the bullpen during the ninth inning to face the Florida Marlins.
He allowed the Marlins to score the go ahead run, which set him up to lose his 28th straight game.
However, during the bottom of the ninth, New York pushed across two runs and won 5-4. Young earned the win and his teammates mobbed him in the dugout.
Young said he did not have a monkey on his back through all the losses but rather a whole zoo.
The consecutive losing streak of 27 games set by Young broke the previous one set in 1910 by Cliff Curtis at 23 straight losses. At one time, Young met with members of the Curtis family. He also was given loads of encouragement and much advice from many people including psychics.
Prior to the start of the 1994 season, the Mets traded Young to the Cubs and he ended his career in 1996 with the Houston Astros. Over his career of six years, Young finished with a record of 15-48 with an ERA of 3.89.