Mets: When Al Leiter became the first pitcher to have a win against all 30 teams
By Tim Boyle
With a 2002 victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Mets pitcher Al Leiter became the first player in MLB history with a win against all 30 active teams.
April 30, 2002, was a big day for New York Mets pitcher Al Leiter. In a 10-1 victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks, he became the first player in MLB history to have a win against all 30 of the active teams in baseball.
Leiter faced the defending champions in Arizona looking for his third win of the season. A three-hit performance with only one unearned run allowed highlighted Leiter’s historic performance.
Along with a pair of home runs from Mike Piazza, Leiter cruised to victory.
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Leiter is one of those pitchers who was fortunate enough to spend enough time in both leagues to achieve this. His career began with the New York Yankees and then brought him to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Combined, Leiter was able to face everyone in the American League at some point.
When he went to the National League, Leiter suited up for the Florida Marlins. From 1996 onward, he remained in the National League except for the end of 2005 when he returned to the Yankees.
Fortunately, interleague play began in 1997 and allowed Leiter the chance to continue facing teams in both leagues. The new Tampa Bay Devil Rays as they were called back then faced the Marlins and Mets plenty in those early years.
Amazingly, the Diamondbacks and Rays were not the two teams Leiter had the fewest wins against for his career. Leiter managed to beat the Diamondbacks one more time and he ended his career with three total victories versus Tampa Bay.
The Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics are the two teams that lost just once to Leiter. Leiter faced the Tigers 11 times with 7 total starts. He faced Oakland even less, making 6 starts against them with another pair of relief appearances.
With interleague play scheduled every day with the Houston Astros shifting to the American League, more and more pitchers are having the opportunity to beat every team in baseball.
Since Leiter, 18 more pitchers have achieved this feat.
The only Mets connection I could find occurred in 2017 when Bartolo Colon beat, of all teams, the Diamondbacks.
Surprisingly, the well-traveled ageless starter was with the Minnesota Twins when it happened.
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It’s not easy to win against everyone at some point in your career. As this short list of players showcases, it takes a special kind of pitcher to achieve it. Leiter was the first.