Five Mets moments we wish they could redo on Groundhog Day
4) Mets Trade Nolan Ryan
Next up on moments the Mets wish they could redo, is trading future Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan. The Mets originally drafted Ryan in the twelfth round of the 1965 amateur draft out of his high school in Texas. Ryan played in five seasons for the Amazin’s before they dealt him away, which including the 1969 World Series Championship team.
In Ryan’s five seasons in Queens, he combined for a 3.58 ERA, a 1.398 WHIP, with 493 strikeouts over 510 innings pitched splitting time between the rotation and the bullpen.
On December 10th, 1971, the Mets made one of their worst trades in franchise history when they dealt Ryan and three other players to the California Angels for infielder Jim Fregosi. Not only was this trade terrible for the Mets because of how lights out Ryan went on to be, but also because Fregosi only played a season and a half before being sold to the Texas Rangers.
Although Ryan never won a Cy Young award in his 27-year career, he is still considered one of the best pitchers in the history of the game. Even though he struggled with his control as he has a career walks per nine of 4.7 and the most walks in baseball history by a single pitcher with 2,795, he was still incredible.
Ryan has the most strikeouts in the history of baseball with 5,714 and the best hits per nine by a single person with 6.6, not to mention his MLB record seven no-hitters over the course of his career. To make that even more impressive, he is also the oldest pitcher to throw a no-hitter, which came at age 44. For a franchise that only has one no-hitter and one that is often questioned to be legit, the Mets sure wish they never traded Ryan away.
Even though Ryan never won a Cy Young award as previously stated, he did end up finishing in the top five votings six different times, and an additional two if we talk about top ten finishes. He was sent to the All-Star game eight times in his career and won the ERA title twice. In addition to all these great accomplishments, he also led the league in strikeouts eleven times and led the league in hits per nine twelve times.
Now while we cannot guarantee Ryan would have had the same production if he was never traded and stayed in Queens longer, the Mets would sure like to redo the decision to trade Ryan and find out. The Mets likely would have another Ace to their team and their history of great pitching, and possibly their first no-hitter years earlier, but instead, the decision to trade Ryan will be one moment that the Mets forever wish they can redo.