On June 1, 2012, Josh Thole was the man behind the plate when Johan Santana tossed the first no-hitter in New York Mets history. Through all of the years of Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden, and many other superb pitchers, no one was able to accomplish what Santana could that night.
Thole was an exceptionally important piece to the 2012 team. He was also the man who caught R.A. Dickey in his inexplicable Cy Young season. A legend because of his connection to the Mets in this way, I found one other fact about Thole very interesting.
Thole is the only man in Major League Baseball history born on October 28, 1986. If you know your Mets history, you might see the connection. One day before Thole was born, the Mets won their last championship.
Did the birth of Josh Thole usher in the end of the Mets winning it all?
Sensibly speaking, the birth of Thole didn’t exactly create the long championship drought the Mets continue to suffer through. I do find it weird that the only player born the day after they last won it all happened to also play for the franchise and have such a deep-rooted connection to their history while also being such a non-factor.
Thole’s time in New York was brief yet important. In parts of four seasons, he played in 308 games while batting .261/.331/.333. He was the ideal part-time catcher. He couldn’t hit much but he was far from an automatic out.
Eventually traded to the Toronto Blue Jays with R.A. Dickey, Thole’s is best remembered for how he handled the infamous knuckleball. We don’t always think of Thole as a defensive stalwart. However, it’s fair to say Dickey never would have been as dominant without him.
As much as I wish this was the only Mets connection to the 1986 World Series Championship, there is at least one other notable guy from the same time period with a birth to talk about.
Jon Niese, born on October 27, 1986, came into this world the same day the Mets last won a World Series. Is it him we should blame? Is it Niese we should thank?
I know this is merely coincidental and not some weird glitch in the matrix. But when I look a little further at some other October 27 birthdays, I get a creepy feeling.
On October 27, 1988, T.J. Rivera was born. You know him. He’s the last guy to get a hit for the Mets in the postseason. A year later, Ruben Tejada entered this world. You remember him best for breaking his leg in the 2015 NLDS.
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It’s all just a big coincidence, right? There’s not a conspiracy or something more sinister at play. I’m convinced of it. Even if it’s October and Halloween is upon us, there’s nothing to fear. Tell me I’m right.