Oct 31, 2019

Remembering Mets History: (1973) 1973 NLCS Game #1 -Bench's HR Spoils Seaver's Good Outing



New York Mets vs. Cincinnati Reds

October 6th, 1973: NLCS Game #1

 Starting Lineups:


The 1973 National League Championship Series opened up on Saturday afternoon; October 6th, 1973 at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati. 

Sparky Anderson's Reds were the reigning NL Champions, having lost the 1972 World Series to the Oakland A's. In 1973 the Reds had finished the year with the best record in the NL (99-63). The Big Red Machine were the heavy favorite going in this series.

Yogi Berra's New York Mets. didn't make a run of it until late August & went on a stretch winning 25 of their last 34 games to capture the NL East on the last of the season with a 82-79 record.


A crowd of 53,431 fans attended the game, that took two hours to play . The day began a bit rainy & cloudy, but the sun broke through at times as playoff baseball was played.

The series opened up with both clubs top aces going at it, Tom Seaver the 1973 NL Cy Young Award winner, had led the league in ERA 2.08 & complete games (18). Seaver went 19-10 with 251 strike outs.


For the Reds, it was Jack Billingham who went 19-10 with 155 Ks & a 3.04 ERA. Billingham led the league in shut outs (7) starts (40) & innings (293).

Tom Seaver drives in the Mets only run
The Mets threatened early in the 1st inning, as Wayne Garrett led off with a base hit & was sacrificed over to second by Felix Millan. Rusty Staub drew a walk & John Milner ripped a single to centerfield.

As the ball flew off the turf quickly & with the arm of Cesar Geronimo, Garrett was held at third base. But with the bases loaded & one out, Cleon Jones grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, ending the threat.

In the top of the 2nd, Bud Harrelson drew a two out walk. Then Mets pitcher, Tom Seaver, drilled a line drive double into left center field, scoring Harrelson with the first run.

It was the only run Jack Billingham would allow on the afternoon. In the 3rd he walked John Milner, but then retired the next 14 batters in a row, getting his team to the 8th inning. 

He pitched eight shutout innings, allowing three hits while striking out six & walking three.


Seaver had held down the Reds until the 8th inning, when Pete Rose tied the game with a HR. 

Through 8.1 innings, Seaver had only allowed more than one base runner in an inning just once, that was back in the second inning. 

Seaver struck out 13 Reds, a post season franchise record that still stands today. He gave up six hits on the day, while walking no one. It was a fine performance but the lack of offensive support created the end result.

In the 9th Tom Hall (8-5 / 8 saves / 3.47 ERA) started the inning but walked Rusty Staub & was relieved by the Dominican right hander; Pedro Borbon.

Borbon had a spectacular year going 11-4 with 14 saves & a 2.16 ERA. He retired the next three Mets & the game went tied into the 9th inning.

In the bottom of the 9th inning, with one out Seaver gave up the game winning walk off HR to Johnny Bench. It was a devastating blow as the Mets fell behind in the series, one game to none.

Mike Napoli: Former Italian / American MLB Player (2006-2017)


Michael Anthony Napoli was born on October 31st, 1981 in Hollywood Florida. The Italian American would play at catcher, first base & in the outfield, as well as DH. 

He was drafted out of high school in Pembroke Pines, Florida by the Anaheim Angels. 

In 2004 at A Ball he hit 29 HRs with 118 RBIs getting promoted to AA in 1995 where he hit 31 HRs with 99 RBIs.

By 2006 he was on the Angels roster as their main catcher taking over from Jose Molina. Napoli entered the major leagues with a HR in his first career at bat, coming against the Detroit Tigers. Overall in his rookie year he hit 16 HRs with 13 doubles in 94 games, although he only batted .228. By 2008 he brought his average up to .273 and would hit twenty HRs.  

Napoli began a string of hitting 20 or more HRs in each of the six seasons.

He competed for the catching job with Jeff Mathis, although Napoli was a far better hitter than Mathis, manager Mike Scioscia preferred a better defensive catcher. Mathis threw out 25% of base runners to Napoli’s 15%, & the Angels staff had better ERA of almost one run when Mathis was behind the plate. 

Scioscia had a closed door meeting with Napoli about his catching during the summer of 2009. Napoli led all catchers with eight errors in 2009 & his seven passed balls were fifth most in the league. But his power was needed in the Angels line up, and he soon saw more time at DH as well as first base.

In 2010 he had his best Angels season playing in 140 games, with 108 hits, 26 HRs, 68 RBIs, 24 doubles & 60 runs scored. His batting average did fall to .238 & he struck out 137 times (7th in the league). In Anaheim he played in three post seasons, hitting a pair of HRs with four RBIs in the 2007 ALCS against the Boston Red Sox.

In January 2011 he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays along with Juan Rivera for Vernon Wells. Four days later he was sent to the Texas Rangers for Frank Francisco. Napoli would share time during the regular season behind the plate (61 games) with veteran Yorvit Torrealba (98 games).

Napoli would play at first base as well as designated hitter and have an incredible year at the plate. He hit .320 although his 369 at bats did not qualify him in the batting leaders, he hit 30 HRs (10th in the league) with 25 doubles & 75 RBIs playing in 116 games over all. He saw more playing time behind the plate in September & by the post season he was the Rangers main backstop.

Post Season 2011: In the 7th inning of Game #3 of the 2011 ALDS he hit a two run HR off Tampa’s Dave Price putting the Rangers ahead 2-1, in a game they would win 4-3. In the Series he batted .357 (4-15). 

He had a good ALCS against the Detroit Tigers as well, batting .292 with an RBI & six runs scored.

2011 World Series: In the World Series he became a household name & a Texas baseball legend as the fans in the Dallas / Fort Worth metroplex chanted Napoli -Napoli!! In Game #1 he hit a two run HR off Chris Carpenter to tie the game at two, although Texas went onto lose 3-2.

In Game #4 he greeted new pitched Mitchell Boggs with a tremendous three run HR in the 6th inning sealing the Rangers 4-0 win, tying the series at two games each.

 In Game #5 he came to the plate in the bottom of the 8th inning with the bases loaded & the score tied 2-2. Napoli lined a double to centerfield scoring two runs, leading the Rangers to a three games to two series lead.

In the classic Game #6 he broke a 4th inning 2-2 tie with an RBI single, overall in the series he lead all teams with 10 RBIs. He batted .350 (second for Texas behind Ian Kinsler) with seven hits & two HRs.

In 2012 Napoli returned with a one year deal to avoid arbitration. He  played in 108 games, slugging 24 HRs but his average fell to .227 with 56 RBIs. Texas lost their hold on first place in the final days of the season & lost the first round of the new one game Wild Card Playoff.

For 2013 he signed on with a one year deal for the Boston Red Sox, as the teams primary first baseman. Napoli was second to slugger David Ortiz on the club in HRs (23) & RBIs (92). His 38 doubles were tied with Ortiz for best on the Sox team. Napoli also went down swinging 187 times.

Post Season 2013: In the ALDS against the Tampa Rays he went just 2-12. In the ALCS he was the hero of Game #3 at Detroit, hitting a HR off the Tigers' Justin Verlander, while scoring the only run of the game in John lackey's 1-0 victory. 

In Game #5 he hit a HR off Anibal Sanchez in the Red Sox three run 2nd inning.

In the Red Sox World Series win over the St. Louis Cardinals, Napoli drove in three runs with a double in the Game #1 Red Sox 8-1 victory. He would get just one more hit in the five game series, an RBI single in the clincher game five.

That December he signed another deal with Boston for 2014. In 2014 as the Red Sox fell to fifth place, Napoli struggled all year with injury & sleep issues. He broke his finger in a game against the Chicago White Sox & it plagued him all season. Overall that year he hit .248 with 17 HRs 20 doubles & 55 RBIs.

Napoli suffered from sleep apnea &  under went facial reconstructive surgery to cure the issue up. 

"I've been dealing with sleep apnea for a long time, my whole career. I've tried numerous things and none of them worked. Dental mouth piece, CPAP machine, medicines ... It's just gotten to the point where I have to get this done." The procedure was a success & Napoli moved on.

But 2015 started out just as bad, in 98 games with the Boston Red Sox he hit just .207 & was traded to the Texas Rangers in August. He was used mostly against left handers during his second stint with the Rangers, batting .295 with 5 HRs 10 RBIs in 35 games. After the season he signed a deal with the Cleveland Indians.

Napoli with his Mom
Family: Napoli has a very close relationship with his mother, Donna, who raised him & his brother. "It's a strong relationship, ever since I was a little boy," said Napoli. "My mom worked two jobs to make sure I had everything -- me and my brother. She always made sure I was at practice on time. She made sure I had the right equipment. There's a real strong bond between me and my mother." 

Trivia: He sports a tattoo of her hand written signature in a rose on his arm. She joked she was honored, but with all the other ink on his arm, it's camouflaged.

Party at Napoli's: Napoli was a great success for the first place Cleveland Indians helping them get to the World Series. The popular Napoli inspired a Cleveland fan from Parma, Ohio to come up with a t-shirt slogan "Party at Napoli's" after hearing about the famous bash at his place after the Sox World Championship. 

The shirt was give to him as a present & when Napoli was seen on a post game interview wearing it, demand was outstanding. The shirt raised $150,000 in monies that went to the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital.


In just his second game in a Cleveland uniform, he hit a 7th inning HR at Cleveland to help defeat his former Boston Red Sox team mates. The first HR of his season came off Junichi Tarzawa proved to be the game winner breaking the 6-6 tie. 

He closed out April with 4 HRs & 11 RBIs. He had a huge May driving in 25 runs while hitting 7 HRs. At the end of the month through June 12th he drove in runs in 14 of 19 games while hitting safely in 17 of 19 games. On June 2nd, his 9th inning sac fly was the walk off game winning heat, to beat the KC Royals in a come back Indian win.

He closed out July starting a 16 game hits streak, in that stretch he hit HRs in five straight games & drove in ten runs as well. On August 11th he had a four hit, four RBI day including a three run HR in a 14-4 win over the LA Angeles.

He closed out the season having the best year of his career, having career highs in HRs (34) RBIs (101) bits (133) runs (92) games played (150) & matching his walks total (78). His veteran presence among the young players speaks way beyond the big numbers he put up. 

Quotes: Terry Francona- "The numbers are really good, but all of the other things aren't overstated. I mean, what he's done is legit, and it's powerful. Sometimes you just get lucky along the way where you get pretty special people and you try to take advantage of it."


Post Season 2016: In the ALDS Napoli helped his Indians surprise the Boston Red Sox with a three Game sweep of the series. He went 2-12 in the series with a Game #1 double.

In the ALCS he was quiet for the first two games against the Toronto Blue Jays. But in Game #3 at Toronto, he started out with a 1st inning RBI double & then made history in his next at bat.


He broke a 1-1- with a 4th inning HR that made him just the fifth player in MLB history to hit HRs for four different teams. The Indians went on to a 4-2 win & a commanding 3-03 series lead. They won it in five games, as Napoli went on to his third World Series in just six years, all with different teams.

After the winning the AL pennant early & having a few off days, Napoli encouraged his team to celebrate in Las Vegas but that was rebuffed by management. 

2016 World Series: In the World Series against the Chicago Cubs, Napoli got a hit & scored the second run of the series in Game #1. In Game #2 he got two hits in the 5-1 loss. As the series moved to Wrigley Field, everyone was looking for a high scoring affair, as  the Cubs hosted a World Series game for the first time since 1945.


But Napoli saw the winds blowing in & told his team mate Andrew Miller that he predicted they would win 1-0 that night. Sure enough Napoli was right as the Indians won a 1-0 squeaker over the Cubs.

He was upset he did not get the start in Game #4, but did come in later to finish it out as the Indians took a 3-1 World Series lead. In the Game #5 loss he got a hit in the 7th inning & represented the tying run, but was left stranded on base.

In 2017 he signed a one year deal with the Texas Rangers, for a second go around. He hit 29 HRs & drove in 66 runs but hit just .193. He signed a minor league deal back with the Indians in 2018 but after tearing his ACL it eventually led to his retirement later in the year.

In his twelve year career Mike Napoli has been to three World Series, playing in eight post seasons batting .234 with 8 HRs & 29 RBIs.

Overall in his career he played for four teams batting .246 with 267 HRs 224 doubles 744 RBIs a .475 slugging % & a .346 on base %. He has been a catcher, a first baseman, out fielder & DH.

Family: Napoli had been linked to a realation ship with model Alison McDaniel. He then was  dating nursing student Sophia Phalen.

Oct 30, 2019

Phil Regan: 2019 Mets Pitching Coach

Philip Raymond Regan was born April 6th 2937 in Ostego, Michigan. The six foot three right handed ptcher, began a long baseball career, getting signed by the Detroit Tigers in 1956. He would debut in 1960 & spend six seasons in Detroit as both a starter & reliever going 42-44 with a 4.50 ERA. In 1963 he won 15 games (10th most in the AL) for the 5th place Tigers who won 81 games.

In 1965 he asked the Tigers GM to be traded, he was soon sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Dick Tracewski. He landed on one of the best teams in baseball, with a pitching staff of Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Don Sutton & Claude Osteen.

He became a full time relief pitcher, leading the NL in saves (21) & games finished (48) going 14-1 with 1.62 ERA with 88 strike outs 116 innings. It was here he was known to "swoop in" a game & earned the moniker the Vulture. 

He earned both the Comeback Player & Reliever of the Year Awards.  He would win 13 straight decisions that year & two more starting the next season to give him 15 straight winning decisions. He pitched two scores innings n the World Series loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

After going 6-9 with six saves for the 1967 Dodgers who finished in 8th place, he rebounded in 1968 leading the league in saves (25) & games finished (62) going 12-5 with a 2.27 ERA. That year he earned victories in both games of a double header against the New York Mets.

He was traded to the Chicago Cubs along with former Met Jim Hickman for Ted Savage & Jim Ellis. He won 12 games (12-6) for the '69 Cubs who lost their first place lead to the Amazing New York Mets. After parts of four seasons wit the Cubs, he closed out his career across town with the White Sox.

In his 13 year career he was 96-81 with 92 saves. Posting a 3.84 ERA with 743 Ks & 447 walks in 1372 innings of work in 551 games, 105 starts & 289 (133rd all time) games finished.

Retirement & Coaching Career: After his retirement, Regan began his long career in coaching. He started out near his home in Michigan where he coached at Grand Valley State University (1973-1982). His first major league coaching job was with the Seattle Mariners (1984-1986). 

In 1985 he was suspended for two games, after he bumped umpire Derryl Cousins during a brawl between the Mariners & the California Angels.

From 1987-1992 he was an advanced scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers. In the late 1980's he managed in the Dominican league winning a Caribbean World Series. Starting in 1989 he managed for twenty years in the Venezuelan Winter League. 

He then went on to the Cleveland Indians as pitching coach in 1994 & again in 1999. In 1995 he managed the Baltimore Orioles but was fired after the strike shortened season & was replaced by Davey Johnson. He moved on to coach for the Chicago Cubs (1997-1998).

In 2009 he began his coaching in the Mets organization with the St. Lucie Mets. He held that position for seven years through 2015. 


He was then promoted to minor league pitching assistant coordinator. He helped tutor the great Mets young arms of Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler & Steven Matz. 

The players developed a strong relationship with their mentor & it turned the staff around when he was promoted to the Mets "interim" pitching coach, replacing Dave Eiland in summer 2019.

Since Regan took over as pitching coach, his starters ranked first in the NL in ERA & his relievers ranked third in ERA during the second half of the season.

R.A. Dickey: 2012 NL Cy Young Award Winner (2010-2012)

Robert Alan "R. A." Dickey was born October 29, 1974 in Nashville, Tennessee. He majored in English Literature with 1 3.3 GPA at the University of Tennessee, before getting drafted by the Texas Rangers in 1996.

That year he was a member of the US Olympic baseball team that won a bronze medal at the summer games in Atlanta. Dickey was the winning pitcher in two of the games.

The Intelligent right hander was offered a contract over $800,000 until a doctor noticed his arm hanging in an odd way. An x-ray found a missing ulnar collateral ligament and the Rangers lowered their offer to $75,000.

Doctors said he shouldn’t be able to turn a door knob let alone, pitch in the major leagues. Upset & angry he found a spiritual enlightment and moved on. He began a minor league career that lasted straight 14 seasons where he pitched at least three games at the level every seasons.

Dickey made his MLB debut in Texas on April 22nd, 2001 finishing off an 11-2 win over the Oakland A's pitching one scoreless inning. He made four appearances & was sent down to AAA Oklahoma in early May. 

In 2002 he pitched 38 games making 13 starts going 9-8 for Buck Showalter's fourth place Rangers. The next year he pitched 25 games going 6-7 with limited success. He pitched just nine games the next year & was back in the minor leagues.

He eventually realized his forkball pitch which he called “the thing”, was actually a hard knuckle ball. He realized he needed to perfect the knuckler to stay in the major leagues.

In 2006 the Rangers gave him a shot to show off his new knuckleball, but he hadn't perfected it yet. He allowed six HRs in his first start of the season, tying fellow knuckle baller Tim Wakefield’s MLB record.

He pitched just the one game in Texas & then spent the entire year at AAA Oklahoma going 9-8. He was granted free agency at the end of the year & then signed with the Milwaukee Brewers to a minor league deal.

His new knuckle ball was successful as he went 12-6 with a 3.80 ERA at AAA Nashville, winning the Pacific Coast League’s Pitcher of the Year Award. He would get drafted away from the Brewers, as a Rule V pick by the Seattle Mariners. In 2008 in Seattle he went just 5-8 with a 5.21 ERA.

On August 17th he set an MLB record with four wild pitches in a single inning, during a game against the Minnesota Twins. In the inning he allowed two runs on a single, with two walks, a passed ball the four wild pitches & retired one batter.

The record tied a mark with Hall of Famers Walter Johnson & Phil Niekro. After one season with the Mariners he then signed on with the Minnesota Twins.

In 2010 he was signed by the New York Mets and began the season at AAA Buffalo. On April 29th he allowed a single to the first batter he faced then retired the next 27 batters in a row, for a one hitter. He was 4-2 with a 2.23 ERA by May when the Mets brought him up to their staff.

He made his debut against the Nationals earning no decision after pitching six innings allowing only two runs. Dickey then went on to win his first six decisions as his knuckleball surprised all N.L. hitters. He was 6-2 at the All Star break posting a 2.62 ERA.

On August 13th he pitched a one hit shutout at Citi Field against Cole Hammels & the Phillies. He pitched another complete game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in mid September for his 11th victory on the year.

He struggled the rest of the way taking losses in his last three decisions of the year, although he only allowed one run in seven innings against Milwaukee on September 27th.

He finished up 2010 with the best year of his career & as a pleasant surprise on a disappointing Mets team; he was 11-9 with a 2.84 ERA (7th best in the N.L.). He pitched in 27 games, posting 174 innings & striking out 104 batters while walking only 42. 

At the plate he was one of the leagues better hitting pitchers, batting .255 with two doubles & five RBIs.

He began the 2011 season, pitching in the third game of the season earning a win against the Florida Marlins allowing just one run in six innings. He then lost his next five decisions, finding himself 1-5 with a 5.08 ERA by mid May.

In early June he had some success, pitching into the 8th inning twice allowing one run against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field earning a win. But he then allowed three runs to the Pirates in Pittsburgh, taking a loss.

Dickey’s 2011 wasn’t going as successful as 2010, by mid August he was 5-11. He closed out that month, pitching seven shutout innings against the Florida Marlins in the second game of a double header, earning a win. He won his first two starts in September as well, highlighted by tossing seven shutout innings in Florida beating the Marlins 1-0 on September 7th. 

On September 24th Dickey earned no decision in a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies where he threw seven innings while allowing just a run.

He ended the year at 8-13 with a 3.28 ERA striking out 134 batters with 54 walks in 208 innings of work. On the mound he led all pitchers with 58 assists.

In 2012 Dickey started the second game of the Mets season beating the Atlanta Braves. He had a solid April going 3-1 then went on a roll from there. On May 6th he pitched eight solid innings, allowing just one run on four hits against the Arizona Diamondbacks for his fourth win.

He rolled through the month undefeated, finishing up May at 7-1. At the end of the month he was the N.L. Pitcher of the month with two outstanding performances that week. He struck out eleven Pirates in Pittsburgh on May 22nd, followed by a ten strikeout performance at Citi Field on May 27th against the San Diego Padres.

In June he would be even better, winning the Pitcher of the Month Award going 5-0 with a 0.94 ERA.

On June 7th Dickey pitched a complete game shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals, striking out nine Cardinals lowering his ERA to 2.69. On June 7th the Mets were 1.5 games behind the Washington Nationals, surprising everyone with their winning.

But after losing two straight from the Nationals they were in jeopardy of a sweep. Dickey ended any chance of the Nats sweep by throwing 7.1 shutout innings earning win number nine.

On June 13th Dickey took the mound in Tampa Florida, he allowed a first inning single to B.J. Upton on a ball David Wright failed to play cleanly. No one thought about it, as Dickey went about his business.

He went on to retire the next the next twenty two batters until Elliot Johnson reached on an error in the ninth. In the inning there were two passed balls & a run scoring ground out. He finished the game with a one hit 9-1 victory, while striking out 12 batters.

He established a Mets record of 32.2 scoreless innings besting Jerry Koosman's old record from 1973. The Mets attempted to appeal the official scorer's decision on ruling Wright's play a hit, but MLB denied the appeal. 

Dickey entered his next start, by having only allowed one earned run, with three walks & 50 strikeouts over his five previous starts.

On June 18th he went out & pitched another one hitter, this time a shutout, striking out a career high 13 Baltimore Orioles at Citi Field. He became the first NL Pitcher since 1944 to throw back to back one hitters. He had now won six straight starts, winning nine straight decisions, while becoming the first pitcher in the league to reach eleven victories.

Another amazing stat has Dickey being the only pitcher in MLB history to throw back to back one hitters & have over ten strikeouts in each of those games. In history only Nolan Ryan & Sandy Koufax have ever thrown one hitters in the same season.

He was named to the 2012 NL All Star team, but did not get the start which angered a lot of Mets fans as manager Tony Larussa went with San Francisco's Matt Cain. Dickey came in to pitch a scoreless 6th inning, allowing a base hit in the 8-0 National League win at Kansas City.

Quotes: Hall of Fame Pitcher and fellow knuckleballer Phil Niekro commented on Dickey's 2012 performance saying "I had a few streaks, but nothing like he’s going through.

I don’t know if any other knuckleballer has ever been on a hot streak like he has been. He is just dynamite right now." Mets manager Terry Collins also stated he never saw anything like the streak Dickey was on in June.

The Mets quickly faded away from the race after the break with a long losing streak, broken up by Dickey as he beat the first place Nationals on July 19th in Washington. 

In August he went 3-2 highlighted by two complete games, both against the Marlins. On August 9th at Citi Field he struck out ten Marlins becoming the first pitcher to toss four complete games on the year.

 On August 31st, he pitched a complete game shutout in Miami string out seven, becoming the first Mets pitcher since Al Leiter to win 17 games in a season. 

On September 5th he earned win #18 beating the Cardinals in St. Louis. He then lost his next two starts & it was looking doubtful he would reach twenty wins. But as usual he bore down winning #19 on September 22nd at Citi Field.

On September 27th he took the mound at Citi Field & pitched into the eighth inning, striking out 13 Pittsburgh Pirates, allowing three runs on eight hits. He earned the win becoming the first Mets pitcher since Frank Viola to win twenty games.

Dickey ended the year at 20-6 (second in the NL in wins) while leading the league in strike outs (230) starts (33) innings pitched(233) , batters faced (927) complete games (5) & shut outs (3).

His fielding was also excellent, posting a .933 fielding %, second in the league in assists (44).

In September Dickey who entered the last year of his contact- along with the clubs best hitter David Wright, said he would only sign an extended contract if the team aggressively perused Wright.

In December he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays along with Mike Nickeas, as the Mets decided to go with youth, getting Top prospects Travis d'Arnaud & Noah Syndergaad along with veteran John Buck.

In Toronto he debuted on Opening Day taking a loss to the Cleveland Indians, allowing four runs on five hits in six innings. He was 0-2 before earning his first win, which was a 3-2 victory at Kansas City where he pitched into the 7th inning. On April 18th, he shut out the Chicago White Sox for six innings, striking out seven batters for his second win.

On May 14th, he struck out ten Giants during an interleague game going six innings in a Blue Jays 9-6 win. On May 20th, he earned his fourth win pitching eight innings to beat the Tampa Rays 7-5.

The Blue Jays season did not go as expected, with injuries & lots of struggles. Dickeys year went up & down as he pretty much stayed at .500 all season. 

On June 5th, he had one of his best games with Toronto; pitching a one hit shut out into the 9th inning. He left the game with one out finishing up a two hit shut out win over the Giants in San Francisco. 

In July he got to the .500 mark (8-8) but then lost three straight & had to play catch-up once again. He did, finishing up the year winning four of five decisions, while going to the 8th inning three times. 

On September 22nd, he took a loss to the AL Eastern Champion Red Sox but struck out a season high 11 batters. He finished the year winning a Gold Glove & leading the AL in starts (33) going 14-13 (8th most wins in AL) with 174 strike outs 70 walks & a 4.27 ERA in 217 innings. He allowed 35 HRs which was second most in the AL.

In 2014 he was pretty much at .500 most of the year, earning wins followed by losing decisions. The Jays had a fine season, contending for a playoff spot into September, Dickey along with Mark Buehrle led the pitching staff.

From August 20th through the end of the year he went 4-0 pitching into at least the 6th inning every time, giving three seven inning outings as well. 

He ended the year at 14-13 with a 3.71 ERA and pitched 215 innings for the 4th straight year. He led all pitchers in hit by pitches (14) & served up 32 HRs (3rd most in the AL).

In 2015 the Blue Jays won the A.L. Eastern Division, with the help of AL Sluggers Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion & Jose Bautista, along with trade deadline acquisitions David Price & Troy Tulowitzki. 

Dickey went 11-11 behind Buehrle, Marco Estrada & Drew Hitchinson. Dickey posted a 4.00 ERA & pitched over 200 innings (209) for the fifth straight year.  He struck out 123 batters & walked 61.

Post Season: Dickey pitched Game #4 of the ALDS earning no decision in the 8-4 win at Texas over the Rangers. He allowed just one run & struck out three in 4.2 innings of work.

2015 ALCS: In the ALCS against the Kansas City Royals, he took the Game #4 loss serving up two HRs, four hits & five hits in just 1.2 innings of work.

In 2016 the Jays returned to the post season, winning the wild card as well as the ALDS losing to the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS.

In the regular season, Dickey now a late rotation starter, took a back seat to twenty game winner J.A. Happ (20-4) & 15 game winner Aaron Sanchez (15-2). His best performance was a three hit eight inning shut out over Texas on May 13th. He did not pitch in the post season. & wasn't on the post season roster.

He signed on with the Atlanta Braves in 2017 going 10-10 with a 4.26 ERA. He struck out 136 batters in 190 innings in 31 games.

He had offers but chose to retire after the season, finishing up a 15 year career going 120-118 with a 4.04 ERA.

He struck out 1477 batters while walking 663 in 2073 innings in 400 games. He made 300 starts & 15 complete games.

At the plate he was a .169 hitter with 16 career RBIs & 45 hits.

Personal: Off the field he is a born again Christian, married with four children. His favorite hobby is reading, he is notorious for having a stack of books in his locker at all times.

In 2012 he wrote a book of his own about the amazing journey of his life where he found success as well as God in his life.

He mentioned being sexually abused when he was 8 years old by a 13 year old girl who was baby sitting him. He later was abused by a male as well. He also admitted to attempting suicide. The book called Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest or Truth, Authenticity & the Perfect knuckleball.

The book was a huge success & inspiration to many, in a season where he personally found the most success of his own career.

His story has become an inspiration to many people. He has made rounds doing interviews in the baseball world, Christian publications, & television shows, including a stop by on David Letterman. Even Forbes magazine did an article on how C.E.O.'s can learn from Dickey's book to make a successful company.