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Filling the Void: David Cone’s Perfect Afternoon

On July 18th, 1999, David Cone took the mound after Don Larsen threw out the first pitch to Yogi Berra

Yankees Nostalgia Train by MTA is licensed under CC 2.0

Filling the Void: David Cone’s Perfect Afternoon

Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Having a hard time with this whole “social distancing” thing? Yeah – us too. Especially when it comes to the lack of sports. So, we here at The Turf thought we’d offer a way to help ease the pain and suffering. While we may not have any of the current sports leagues to watch live, there is PLENTY of archive footage available at our fingertips. We’ve scoured the internet and assembled some of the most iconic, noteworthy and remarkable sporting events we could find. We also found some mundane, run of the mill matches and contests, that seemed banal at first watch. However, at this point, we’ll take anything that resembles sports, right? Each day, we’ll feature one of the contests and provide you a link where you can relive the glory, exhilaration, and thrill from the comfort of your couch.

Today: David Cone spends a perfect afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees came into this Sunday matinee game against the Montreal Expos looking to regain their footing. Coming out of the All-Star break, the reigning World Series Champions just narrowly escaped a three-game sweep by the Atlanta Braves. As the struggling Expos came to the Bronx, the Yankees were looking to expand on their four-game division lead. And David Cone was looking to be the guy to lead them there.

David Cone took the mound after finishing the first half with a tough loss against the Detroit Tigers, who touched up the former 20-game winner for 6 earned runs on 12 hits over 7.0 innings. With his 9-4 record and 2.86 ERA in tow, Cone took the mound, but not before someone else threw the first pitch.

Ahead of the Yankees/Expos Inter-League matchup, Don Larsen threw the ceremonial first pitch to Yogi Berra. The duo took the field to a standing ovation from the 41,930 Yankees fans in attendance. Berra took his place behind home plate, something he did for over a decade in pinstripes, and Larsen strode to just in front of the mound. From those same positions 43 years earlier, Don Larsen threw the only Perfect Game in World Series history, as the Yankees took Game 5 against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Following their lead, David Cone proceeded to pitch a Perfect Game of his own.

The game itself is incredible. So let’s talk about a few things to look out for.

First off, this is a classic Yankees team at the height of their dominance in the American League. The year before – the Yankees put up 114 wins, the most in franchise history, on their way to a World Series sweep of the San Diego Padres. They don’t know it yet, but 1999 would be another World Series Banner year, as they would go on to defeat the Atlanta Braves in October.

However, the more amazing thing about this game is Cone’s performance. Sure, it takes an unearthly talent to throw a Perfect Game, but Cone was on another level completely.

Over the last 56 seasons, there have been thirteen Perfect Games, including Cone’s in 1999. Since Mike Witt threw his on the last day of the 1984 season through today, no pitcher has thrown fewer pitches in a Perfect Game than David Cone.

It took 86 pitches to get all 27 outs needed for Cone’s masterpiece. Even more insane? David Cone never saw a three-ball count all game. The man was locked in, on another planet, playing in a higher league, etc.

On July 18th, 1999, David Cone was perfect. Click the link above and witness it for yourself.

Justin Colombo is a 2017 Broadway Show Softball League All-Star at 3B/SS. He's essentially the Manny Machado of the Kinky Boots team. Justin has been writing about Baseball since he was a little kid. Now that being an actor in NYC has given him a lot of free time, in 2015 he decided to take his passion public and founded Three Up, Three Down as a way to express his love for the game. From there, Three Up, Three Down grew from a hobby to an obsession. After years of growth and one insult from MLB's Historian, Justin launched The Turf, a way to expand into all areas of the sporting world. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. LET'S. GO. METS.

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