Cone did his best Don Larsen impersonation in front of the Yankee legend.
July 18, 1999 was tagged Yogi Berra Day, but by the conclusion of the game, David Cone owned the afternoon and the Montreal Expos' lineup. Cone retired 27 consecutive batters to pitch the third perfect game in the history of the Yankees and the organization's second in a little over a year.
"It's an honor," Cone said. "All the Yankee legends here today. Don Larsen in the park. Yogi Berra Day. It makes you stop and think about the Yankee magic and the mystique of this ballpark."
Cone's timing was impeccable, as Larsen, the only player to throw a perfect game in the World Series, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to his former batterymate and stayed to watch the newest member of an elite group earn his stripes.
"I'm glad I finally got a chance to see one," Larsen said. "I never saw mine." Larsen etched his name in the record books on October 8, 1956. Last season on May 17, David Wells pitched a perfect game against Minnesota.
Larsen greeted Cone in front of his locker after the game, but only after Boomer phoned Cone to congratulate him and "welcome me to the club." Although he said he "Didn't want to upstage anybody," Cone captured the spotlight quickly, striking out the side in the third inning.
At 36, Cone has made up for raw strength with heart. Last year he won 20 games for the second time in his career, 10 seasons after doing so as a New York Mets, the longest span any pitcher has gone between 20-win seasons.