N.Y. Times: No-Hit Catcher Almost Missed It

We'll always remember Johan Santana for throwing the first no-hitter in New York Mets history.

But at least one man will always remember Josh Thole for catching the first no-hitter in New York Mets history ...

Josh Thole, who almost wasn't behind the plate Friday night. Thole sustained a concussion on May 7, and Friday night's appearance was his first since then. And according to Thole, he almost didn't make it. From the Times:

Manager Terry Collins had nearly persuaded Thole to play one more minor league rehab game.

"T.C. tried to talk me into it, actually," Thole said of Collins at his locker about an hour after he embraced Santana on the mound at Citi Field. "He asked, ‘Are you sure you’re ready?’ I said, ‘I’m ready. That’s it. I think I can handle it.’ "

Regardless of the talents of the Mets' other catchers, it's safe to say that with any other catcher Friday night, the no-hitter wouldn't have happened. The pitches called would have been at least slightly different, and the result might have been a bloop single or a few line drives and a three-run home run. We can't know exactly what would have happened without Thole, but we can almost know that Johan Santana would have allowed at least one hit.

Read the whole piece, and find out how Santana (and Thole!) got the Cardinals in the ninth inning.

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