NEW YORK – Matt Harvey, the brash, fireball pitcher who assumed a superhero persona when he rose to prominence in Queens and then tumbled to death amid injuries and controversy, retired from professional baseball on Friday. was announced.
“Goodbye, baseball. And thank you,” Harvey posted on Instagram with a lengthy caption reminiscing about his career and thanking his family, friends, fans and former teammates.
A first-round draft pick by the Mets in 2010, Harvey charmed New York three years later, going 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA in 26 starts and starting the All-Star Game at Citi Field. It appeared frequently on gossip pages. of the city’s tabloids. That summer, he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated under the title “The Dark Knight of Gotham,” coining a nickname that would last for the rest of his career.
Longtime Mets teammate David Wright was interviewed by phone Friday. “Every five days something special can happen, so you can’t miss it.”
But Harvey’s story quickly became one of lost potential, having undergone Tommy John surgery in August, missing the entire 2014 season, and publicly discussing details of his rehabilitation with team officials. Did.
The following year he returned to the mound with renewed success as part of a wave of young pitchers that included Jacob deGrom, Zach Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard and Stephen Matz. Initially hesitant to pitch in the postseason, Harvey eventually responded, relentlessly, with the best performance of his career. His eighth inning in Game 5 of the World Series against the Royals was scoreless. However, a decision by manager Terry Collins, at Harvey’s urging, to leave him in his ninth place resulted in a two-run loss, leading to the defeat.
“I know it ended badly, but he pitched in that ninth inning,” Mats said, recalling Friday in St. Louis. “He was such a fun guy to watch and watch him compete. It was fun to watch.”
Looking back, that night was the climax of Harvey’s career. His 2016 campaign became a shell of what had been before, and it became clear around midsummer that he needed surgery to remove his ribs and alleviate symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome. Harvey never fully recovered. With his speed waning, he produced a 6.70 ERA the following season and was traded to Cincinnati in 2018, where he began the process of bouncing back to five teams in four seasons.
In Anaheim, Harvey was embroiled in controversy after Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died of an accidental overdose in 2019. His testimony was given during the trial of former Angels employee Eric Kaye. was given to Harvey.
In 2021 Harvey returned to Citi Field for the first time as an opponent and received multiple standing ovations. He pitched in Baltimore’s minor league system in 2022, but he never returned to the majors and became a free agent last November.
Harvey’s last move in high-level competition was pitching for Team Italy in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. There, he found enough success to entertain the idea of a comeback, but two months later Harvey announced his retirement.
He finished his major league career with a 50-66 record, a 4.42 ERA, and 867 strikeouts in 966 1/3 innings.
Harvey wrote on Instagram, “To all the fans and most of all to the New York Mets fans, you made my dream come true. I never dreamed my dream would come true. Mystic, Connecticut. Who would have imagined that a native boy could play in his hometown, the biggest city in the world, you are forever embedded in my heart.”