RIP Pedro Feliciano
Eduardo Perez announced the shocking and sad news that former Mets reliever Pedro Feliciano died in his sleep. While the cause of death was not known, we do know on the eve of what proved to be his final MLB season, Feliciano was diagnosed with a non-life threatening heart condition causing an irregular heartbeat.
We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Pedro Feliciano. ?https://t.co/Y1DARwiMbc
— New York Mets (@Mets) November 8, 2021
The irony is with the New York Mets you never had to question Feliciano’s heart. The man was always at the ready, and it would eventually lead to him being dubbed by Gary Cohen as Perpetual Pedro. Time and again, Feliciano took the ball, and he would deliver.
With the passing of Feliciano, the Mets have lost the greatest LOOGY in team history. He may go down as one of if not the best ever. Consider that in a two year span he made more appearances than any left-handed reliever had made in MLB history. In fact, he was the only MLB reliever in history to put up three straight seasons with 85+ appearances.
The reason this happened was because Feliciano was both great and durable (just don’t tell that to the New York Yankees). He was almost always great. Case-in-point, in his first ever postseason appearance, he relieved John Maine in the fifth inning of the first game of the 2006 NLDS to strike out should be Hall of Famer Kenny Lofton to escape a jam and help the Mets win the game.
Overall, he had a 1.93 ERA that postseason getting the Mets out of a number of difficult spots. Feliciano would actually be the winner of the series closing Game 3 of that NLDS. That would make him the very last Mets pitcher to win a clinching game in the Shea Stadium era of the franchise.
He is a figure who should have a much higher stature in franchise history than he already has. In fact, only John Franco has appeared in more games as a reliever. Feliciano’s .212 batting average against and .263 wOBA against left-handed batters are the best in franchise history, both by significant margins.
When we lost Feliciano, we truly lost a great Met. In many ways, he was the quintessential Met. This was a player overlooked by everyone else, and he went out there and gave it his all. He was truly great at what he did even if the fame he should have received was fleeting. While there were other stops, at least in terms of the Major Leagues, Feliciano was only a Met.
May God bless Feliciano and his family. While that certainly includes the millions of Mets fans now in mourning, that especially applies to the wife and children who lost a great pitcher and better man.