Pitcher Don Cardwell, Member of '69 Miracle Mets, Dies at 72

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- Don Cardwell, a right-handed pitcher who authored a no-hitter two days after being traded, and later helped propel the New York Mets down the stretch to an NL pennant and eventually into the 1969 World Series, has died. He was 72.

Cardwell died Monday morning at a nursing facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina of Pick's disease, a form of dementia, according to his wife, Sylvia.

Cardwell pitched for five major league teams from 1957-70, finishing with a 102-138 record and a 3.92 ERA. He threw 17 shutouts, picked up 7 saves -- and hit 15 home runs.

When the Mets overtook the Chicago Cubs to reach 1st place in the National League East after 7 seasons of bouncing in and out of the National League cellar, they received a boost from Cardwell, 33 years old and in his 13th major league season.

Cardwell was 3-9 in late July, but he won 5 consecutive games -- throwing 28 consecutive scoreless innings during that span and allowing only one run. He finished the season with an 8-10 record and pitched a scoreless inning of relief against the Orioles in the only World Series appearance of his career.

After beginning his career with the Philadelphia Phillies, Cardwell was traded to the Chicago Cubs in May 1960. Two days after the deal, he tossed a no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals.

His best season was with the Cubs was 1961, when he went 15-14 with a 3.82 ERA and a career-high 156 strikeouts. He was traded to the Cardinals the following year, but was dealt to Pittsburgh a month later without ever pitching for St. Louis.

Cardwell ended his career with the Atlanta Braves in 1970, pitching in 16 games.

After retiring from baseball, he was an executive for auto dealerships in Winston-Salem.

Survivors include his wife, Sylvia; three children, five grandchildren and three sisters.

Courtesy The New York Times and Yahoo!