USA Today Sports Bartolo Colon

Bartolo Colon was 40 when he signed with the Mets in December 2013. He had played with seven franchises in 17 years. Coming off an 18-win 2013 season in Oakland, Colon proved he still had gas in the tank. The extent of that fuel was unclear, but the Mets rolled the dice on "Big Sexy" with a two-year, $20 million contract.

No one could have expected the past three seasons. Although not close to his best statistical stretch, Colon went 44-34 in Queens. He won at least 14 games, struck out at least 6.0 batters per nine innings and had an ERA of no higher than 4.16 in all three seasons. He made an All-Star Game, pitched in a World Series and actually started the most games for the Mets in each of the past two seasons, despite the team's reputation for having a young pitching core.

And of course, he gave us highlights. A ton of highlights. Colon, the oldest player in baseball at 43, is on to his ninth team, the Braves, after reportedly agreeing to a one-year, $12.5 million contract (pending a physical).


It took nearly two decades for Colon to find his defining team in New York. Now he leaves the Mets to rely on its youthful pitching staff, but he gave the baseball world these 10 incredible moments (mostly hitting).

10. The Double (June 18, 2014)

For his first career extra-base hit, Colon tagged a Lance Lynn fastball down the left field line. After chugging into second, he scored on an Eric Young Jr. double. Out of breath back in the dugout, Colon was fanned down by teammates.

9. The Career-High Hit (Aug. 31, 2015)

Colon ripped his seventh hit of the 2015 season up the middle for an RBI. The smash set Colon's career-high for hits in a season. He maxed out at eight. This was one of four RBI Colon had in 2015.

8. The Loose Helmet And Bat Carry (May 28, 2014)

In one of his early games as a Met, Colon swung so hard, his helmet nearly slipped off his head. Then, after hitting a ground ball back to the pitcher, Colon brought his bat down the first base line.

7. The Citizen (Sept. 27-28, 2014)


On Sept. 27, in a most quietly ceremony -- the Mets had no idea -- Colon and wife Paula (who goes by her middle name, Rosanna) became U.S. citizens. The next day, the last game of the season, Colon earned his 15th win of the year and the 204th of his career. Of course, it was his first as an American.

It turns out Colon led a somewhat double life, also having two children with a Washington Heights woman, Alexandra Santos. Santos took Colon to court on child support-related claims, as reported last May. Colon and Rosanna, married 21 years, have four children.

6. Passing Pedro (May 2, 2016)

Last May, Colon won his 220th career game, passing Pedro Martinez for second on the Dominican Republic's all-time list. He did so in strong fashion, striking out seven batters in eight shutout innings. Now with 233 wins, Colon is within striking distance of Juan Marichal's country-record 243 career victories.

5. The Error (May 20, 2015)

Colon has 25 career hits. Yadier Molina has eight Gold Gloves. But in May 2015, Colon got the best of Molina, reaching on an error by the catcher. Colon's death stare back at Molina and his lightning speed down the line helped force Molina to fumble the ball and give Colon first base.

4. The Belly Shake (April 8, 2014)

Colon earned his first Mets win in his second start of 2014, going seven innings and giving up zero runs on six hits. He then proceeded to squeeze and shake his stomach, symbolizing that he would not lose his trademark frame in his three years with the Mets.

3. The Lost Helmet (April 20, 2014)

In his first month with the Mets, Colon lost his entire helmet on a swing. Hypothetically, if Colon plays three to five more seasons and makes it to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, his Cooperstown plaque should be the image of Colon's helmet falling off.

2. The Behind-the-Back Flip (Sept. 5, 2015)

In September 2015, the Mets were surging to the top of the NL East, going 22-10 from July 31-Sept. 4. Colon's only complete game in orange and blue, a 7-0 win that Colon finished on exactly 100 pitches, came during this stretch. But the game is not remembered for Colon going the distance. It is remembered for Colon dancing off the mound and throwing a behind-the-back strike to retire Marlins first baseman Justin Bour.

1. The Home Run (May 7, 2016)

Gary Cohen summed this up the best, announcing, "This is one of the great moments in the history of baseball," as Colon crossed home plate. The Spanish call was great too. What a time.

Before joining the Mets, Colon had only pitched 17 games for a National League club, spending the second half of 2002 with the Expos (in one of the more underrated trades in MLB history, the Expos sent future All-Stars Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore and Brandon Phillips to the Indians as part of the deal). Colon had never hit a home run in his first 19 seasons. But at 42, he became the oldest player to blast his first career home run, teeing off James Shields in San Diego. The Mets went into the clubhouse, giving Colon the silent treatment.

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