At the age of 40, Octavio Dotel has announced that he has retired from baseball. He last played early in the 2013 season. Twenty-one years ago, the Mets signed Dotel, a Dominican pitcher who was then a 19-year-old. He will always stand as a part of one of the most memorable games in franchise history.
Dotel's first major league start came on June 26, 1999, against the Braves, with the opposing pitcher just happening to be future Hall of Famer Tom Glavine. Dotel didn't last long, allowing six runs and five hits over four-and-one-third innings as the Braves won 7-2. He'd win his next start against the Marlins—a 12-8 Mets win—despite giving up five runs and six hits over five innings.
That's what you got with Dotel during his year as a Met. Some days he would show the promise of being a somewhat decent part of the rotation, but other days he would get shelled. He was later moved to the bullpen in favor of the team's more veteran arms.
For everything Dotel may or may not be remembered for as a Met, he'll be remembered as the winning pitcher in the memorable "Grand Slam Single" game on October 17, 1999. In that one, he came on in the thirteenth inning and allowed one run on four hits over three innings of work, with the run scoring in the top of the 15th on a Keith Lockhart RBI triple. The rest is history.
That turned out to be Dotel's final game with the team as he was traded with Roger Cedeño in the offseason to the Astros for Mike Hampton and Derek Bell. He'd go on to play for a total of thirteen teams over the course of fifteen seasons, won a World Series with the Cardinals in 2011, and was part of Houston's combined no-hitter of the Yankees on June 11, 2003. And for his career, he had a 3.78 ERA and struck out batters at a rate of 10.82 per nine innings.