Via his Instagram, Matt Harvey announced his retirement from Major League Baseball.
Last seen as part of Team Italy in the 2023 World Baseball Classic - replete with excellent mustache - Harvey had not pitched on a big league mound since the 2021 season.
When looking at Harvey’s overall numbers with the Mets - a 34-37 record, a 3.66 ERA, a 104 ERA+ - they can look pedestrian. But to be a Mets fan during the Matt Harvey era tells a vastly different story.
Harvey’s 2013 season, as being revisited by our Dave Capobianco, was one of the most magical and exciting times to be a Mets fan in the 21st century. 2013 featured so many moments that will stick in the collective Met unconscious forever: “Harvey’s Better,” the All-Star Game, the bloody nose, the Atlanta doubleheader with Zack Wheeler, John Buck’s arm draped over Harvey in the dugout.
Beyond 2013, Harvey was a part of the incredible ‘five aces’ era, along with Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Wheeler, and Steven Matz. His performance in Game 5 of the 2015 World Series, with the team on the brink of elimination, was one of the gutsiest performances in team history. Mets fans all have memories of going to a game where Harvey shoved, or watching him pitch in a bar full of cheering fans, or rubbing it in your Yankee-fan friend’s face that Harvey was the biggest star in New York. When he was at his best, Harvey changed the conversation around baseball.
Of course, Harvey’s story as a Met didn’t have a happy ending, and his post-Mets career did not go the way he, or anyone, could’ve hoped. But nothing will ever take away the excitement, energy, hope, and enthusiasm, that Harvey brought in his early years in Queens.
We will have more to say about Harvey in the coming days and weeks, both as Dave’s series continues, and as a Patreon-exclusive podcast over at Home Run Applesauce, but more than anything else, we want to wish Harvey well, and thank him for the memories he provided as a Met.
There will never be another Dark Knight.
His statement reads as follows:
April 19, 2013: A game I will always remember. I haven’t gone back to really feel or relieve some of the highest moments pitching in the big league, especially for the New York Mets. But this particular game hits me extremely hard, making this a very difficult thing to write.
I pitched to win. To fire up my team and more importantly, to fire up the fans in a city that I’ve always loved.
It is one of those feelings you know will never go away. It’s something that will last forever, and will continue to be there to provide so much excitement for everyone.
There is nothing I loved more than getting out of a tough situation in the 7th or 8th inning, to finally let the emotions out, knowing I did absolutely everything I could to help my team win, and to give a powerful fist bump and a scream!
That day will forever stay in my dreams. I know I pitched well and we were on our way to a win, and as I’m sitting in the dugout, all I hear is the chants overtaking Citi Field.
Even with aspiration to be great, or even the best, a moment like that hits your soul. It was a moment of success. I never wanted it to end.
I worked extremely hard for those moments with the mindset of bringing our team to a different level. With all the amazing memories came a lot of injuries and tough times. The realization that those amazingly powerful moments that make me thrive as a pitcher and help my teammates and city win are no longer possible.
Believe me I wish I could have done more and brought more of those amazing moments back to life.
I have to say this is my time to say thank you, and goodbye.
To my family and friends: you kept me going and fighting, and gave me so much love along the way. I may not have shown my appreciation at the time, but I appreciate each and every one of you, so incredibly much.
To all my teammates and organizations who welcomed me: I fought to win and to fight with you more than you will ever know.
To the fans, most importantly the NY Mets fans: you made a dream come true for me. A dream I never could have thought to be true. Who would have thought a kid from Mystic, CT would be able to play in the greatest city in the world, his hometown. You are forever embedded in my heart.
Goodbye, Baseball. And thank you.