Fresh off winning the Cy Young Award as the American League's top ace in 1994, David Cone found himself at the White House a few months later making another pitch: Trying to help end the players' strike that had wiped out the World Series.
The baby-faced righty was part of a small group that met with President Bill Clinton and was a key player throughout the negotiations, representing major leaguers at the bargaining table. At one point, players and owners even agreed to shift talks from Washington to New York to accommodate his wedding.
Cone testified today in support of Sotomayor, who ended the baseball strike in 1995.
"A lot of people both inside and outside baseball tried to settle the dispute," Cone said. Her key ruling forced owners and players back to the bargaining table and ultimately brought Major League Baseball back to the nation.
"With one decision Judge Sotomayor changed the entire dispute," he said. "I believe all of us who love the game -- players, owners and fans -- are in her debt."
Cone lost about $570,000 of his $2 million salary because of the walkout. It may have cost him a little more, too — two weeks after the strike was settled, his hometown Kansas City Royals saved money by trading him away.
Cone retired in 2003, leaving with credentials that got him on the Hall of Fame ballot last year. He won 194 games, was a five-time All- Star and played on five World Series champions. He pitched one of only
15 perfect games in modern baseball history, and once tied the then- National League record of 19 strikeouts in a game.
Now 46, Cone remains popular with fans as a broadcaster for the New York Yankees.