Baseball: Young the best of the worst

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The Independent Online
ANTHONY YOUNG, a pitcher for the New York Mets, lost his 24th consecutive game yesterday to break an 82-year-old major league record as the St Louis Cardinals beat the Mets 5-3.

Young was given a loud ovation when he was announced in the starting line-up, and again when he batted in the second inning. His team-mates also seemed to be trying extra hard to finally get him a win. The game started out on a positive note for Young as the Mets took a 2-0 lead in the first inning off Joe Magrane.

But things started to crumble for Young in the fourth inning, and by the end of the game, he had broken Cliff Curtis's record of 23 straight losses for Boston of the National League in 1910-1911.

'I always think this will be the day,' Young said. 'Now that I have the record I hope you all will leave me alone.

'I won't think about it when I leave here. Why keep thinking about it?'

Young has become a fan favorite this season at Shea Stadium, symbolising the futility of the last-placed Mets. He has been sent lucky charms and hundreds of letters. A medium even offered to put Young in contact with Curtis, who died in 1943. Curtis's relatives have expressed sympathy for Young's plight.

'Everything is over now,' he said. 'I'm in the record book.'