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Ryan, Seaver, Gooden and David Cone are among the seven Mets pitchers who tossed no-hitters after leaving the team.
Philip Humber is another one. He pitched a perfect game for the Chicago White Sox at Seattle on April 21, and Jered Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels no-hit Minnesota on May 2.
Following the game, Santana addressed his teammates in the clubhouse and thanked them.
"Tonight we all made history," he said. "Yeah, baby! Believe it!"
Back home in Venezuela, Santana's achievement was big news. President Hugo Chavez congratulated the pitcher in a message on Twitter, calling him a "golden left-hander" and "Giant Johan."
"What pride! Long live Venezuela!" Chavez said in the message.
Santana got a warm hand as he headed to the mound for the ninth. He quickly retired Matt Holliday and Allen Craig on shallow fly balls as the roar picked up and fans captured video of it all on their cell phones.
"I was manicuring third base like I was getting ready to make a putt to win the Masters. You don't want to be the guy who kicks one," David Wright said.
With the crowd on its feet, World Series MVP David Freese went to a 3-2 count before his foul tip was caught by Josh Thole, just activated from the disabled list earlier in the day.
Santana pumped his left fist, slammed it into his glove and shouted as Thole showed the ball to plate umpire Gary Cederstrom and then ran toward the mound to hug Santana.
"That was awesome. Short of Tom Seaver, I couldn't think of a better person to pitch the first one," Wright said. "I thought there would be no chance he could finish, based on his high pitch count early on. I don't think anyone had the courage to take the ball from him."
The Mets rushed out of the dugout and mobbed Santana as security guards tackled a fan who ran into the pile. Moments later, the pitcher raised his right arm and saluted the crowd, which chanted his name from the eighth inning on -- then again as fans filed out of the ballpark.
The big scoreboard in center field flashed Santana's picture and read "No-Han."
Lucas Duda hit a three-run homer off Adam Wainwright (4-6) and drove in four runs, tying a career high. Daniel Murphy added three RBIs.
The San Diego Padres, who started play in 1969, are now the only team without a no-hitter.
The Mets' seemingly endless pursuit had become something of an infamous quest, with at least one website dedicated to counting off their total number of games without a no-hitter each day during the season. Radio announcer Howie Rose often did the same when the opposing team got its first hit.
Seaver came within two outs of a perfect game in 1969 and fell one out shy of a no-hitter in 1975, the previous time a Mets pitcher had made it into the ninth without yielding a hit. In the past decade, Glavine and John Maine both got within four outs.
NOTES: Santana's previous high was 125 pitches on Sept. 23, 2008. ... The last Mets pitcher to throw consecutive shutouts was David Cone in May 1992. ... It was the eighth no-hitter pitched against St. Louis, the top-hitting team in the NL this season, and first since Fernando Valenzuela for the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 29, 1990.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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