David Cone played for both of the New York franchises, and earned a reputation as being the pitcher that a team needed to make it to the World Series.
David Cone was a batter's worst nightmare, some nights needing only his 90+ MPH fastball to dominate an opposing lineup. His real strength, however, lay in his command of an array of pitches and his ability to throw them at a variety of speeds. At any point in an at-bat Cone was capable of pinpointing a cut fastball, slider, curve, changeup, or his lethal split-finger, which he used as his out pitch. At times he seemed able to invent pitches on the spot when the situation demanded. "David knows how to get guys out even when his arm feels like crap," said Yankee teammate Tino Martinez. "Sometimes, his stuff looks terrible out there, but he keeps putting zeroes on the scoreboard." With such a deadly arsenal at his disposal, Cone led the major leagues in strikeouts three straight years from 1990 to 1992. On September 10th, 1991 he tied a National League record (since broken by Kerry Wood) when he fanned nineteen Philadelphia Phillies in a nine-inning game.
In addition to his pitching success, Cone's mischievous manner and engaging personality made him a favorite with both fans and the press. More than a few fans dubbed themselves "Coneheads" and showed up at Shea Stadium wearing the cones of the eponymous Saturday Night Live characters. During the 1994 baseball strike, Cone became one of the players union's most active and visible members, testifying before Congress in January of 1995 against baseball's Antitrust Exemption. Describing his union ties, Cone said, "I guess it kind of stemmed from my father. He was a union guy working for the meat plant down in Kansas City. He was a union guy, and I guess it was just in my blood."
David Cone came back from injuries to lead the Yankees in pitching in 1998 when the team won a league record 114 games. He pitched a perfect game against the Montreal Expos in 1999.