03/30/2011 02:31 pm ET Updated May 30, 2011

End of an Era: Mike Hampton Retires

I remember the Mets acquiring Mike Hampton just like it was yesterday. I was 12-years-old and on vacation in Cancun, Mexico with my family for Christmas break. Before we hit the beach, my brother and I decided to watch a little ESPN, dubbed in Spanish of course, to see what was going on in the world of American sports. When we found ESPN on the television, the news ticker flashed an unthinkable message: "Mets trade for pitcher Mike Hampton." Mike frickin' Hampton. The thought of adding an "ace" to the likes of Al Leiter, Rick Reed, Glendon Rusch, and Bobby Jones immediately bestowed confidence in a team that had, for the majority of my life, let me down. In my mind, Mike Hampton was more than just a left-handed pitcher who had won 22 games the year before with the Houston Astros -- he was a savior. Read the rest of this article at Rising Apple.