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All Teams Know 'L' In Leiter

Phoenix - Al Leiter didn't fulfill a lifelong dream

Tuesday night when he disposed of the Arizona Diamondbacks and became the only

pitcher to beat all 30 major-league teams. But he can appreciate that he stands

alone in at least one statistical category.

Leiter didn't know what he had accomplished until he returned to his hotel

room that night and switched on the television. At first, he didn't know what

to think. Leiter has done just about everything during his 13-year career -

pitching for the Yankees, Blue Jays, Marlins and Mets - and this was difficult

to categorize.

"This was it," Leiter joked. "It was Hall of Fame, Cy Young, world

championship and beat every team." Kidding aside, it still was noteworthy.

Manager Bobby Valentine said he would offer Leiter the lineup card from

Tuesday's 10-1 win. Leiter sounded as if he would accept.

"I'm not going to get too excited about it," Leiter said. "It's not

something to shoot for. After realizing I did it and I'm the only one in the

history of the game to do it, I'm proud and appreciate Bobby for doing that."

Asked about its significance, Leiter turned a little more reflective.

"Probably longevity, perseverance," he said. "All the stuff I've been

through. There was a time I was thinking I wouldn't even get back, let alone

pitch 11 years later. After my second surgery, I never thought I'd amount to

much."

Leiter may not hold the distinction much longer. Four other pitchers have

defeated 29 of the 30 teams, but only one has a legitimate shot at matching him

in the near future. Randy Johnson (Arizona) and Hideo Nomo (Dodgers) have

beaten every team but their own, and Ken Hill is retired. The Dodgers' Kevin

Brown only needs Tampa Bay, and Los Angeles will face them this year in

interleague play.

"Maybe they should contract right now," Leiter said, "so I can keep it."

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