Friday, July 24, 2009

The Perfect Game


I think this is the 2nd sports post I've ever attempted, possibly the third. But 30 years from now when I look back at the things I cared enough to write about, I just know that I would be pissed at myself for not having made special mention of Mark Buehrle's perfect game. When it happened, I called my dad and texted my wife. It felt like a once in a lifetime event, not unlike the moon landing I would assume. I think it's safe to say that this was the south side's moon landing. Boy was it huge.

I didn't watch the actual game, I was following the play-by-play online. I wasn't listening to the radio or any commentators, but when I noticed that we were in the sixth inning without allowing any hits, I perked up. Bill Gallo and I started talking about it online. It was possible. He could get a no-hitter. Before we knew it, the 7th inning was over. I started getting butterflies in my stomach. By the time he finished off the 8th, my heart was beating like a double bass drum.

Watching the 9th inning online was very strange. It didn't show exactly what was going on, but it momentarily showed the Rays with a hit. A double. I groaned, shrugged my shoulders and got happy for our win. But in the matter of a minute, everything changed. Out of nowhere, it showed three outs, no men on base, and the hit was no longer on the board for the Rays. What just happened? Did he do it?

I could have turned the radio on at any point after the sixth inning, but I was being superstitious. I really didn't want to jinx anything. So I stayed in my seat all the way to the end. But once the score was final, I ran to the radio. "A PERFECT GAME! For Mark Buerhle!" He did it. I don't know how, but he did it.

I turned the TV on. The news was coming on in 5 minutes, and they would surely have the replays.

Holy Dewayne Wise Batman!

Now, I think that baseball is generally a very boring sport. Games like this are one in a million. But that catch in the 9th inning by Wise was unbelievable. It was like the climax of a baseball movie. You could hear everyone at the park gasp when they ball was hit, silent as it took its downward plunge, but the eruption when Wise came up with it was like a volcano. What a badass catch.

And then hearing Hawk's play by play at the last out. "AlexeeeiiiiIIII!!!"

(pause)

"YEEEEESS! YEEEEEEESSSSS! YYYEEEEEEEEEEEESSSS!!!!!"

Oh my God. It sounded like he was about to cry. I've never heard more emotion in a sports announcer's voice. I loved it.

Boy did it feel good.

When you're raised a Sox fan, you're raised to assume that your team is going to suck. So when something like this happens, you're even more exuberant and joyful. It's not only surprising, it's unbelievable.

But this perfect game has jolted some energy into us Sox fans. We're fueled and ready to win this division now. We're ready for the playoffs. We have Obama behind us, and we don't want to let him down.

All I want to do now is go to a Sox game with my dad and brother. Because sometimes this silly old tradition is just the perfect way to spend our time together.

Go Sox.

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