June 6th, 2012
I always believed there were three reasons that we attend sporting events in no particular order:
1. To root on your favorite team.
2. To watch a good game in the sport that you follow.
3. There’s always the possibility that you could witness something great.
A couple of weeks ago, my friends and I decided we would attend last Friday night’s St. Louis Cardinals – New York Mets game at Citi Field. My friend Tom is a huge Cardinal fan and the girl I brought to the game is from St. Louis. So there takes care of the rooting for your favorite team part.
For me and my two other friends who attended, we were just looking for a competitive baseball game. That took care of the good game part. Then came the something great part.
As we all know by now, Met pitcher Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in Met history on Friday night. I never in my life attended a no-hitter. I saw Chris Carpenter one-hit the Milwaukee Brewers in Milwaukee three years ago, but that was the closest I got.
It was truly an amazing experience. It was one of those games where because the Cardinals had runners on quite often because of walks, you had no idea Santana had a no-no going. It wasn’t until about the seventh inning that the crowd started to realize what was happening.
Once the Cardinals went down in the seventh without a hit, the crowd started to become electric. There were 27,069 fans in attendance that night, but it felt like 54,000.
By the time the ninth inning rolled along, there wasn’t a person sitting in the house. I was sitting in the 10th row of section 126 and if I sat down for two seconds, I couldn’t see a thing.
When Santana struckout David Freese to end the game and complete the no-hitter, the crowd erupted as if the Mets just won the World Series. Part of it was due to Santana and what he has been through in a Met uniform and the other part was a sense of they finally did it. The Mets finally threw a no-hitter.
I always thought too much was made of the Mets never throwing a no-hitter. No-hitters are as much about luck as they are about skill. Some of the greatest pitchers in the game have never thrown a no-hitter, but yet Philip Humber has a perfect game to his credit.
Mets have had some great pitchers come there way — Tom Seaver, David Cone, Dwight Gooden, Jerry Koosman, Pedro Martinez, and Tom Glavine all pitched in a Met uniform and never had a no-hitter. Juan Nieves of all people has a no-hitter.
Of course there was a little bit of controversy in the game when Carlos Beltran hit a ball down the left field line that appeared to hit the chalk, but the third base umpire called the ball foul. Yeah it was a big deal, but I feel at the same time it wasn’t. I feel like every no-hitter or perfect game is filled with some controversy. There’s always a ball that is hit that is ruled an error and in Humber’s case, the home plate umpire said Brendan Ryan went around a check swing when I don’t even think Ryan swung the bat. It happens.
Controversy aside, Friday night was a night I will never forget. I witnessed history.
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