Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The Best Game I Never Saw

Since my earliest memories after I was released from the womb, I have lived and breathed Yankee baseball.

While Don Larsen's perfect game in 1956 escaped my four year old gaze, the horror of the Maz homer in '60 still resides deep in the troubled recesses of my brain.

For 60 years I have been in search of the true perfect game, not the one with no baserunners from stem to stern but one consumed by an endless frenzy of activity ending in improbable, virtually impossible victory. Each inning replete with triumphs and disasters. A roller coaster ride where, for once, I didn't want to retch at its conclusion.

Last night was such a game. The game I never saw.

Yesterday, I journeyed by car and boat to visit family. Once at my destination, they were my one and only focus. That is apart from my repeated glances at my phone to check the status of the Yanks game with the Twins. It had the unquestionable markings of a debacle as the score climbed to eight against and a mere two in favor. Our starter showered and shaved by mid game. A three game skid an inevitability.

And so, I wandered off to sleep with the foreboding thought that in the morning I would awaken with the uncomfortable belief that the good times for this often glorious squad were coming to a staggering halt.

As is my wont, my reflexive activity on arising is to reach for my phone and go to the ESPN highlights. OMG! 14 to 12 in 10. WTF happened?

It was ridiculous. Didi on a tear, almost single handedly bringing the dead to life. Then the Twins countering, blow for blow, two heavyweights standing toe to toe in the middle of the ring (or, more precisely, diamond).

Finally, Aaron Hicks surely putting a stake through the heart of the enemy, resurrecting his team that had wobbled within but a single out of devastation.

But the boys from Minnesota refused to die, courtesy of Mr. Chapman walking (thrice)on a high wire. And thus did nine end at twelve (for each squad).

A game such as this demanded more heroics, more drama, more angst. 

When two plated for the Bombers in the tenth frame, the fat lady was heard rehearsing backstage. Yet she almost lost her voice, drowned out by the screams of the crowd as Kepler's drive with the bases full and two gone was surely headed for glory.

Until Mr. Hicks, faster than a speeding bullet, laid out in Superman fashion, flying through the air and changing the course of destiny.

The perfect game, perfect in every way. Except one. My eyes never staring in ecstasy or agony. My heart never skipping a beat. My mind never locked into each pitch, each swing of the bat as though the future of the universe was dependent on its outcome. For I enjoyed not one scintillating, terrifying moment of this epic struggle.

Which made it for me just about the most imperfect game ever played.


Michael Gansl said...

Sadly, I missed it too:(

Anonymous said...

I can’t believe you shut the game off at 8-2!

As you can imagine, I was watching and repeating our tongue in cheek phrase, “the Yankees suck”. However I stayed with the game, throughout its ups and downs, going from depression to ecstasy, each and every inning .....till the bitter, I mean ecstatic end! When the ball was hit, seemingly splitting the cf and lf outfielders, my immediate thought was the Twins win 15-14. Holy s..t, here comes Hicks, what a catch, what a game, “One of the best games I ever saw”! Shame on you.

BTW, I’m sure you’re watching tonight’s game which has all the makings of a repeat of last night and now I’ve humiliated you to the point that you’ll have to watch it until we’ll after midnight .



Anonymous said...

8:00pm WARMUPS


Anonymous said...

Hate to add to your chagrin, and entirely grateful for rerun technology to help you through your pain, but even I stayed up through that nail biter!


Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

In your prose and on the road, the Yankees win. Theeeeeeeeee Yankees win.