Mark Buehrle throws a perfect game. I was there.
Also: please read Stompy's take .
A little over two years ago, this happened:
Me: "Yo bros, wanna go to the Sox game tonight?"
Bros: "I'm tired; it's too cold; I have a lot of homework; it's too expensive." Ect.
That was April 18, 2007. Hours later, Mark Buehrle threw a no-hitter. I thought that was the best chance I'd ever have to see one in person. Thanks a lot, bros.
But a funny thing happened Wednesday night: I was so jazzed after watching all of Game 3 of the Sox-Rays series that I asked two of the same friends (Mike and Albe) if they wanted to go Thursday afternoon. It's Thursday, we ain't got no jobs....ain't got shit to do. So let's go to the White Sox game! Turned out to be a Wise move. See what I did there?
We bought the cheapest seats possible - way high in the upper deck - but snuck down to the bleachers immediately with incredible ease. Like a taking candy from a baby. It was there we had a few brews, watched Josh Fields' grand slam (Mike called it), found a couple more friends and hung out with them.
All and all, just a sweet, pressure-free time: Buehrle was cruisin' and it looked like the Sox already had all the runs they would need. Just kick back and enjoy the game, you know?
Then, at 3:24 p.m., probably right around the sixth inning, I got this text message from former fellow TTCS'er Phil Barnes:
"If he throws a perfect game I will kill myself."
Wait, what!? (Phil was supposed to go with us but decided against it at the last minute.)
The Sox were up big and I realized Burls was mowing 'em down the whole time with relative ease, but it wasn't until then that any of us noticed the Rays hadn't even had a base runner yet. Holy hell, a perfect game!?
After the initial surprise, I really didn't get all that worked up. Even with nine or so outs left, I still never thought it would happen, because, you know, nobody throws a no-hitter and a perfect game.
Then, in the eighth, Pat Burrell smashed a grounder down the third base line that went foul by approximately four millimeters. Buehrle proceeded to get him out, and finished up the inning with perfection in tact. It started to feel real. Three more outs.
This situation is always great because it's the only time ever when every fan in the world is hoping their offense makes three quick outs. Step aside, we need more Buehrle!
The Sox' offense listened and got the hell out of the way. Show time.
What happened next was, obviously, pure madness.
Kapler labeled that ball, and I watched as Wise ran back and back and back until he disappeared from my line of vision.
Then the place erupted. Two outs left. Right then and and there, it was pretty much over.
Here's the video Mike took on his iPhone of the final out, which is already tearing up the YouTubes:
Perfect game. Neat.
- This has forever cemented Buehrle as my favorite White Sox player ever and second favorite athlete of all-time, only behind MJ. Derrick Rose, Jay Cutler, Gordon Beckham, Hester, Urlacher, whoever else, good luck gunnin' for No. 3.
- The fact that Buehrle has openly jinxed both his no-hitters is without a doubt the greatest thing of all-time, in the history of the universe. I'm on record many times on this site as strongly believing against jinxes. I feel like you can either believe in VORP or jinxes, not both. God or science, really. Believing in a jinx is just dumb, as Buehrle has now forever proved. I cannot be happier with the way he handles these things.
- If I had to be one baseball player, I cannot think of anyone I'd rather chose than Buehrle. Championship ring, World Series save, no-no, perfect game. Super-millionaire. Real cool dude. Try and top that, please. Best of all, he'll probably be out of the game at 32 - on his own terms - so he can kick it with his wife and kids. Mark Buehrle is the man.
Quick Buehrle story I don't think I've told before
Buehrle lives in Lemont, a suburb (ha!) of my hometown, Orland Park. A few years ago, he went into Jimmy Johns where my friend's then girlfriend was working the register. He ordered a sandwich, then asked if he could have it on rye bread.
"Just so you know, that'll be a dollar extra."
I'm not going to give a 16-year old girl grief for not recognizing Mark Buehrle, but come on, that exchange is pure gold. Literally days before, Buehrle signed a contract for over $50 million! I think he can afford to spare the dollar. I honestly can't even think about this without laughing.
In conclusion, Mark Buehrle rules. Perfect game! Whooo!
Finally, another iPhone capture, this one from Albe:
Yep, I was there.
Now, again, read Stompy.