Saturday, June 09, 2012

Mariners History

The date was June 2, 1990.  I was a high school senior, just about to graduate and for a couple weeks had plans with a few friends to go to the Mariner's game.  Randy Johnson was going to be on the mound.  It was ladies night, and none of us goofballs had any hope of picking up any ladies, but all signs still pointed to an enjoyable evening.  Well, game day rolled around and I called up my buddies and we were all a little tired and didn't feel too much like going, so we skipped it.  Later that night I turned on the news to see highlights of Randy Johnson throwing the first no hitter in Mariner history.  For 22 years I've been kicking myself, but tonight I finally got to witness a no hitter. This wasn't a conventional no hitter, it took the Mariners 6 pitchers to pull it off, but it still goes in the record books - the Dodgers didn't manage a hit.

I didn't go to the game expecting to see anything historic, although does anybody?  I was just looking forward to seeing the Dodgers.  The first baseball game I ever went to was a Dodger game.  I was just 5 years old when I visited the friendly confines of Chavez Ravine and although I don't remember who played, where we sat, who I went with other than my parents, if it was sunny or cloudy, or any other details of the game, I've been a Dodgers fan since.  All I really remember is the feeling of being overwhelmed by what a spectacular place it was.  Sadly I haven't been back since.  My only opportunity to see my beloved Dodgers in person these days is to wait for them to come up to Seattle.

Anyway, back to tonight, starting in the 4th inning I began to give updates every inning that 'the no hitter is still in effect'.  My friend kept telling me to stop saying anything because I'd jinx it, but not believing in jinxes I continued my updates.  So when Kevin Millwood left the game with a minor groin pull after the 6th inning, I took the blame.  Sorry Millwood, it's on me.  From there, Charlie Furbush came in and got a quick out and then coaxed the second batter he faced into hitting a routine comebacker, which he then wheeled and fired into the dirt in front of first base, turning an easy out into a 2 base error.  He struck out the next batter and was replaced by Stephen Pryor who closed out the 7th inning. 

Pryor walked the first 2 batters of the 8th inning and was replaced by Lucas Leutge who recorded one out before yielding to Brandon League.  League quickly retired the next two batters, and Tom Wilhelmsen pitched a 1, 2, 3 9th inning for the save.  According to ESPN, this is just the 10th combined no hitter in major league history, so I'm pretty happy about getting to witness it.  This is a story I'll be able to tell for days to come.  By my estimates it will take approximately 5 days for people to start telling me to shut up and that they don't want to hear about it.  I'd like to think that this win will light a fuse in the Mariners and that they will make a playoff run, but I have my doubts, so I'm just going to soak it all in while I can. 
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