A Day of Perfection: Philip Humber

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The Seattle Mariners and Chicago White Sox played a semi-rare day game on Saturday April 21, 2012.  The game was televised by what we call “big FOX” in the world of sports television.  (Simply put it was on the local FOX affiliate – channel 13 in Western Washington).  In other words, I had the day off from work.

So what did I do on this beautiful sun kissed day?  I went to the game… as a fan.  It was the second time I had done this in a week.  Either my life is seriously getting one dimensional this time of year or I love the game.  I hope many of you think the latter of the two.  But this didn’t just start out as “some regular game”… it started out as the first Mariners game my girlfriend and I ever attended together.  It was special from the get-go.Image

Some of my friends have called me the biggest Mariners fan they know.  I take that as a very nice compliment.  I too consider myself a huge fan; entrenched with Mariners baseball in both my personal and professional life.  Unfortunately, I also live, breathe, and mourn their flaws collectively as a ballclub.  Am I shocked the Mariners were no-hit?  Not one bit.  As bad as this offense has been, I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner.  They’ve dodged bullets but on this day, amongst 22,472 fans in attendance, Philip Humber diced the Seattle Mariners. The time of game reads 2:17 but this flew by.  Humber threw a gem and this lineup collectively was outmatched from the words “play ball”.

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But rather than harp on the “suckitude” that is seeing your team lose, and lose in this fashion, there is a part of me that says “Wow!”  I’ll likely never see this outcome happen again in-person.  There have been 21 perfect games in major league history and I was in attendance for one.  I heard today there have been more than 600,000 MLB games played…. wild!

It’s a roller coaster of fandom emotion when seeing this happen to your team.  One emotion says “Man, I don’t want this to happen to my team”, another says “I could witness history today, they’re losing… why the heck not.  Good luck, Humber”.  I’ve never rooted for the Mariners to lose and I can’t see how I ever will.  But on this day, a special afternoon, if they were going to lose… I made peace with the fact that I wanted it to be a loss of unique history.  And that happened.

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I will never forget this game as long as I live for multiple reasons.  My girlfriend and I shared a special moment in our relationship with the most unlikely outcome to ever happen in a baseball game.  She’s incredibly special to me… but I didn’t know she had this kind of flare for the dramatic; it was entirely her idea to go to this game – she gets all the kudos in the world.

Congratulations to Philip Humber.  He pitched a helluva game, was incredibly humble about it all and will be a proud papa for the first time in roughly two weeks (his wife is due May 8th).

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Historical nuggets:

–          First no-hitter at Safeco Field

–          Third time ever the Mariners were no-hit

–          First time the Mariners were ever involved in a perfect game

–          Three “kinds” of no-hitters vs Seattle:

  • 1st: (4/11/90) Angels – was a combined no-no with Mark Langston (7 IP) and Mike Witt (2 IP) pairing up
  • 2nd: (5/14/96) Yankees – Dwight Gooden threw all 9 frames but walked six
  • 3rd: (4/21/12) White Sox – Humber perfect game
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