How cool was that? And on Jacinto Day too!
In the small case you haven’t heard, yesterday, Saturday, April 21, 2012, Texan Philip Humber pitched the 21st perfect game in major league baseball history going back to the 19th century. For those who don’t know, a perfect game is one in which a pitcher faces and retires every single batter he faces in a regulation game. Yesterday at Seattle, pitching for the 4-0 victorious White Sox, Humber faced 27 batters in the regulation length 9-inning game, retiring all he faced on ot plays without any batter reaching base by any means.
The game ended dramatically on a “go get it” play.
With two out down in the bottom of the 9th inning for the Seattle Mariners, pinch hitter Brendan Ryan was rule to have gone around on an attempted checked swing at strike three. The problem was – the ball got away from White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski – throwing the door open for the batter to reach first base on a missed third strike catch of the play for the final out.
“Go get it!” Humber yelled at his catcher. And as A.J. was running the ball down before the stunned batter Ryan could take flight as a runner, Humber yelled an addendum to Pierzynski as the catcher reached for the rolling ball several feet behind and to the right of home plate:
“Now throw him out!”
And so he did. Throw him out at first, that is. And the deed was done. Now Philip Humber’s name joins one of the most select lists in the great hall of very special baseball attainments.
In 2003, Sophomore Phillip Humber pitched the decisive third complete game victory for the Rice Owls as they flew to the NCAA baseball championship over Stanford, 14-2. Now, in 2012, he stands tall as a reminder of why those who accomplish great things are most often those who have proven their metal on the way to glory.
Humber was drafted by the New York Mets in 2004, but the road has been bumpy since the days of his collegiate success. After several major league stops as he was trying to break in, Humber finally landed with the White Sox. As of yesterday, he is now listed high in that club’s book of greatest franchise achievements.
Congratulations from all your fellow Texans too, Philip Humber! We are all proud of you and happy for you. Any Texas baseball fan who isn’t excited for you doesn’t deserve to be counted. Remember that. Remember the Alamo. And Remember too – you did it on San Jacinto Day.
Getting Perfect Game 21 on 21 April isn’t too shabby a numerical connection on Memory Lane either, come to think about it.