Regular readers of Paper Treiger have probably noticed that posts about my personal experience are relatively few and far between (as blogs go). In general, I try to focus on news, headlines, and information freely available over the internet, make a comment, add a twist, and hit publish.
Today, I experienced the headlines first-hand. Proof*:
There’s not a lot about this game that hasn’t been said elsewhere, but many of those words were written by people who experienced it vicariously, and pertain almost exclusively to events that took place on the field. Since the odds are overwhelmingly against your ever enjoying a perfect game in person, I thought it couldn’t hurt to toss a few first-hand experiences onto the pile.
Much of what you’re about to read is already available in 140-character pieces to the right of this article, but the odds are overwhelmingly against your ever noticing them – plus those tweets will soon be relegated to the dustbin of history (that is, they will become unsearchable in a matter of days). Here, they take the form of bullet holes, in homage to Jeff Sullivan at Lookout Landing, because how else do you recap a baseball game?
- It almost didn’t happen. The original plan for today was hiking (the original plan for every day is hiking), but after a last-minute switch in doctor appointments, we ended up sticking around and headed to Safeco. Special thanks to my brother, who chose Seahawks training camp over the 12:40 Mariners game.
- Unfortunately, I can’t say I saw all 27 outs. We arrived in the Mariners’ (that is, bottom) half of the first inning, so I didn’t even see the only well-hit ball Felix gave up all day, to Rays’ leadoff hitter Sam Fuld. Had that hit fallen in, and even had Felix retired batters 2 through 28, it would have changed everything. And while I would have seen the exact same number of consecutive outs, I probably wouldn’t be writing about them at 2 o’clock in the morning. Baseball’s arbitrary start and end points are ultimately meaningless. Whatever. Perfect game!
- Maybe because I missed that fly ball, I first got the tingling that the game might be something special as early as the third inning, when I also happened to first get the tingling that I could really use a trip to the men’s room. Fortunately, the game lasted under two and a half hours, so I managed to hold out and avoid missing any more of the game than I already had.
- Of course, every Felix Day has the potential to be something special, but he was pretty clearly in control of the game from the first pitch. There are some perfect games that happen by accident. This game did not happen by accident. Don’t be surprised if Felix throws another – or two – of these before he’s done.
- At Safeco, shit happens. Literally. The last time I went to a game, a guy in the row in front of me got pooped on by a seagull – and then got pooped on again a few minutes later. In the seventh inning of today’s game, it was my turn. I was too nervous to care – and more than happy to soak up the bad luck.
- After the eighth inning, the Safeco Field speakers played ‘Another One Bites the Dust’, which I’d been singing for innings. Have your people talk to my people.
- Poor Hannah (pictured above) had some trouble reading the scoreboard, and so was probably the only person in the stadium with no idea she was witnessing a perfect game until after it was over. Of course I didn’t tell her – jinxes and whatnot – but even without my help, she had no trouble figuring out that Felix is really good. I think she mentioned that at least once an inning. Take-home message: Felix is really good. Also, Felix is ours and you can’t have him.
- On second thought, that deserves its own bullet hole: Felix is ours and you can’t have him.
Finally – these would be the final bullet holes, but WordPress can’t deal with pictures and videos in that format – here’s what the final out looked like from the stands. I tried recording the whole 9th, but the memory card ran out of space after one batter, so I erased video of the earlier batters to make room:
(Youtube somehow noticed the camera was shaky, and offered to fix it – which I’d never seen before – but its attempt seems to have made things worse. No matter: you get the idea.)
Of course, that celebration doesn’t compare to this footage of the AA (Mariners affiliate) Jackson Generals celebrating the perfect game during pre-game practice:
And finally (for real), I couldn’t help but notice the Mariners PR staff try to pull one over on those assembled:
‘In Mariners history’? Hardly.
It’s like they think we can’t remember all the way back to April 21.
*I guess that first picture didn’t really prove anything, so further documentary evidence:
I don’t know why people feel the need to zoom unnecessarily. So unnecessary! Zoom out, and maybe I’d use your picture as something more than secondary proof.