Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Top 10 MLB Games I Have Seen

How do you possibly compile a list of games that you've seen without forgetting some or ranking them out of order of importance? You don't. I'll try anyway. Brian, at 30-Year Old Cardboard, issued a challenge to bloggers to compile such a list. Here is my attempt.

April 7, 1994

The Sox are playing the Cubs in an exhibition game, when Chicago gets its first look at Michael Jordan playing baseball up and close. Jordan did not disappoint, going 2 for 4 with a run-scoring double. If the strike did not happen in 1994, there was a possibility of MJ being called up in September. Chicago was abuzz and my friends and I could not get enough.

April 13, 2009

Jermaine Dye and Paul Konerko do the impossible by becoming the first teammates to hit their respective 300th career home runs back to back. After seeing that happen, I thought anything was possible for the season.

September 11, 1985

For the first time in my lifetime, a seemingly impossible record fell. It wouldn't be the last time that happened, but this was the game that made me stand up and take notice of modern ballplayers and how they could have a lasting impact on the history of the game.

April 18, 2007

Mark Buehrle faces the minimum 27 batters to record his first no-hitter. Sammy "The Cheat" Sosa spoils the perfect game with a walk, but promptly gets picked off first base by one of Buehrle's superb moves. My mom and I cheered almost as much when Sosa got picked off as when Buehrle won.

May 6, 1998

This was the official start of Kerry Wood mania in Chicago. There was nowhere anyone could escape to where you didn't run into someone with a Wood jersey. This began an expectation of near impossible odds that Kerry never quite matched. It remains one of my favorite Cubs related memories.

May 8-9, 1984

The longest game innings-wise in MLB history ended with a Harold Baines home run and a save by Tom Seaver. Seaver went on to win the game scheduled for May 9th, achieving that rare feat of saving a game and winning a game on the same day without the benefit of a doubleheader. Carlton Fisk set a catching record that still stands today of 25 innings caught in a single game. This game taught me to hang on until the bitter end.

September 29, 2008

In a do or die game for the White Sox, Alexei Ramirez unleashed his fourth grand slam of the season, breaking an AL rookie record and breaking the team record for most grand slams in a season. This win helped the Sox towards the playoffs and vindicated a season marred by underachieving.

September 6, 1995

One of the first games I can remember deliberately watching after the 1994 strike, my family and I gathered around the television to watch history unfold. Unlike a phony home run race three years after this, Cal Ripken's moment cannot be tarnished. We saw a great man accomplish the impossible and baseball was OK again.

July 23, 2009

Mark Buehrle leaves out the walk this time. I never thought I'd actually see a perfect game unfold before me, but there it was. DeWayne Wise's catch made my heart stop. I anticipated each bobble with a reserved caution. I could not breathe or the ball would certainly trickle out of the glove. Wise hung on and one of the greatest sports moments that I have ever witnessed came to fruition. It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

October 26, 2005

"Here's the 1–2 pitch to Palmeiro. A ground ball past Jenks up the middle of the infield. Uribe has it, he throws—out, out! A White Sox winner and a World Championship! The White Sox have won the World Series, and they're mobbing each other on the field!" —John Rooney

I was at my Cubs friend's house watching Game 4 of the 2005 World Series, which was the absolute last place I wanted to be. My friend has a nasty habit of changing the channel at key moments because he's bored. That did happen, but thankfully not at any key moments. Since it was just the two of us, I was very reserved. I broke out my celebratory cigar and had to go outside to light it. I quickly left the premises and made the rounds to all my friends that were stuck working. My victory lap was full of smiles and great moments. It has to be the number one moment on this list.

There are thousands of moments that shaped my life in baseball. These are all top 10 worthy. On a different day, the list may play out differently. #11 would be Wilson Alvarez's no-hitter in 1991. I was on the phone with my grandfather for the ninth inning. It was a special time for me because we mostly bonded between baseball, since he lived in Dallas.

Even though I did not attend any of these games, each of these moments helped shape me into the fan that I am today. I guess you could call that better living through television.


'30-Year Old Cardboard said...

Great stuff, Steve! Thanks for sharing.

csd said...

Surprisingly my list would be similar. Same games maybe a little different order. As I was going through though I kept agreeing with you. For me the only difference might be finding a place for Seavers 300th. Maybe even the Andy Hawkins no no that the Sox won. Great list that brings back memories. Ten games is not enough to get all the good ones in.

Steve Gierman said...

Seaver's 300th and the Hawkins no-hitter would both definitely make the top 15. The blackout game would probably make it, as well as Thome's 500th home run.

unclemoe said...

That Kerry Wood game was great. Probably make my list if I decide to do one.


John Sharp said...

Great job, even for a ChiSox fan.

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