For six seasons, I covered short-season Single A baseball.
The team I covered was the farm team of the Detroit Tigers. That team has since left my area and moved to another place. It’s a shame, too, being the long history. Alas, that’s six years ago now, so have to move on, right?
In those years, I never had the chance to cover a no-hitter or a perfect game. The funny part is three times over the time I covered the team, this happened.
Allow me to explain some things, though. Despite it being my beat, I didn’t travel for away games, and we didn’t cover Saturday games (we were a six-day paper). There were also other times that I would get send to cover other things, thus leaving the game coverage to somebody else or nobody at all. I guess that’s the bad part of a small paper and being a person who covered many different things that, well, others didn’t want to cover. So I would get sent.
July 15, 2007.
It was a Sunday. I remember that day well. The Tigers were playing an earlier game (5ish maybe?) and I wasn’t, unfortunately, going to cover the game. Instead, I was sent to cover the national motocross race that comes to our area once a year. Another reporter was sent to cover my beat.
It’s a decision I wish had never happened.
What happened was magical. Guillermo Moscoso, who eventually saw some time in the majors, went nine innings. That, on its own, is something special in the NY-Penn, where pitchers usually have a pretty tight pitch count.
But history was made that night as Moscoso threw just the second nine-inning perfect game in NY-Penn history. There, at that point, were only three total (including Moscoso’s) in league history. The last one had been a seven-inning perfecto, thrown by somebody in the same organization (then with the Yankees) in 1974.
As this was unfolding, I got a call from my editor to tell me. Unfortunately, I was stuck in traffic leaving the motocross and didn’t get back in time to see the ending. Didn’t matter anyway as it would have still annoyed me that I was at a motocross that day and not covering … my beat. Unfortunately, the beat was always treated like I would have liked, but that’s water under the bridge.
Then in 2008, the chances were there once again. Not for a perfect game, this time, but still.
On June 21, the Tigers were no-hit by the Tri-City ValleyCats (three pitchers). That game was at home, but it was on a Saturday, so…
Just nine days later the Tigers returned the favor, this time to the Lowell Spinners. Three pitchers combined for a 2-1 no-hit victory in seven innings. Alas, the game was on the road, so once again…
To be fair, I once covered a perfect game in high school softball. I actually think I may have covered two. But it’s not the same. Not one bit.
The perfect game was on my beat and I was sent somewhere else. Nothing I can do now, but looking back, it definitely stings knowing how fun it would have been to be keeping book, taking notes and snapping a few photos as the game went on. Maybe one day I’ll get to see one in person. Maybe not. But I’ll always remember the one I missed.
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