Tag Archives: Toronto Blue Jays

A Precursor to Greatness

One of my very first sports memories is the very first no-hitter in Seattle Mariners history. June 2nd, 1990. Randy Johnson, against the Detroit Tigers.

I was five years old and quite possibly the biggest little Mariner fan in the world. I wore a royal blue cap emblazoned with the team’s familiar gold “S” every single day (seriously, there are very few pictures from my childhood where I’m without that hat). The M’s were my entire being at that point in my life. I could name all the players on the team right down to the most obscure: Bryan Clark, a veteran relief pitcher; Dave Cochrane, the ultimate utility player; Jeff Schaefer, another utility man who was so irrelevant he would later be replaced on the front of his 1992 Donruss card by a picture of Tino Martinez. And of course I had my favorites, too: Ken Griffey Jr., Alvin Davis, Edgar Martinez, Omar Vizquel, and yes, the six-foot-ten-inch southpaw, Randy Johnson.

We didn’t always stay all nine innings back then. I was young enough to necessitate an early bedtime and my brother was even younger, so attending a full game was, for us, as rare as a no-hitter. But on that particular day I was fortunate enough to be in attendance at the ballpark along with my dad. And we weren’t leaving until the final out was recorded.

Through the fog that shrouds the memories of childhood, I remember standing and cheering during the ninth inning. We were in our usual spot in the Kingdome, 300 level, first base side. When Tigers catcher Mike Heath swung at a high fastball to end it, everyone on hand went nuts. There hadn’t been much to cheer about in the annals of Seattle Mariners baseball and this was one of the franchise’s first noteworthy triumphs. It was a memorable evening, one nobody in attendance would ever forget.

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The J.A. Happening

You don’t like J.A. Happ. There are any number of reasons why you don’t like him. He’s a 32-year-old journeyman starting pitcher. His statistics are as mediocre as they come. Physically, he’s as unintimidating as a six-foot-five-inch human being can be. He only weighs 205 pounds for Christ’s sake. Eat a burger, Happ. Stop making the rest of us fat asses feel bad. And then there’s his head shot. I mean, just look at the guy:

happ

Remove the cap and that could be anybody. That could be your doctor, your accountant, your lawyer, the guy taking your order at Applebee’s, a serial bank robber, a high school math teacher, a U.S. senator, a creepy dude with seven or eight cats, your next-door neighbor, a soccer dad driving a Ford Windstar, and the list goes on.

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