On Wednesday night, Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay threw his second no-hitter of the year.
It was the first postseason no-hitter since Don Larson threw a perfect game for the Yankees in 1956, and the last pitcher to throw two no-no's in the same year was Nolan Ryan over 30 years ago.
Halladay had spent ten years struggling with the Toronto Blue Jays in the middle of the American League East Division. He had always been good, but this was his first crack at the postseason. He made it count, throwing only 104 pitches to complete the remarkable performance.
And the win stirred wonderful memories for me...
On Wednesday, Halladay walked one batter. In his previous no-hitter this year, he was perfect.
I remember Halladay's perfect game so clearly. It was May 29th, and the Phillies were playing the Marlins. I didn't watch the game. In fact, I didn't see a single pitch until the next morning. But the perfect game was memorable.
Because I was sitting next to a couple gentlemen from CSN Philadelphia in the press section at the United Center for Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals that night.
My focus was squarely on the hockey game that was about to happen, but these two guys were giving their poor laptops the business. Neither of them was thrilled that, in a city that had won a World Series just a couple years previous and seen the Eagles in many NFC Championship Games (and one Super Bowl) in the last decade, they outwardly cherished the opportunity for hockey to be front page news.
"It's been 30 years and we're going to get buried anyway!" one of the guys exclaimed on more than one occasion.
But here we were, with Halladay putting the finishing touches on a perfect game as the first period got under way.
By the time the Hawks and Flyers had made a mess of the first period of the Finals, these two had checked out. In fact, after the Hawks' second goal, I scribbled on a loose piece of paper "Chelsea Dagger - The Fratellis" and then watched as both of them downloaded it on iTunes.
Now here, on October 6, the eve of the beginning of the 2010-11 NHL season, Halladay once again trumps the Flyers as the top story in Philadelphia and, in this case, the sports world.
I'm gonna throw on some "Chelsea Dagger" and appreciate this accomplishment as much as I did the last one.