In baseball, there are those rarified events that make the game so much fun. Triple plays, shutout games. They don't occur all that frequently, which makes them more fun.
Perfect games... are very infrequent. Since the National League was founded in 1876, there have been only 18 games where a pitcher did not allow anyone on the opposing team to reach first base. Not on a wild pitch, not a walk, not a hit... nothing.
Number 18 came yesterday, when White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle hurled one for the ages against Tampa Bay.
I'm not saying no one hit the ball - that isn't true. Matter of fact, the first hitter in the ninth nearly ruined Buehrle's effort by smacking a home run - which was caught by one of the most amazing efforts I have ever seen. Dewayne Wise runs up the wall, catches the ball and pulls it back into the park, loses the ball from his glove, and catches it with his free hand! Awesome!
This from a guy who had previously run into the wall and injured himself. This from a guy who was not about to let his teammate's perfect game be spoiled in the ninth!
That's what makes baseball a team sport, after all. Buehrle's a great pitcher, but he had eight more guys behind him.
I'm not even a Sox fan.
But I am a fan of good - nay, great baseball.
And you gotta admit - that was a game for the ages.
Out of the thousands of games that have been played, there are just 18 perfect ones.
Congratulations, Mark Buehrle.