The Perfect Outing

David Turk
Guest Contributor

Being an avid sports fan (and pretty decent athlete), and living in a big city like New York, I have a few HUNDRED pretty amazing stories.  When anyone asks me about epic events I have had the pleasure of attending, one of the first that comes to mind is the perfect game David Cone of the Yankees hurled against the Montreal Expos, now the Washington Nationals.

Having been frustrated by my inability to ever attend a Yankees Old Timers Game, the gold standard by which all collections of former ballplayers are measured, I was stymied once again in 1999 when the game sold out quickly months before the season started. There was no obvious resale/third-party market for tickets at that time, so I opted instead for the next best thing: the date the Bombers set aside to honor Yogi Berra, arguably the most successful catcher in major league history (ten World Series rings help add to his resume).  

Throwing out the first ball that day was none other than Don Larsen, the only player in history to throw a perfect game during the Fall Classic, tossing the ball to Yogi himself. It was a sweet and poignant reunion, 43 years in the making. Two old men, reliving one of the most famous moments in sports memory, played when they were relative kids.

A few minutes later, Cone picked up the ball and threw his masterpiece, only the 16th to ever occur (at the time) in the 125 years of major league baseball, holding the Expos without a hit and allowing no walks, the Yanks committing no errors, hurling an unheard of measly 88 pitches. History repeated itself, with Larsen and Berra watching nearby, a spectacular bookend to one of the greatest ballgames in all sports history.

That was a story to remember.

Footnote:  Of course, my good luck charm, son Dylan, seven years old at the time, was by my side.  If you ever want something miraculous to take place at a ballgame, bring this kid along. His unbelievable good fortune in these situations is the thing of legend.

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