DXMachina (dxmachina) wrote,
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Two and Two to Harvey Kuenn...

Forty years ago today, that guy in the icon there pitched a perfect game, his fourth no-hitter in four years. It was arguably the best pitched game in history, taken as a whole. Koufax's opponent, Bob Hendley, threw a one-hitter. It is the only game in baseball history where there was only one hit total. The only (unearned) run was scored without benefit of an official time at bat. Baseball Analysts printed a recap written at the time by the man who was the official scorer, who happens to be the father of the guy who runs Baseball Analysts. There is also Vin Scully's radio call of the ninth inning, which is the perfect announcer calling the perfect moment.

"I would think that the mound at Dodger Stadium right now is the loneliest place in the world. Sandy fussing, looks in to get his sign, "O" and two to Amalfitano. The strike two pitch to Joe: fastball, swung on and missed, strike three. He is one out away from the promised land, and Harvey Kuenn is comin' up.

Sandy Koufax"So Harvey Kuenn is batting for Bob Hendley. The time on the scoreboard is 9:44. The date, September the ninth, nineteen-sixty-five, and Koufax working on veteran Harvey Kuenn. Sandy into his windup and the pitch, a fastball for a strike. He has struck out, by the way, five consecutive batters, and that's gone unnoticed. Sandy ready and the strike one pitch: very high, and he lost his hat. He really forced that one. That's only the second time tonight where I have had the feeling that Sandy threw instead of pitched, trying to get that little extra, and that time he tried so hard his hat fell off — he took an extremely long stride to the plate — and Torborg had to go up to get it.

"One and one to Harvey Kuenn. Now he's ready: fastball, high, ball two. You can't blame a man for pushing just a little bit now. Sandy backs off, mops his forehead, runs his left index finger along his forehead, dries it off on his left pants leg. All the while Kuenn just waiting. Now Sandy looks in. Into his windup and the two-one pitch to Kuenn: swung on and missed, strike two. It is 9:46 p.m.

"Two and two to Harvey Kuenn, one strike away. Sandy into his windup, here's the pitch:

"Swung on and missed, a perfect game.

(Thirty-eight seconds of cheering by the crowd.)

Four No-HittersOn the scoreboard in right field it is 9:46 p.m. in the City of the Angels, Los Angeles, California. And a crowd of twenty-nine thousand one-hundred thirty nine just sitting in to see the only pitcher in baseball history to hurl four no-hit, no-run games. He has done it four straight years, and now he caps it: On his fourth no-hitter he made it a perfect game. And Sandy Koufax, whose name will always remind you of strikeouts, did it with a flurry. He struck out the last six consecutive batters. So when he wrote his name in capital letters in the record books, that "K" stands out even more than the O-U-F-A-X."


You really have to feel for Hendley. It was the best game he ever threw, and he picked the worst possible night to throw it.

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This date is also auspicious in that it was thirty years ago that veejane was born, so happy birthday, vee!
Tags: baseball
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