publisher of the longest running New York Yankees fan site
on the Internet http://www.behindthebombers.com and did the
2000 season update of The Yankee Encyclopedia 5th Edition
published by Sports Publications LLC.
It was a sweltering day at Yankee Stadium. Vendors were selling anything that was wet or cool. Yogi Berra was on hand to be welcomed back to the Stadium that he stood away from for 14 long years and he brought a bunch of his friends with him. The magic was in the air.
Don Mattingly was on hand to honor his one time manager. Holy Cow, the Scooter was present to honor his long time friend and neighbor. Don Larsen was also on hand to honor his one time battery mate. As a matter of fact, Yogi and Don recreated the last pitch of that famous 1956 World Series Perfect Game. Yogi did everything but jump into Larsen's arms.
Then it was time to start the game. Coney was a little shaky in the first inning but he got through it unharmed thanks to a diving catch in right field by Paul O'Neill to rob Terry Jones of a hit.
turned around again. Well, not until the eighth inning, when
Jose Vidro hit a hard grounder up the middle with one out.
Second baseman Chuck Knoblauch, who had 16 errors up to that
point in the season, ran to his right to backhand the ball,
the whole stadium gasped as Knobby pivoted and made a
perfect throw to first baseman Tino Martinez to get Vidro.
Maybe this was Cone's day. Maybe there is something to this
magic." Maybe I was going to witness something I have never
seen before. That proverbial "Great Moment." Cone (10-4),
who got his first shutout in exactly four years, didn't go
to a three-ball count all day and struck out 10.
As Cone dropped to the ground, catcher Joe Girardi ran toward him and tried to shield him from his exuberant teammates. "I have been under a lot of piles," said Girardi, who caught Dwight Gooden's no-hitter in 1996. "I didn't want him to be at the bottom of that. He is more important than I am. I wanted to protect him.
Cone threw 88 pitches, nine fewer than Larsen needed for his no-hitter against the Dodgers. He had pitched three one-hitters in his career, the last on May 22, 1994, against the Angels. He was two outs away from a no-hitter on June 17, 1995, when Texas' Benji Gil singled to break it up. The 36-year-old Cone became the second oldest pitcher to throw a perfect game. Cy Young pitched one in 1904 at 37.
Fans sensed the possibility of perfection in the seventh inning. After Cone got Wilton Guerrero to ground out to third, he got ahead of James Mouton 1-2. With the fans on their feet urging Cone on, Mouton swung through a nasty slider that broke more than one foot off the plate. "I kind of fought the feeling," Cone said. "I said I'm not going to try to get cute now. I said in order to get through the game, I had to get through the sixth and seventh quickly." Cone used the same pitch to get Rondell White to end the seventh, setting off the first of many standing ovations. The free-swinging Expos made Cone's job easier, getting out early in the counts. Cone did the rest with a biting slider and a hopping fastball. "This is a club that can be aggressive," Girardi said. "We wanted to go right after the hitters to keep his pitch count down and keep him fresh." With his wide assortment of arm angles, Cone simply overwhelmed a lineup that had never faced him before.
"We had no history to talk about or to help us come up with anything," Expos manager Felipe Alou said. "He hit every spot today with a lot of different pitchers." Cone twice had long breaks between innings but didn't appear fazed. After a five-run second inning by the Yankees off Javier Vazquez (2-5), Cone came back and struck out the side on 12 pitches in the third. After a 33-minute rain delay with one out in the bottom of the third, Cone needed only seven pitches to get through the fourth. "He didn't leave anything over the middle.
could feel his heart "pounding through his uniform" when he
took the mound in the ninth inning. All of Yankee Stadium
was on its feet. Don Larsen himself was sitting behind home
plate. All in all, a perfect day to pitch a perfect game and
that's exactly what he did. Cone dazzled the Montreal Expos
with a wide assortment of pitches, throwing the 14th perfect
game in modern history to lead the Yankees to a 6-0
Notes: Yankees pitched three no-hitters at Yankee Stadium from its opening in 1923 through 1982: Monte Pearson against Cleveland (1938), Allie Reynolds against the Indians (1951) and Larsen. Since then there have been five: Dave Righetti against Boston (1983); Jim Abbott against Cleveland (1993); Gooden, Wells and Cone.
It was the first perfect game against the Expos and fourth no-hitter. Larry Dierker pitched one for Houston on July 9, 1976; Bob Forsch did it for St. Louis on Sept. 26, 1983; and Tommy Greene did for Philadelphia on May 23, 1991. It was the 651st inter-league game. Joe Torre turned 59 that day and improved to 6-8 as a manager on his birthday.
life I turned down tickets to what turned out to be Dave
Righetti's No Hitter. This time I took the tickets and got
the thrill of my life. It was probably one of greatest
baseball moments in my life.
How ya' doin?
Best sites on 'da 'net!
New York Yankees
Betcha' didn't know
His .333 lifetime World Series batting average is fourth with at least 75 ABs on the all-time series list.
Known as "The Scooter", he played in the World Series 10 out of his 13 MLB years.
"If you weighed 50 more pounds, I'd punch you."
Babe Ruth to Miller Huggins
Miller Huggins to Babe Ruth
has taken up the cause of the average NY sports fan who cannot access the Yankees on their cable system. www.everyfan.net
Who was the first NY Yankees pitcher to hit a home run and when did he hit it?
Answer In Next Issue
Have a trivia question?
Email it to us and
maybe we'll use it in an