Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Perfect Game

With all the excitement of the Olympics, le Tour, and marathon training, I've been remiss in writing about one of the most amazing sporting events I've ever had the privilege of witnessing: the perfect game Matt Cain threw on June 13th. Back in April, my Dad sent me and JAR two tickets to the Giants-Astros game, and we assumed June 13th would be an evening of mellow baseball, a casual demolition of Houston by the mitts and bats of San Francisco. Oddly, at the same time we also received passes to a VIP event on the executive level that evening, but opted instead for artichokes and french fries at Ironside. In other words, when we entered the Park by the water just before game time, we had no premonitions, no prescience, no foresight of what we were about to witness.
It only took a few innings, however, before we realized we were watching something special; by the sixth inning, everyone in the ballpark had fallen silent. In fact, except for the full-throated cheering that followed each strike-out--not to mention Gregor Blanco's incredible diving catch in the seventh inning, and the announcement of free bratwursts for everyone seated in the arcade level after Cain's thirteenth strikeout--it was so quiet that I was terrified to make any sound at all. And when he threw the final strike, it felt as though the ballpark were being struck by an earthquake of stomping, screaming, and the sparkling flashes of thousands of camera phones.
I too remembered to take a few photos before we left, including one of fans on the arcade level lifting up the K signs for their own self-portraits. And as we made our way home, eating churros and high-fiving every person we passed, and cheering along with hundreds of other fans on the BART platform when the train operators started shouting about Cain's game over the loudspeaker system, it occurred to me that if I had to miss the World Series in San Francisco, at least I was home--and at the Park--for the Giants' very first perfect game.    

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