Historic day for Josh Fields
Thursday was quite a day for ex-OSU baseball star (and quarterback) Josh Fields. He hit a grand slam in the White Sox’ 5-0 victory over Tampa Bay, and teammate Mark Buehrle threw the 20th perfect game in baseball history.
Never before in baseball history has a player hit a bases-loaded home run in the same game in which his teammate pitched a perfect game.
Something a little strange is going on with perfect games. From 1880 through 1980, baseball had 10 perfect games. That’s 10 in 101 years. Now baseball has had 10 more in 29 years.
It’s kooky. Baseball didn’t have a perfect game between 1922 and 1956 (Don Larsen’s World Series masterpiece), and you could sort of see why. The 1920s and 1930s were an offensive era; hard to throw a perfect game when entire teams were hitting .300.
Perfect games rebounded in the 1960s with three (Jim Bunning ’64, Sandy Koufax ’65, Catfish Hunter ’68), then the 1970s produced none.
But in 1981, not long before the start of another offensive explosion, Len Barker threw a perfect game. He was followed by Mike Witt in 1984, Tom Browning in 1988, Dennis Martinez in 1991, Kenny Rogers in 1994, Pedro Martinez in 1995, David Wells in 1998, David Cone in 1999, Randy Johnson in 2004 and now Buehrle.
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