Near Miss … and a Direct Hit
You might have read reflections in the local papers about the Pirates season of 1997 – the one bright moment during the current 15 years of baseball futility. For those who don’t remember, the Pirates used a $9 million payroll to nearly win the division and make the playoffs that season.
The high point of the season was this day 10 years ago — July 12th — when two Pirate pitchers combined to no-hit the Houston Astros for 10 innings. Then, the Bucs won on a home run in the bottom of the tenth. It was a great moment — and a rare moment. Rarer than a lunar eclipse. Rarer than a day without a Paris Hilton story. A no-hitter — and I missed it. Sort of.
That night was Jackie Robinson night and I was asked to serve as the MC for the pre-game ceremonies. Also that night, I had a black tie fund-raiser to Nevillewood. I managed to work it out so that I could handle my duties at the stadium and still get back to enjoy the event. Well, 44-thousand people decided to go to the game as well — and I just barely beat the traffic and arrived just in time for the event which featured the daughter of the late baseball pioneer. Of course, wearing my tuxedo, I felt a little overdressed.
Immediately after that — it was back to Nevillewood for the charity event. At evening’s end, my date and I stood on the balcony of the clubhouse and we could see the fireworks from Three Rivers Stadium. I wondered aloud if the Bucs had won. On our way home, I turned on the radio and heard the final account of the game. A no-hitter. To this day, that’s the closest I ever got to seeing – or in case not seeing – a no-hitter in person.
Enough about the missed opportunity. If you were watching this morning’s news, you saw a direct hit. Kelly and I wearing the same type of suit — a black pinstripe. We didn’t even notice this until we sat down next to each other on the set. It’s the second straight day we’ve worn virtually the same outfit. No, we don’t call each other in the morning to discuss outfit choices but it’s scary how well we seem to know one another. As long as we don’t start looking like each other.