Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Being a Dodgers fan means you take the bad and the good. Your team's postseason history isn't filled with never-ending highs, like the Yankees. Your team's postseason history isn't filled with demoralizing lows, like the Cubs. It's sort of in between.
I try to dwell on the positive sides of the Dodgers in the postseason. Kirk Gibson. 1981. Koufax. The '63 sweep. Charlie Neal. Johnny Podres.
I attempt to avoid the negative sides. Tom Niedenfuer. Gary Matthews. Reggie and his hip. Joe Rudi. The '66 O's. Wait 'Til Next Year. Mickey Owen.
The most embarrassing part of the Dodgers' postseason history is something I have rarely mentioned on this blog. That's because I don't like mentioning it. It's the matter of that little no-hitter that Don Larsen threw in the 1956 World Series. It was the only no-hitter in postseason play, and it came against the Dodgers.
I wasn't alive then, but damn that must've been embarrassing.
When I watch clips of the game now, I feel anger as I watch pinch-hitter Dale Mitchell get called out on a third strike to clinch Larsen's no-hitter, also a perfect game. Mitchell insisted until his dying day that the pitch was a ball, and it looks very obvious from the film that it was a ball, too.
But the no-hitter remained and it remained the only one for 54 years until tonight.
Congrats to Roy Halladay on his no-hitting of the Reds in his very first postseason appearance. It couldn't have happened to a finer pitcher, and seemingly a finer person. I now understand why everyone wants your cards.
Thanks for getting the Dodgers off the hook after all these years. I guess I should thank the Reds, too, for joining the Dodgers and their fans in the Ignominy Club.
Sure, the Dodgers are still the only team to be no-hit in the World Series. And they're still the only team to have a perfect game thrown at them in the World Series.
But at least I don't have to see that damn non-strike being called a strike quite as often anymore. Now, when they talk no-hitters in the postseason, footage of Brandon Phillips dribbling the final pitch into the infield and getting thrown out will share the spotlight with Dale Mitchell.
Join me in the club of shame, Reds fans.
It's not all bad. At least your team is in the postseason.
As for you, Halladay, save some of that for the Yankees.