Saturday, September 17, 2011
Nomo no-no long ago
I see someone else has posted on the 15th anniversary of the Dodgers' last no-hitter.
I had planned to do the same, since I had missed Nomo's birthday anniversary (I couldn't do what I did before anyway). Plus, I had just received a couple of Nomo relics from Rhubarb_Runner and this seemed the appropriate day to feature them.
Nomo's no-hitter is one of the more remarkable in history. It was performed at Coors Field, which in 1996 was known as the place where batted balls went into space. I should know. My fantasy baseball teams at the time were dependent upon Rockies hitters like Dante Bichette, Vinny Castilla and Larry Walker.
Nomo struck out eight batters and walked four en route to the first of his two major league no-hitters. I wasn't aware of his feat until morning because it took place at night, out west, and I must have turned in a little bit early that evening.
Nomo is an interesting phenomenon. He had all that success in Japan, produced a terrific rookie season as a Japanese pioneer, delivered some high-profile performances, and possessed a wonderful pitching delivery. Writers are always looking for "angles" or "hooks" and broadcasters are always looking for "sound bites." Nomo was all hooks and sound bites. ... Well, maybe not "sound bites" because of the whole language barrier thing. ... Let's just say he had a lot of memorable moments.
And all of that makes me forget that Nomo was also extremely frustrating to me as a fan. In fact, if I spend too much time on his 1998 or 2004 seasons, I start to wonder why I am collecting his cards.
But 337 cards later, I have more of his items than any other player's cards.
I'm also doing things like this:
I picked up this card from Rhubarb_Runner, too. I really have no idea why. I even questioned myself as I was asking for the card.
The only "Dodger" part of the card is the image of his rookie card, which is also featured on the back. The rest of the card says "Red Sox." He is listed as a Red Sox pitcher, he is pictured as a Red Sox pitcher, and the jersey piece is allegedly from a Red Sox uniform.
In any other situation, I would classify this as a Red Sox card and not even touch it.
But it's different with Nomo.
I'll probably place it with my other Dodger relics without a bit of guilt.
It's been 15 years since a Dodger no-hitter. That's pretty pathetic, considering the Dodgers' pitching-rich history and the fact that the franchise has more no-hitters than anyone.
In fact, the Red Sox -- also the beneficiary of a Nomo no-no -- will tie the Dodgers for the most no-hitters with one more Boston no-hitter.
I'm holding out hope that Clayton Kershaw will deliver one of his many future no-hitters sometime very soon, because I'm a little tired of recognizing Nomo's achievement. (Yes, I know Mets and Padres fans are breaking out the tiny violins).
But for now all I've got is Nomo in Colorado.
Oh, and I've got these Allen & Ginter needs:
They don't have anything to do with Nomo or no-hitters at all. But they came from Rhubarb_Runner, too.
Must I find a tie-in for everything?