A few days ago, I watched a commercial that showed the exuberance of cheering Chicago Cubs fans, and I laughed at the futility of following a team that is the epitome of ‘wait until next year’.
And then I started to wonder about my own fandom.
The Phillies have only won two World Series in my lifetime. Twenty-eight years between championships is a long time. Why do I put myself through the torture of rooting for a team that has a one-and-32 shot of winning the Commissioner’s Trophy? Aren’t I just setting myself up for disappointment?
Then a night like tonight happens.
This is why we are fans.
This is why we endure a 162-game season of dizzying highs and devastating lows and keep coming back for more. Because on one glorious, magical night, something so special happens that makes the long grind of baseball season completely worthwhile.
Roy Halladay achieved perfection this evening.
He did not allow a single hit, run, or walk. He struck out eleven, and sat 27 batters.
Roy did not pitch a gem tonight. He tossed a masterpiece.
The Phillies defense was clutch behind him, especially the left side of the infield. Backup infielders Wilson Valdez and Juan Castro both made plays that would help Roy secure the win and record only the twentieth perfect game in Major League history. And although the offense could only muster one run, it was all that the good doctor would need.
Just as the Phillies’ World Series win of ’08 helped lessen the memory of Joe Carter, Roy’s stellar performance tonight has put the recent three-game scoreless sweep by the Mets solidly in the past.
Savor this moment. No matter what happens this season, we will always be able to enjoy Roy Halladay’s perfect game.
Video courtesy of @thekdotcom