I love things like this.
It was about the 4th inning when I was looking at my MLB Gameviewer and noticed that Dustin McGowan was throwing a no hitter. I started looking into his career stats, and sent out the first note about him after the 5th inning (a no-hitter watch doesn’t really begin until a guy has recorded at least 15 outs). The notes started coming more and more after the 6th inning, then 7th. By the 8th inning, the entire department was focused on what had started as a relatively meaningless Blue Jays-Rockies afternoon game.
Obviously, in the end, McGowan didn’t get the no-hitter (giving up a hit to start the ninth, and ending up with a complete-game, 1-hit shutout) but it was still a great thing to watch.
Also, I got something out of it. In the 7th inning, I was checking out Dustin McGowan’s page on baseball-reference.com, and saw that it wasn’t sponsored. And it was available for $10. Mark told me I should buy it as soon as he got the 3rd out in the 9th inning. Well, once the no-hitter was broken up, I scrapped that plan. But when I got home, I decided to buy the page anyway. Hell, it’s a $10 advertisement for my blog, plus a one-year reminder of how special a day this was.
Of course, it has to be mentioned that not everything about today was great. Baseball lost a great man with the passing of Rod Beck, a former closer who died today at the age of just 38. Beck may not have been the best closer ever, but he was pretty damn good in the early to mid ‘90s. Plus, he had that awesome mustache. It’s always sad to see someone go so much before his time, especially someone who, by all reports, was a nice a guy as Rod Beck was. If you want to read more about Beck, check out this article from ESPN.com when he was in Iowa on the comeback trail in 2003.