Can I take a minute to talk about baseball? In case you’re wondering who made the above recording of Jordan Zimmermann’s no-hitter, it was me. In case you’re wondering who it was in the video who completely lost his shit…that was also me.
Look…I’ve been watching baseball my entire life. Long-suffering Mets fan who made the transition to the Nats at the end of the 2011 season when I realized how exciting they were. I’m 36 years old, and I’ve officially spent as many years outside of New York as I spent inside it. My dad, who brought me home from the hospital in a Mets shirt, has come to terms with the fact that I’m going to over 25 Nationals’ games a year not just because I love baseball but because I love the Nats.
But this isn’t even about the Nats…this is about that once-in-a-lifetime moment. I’ve been to hundreds of baseball games in my life…well over 500, I’m sure. There were three things that have never happened in any of these games that just kind of bugged me…1) I never caught a foul ball, probably because I’m usually in the cheap seats, 2) I never saw a bench-clearing brawl live, and 3) I’ve never seen a no-hitter.
After seeing a no-hitter, live…to hell with those other two things. It was MAGICAL. I score all of my games, so people would turn to me and ask, “Is he…?” and I’d just say, “He’s pitching a great game. He’s pitching an amazing game.” By the time the seventh inning rolled around everyone knew what was going on. Eighth inning…anxiety. Just silence and anxiety. Ninth inning…with each strike you knew that it was that much closer, this rare occurrence that you usually only hear about after the fact. And you’re sitting there, and no one wants to say anything because all of a sudden every superstition is real.
DON’T JINX IT!
You sit there, quietly…until the last out.
That last out. With each pitch your heart skips a beat. Every strike gets a loud cheer, every ball gets a loud “Ohhhhhhh.”
And then when that ball left the bat and we saw Souza running and then diving and then coming up with it…bodies exploded. Everyone went crazy. Maybe I went crazier than everyone else…but it felt like 36 years lead up to this moment.
And now the playoffs start on Friday, and the Nats are going in with this entire city behind them and with momentum on their side.
It’s funny, I almost didn’t go to this game. Last minute decision. My wife kept telling me to go and I even got angry, said she was just trying to get rid of me.
Well, thank you, my love. This was one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. And thank you, Jordan Zimmermann and thank you Washington Nationals and thank you baseball and thank you, dad, for raising me on baseball.
The sport with no clock. The sport that’s truly never over until the last out which, in this case, was Souza’s amazing diving catch.
Thank you so much for this moment.