If there's one highlight reel I often relive when boredom strikes hardest, it's Mark Buehrle's perfect game on July 23, 2009, at then U.S. Cellular Field against the Tampa Bay Rays.
One of the more fascinating pitchers of that era, Buerhle pitched the game in close to two hours. That pace is incredible for a starting pitcher during the pre-pitch clock days. He once pitched a complete game in under 90 minutes, too, adding to his insane fluidity on the mound.
His perfect game marked the 18th in MLB history and the 263rd no-hitter. The previous perfect game prior to Buehrle's was Randy Johnson's in 2004 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The game marked Buehrle's second no-hitter, the first coming just over two years prior in 2007.
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Fun fact: Eric Cooper, the home plate umpire for Buerhle's perfect game, was the same umpire to referee his first no-hitter as the home plate umpire then.
The White Sox scored all five of their runs of the game in the second and fifth innings. Josh Fields hit a grand slam in the second frame. Scott Podsenik scored on an RBI from Alexei Ramirez in the fifth inning.
The caveat of the game came in the ninth inning. Forever one of the White Sox' most significant moments, then center fielder DeWayne Wise, subbed in during the game, robbed a home run to save Buehrle's perfect game. He went up and knocked it in the park, bobbling the ball on the way down before corralling the infamous baseball.
Alexei Ramirez recorded the final out of the game, throwing a groundball from shortstop to first base to the tune of Hawk Harrelson's legendary call, yelling, "Alexei?! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! History!" from the broadcast booth; but not before he set up the ninth inning by saying "Call your sons, call your daughters, call your friends, call your neighbors, Mark Buehrle has a perfect game going to the ninth!"
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It was truly one of the most historic days in White Sox history. White Sox fans everywhere can delve into the small details that were perfected that day in July 2009.
Buerhle is one of the South Side's greatest pitchers in franchise history. He has five All-Star nods and four Gold Gloves to his name, along with the 2005 World Series. Retired in 2015, he will hopefully be enshrined at Cooperstown in baseball's Hall of Fame one day.