I couldn’t let the day pass without commenting on Game 162, which Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated calls the most thrilling 129 minutes in baseball history.
Says Tom: “Never before and likely never again — if we even dare to assume anything else can be likely ever again — will baseball captivate and exhilarate on so many fronts in so small a window the way it did September 28, 2011.
Starting at 9:56 p.m. Eastern … the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves clung to twin 3-2 leads and the belief that they would avoid the completion of the greatest September collapses in the history of the sport, even if, in Atlanta’s case — the Braves appeared headed for a tiebreaker game with St. Louis — it meant a 24-hour stay of execution. Boston seemed home free to October, seeing that Tampa Bay, its competitor for the wild card spot, was getting blown out by the Yankees, 7-0.
But what happened at that moment was the beginning of the end: With the Braves two outs from victory, Chase Utley of Philadelphia tied the game in Atlanta with a sacrifice fly against Craig Kimbrel, the baby-faced rookie closer for the Braves who was pitching with the earnestness of youth, but more obviously with the toll of overuse and stress from a grueling stretch run. Red-cheeked and flustered, he invited pity more than scorn.
Nothing would be the same in the next 129 minutes. Fortunes were reversed. Reputations were made and destroyed. Careers were altered….”
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So this is our moment of seminal baseball history. We can savor it, and know, that it is connected by the Code to its forbears. Pull up the Code Calculator and check October 3, 1951, almost exactly 50 years ago (an expression of the Power of Ten), which was when the “Shot [was] Heard Around the World”, as New York Giants outfielder Bobby Thomson hit the game-ending home run off Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca at the Polo Grounds to win the National League pennant. Divide that span of time by 5 and you get–exactly–October 2, 1963 when left-handed LA Dodgers Sandy Koufax sets a World Series record by striking out 15 New York Yankees in a 5-2 victory in game 1, which was followed by a sweep in four straight.
These prior seminal moments of sports history are equal standouts, and they are tightly tied across time by the Power of Ten and a simple whole number fraction.
I would venture to say that round about 50 years from now there will be another history making game by which our great grandchildren will mark their lives.
Write a note to them and bury it in a capsule.
Good night. +JAG