The Best Game You Never Saw

Instead of heading down to the ballpark to catch a minor league game, I opted to stay home and install a new deadbolt on my garage to deter people from continuing to steal my lawnmower (again).

As a result, I missed Ian Snell striking out 17 batters, 13 of which were in a row. That’ll learn me…

What’s the most disappointing game you never went to that you had a chance to see?

Pfsh. Ian Snell. I hate that guy. He doesn’t deserve to be in the starting rotation. I’m glad he “chose” to go down to the minors.

The best game I never saw? Tyson vs. Hollyfield. I was asleep in front of the tv, on the floor, for that infamous moment. It’s not that spectacular of a feat, but the fact that I was right there and missed it irks me. Recently, I was in the car, driving from one TV to the other, when the Pens scored two goals to eventually win the Stanley Cup in Game 7 a few weeks ago. I saw most of the game but missed every goal. Damn…this close!

A year ago I had nothing else to do when the Wimbledon men’s final was about to start. I’m still kicking myself for switching the channel.

I also missed the 49ers’ big comeback against the Giants in a 2002 wildcard playoff game.

Ouch. That match wasn’t just the best tennis match of all time. It might have been the greatest game/match of any sport of all time. It’s certainly in the top 5.

Bills - Giants. Superbowl whatever it was. Norwood, wide right.

I was working at a warehouse and Sundays were a normal part of the schedule. My best friend worked there as well. I was a huge Bills fan and he was a huge Giants fan. At the beginning of the playoffs we made a deal that if the Bills made the Superbowl, I’d get the day off; if the Giants made the Superbowl, he’d take the day off. Unfortunately, for some goofy reason he had some sort of right of first refusal or something and he totally threw me under the bus, the fucker.

And the little bastard kept calling me at work throughout the game, from a big ass party where all of our friends were drinking and having a good time, just to let me know what a great game I was missing.

To this day, the only footage of the game I’ve ever seen is … Norwood, wide right.

I don’t want to talk about it anymore.

My grandfather loves to tell this story.

He used to split his time between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh as a kid – summers in Pittsburgh with his dad’s family. He was a huge baseball fan, and all of his friends were Pirates fans but he liked the Phillies better. One day a couple neighborhood kids knocked on his window and asked if he wanted to go to the Pirates game that afternoon. He, for reasons that he’s still perplexed by and angry about, said no thanks, which shocked all his buddies. Later that night, his friends come knocking again. This was apparently before the days were there were everyday broadcasts of baseball games, so he had no idea what had happened at the game. “Ray! Ray! You missed it! Chuck Klein hit 4 home runs!”

Even now, 70 years later, you can see the pain in his eyes when he talks about missing it.

I was in the stands but left what turned out to be Tom Browning’s perfect game in 1988. It was raining, I was tired and hungry, and I was too smart to sit around for two-and-a-half hours before they decided to cancel an otherwise meaningless late-September game.

David Well’s perfect game. My family went, but I didn’t want to go see the Yankees beat a hapless team.

My wife and I got free tickets to what turned out to be Dwight Gooden’s no-hitter in 1996.. However, with my wife at home having just squeezed out our first-born son, it would have been in somewhat poor taste to run off to Yankee Stadium without her, so I gave the tickets away to some friends.

Heh - that was right during the heart of my “I hate baseball” phase of life, and had no idea that Gooden a) threw a no-hitter and b) played for the Yankees at one time (let alone Cleveland). Man - the Mets can’t buy a no-hitter, can they?!

Does an “almost” count? In truth, I only got to see it because of a convenient DVR.

December 2006. We were visiting my wife’s family, and they’d all gone to sleep. I started watching Texas Tech play Minnesota in the Bowl. And, it was horrid. By halftime, the Gophers were up by four touchdowns, just running away with it. I turned off the TV (but not the cable box, thankfully) and went into the other room to surf the internet for a while.

So I come back some time later and turn the TV back on to see how bad the final score was. And, there’s my Red Raiders jumping up and down, and the announcer is talking about going into overtime, and holy hell what did I just miss?! Since I’d left the cable box on, I was able to rewind the DVR and watch the second half, seeing the incredible 31-point comeback (the biggest in college bowl game history) and the eventual overtime victory. Awesome.

Oh, and also on the subject of the Red Raiders: my parents got season tickets to the home games last year, and I went to all but one: Tech vs. Texas (they have friends who are UT alums who came down for the game). So, I could’ve seen Crabtree’s game-winning last-second touchdown catch live and up close, but my folks gave the ticket to someone else. Okay, I shouldn’t begrudge them, they bought the tickets after all, but still…

I saw the game, but my wife’s fondness for ballpark beer and hot dogs caused me to be at the concession stand at the moment Lonnie Smith hit an inside the park home run in 1986.

I’ve got 2 times where I missed seeing all time feats. In 1988, I was in college and happened to be pounding beers while watching a game, and I had to go to the bathroom so badly, and I figured that a one legged Kirk Gibson would stand no chance against the mighty Eckersley…oops!!!
The 2nd time was a few years ago. I had been house sitting for a friend of mine who had gone away for the holidays. He and his gf arrived after a long flight from New Zealand (to LAX), and I felt that it would be best to let them have their space, and that with maybe 5 minutes or so left in the game, that Oklahoma would be able to wrap up the game against Boise St…d’oh!!!

On July 4, 1983, my whole family went to the Yankee game, except me. I decided to go for a hike in the Palisades.

I missed Dave Righetti pitching a no-hitter. :smack:

If you actually want to see the game and have a VCR, I still have a tape somewhere.

Sure. Pick at that scab a little more whydoncha?

In May, 1981, I was in college on a Friday night watching Len Barker of the Cleveland Indians pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays. My roommate wanted to go see “A Clockwork Orange” which was playing on campus. I said I’d go as soon as Barker gave up a hit. My iron will soon broke down, and I accompanied my roommate to the movie. When I got back to the dorm I learned that Barker had pitched a perfect game.

The baseball players went on strike shortly thereafter and the TV station that carried the Indians wound up replaying the game in full several times after that in order to fill up time so I eventually saw it, but man, what a game to miss!

I missed watching that game by one day – it was played on the eve of my graduation from college in Virginia. As my fellow seniors and I were assembling for the ceremony, someone greeted me as “No-Hit Bob” and asked if I had heard the news about my hometown Tribe. I must have heard Joe Tait’s call of the final out fifty times in the next few weeks: “Fly ball! Center field! Manning is there!” I also saved the Plain Dealer and Cleveland Press editions that featured the next-day game coverage.

Not my story, but one I heard a few years later as I was working as a vendor at the old Cleveland Stadium: One of my colleagues told me that he had gone down to the old ballyard on the night of May 30, 1977. He asked his sister if she wanted to join him, but she was only a casual fan and preferred to stay home to watch some TV show (as the story went, it was Eight is Enough, but there was no episode of that program broadcast on that date). At any rate, Karen ended up missing Dennis Eckersley’s no-hitter, and Kevin was still gloating over having the foresight to be on hand that night.

The Miracle on Ice, I was probably crying and shitting myself but I was two at the time so it really wasn’t my fault.

The year was 1992. My father, whose printing company produced the programs for the Buffalo Bills, had snagged a couple of great tickets for an opening round playoff game. It was cold, miserable, and rainy, and by halftime, the score was 28-3, and I wasn’t even watching Jim Kelly playing. I whined and begged my father to let us just go home.
He complied and, naturally, the second half of that game, which I didn’t even bother to turn on once we’d gotten home, was one of the most amazing comebacks in the history of football.

Dad hasn’t let me forget it since.