The rarest of rare happened this Thursday afternoon, July 23rd, 2009. Chicago White Sox left hander, Mark Buehrle, pitched baseball’s 18th perfect game in its luxurious history. It was just the 16th perfecto in the modern era and the first since Randy Johnson did it with the Diamondbacks five years ago.
The White Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-0 in an afternoon “get-away” game, yet both teams had their regular starters out there and are in the hunt in their respective decisions.
The perfecto didn’t come easily just as they never do. The White Sox defense made a number of great plays and Buehrle got the necessary luck needed on a few line drives hit by the Rays that just barely missed the field of play.
None of the plays, however, were bigger than the catch White Sox center fielder Dewayne Wise made with none out in the top of the ninth inning.
Entered into the game as a defensive replacement for Carlos Quentin, moving Scott Podsednik to left, Wise was thrown into the fire right away.
Tampa Bay right fielder Gabe Kapler drilled a fly ball to deep left-center field. Wise sprinted full bore towards the wall where the ball was headed over it and leapt at full speed, colliding with the wall at the same time the ball found his glove. Free-falling backwards with the force of the collision, he was unable to squeeze the ball in his glove and it leaked out. Coming to the comprehension of the importance of this play, Wise smartly recovered his balance momentarily to secure the ball in his throwing hand. It was an outstanding play at an absolutely critical moment.
Congrats to Buehrle, Wise and the rest of the White Sox who participated in the historical achievement that is a perfect game. Well done.