Wow! Roy Halladay just pitched a playoff no hitter for the Phillies.

I’m trying to remember the last time I remember a no-hitter in the playoffs. I’m sure Sandy Koufax had some. No? Curt Schilling? No? The Big Unit? No? All those Atlanta Braves guys? No?

Okay! You’re forcing Stan Silliman to Google. I’m too old to Google.

Don Larsen? The perfect game in the 1956 World Series? Geez, what was I doing October 8, 1956? Hmmm?

Game 5 was on a Monday so I was in school—junior high—in the Panhandle of Oklahoma. I remember a little of the series. Actually more interested in Darla of civics class, but that was my hormones talking. Darla was our school’s Annette (of the Mouseketeers) except without the dark hair…and the big mouse ears.

On top of that, I had just seen The Ten Commandments the night before and little did I know my heart was about to witness two major events in back-to-back days. Really, how often do see the waters of a sea part and a perfect game, back-to-back?

Well, actually I only saw part of the perfect game and I can’t really say I saw that much. I will explain.

I did have an interest in the Yankees-Dodgers series. It wasn’t my Cardinals with Stan (my name) Musial but it did have two Oklahomans—Mickey Mantle and Dale Mitchell. After finishing algebra and  heading to Phys Ed, Joe Clark came up to me saying he heard on the principal’s radio a no-hitter was being pitched in the World Series and suggests we skip the final class, head to my house, catch it on TV.

I agreed even though I knew every time Joe Clark suggested a scheme, I always took the blame.

On the way to my house, Joe and I argued Doris Day versus Kim Novak. Both of them had the boobs. Not much diff but I favored Novak on the freckle factor. Didn’t care for the freckles.

We hit the door just in time to catch the eighth inning. My mom didn’t even know the game was on but we buzzed up the black and white. Snowy black and white…with a rolling bar. We couldn’t find the GAME! Either the reception was bad or they weren’t carrying it on a Monday afternoon in our part of the world.

We switched on the radio and you could hear the tension. My stomach started to knot. I got out my baseball cards to see how many of my cards were in the game. Jackie Robinson is up. Had his card. Grounds to first. Then Gil Hodges is at bat. Had his card. Lines it to third. Sandy Amoros is up. No card. Hits it deep, there’s excitement, flies out.

Then the Yanks come up at the bottom of the line-up – Larsen, Bauer, Collins. Sal Maglie, the Barber, clips them, shaves ’em, strikes out every batter. If it weren’t for Larsen doing the impossible, Maglie would have got praise for a special game. Maglie was the Debbie Reynolds to Larsen’s Liz Taylor.

Now it’s the ninth and our radio gets scratchy. Furillo, Campanella and Maglie are up. I get out my cards. I’ve got Roy and I’ve got Sal, no Furillo. Makes no difference as Furillo flies to right. Now Roy is up. He is one of my favorites and he can smack the leather off the ball.

Mom hears us screaming and walks in. Roy grounds to second. One more batter, Maglie! No, Dale Mitchell pinches. Not only do I have the card, but it’s autographed. MY autographed card is getting ready to ruin a perfect game. OU’s Dale Mitchell will be known as the guy who cost Don Larsen a perfecto.

Strike One. If Mitchell connects it better be a homer. Strike Two! He’s pressing. No chasing a slider, he’ll wait for a good one. Strike Three! A called strike three.

Joe jumps. Mom jumps. I didn’t know she could do that. My cards go flying…and my magazine with Marilyn Monroe on the cover lands on top of them with Mom still in the room. I said my little heart might not handle two big events back to back—10-C and a Perfecto—let’s make it three.

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