Tuesday, September 4, 2012

This Day in PTU History: Jim Abbott's No-hitter

If you're under the age of 18, it might be hard to believe that there was ever a time that no-hitters were a really big deal. Now a days they happen about as often as Joe Biden saying something dumb, (shit, even the Mets got one recently) but back in the day it was a truly huge accomplishment. And in the 90s it was especially difficult seeing as how everyone was on steroids and all. However, all those juiced up batters didn't prevent the Yankees from having 4 no-hitters during that decade. None was more impressive than Jim Abbot's, 19 years ago today. There might have been more dominating performances, and no-hitters in bigger circumstances (the Yankees didn't even make the playoffs this year), but consider this: HE HAD ONE FUCKING HAND. That's right, Jim Abbott not only pitched in the major leagues for years. He did it all with one less hand than I am currently using to type this meaningless blog post. And he threw a no hitter!!! It's a big enough deal that he even made his high school team in his predicament, but a no hitter for the Yankees? If Mitch Albom wrote that in a novel, we'd all laugh at how full of shit and Mitch Albomish that idea was. It's the type of stuff Christian movie directors put in their movies that we all think is so hokey, or Disney movies starring washed up sitcom actors and Eugene Levy portray. "Couldn't you end the movie with him just making the majors and maybe throwing a strikeout or two? Nobody over the age of 6 will buy this clown tossing a no-no". But he did.

How lazy does that make all of us feel? With our perfectly good two hands we can't even throw a no hitter on Playstation yet Abbott did it in Yankee Stadium. The Mets couldn't do it for 50 years. And even though Cleveland finished 10 games under .500 that season, it wasn't like Abbott was going up against the 2012 Astros or some other rinky dink lineup. This was an Indians team that included Kenny Lofton (when he was still really good) Carlos Baerga, Albert Belle and Manny Ramirez, and Jim Thome. You would think one of those guys would've got a hit by accident. But aside from 5 measly walks, Abbott got every one of those guys out. Imagine if Twitter or Facebook or even blogs like this existed while this was happening. Jim and the coverage his one hand would have gotten would have made Linsanity look like a one paragraph article in the Bay Ridge Home Reporter. Today, Abbott is mostly forgotten along with most of the early 90s Yankees not currently managing the Dodgers. You rarely see him at Yankee old timer events or throwing out the first pitch, and there's a generation of baseball fans who probably have no idea who he is. But he should be acknowledged for one of the all time "holy shit" moments in sports, the most unbelievable no-hitter in history.

PTU salutes you, Jim Abbott.

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