Baseball Perfection

As soon as the ball left this hitter's bat, the center fielder went racing back to the wall. With almost no time to prepare, he jumped as high as he could and reached over the outfield fence. He caught what was a sure home run and brought it back into the ballpark, but then dropped the ball. As the center fielder was falling to the ground, he reached out with his bare hand and caught the ball before crashing to the ground. It was an out.

No matter what the circumstances, Dewayne Wise's catch would have been one of the most spectacular in baseball history. The fact that it came at the perfect time made it even more memorable.

Perfect Game: Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox was doing something very few people have ever done. He was pitching a perfect game in the ninth inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays. A perfect game is when a pitcher doesn't allow any runners to get on base. No hits, no walks and no errors. 27 batters up, 27 batters down. Only 16 pitchers in the history of baseball had thrown perfect games. More people have gone to space and circled the Moon than have thrown perfect games in the big leagues. Buehrle was trying to be the 17th, but he would need some help.

The Catch: With one out in the ninth inning, Buehrle was just two outs away from his perfect game. But the Tampa Bay hitter launched the long drive to center. To the fans at the game and watching on TV, it looked like a home run. The perfect game would be over. But that's when Wise became a hero, saving the game for his teammate. When the next batter grounded out, Buehrle and the White Sox celebrated like they had won the World Series.

Team Effort: Baseball fans will remember Mark Buehrle's perfect game. But he would not have been able to do it without the help of Wise and the other White Sox fielders. The thing about a perfect game is that no one can get on base, and that means that the fielders can't make any errors. Being in a field for a perfect game is almost as nerve-wracking as pitching one. No one wants to be the one to make an error and ruin the game. That is why a perfect game, as opposed to a no-hitter, relies so heavily on a perfect team-wide effort.

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