Paschal: By date and by slate: when history meets the baseball schedule

From John Paschal at The Hardball Times on July 13, 2018:

On June 30, 1908, a meteoroid measuring as much as 620 feet, or, precisely twice the distance from home plate to the Green Monster at Fenway Park, exploded above Eastern Siberia and flattened 80 million trees across a forested area some 800 square miles in size. On that same calendar day, though at a far different decibel, Red Sox ace Cy Young toed the rubber at New York City’s Hilltop Park and issued a leadoff walk to the Highlanders’ Harry Niles, who, a day earlier, when those 80 million trees were still standing tall, had homered in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the second game of a four-game series into extra frames before 1,500 fans.

At first, the walk might have seemed as surprising as it was unimportant — surprising because Young had walked just four batters in his previous 62 innings, and unimportant because, at 28-37, the Sox were going nowhere. Moments after Niles reached base, the walk proved more trivial when Boston catcher Lou Criger threw him out on an attempted steal. Roughly an hour and 55 minutes later, however, the walk earned the sort of retroactive importance only history can make real.

It was all that separated Young’s third no-hitter from his second perfect game.

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Originally published: July 13, 2018. Last Updated: July 13, 2018.