The Blown Perfect Game
by Carl Hoffman
I recall back to my youth in the sixties when playing sandlot baseball was a
norm. Although most of my friends and I played on organized youth leagues, there was something magical
about our sandlot games.
Thinking back to that time when baseball was America' favorite past time, (I now think
football may have taken that lead) I remember our sandlot games we played practically everyday. Having a
game depended on whether we could recruit enough players. You really only needed a total of four players but
if we had more, it becomes a more interesting game.
Sometimes we played several games a day and often played until it was too dark to
actually see the ball. That is how much we enjoyed the game of baseball. When we weren't playing on
weekends we listened to Dizzy Dean and Pee Wee Reese calling the game of the week on TV.
The Blown Perfect Game was by far one of my fondest and most humorous recollection of our
sandlot adventures. This particular day we were having difficulty finding a fourth player. It
seemed like nobody was at home or just didn't want to play. When we didn't have enough players we
would just shag fly balls and grounders for some practice, hoping somebody would drop by and want to play
Ron, Bill and I would take turns hitting the ball to the outfield and infield so the other two
could practice fielding. As fate would have it this tall lanky kid, which we have seen hanging
around occasionally, but really didn't know, walked up and started retrieving the ball from the fielders
and handing the ball off to the hitter so it could once again be smacked and be shagged. His
name was Bernard but his nickname was "Stinky." I don't know how he got this nickname but you can use your
imagination. At any rate we had our fourth player. Ron reluctantly took "Stinky" as his teammate, which
left Bill and I as comrades. To play two man baseball you must have some specific rules. One rule is
that either right or left field, depending if you are a left handed hitter or right handed hitter, is a dead
field. If you hit the ball to that side of the outfield you are out unless it is over the fence for a home
run. You have a pitcher and a outfielder and you must hit at least a double to get on base. You
throw the runner out at second like it was first base.
Ron pitched for the other team and Bill and I rotated the pitching for our
team. The game was close but Bill and I were losing 1-0. Ron was pitching a masterful perfect game
entering the last inning. Ron had a great knuckleball and we kept popping out to either Ron or Stinky. When
the final inning began, "Stinky" wanted to pitch the last inning. He whined and whined until Ron gave in
and allowed him to pitch.
Bill was first at bat and on the very first pitch he hit a home run over the fence.
WOW! It's tied up but the perfect game had ended and so did the game because as soon as the ball
went over the fence, Ron lost his cool and went after Bernard. He was chasing him all over the
field throwing his glove at him and anything else it could find. I must give "Stinky' some credit, he
could move and dodge very well. The game ended in a 1-1 tie .
Amazing as it may seem we never saw Stinky again. We accused Ron of having him