“Records are made to be broken” — Who said that?
Richard Branson? Red Auerbach? The anti-Disco movement?
Who cares? Most stats are just waiting for the sledgehammer, metaphorical or real . . .
Ruth stood strong for decades, then gave way to Maris and then a parade of PEDers.
The Iron Horse kept showing up game by game and the numbers increased
Until he stopped the show involuntarily and even then, as he faded
Much too young, he was revered for his tenacity . . .
Until the City of Baltimore produced The Iron Man.
Every record takes its place in the sun until the dark clouds give birth to rain,
And the mortality of every unforeseen achievement lets itself be noted . . .
Except . . .except that once in a very long period of time . . . it happens!
No one ever hit a ball completely out of Yankee Stadium (the real one,
Where Ruth and Gehrig and Di Maggio and Ford and Reynolds played,
Where they raised the Series flag five years in a row (Beat that one,
Why don’t you?). Mantle hit the façade towering over right field once:
Close but no beer. So there’s a kind of record never broken if we were
Discussing buildings — because they tore the House that Ruth Built down,
Ending chances of clearing that façade.
But I digress; What was my point? Oh, yeah: There is one record
That has been held by a Cincinnati pitcher for 85 years, so far,
A record that has never bent to the likes of Roberts, Koufax, Feller,
Paige, Martinez, Maddux, Gibson, Clemens, Seaver, Ryan — you can complete
The list yourself. None of them did what Johnny Vander Meer,
A lefty in his second year in the Majors, ever did —
And certainly no one will surpass his unique accomplishment:
On June 11 and 15, 1938 this man (months removed from his rookie year)
Pitched consecutive no-hitters, first against Boston and then Brooklyn!
Don’t you get it? Do the math! To tie his record, one would have to pitch
Two no-hitters in a row! Breaking that record means pitching THREE
Consecutive games without giving up a single hit. Lots of luck with that!!
In a time when no one even pitches two or three complete games,
One after the other.
I rest my case.