There was a time in my life, not long ago, that I would have never missed a Phillies playoff game.
Of course, as someone who cut his teeth on some of those pretty pedestrian mid-'80s squads, and lived through the dark days of the 1990s, I didn't get to see a lot of playoff baseball featuring the Phils. That '93 team was unique, and there's a reason it holds a special place in the hearts of fans my age.
By the time 2007 rolled around, I was still single, but I was engaged and was working two jobs. Suddenly, watching every Phillies game wasn't as important or possible. However, I didn't miss a game that September, and of course, I was glued to the three playoff games against Colorado.
In the winter of 2008 I got married, and while I was still able to watch just about every game I wanted, it wasn't quite as easy. But I managed to get in front of the tube for just about every playoff game during their run to a World Series championship, and in 2009, it was the same thing.
But the following year, my wife and I decided it was time to have a little Stolnis running around the house, crashing into things and getting into trouble. We were fortunate enough to get pregnant and were very excited about the soon-to-be new addition to our family.
There is a reason I'm bringing all this up. You see, today is the 5th anniversary of Roy Halladay's magical no-hitter in Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park.
It is also a game I did not see live.
Unbeknownst to us, Roy's masterpiece was scheduled for the same day, and at the same time, as our very first ultrasound. This was the day we would find out what sex the baby would be, and it would also be the first time we got see him as well.
When we scheduled the ultrasound, we didn't know the Phils would be playing that day, October 6, 2010. We didn't know the Phils would be playing that afternoon, and we certainly didn't know Halladay was going to make baseball history. But even if we had, it wouldn't have mattered.
The day of the ultrasound/game, I was honestly very interested in what was going to happen at Citizens Bank Park, but my mind was more on finding out if we were going to have a boy or a girl. After all, I'd seen the Phils win the World Series already and watched them get to another one the previous year. This was old hat by now! Surely I could miss one playoff game!
At the doctor's office that afternoon, everything went great. I had to meet my wife at the doctor's office from work, and when I got there, we went into the room had the ultrasound. The baby was healthy. We found out it was a boy. We got pictures to take home.
It was wonderful.
When it was all over, my wife went to her car and I went to mine. It took us about 30 minutes to drive home, and by that point the game was in the 5th inning. Halladay was in total control and the Phils were up 4-0. Everything was proceeding according to script.
I heard him walk Jay Bruce and thought, jokingly, "Well those goes the perfect game!" But with each hitter he retired, with each call by Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen on the radio broadcast, it sounded more and more like the Reds simply didn't have a chance that day.
By the time I got home the game was in the 8th inning, but this was no time to watch baseball. Even though I knew Halladay was just a handful of outs away from throwing just the second no-hitter in postseason history, I knew there was something better and more important to do with my time.
I was going to spend the rest of the day reliving the truly momentous non-baseball life event I had just experienced, seeing my son Ethan for the very first time.
I will admit that I did run upstairs and watched the final three outs on MLB's At-Bat app on my Blackberry (this was the stone ages, friends), and "watched" as Halladay recorded the final three outs of his no-hitter. I then went back downstairs and didn't say a word about it until later in the evening.
By then, the excitement of the new baby had died down and I could watch the highlights of Roy's masterpiece. And while it was tough not watching the game live, I can honestly say it was a game I was happy to miss.
And, it's a game I'm happier to relive over and over and over again.
Listen and Subscribe to TGP Radio!!!