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Two nights ago, University of Miami senior Javi Salas threw a perfect game against the Villanova Wildcats. Despite the contest being a 17-0 blowout sure to hype the Hurricanes up for this year’s ACC play, anyone who knows baseball understands the near impossibilities one must achieve to pitch a perfect game. Regardless of whether you play a statistically horrendous opponent 10,000 times over and throw lights out every single start, the odds of one occurring are marginally slim.
In Major League Baseball, 21 perfect games have been thrown since the modern era of the game dawned in 1900. Most recently, San Francisco Giant Matt Cain accomplished the feat in June 2012. Taking just the MLB numbers into account, the odds of throwing one is close to one in 18,000.
In the history of Division I NCAA baseball since 1957, there were only 22 perfect games prior to Salas’s remarkable 27 up, 27 down on Tuesday night.
What makes the story more remarkable though is that Javi’s little brother, Jorge (also a Miami scholar) was assigned to do the play-by-play for WVUM, The U’s student radio station.
His reaction to the final out, as you can imagine, is priceless.
And here we go, the windup, the kick from Salas. The pitch … swung on and missed! And it’s a perfect game! Salas did it! A perfect game for Javi Salas! Folks, we just witnessed history! It’s a perfect game for Javi Salas, zeroes across the board! And Javi Salas has thrown a perfect game against the Villanova Wildcats on this fourth night of March 2014! Oh my goodness…
Wow, what a feeling that must have been for each of them. This is surely a tale that the grandchildren will hear over and over one day, if not thanks to Javi or Jorge, then definitely thanks to Soundcloud.
Afterward, the interview between brothers was as emotionally charged as ever. The duo grew up five minutes from Coral Gables, so their parents and grandparents were in the stands for the history-making evening.
“I can’t believe I’m in the radio booth with my brother right now, this might be better than the perfect game,” he said with a grin, and then added Wednesday afternoon, “It was one of the coolest moments of my life, the fact that he’s doing what he loves, I’m doing what I love and we got to share that moment. He means so much to me and my success. We’re best friends, and I love him to death. The fact we got to share that moment was surreal.”
I’d say both brothers nailed the post-game presser.
Javi was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 38th round last year, but declined so he could stay in school. A memory like this sure justifies his decision, and there is no doubt his draft stock will continue to rise, as he’s already off to a tremendous start.
Jorge, on the other hand? He might just have a future calling balls and strikes.
[via NCAA, Soundcloud]