I remember the first time I ever saw Matt Cain pitch. It was 2006, and I looked at the scoreboard in shock.
“He’s only four months older than me.”
I was twenty-one, and I remember thinking about how young I was, and how young I felt, and how I had my whole life ahead of me, or at least I must, because so far, I hadn’t done shit. And I remember thinking how impressive it was that this Matt Cain guy was good enough not only to play baseball for a living, but to do it at the major league level at such a young age. And I remember thinking, this is a guy to watch.
And I have watched. I’ve watched his ups and downs, his wins and losses. I’ve seen him lose composure after giving up a hit, and I’ve watched him keep his shit together in spite of things going poorly. And perhaps most importantly, I’ve watched him mature as a person and a player.
I feel like I’ve known him forever; like I’ve grown up with him. So it was my pleasure last night to watch him complete not just a no-hitter, but a perfect game – the first in the one hundred and twenty-nine year history of the Giants franchise.
Afterwards, he thanked his teammates. He thanked the fans. HE THANKED THE HOME PLATE UMPIRE. If there’s an award out there for being humble, he deserves to win it.
The media was going crazy, interviewing Buster Posey and Gregor Blanco and Bruce Bochy and others. And all of them said the same thing: It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.
Congratulations, Matty. You earned it.