Giving Thanks: The time I accidentally went to David Cone’s Perfect Game

 

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, MSU Senior Kareem Yaghnam recounts a personal sports moment he is thankful for being able to witness!

It was the summer of 1999. I was like any normal six-­year-­old kid growing up in the 90’s, obsessed with video games and the hit children’s television show, Barney. My family at the time was just my parents and my three older brothers. My parents were born in the Middle East and when they arrived to the States, my father instantly became obsessed with baseball. Growing up in Northern New Jersey it was only fitting we’d become Yankee fans. My father kept talking about how he wanted to take us to a game. There was always a reason for us not to go. The main reason being our financial situation growing up wasn’t all that great.

My parents finally decided enough is enough, we were going to a Yankees game. They surprised me and my brothers and bought tickets to the July 18, 1999 game. We were all so filled with excitement and anxious to find out who the Yankees would be playing against. I was hoping it would be against the Mets, my brothers were hoping it would be against the Red Sox. It was neither: we were going to a 1:35pm game against the Montreal Expos.

My parents picked what we thought would be the most boring game of the season. Turns out that game would go down in history. My parents couldn’t afford much and that definitely was the cheaper game to go to. They paid $8 dollars for bleacher seats. That doesn’t even buy you a beer in the new Yankee Stadium today. It was “Yogi Berra” day at Yankee Stadium that day. Don Larsen threw out the ceremonial pitch to Yogi Berra during the pre­game festivities. Ironically, Don Larsen threw a perfect game in the 1956 World Series for the Bronx Bombers.

I remember that July afternoon being one of the hottest days of the summer. It was 95 degrees out, but it felt so much hotter than that in the bleachers. It was a relatively boring game. We packed a lunch box filled with water bottles, but couldn’t drink any of them because the water was boiling hot. There was a rain delay early in the game. I was pretty miserable and ready to go home right from the beginning. Just picture a little kid sitting in the middle of the bleachers at Yankee Stadium, in the middle of July, with no cold water. Little did I know I was about to witness history.

David Cone became the 16th pitcher in MLB history to do the almost impossible pitch a perfect game. Pitch an entire game without anyone touching a base. That’s exactly what David Cone did. I was lucky to be one of the 41,390 people that witnessed history on that hot summer day. One exact moment I will never forget was on the last pitch, my father ripped off his shirt and then began waving it in the air like a lasso before throwing it into the crowd. He then grabbed the man next to him and they both started jumping for joy. I am so thankful to have been at Yankee Stadium that day. I will now go to any Yankees game, no matter who they are playing or how hot outside it may be.


www.montclair.edu


Montclair State | Yankee Stadium
11.25.2015

Kareem Yaghnam

Senior at MSU.