Halladay completes long-awaited perfect game

Growing up just an hour from the Canadian border, I was no stranger to watching Toronto Blue Jays baseball on CBC.

And one of the games I’ll never forget watching was on Sept. 27, 1998. It was the final day of the regular season, and it was a meaningless game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Detroit Tigers.

As the story goes, the Jays had a young right-hander on the mound named Roy Halladay. He was making his second major league start. And while the game didn’t mean much in the standings, Halladay no doubt wanted to leave a big impression on his veteran teammates.

And that day, Halladay took a no-hitter into the ninth inning, getting the first two outs before Bobby Higginson came in and hit a pinch-hit homer to break it up. It would have been a perfect game attempt if not for an error earlier in the game.

On Saturday against the Florida Marlins in Miami, Halladay finally got that elusive no-hitter, and it was a perfect game.

I watched the final inning on ESPN and couldn’t help but root for him, remembering that game in 1998 pretty well. I was tracking the game on MLB.com much of the night, as it was a good pitching matchup with Halladay facing Florida’s Josh Johnson.

This marks the first time in big league history that two perfect games have been thrown in the same year, and they were in the same month. Oakland’s Dallas Braden tossed one against the Tampa Bay Rays a few weeks ago.