When I was a kid, I went to a lot of Baltimore Orioles games. I was spoiled to see Cal Ripken Jr., Eddie Murray, and Mike Mussina play live many times, along with other stars who came through Baltimore as visitors.
There was one player that I missed. Nolan Ryan was in his final year, and was pitching against the Orioles while my family was in town visiting my grandparents. I pleaded to go, but my parents refused, saying he would only pitch five innings, and that wouldn’t be worth the trip. To this day, I’m of the belief that five innings is more than enough for a starting pitcher.
Ryan only went three innings that night, dealing with control issues. His mound opponent was Ben McDonald, and Harold Reynolds hit a game tying home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, with the Orioles winning it in the bottom of the 12th. I would have been absolutely lit.
I am now as old as my parents were when that game happened. Looking back in that light, I would have been absolutely livid in the moment by a game that ended close to midnight, with 46,397 in attendance on a Saturday night, with a long, traffic-filled drive back to my parents house, and considering the weekend timing, probably driving back home to Pennsylvania the next day.
So, I guess I see their point after all of these years.
But, Nolan Ryan will always be my answer to “Which Pro Athlete Do You Regret Never Seeing Live?”
What is your answer? Leave it in the comments below!
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