In the 134-season history of major league baseball in this country, there have been a total of 388,502 (and counting) attempts to pitch a perfect game; that is, there have been 194,251 games (and counting) and each game has presumably started with two opposing pitchers facing eah other. Of those 388,502 opportunities, only 18 of them have resulted in a perfect game. Put it this way - when you sit down at a bar or in your living room to watch a baseball game, there is only a .0093% - one nine-thousandth of one percent - chance that the game you watch will result in an elusive perfect game.
And yet, there I was last Thursday afternoon, sitting in my home office on Chicago’s north side watching Comcast SportsNet as Mark Buehrle inched ever closer to the near-impossible. At some point in the 7th inning, I hit the record button on the DVR remote…you know, just in case. By the end of the 8th inning, I was beginning to think it might actually happen. And then, in the 9th inning, Gabe Kapler hit a deep fly ball that seemed destined to bring everyone back to reality, when DeWayne Wise made the catch of the year that kept the perfection alive. Two short outs later, Buehrle had done the unthinkable, and I had the same thought in my head as millions of people across the country did later that evening as they saw the highlights - “dude, Buehrle owes Wise BIG-TIME.” So…what exactly is saving a perfect game worth, anyway?
Apparently - booze. We approve. MOUTHPIECE SPORTS got their hands on these photos of the customized bottle of Crown Royal XR that Buehrle is gifting his game-saving teammate. This ain’t your standard Crown Royal, of course. The XR stands for “extra rare,” and a 750ml bottle will set you back somewhere in the vicinity of $200.
If $200 seems pretty cheap to ensure a perfect game…just wait, there’s more! The Crown is just the first of several tokens of gratitude that Buehrle has planned for Wise. Buehrle has also commissioned a painting of Wise’s highlight-reel catch as a present, and we are confident there are other presents in the works, too, even if they won’t be publicly announced. Of course, then there’s also the gift that keeps on giving - it’s pretty safe to say that DeWayne Wise will never have to pay for drinks at Chicago’s south side bars as long as he lives.