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Dave Righetti’s No Hitter

Can you believe it was twenty five years ago that Dave “Rags” Righetti threw the first Yankee no hitter since the 1956 World Series? It was 1983 at year when there was not much to cheer about in Yankee lore (sort of like this year). It was July 4th, the boss’s birthday, New York City only had cable in Manhattan. The Yankee game was broadcasted that day on now defunt Sports Channel. If you wanted to see it in one of the other 4 boroughs you had to be a Wometco Home Theatre (WHT) subscriber. The play by play was the legendary Mel Allen with the classic trio of Phil Rizzuto, Franke Messer and Bill White rotating between there and radio. A side note is that the classic you see of this game has the radio audio. It would have been great to hear Mell Allen do the game.

Rags thanked a lot of people that day but three people he didn’t thank was my friends Tommy Maiorana, Jerry Cunningham and myself. You are saying, why should he thank you guys? OK, I will tell you. You see we were offered the Morgan Bank Main Box seats to that game that morning but turned them down because of previous commitments, plus the fact that it was in the mid 90s. You are now saying “so!”. Well I’ll tell you so, you see if we were in the Stadium we would have changed the karma and Righetti may not have been so lucky.

Steve Kemp of all people who was probably the most unproductive 300 hitter the Yankees ever had made a great play in the field to save the no-no. As you probably know Rags struck out future Yankee Wade Boggs to end the 4-0 game in front of 41,077 fans a video that has played on the Diamond Vision over and over again. Boggs later admitted he felt t hat if he had broke up the no hitter he would not have got out of the stadium alive. Little did he know how much New York would one day love him.

Dave Righetti, the 1981 Rookie of the Year in the American League, was later converted to a releiver when Goose Gossage signed with the Padres and excelled at the role for the rest of his career, although it was “suppose” to be a temporary move. Little did Righetti know that he was going to have only 18 more starts before becoming one of the premiere closers in the game.

This year the Yankees once again play the Red Sox on July 4th. With the Myth and Aura take over again? Will lady luck smile down upon Dave Rasner? Wouldn’t it be a Fairy Tale FInal Season cookie for us all to munch on? Will Yogi be in the building? All I know if someone phones me in the morning and offers me tickets behind home plate . . . I ain’t going!

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