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October 5, 2010

The Season That Was...May

With an exciting start to the baseball season in the rearview mirror...May brought just as much electricity as April. And I'm not just saying that because some dude I know put out a book.

One of The Hall's favorite players, Jamie Moyer, became the oldest pitcher in Major League history to throw a complete game shutout on May 7. Baseball's elder statesman was 47 years, 170 days when he beat the Atlanta Braves at (Senior) Citizens Bank Park.

See what I did there?

With the win, he also became the first pitcher to pitch complete game shutouts in four different decades.

On Mothers Day, with his grandmother in the stands, Oakland's Dallas Braden threw the season's first perfect game. Earlier in the season, the Michael Rappaport lookalike became an ESPN staple when he shouted down Alex Rodriguez for crossing his mound.

Three weeks later, Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies added a perfect game of his own to his growing Hall of Fame-worthy (yes, I said it already) resume. But what will I remember from the evening? I'll tell you this much, it won't be Halladay's no-no.

No, it'll be the fact that minutes after I dropped six bucks on a souvenir ball for my son at the gift shop during the seventh inning of the game I was attending...he got a foul ball.

Not as high profile as what Braden and Halladay did is what Boston Red Sox hurler Tim Wakefield accomplished on May 12. Fenway’s favorite infielder-turned-pitcher struck out Vernon Wells to become just the third knuckleballer with 2000 or more strikeouts. The others? Hall of Famer Phil Niekro and Charlie Hough.

And on May 22, New York Mets closer Fancisco Rodriguez became, at 28 years old, the youngest reliever to reach 250 career saves. At the same age, Hoffman had yet to save 100 games…but from age 29 to 41, dude added close to 500 more. Provided "K-Rod" can stay out of legal trouble (FORESHADOWING!), he'll likely continue to close the gap between he and Hoffman.

Sadly, the baseball world also lost two fan favorites. On May 4, former broadcaster Ernie Harwell succumbed to bile duct cancer. And on May 23, the flamboyant Jose Lima fell victim to a heart attack.

So what else happened in May? Manny Ramirez went deep for the 550th time in his career, Jason Kendall got hit by the pitch for an amazing 250th time (a week before scoring run number 1000) and Tim Hudson notched his 150th victory.

Wondering what happened in HERE! The June re-cap is, naturally, tomorrow.

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