Humber stayed humble after perfect gameThe White Sox' Humber baffled Mariner's hitters the entire game
Published 4/24/2012Comments (0)
On a weekend that the Boston Red Sox celebrated the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, the Sox from Chicago stole the show.
Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox became the 21st pitcher in MLB history to throw a perfect game as he accomplished the feat Saturday against the Seattle Mariners.
Apparently making history trumps the celebration of history. And yet, as Humber fell to his knees in front of the cheering crowd in Seattle, humility exuded from him. Perhaps it was fitting that his teammates piled on top of him, concealing him from onlookers for a moment. It seemed as if he wanted anyone but himself to have the spotlight.
“A lot of credit goes to A.J. Pierzynski. He did a great job of calling pitches today and blocking balls in the dirt. Our offense came out and got us some runs early so it was a really good win on top of everything else,” Humber said on FOX after the game.
He went on to praise his defense and said those players make difficult plays look easy.
Is it Humber or Humble? Keep in mind that this 29-year-old pitcher had not thrown a complete game in 29 career starts, according to ESPN.
He struck out nine of the 27 batters he had to face in the game. He needed only 96 pitches to get through those 27 batters, according to MLB.com. That is pretty economical for a pitcher without a complete game on his record.
Humber deserves to give himself some credit here. After all, this has only happened 20 other times.
Perhaps the most impressive fact about Humber is that he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2005, according to ESPN. While pitchers such as Kerry Wood and Stephen Strasburg have returned to the game after having the same surgery, the operation weakens the arm.
Try to prevent a professional lineup from recording a hit or a walk for nine innings with a fresh arm. Then attempt the same with an arm that has a reconstructed elbow. The former is tough enough. The latter is unimaginable.
Humber did not just pitch his perfect game after returning from surgery. He pitched it on the road. While Seattle fans do not have a reputation for rowdiness, they still have an excuse to heckle an opposing pitcher.
In fact, only eight of the 21 pitchers to throw perfect games have done it away from their home ballparks, according to Baseball-Almanac.com. This only adds to the impressiveness of Humber’s achievement.
Yes, the Mariners entered Saturday’s game with a team batting average of .235. Yet, that means about six Mariners should have recorded a hit against Humber. They could not muster one.
The rarity of a perfect game is obvious. It is even more special under the circumstances that Humber did it. Even still, in the interview after the game, Humber symbolized humility.
He credited God once at the beginning of the interview. Nobody can criticize that.
He complimented his teammates five times.
He gave credit to himself only twice, and criticized himself just as much. He even said he did not feel he dominated in the game. Seriously?
You just did something that every Little Leaguer dreams of doing. You just did something that most professional pitchers spend their entire careers trying to do. You just separated yourself from hundreds, if not thousands, of other pitchers who wish they could join the perfect 21.
Brag just a little. Swagger just a little. History justifies it, and most of all, you deserve it.