It’s enough to make any baseball fan drool.
There have been only 23 perfect games thrown in nearly a century and a half of Major League history, and one lucky 9-month-old has witnessed two of them.
Seattle residents and Chicago transplants Paul and Jennifer Dockal took their 9-month-old son, Bode, to Safeco Field for the first time on April 21 to watch their beloved White Sox, MLB.com reports.
They were seated behind the opposing dugout in the first row. “It’s kind of been a dream of mine to have those seats just once,” Paul Dockal told MLB.com.
Wearing their team's colors, Paul, Jennifer and Bode arrived at their seats well before the first pitch. Several White Sox players tossed them balls during batting practice, according to the site.
“It’s kind of been a dream of mine to have those seats just once.”
- Paul Dockal
At the end of the sixth inning, Paul looked up at the scoreboard to check Philip Humber’s pitch count and realized just how perfect a day the White Sox starter was having.
As the outs piled up and tension mounted in the stands, Paul felt a shift among the Mariners faithful. Some continued heckling Humber, but others appeared to be subtly rooting for the visiting starter, according to the site.
Two hours, 17 minutes after the first pitch, Humber completed his masterpiece with a strikeout of Brendan Ryan.
“This is the best day I’ve ever had with my son,” Paul Dockal said he told his wife that day.
Then August 15 happened.
Paul’s brother, Pete, was visiting from Texas, and was looking forward to his first game at Safeco -- and his first with nephew Bode. The Mariners were taking on the Rays, and Felix Hernandez was scheduled to take the hill.
“If you’re coming in for one game, that’s the guy you want to see,” Paul told his brother, according to MLB.com.
When Hernandez kicked one leg in the air and raised his hands skyward after striking out Sean Rodriguez to end the ninth, Paul witnessed history once again.
And Bode had, too.