The Times West Virginian

Sports

June 12, 2013

Cole makes highly anticipated debut

Another op’nin’, another show

In Philly, Boston or Baltimo’,

A chance for stage folks to say hello,

Another op’nin’ of another show.


— “Another Op’nin’, Another Show,” from the Broadway musical, “Kiss Me Kate”

Opening night. Nothing like it, be it a Broadway opening or a movie premier.

Or the first day of the rest of a baseball player’s life.

It’s an evening when glamor and nerves co-exist, when the past means nothing and the future dissipates into a meaningless mist.

Only the present exists.

And so it was for Gerrit Cole, pitching phenom of the Pittsburgh Pirates, a No. 1 choice with a 100-mile-an-hour fastball.

He had ridden the Major League Express through the minor leagues and then, somewhere around 7:10 on a humid Tuesday evening, the strains of the National Anthem having faded into another night at the ball park for the veterans on the field behind him and in the other dugout, he found himself alone on the hill in the midst of the infield in the best baseball stadium in America, ready to throw his first pitch.

This was Gerrit Cole against the world, but he was hardly alone out there. In truth, every man who had ever pitched in the major leagues had gone through the same thing, perhaps not always with the hype surrounding this debut, but everyone from Hall of Famer to total failures had made a debut.

How would his stack up to the hard-throwing Hall of Famers who had come before him, men whose fastballs were legendary and who would perform feats no one could imagine a pitcher performing.

o June 24, 1955, Brooklyn at Milwaukee, fifth inning, trailing 6-0, a 19-year-old left-handed bonus baby out of the University of Cincinnati would come on in relief.

His name was Sandy Koufax.

The first batter he faced was Johnny Logan, who singled, and now he stood there looking at a pair of Hall of Famers in Eddie Mathews and Hank Aaron, followed by the home run hero Bobby Thomson and Joe Adcock, a man who would hit four home runs and a double in a game and had broken up Harvey Haddix’s perfect game in the 13th inning.

  But not a one of them would get a hit off Koufax, who went on to pitch two scoreless innings allowing only Logan’s hit and walk to Aaron.

Text Only
Sports
  • Post 17 #10-Post 1 #16 -ts.jpg Post 17 makes quick work of Wheeling to advance: PHOTOS

    Fairmont Post 17 scattered 16 hits and plated double-digit runs in a 10-2 rout of Post 1 Wheeling Friday afternoon at Hawley Field.
    Fairmont wasted no time getting runs across the plate. Right fielder James Bolander smoked a two-RBI double in the bottom of the first inning to grab a 2-0 lead that Fairmont would never surrender.

    August 2, 2014 5 Photos

  • WVU #9 Trickett -ts.jpg A healthy Trickett gives WVU chance to win

    You might recall that Pat White’s career as West Virginia quarterback began when Adam Bednarik was injured in the Louisville game of White’s freshman year, opening the door for him to come on and lead one of the greatest comebacks in school history.

    August 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Lingering injury keeps Barber out as season begins

    He was off on the sidelines on the first day of practice, where he’ll be for quite a while now, wearing the red jersey that signifies a player is unable to practice due to injury.
    It wasn’t that he was standing around watching the proceedings. That’s not how it is with Jared Barber.
    No, he’d jog up the sideline, then back.

    August 2, 2014

  • COLUMN: DeVaul answers when called upon

    For the second time in seven days, Post 17 Fairmont called on its veteran leader when it needed a win to stay alive.
    As Fairmont and Post 1 Wheeling stepped onto the field for a rematch with the stakes much higher than their previous meeting at the American Legion state baseball tournament, the ball was placed into Fletcher DeVaul’s hands.

    August 2, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Bob Slonneger widely known as WVU professor, stats crew chief

    Robert Dean Slonneger of Morgantown, a widely known college professor and athletic game statistician, has passed away.
    “Bob,” as he was known to his multitude of friends, died on Tuesday morning, July 29, at Mon General Hospital, after a brief illness.

    August 2, 2014

  • WVU men’s basketball tickets on sale Monday

    Season tickets for West Virginia’s 2014-15 men’s basketball campaign will go on sale Monday, Aug. 4, at the Mountaineer Ticket Office.
    West Virginia will play 16 home games at the WVU Coliseum.

    August 2, 2014

  • Steelers sign Suisham through 2018 season

    Shaun Suisham doesn’t seem to mind kicking at Heinz Field.
    The most accurate kicker in Pittsburgh Steelers’ history parlayed his consistency into a four-year contract extension that runs through the 2018 season. Financial terms for the deal, announced Friday, were not disclosed.

    August 2, 2014

  • Kicker sees second chances after gondola accident

    Maikon Bonani knows all about second chances.
    The native of Brazil is back with the Titans for a second year with the kicker job wide open for the taking, and he’s the only guy in training camp with any NFL experience if kicking in a preseason game counts.

    August 1, 2014

  • Steelers sign Suisham through 2018 season

    Shaun Suisham doesn’t seem to mind kicking at Heinz Field.

    August 1, 2014

  • A healthy Trickett gives WVU chance to win

    You might recall that Pat White’s career as West Virginia quarterback began when Adam Bednarik was injured in the Louisville game of White’s freshman year, opening the door for him to come on and lead one of the greatest comebacks in school history.

    August 1, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
Auto Racing Breaking News
Auto Racing Standings