With all the A-Rod insanity going on this weekend (the New York papers were a hoot today, more on that tomorrow), the MLB Network was all over the story, and it interrupted their special programming this weekend. They were going to show some of the 19 and 20 strikeout games in MLB history, from David Cone, Randy Johnson, Kerry Wood and of course, The Texas Con Man.
I caught a little of the Wood 20-strikeout game, as well as the Cone 19-strikeout game, the one he threw against the Phillies for the Mets in 1991. But I did see a bit of Randy Johnson's masterpiece over the Oakland A's in 1997. (Ironically enough he lost the game, 4-1, in going the entire nine innings.)
That was also the game that Mark McGwire hit that moonshot home run off Johnson, a 477-foot shot that has been repeated over and over as one of the longest home runs in history. (It was reported at the time it was over 530 feet, but it was later measured and was nearly 60 feet shorter.)
But to my surprise, guess who was Johnson's 19th strikeout of the game? None other than our old friend Mark Bellhorn. Not that Bellhorn didn't strike out much as we all remember, but it was funny seeing him in an Oakland A's uniform. I had forgotten that that was the team he came up with.
Mr. Dinghonk hasn't been in the majors since 2007 when he was with Cincinnati. But I'll never forget those three home runs he hit in the 2004 postseason, especially the two he banged off the foul pole. I'll remember them more than his hefty strikeout numbers.