On May 26, 1959, a pitcher named Harvey Haddix pitched 12 and 2/3 innings of perfect baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Milwaukee Braves. He had the unfortunate timing to pitch this masterpiece on a day that his teammates failed to score, and when he gave up a home run in the 13th inning he lost the perfect game, the no-hitter…and the game. Even now, 51 years later, it is considered by many to be the most extraordinary game ever pitched – and the standard by which baseball frustration is measured.
Harvey Haddix, meet Stevie Goldstein.
There is a rich legacy of success involving UCLA softball – as is the case with most of the athletic programs. The school has won almost 90 national championships in various sports over the years, and a microcosm of that mindset of success is on display at Easton Stadium. Evoking thoughts of Yankee Stadium, ringing the outfield wall is a series of banners, each of which celebrates a separate national softball championship.
UCLA’s Easton Field is about as charming as a softball field can get. Tucked, and I do mean tucked, into a glen in the northwest corner of the UCLA campus, it basically occupies the space that is created when the bordering Sunset Boulevard takes a sudden bend. It’s a nice venue in which to watch a game, but you’d better be on your toes because everywhere you sit is close to the action – and there is the occasional foul ball. But more on that tomorrow.