Baseball is a game that has been played for over a hundred years. There have been roughly 180,000 games played in the Major Leagues alone. Many more have been played in the minor leagues, and countless more again in various youth leagues everywhere. It’s no exaggeration to say that millions of organized baseball games have been played. The rarest event in baseball is the perfect game. Major League baseball has recorded 23 perfect games in its 130-plus year history. Yep, the perfect game is indeed a rare and unique event.
But last week the Cloverdale Bantam A team experienced a baseball event so strange, so rare, so unique as to make the perfect game seem almost as commonplace as a grounder to short. An event so unlikely, that if you were to pitch it as part of a Disney movie, the executives would scoff and say it was too unrealistic. Fairly extensive online research has shown that it might, in fact, be a unique occurrence that has never happened in baseball before. At any level. Ever. Allow me to explain.
The Bantam A Spurs were playing in a tournament over the July 1 weekend in Newton. The coach received an email from the grandmother of two of the players saying she wouldn’t be at the game until later and to tell the boys to “play for Nana.” The young lads in question are identical twins Aidan and Callum MacNicoll (collectively referred to as “The Hippies”, perhaps due to their fascination with Woodstock. No one knows for sure), well known in Cloverdale sporting circles. The Hippies and the rest of the team agreed that, yes, they would indeed, play for Nana.
In the semi-final game played on July 1 they played for Nana all right. In the first inning with two out and bases loaded, Aidan hammered a 1-1 pitch over the fence in right center for a grand slam! Nana would be proud.
Not to be outdone, Callum came to the plate in the third inning with two out and bases loaded.
Not being an identical twin myself, I can imagine that it can get tiresome constantly being compared to your sibling and expected to do identical feats. This, I surmise, is why Callum waited until the count was 2-1 before he hit a grand slam over the fence at the exact same spot! No chance of Nana playing favourites now.
[Left: Callum MacNicholl realizes he’s just hit a grand slam, two innings after his twin brother hit one.]
Now, I’m not sure how a mathematician would work out the odds of such an occurrence, but I know that extensive research of youth baseball record sites shows nothing like that occurring. Forget that a team having two grannies in a game may tie a record. Two identical twins hitting each of their first grand slams to the same spot in the same game? Wow!
This being a tournament, MVP medals were handed out after each game. Normally, you hit a grand slam, you win the MVP. But in a game where two brothers each hit a grand slam? Who should possibly win the MVP? Why, Nana, of course! And so it was that the fans, players, and coaches from both teams applauded as a beaming Nana wore her MVP medal and posed for a photo between two very proud boys holding up their historic baseballs. Everyone knew they had just seen something rare and wonderful. No one truly realized they were witnessing history.
Congratulations Aidan and Callum!
– Contributor Mike Robinson is the team’s coach.