As pitching dominates across baseball in 2012, the year of the pitcher extended to small-town Port Charlotte, Florida. In a Florida State League contest on Wednesday, August 28, Chris Corrigan of the Palm Beach Cardinals threw a perfect game against the Charlotte Stone Crabs during a 8-0 triumph at Charlotte Sports Park.
Though perfection has only occurred 23 times in major league history, such events are more common in the minors. While 30 clubs comprise the big leagues, there are 240 minor league teams that compete daily in dozens of leagues throughout the country.
Nevertheless, Corrigan’s historic performance becomes the 1st perfect game at Charlotte Sports Park since the Stone Crabs’ arrival in 2009. In the next to last home date of 2012, a crowd of 1,422 were undoubtedly delighted to witness the achievement, despite it meaning that their preferred team failed even to achieve a single baserunner.
The 24 year-old struck out 9 batters and earned the majority of his outs on the ground, as only 4 balls reached the outfield. Meanwhile, Palm Beach, which serves as the Single-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, posted 8 runs and 11 hits during an assault on the scoreboard. The Stone Crabs used 3 pitchers in futile attempt to stem the tide and committed a costly 3 errors in the field.
Reminiscent of this year’s unlikely gem from pedestrian Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox, the victory improves Corrigan’s record to 4-8 in 2012. It further keeps alive hopes of the 2nd place Cardinals for the South Division title, a race from which the Stone Crabs have been eliminated.
After playing for the University of Mississippi, Corrigan was selected by St. Louis in the 30th round of the 2009 draft. The Texas native is a lanky 6’2″ 155 pound hurler and otherwise appears a longshot to reach the majors. Perhaps this milestone will transform the fate of this righty, who graciously remained to sign autographs after the game.
Future major leaguers Bronson Arroyo (currently with the Cincinnati Reds) and 12 year veteran Rick Helling memorably tossed perfect games in the minors. An accurate number of such events is difficult due to a lack of record keeping, but estimates range from 50-100. Chris Corrigan now joins that unknown list and becomes a part of the history of Charlotte Sports Park.
While Palm Beach goes home to conclude the season on the Atlantic coast, the Stone Crabs travel to nearby Fort Myers for a 3 game set. These contests against the rival Miracle will be played at Hammond Stadium and the match-up on September 1st will be followed by a celebratory fireworks.
Both teams return to Charlotte Sports Park for the final game of 2012 on September 2nd at 5:30 p.m. The Stone Crabs will commemorate the end of their 4th campaign with Fan Appreciation Day, which likewise features a fireworks show over the skies of Port Charlotte.
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