Over my lifetime I have had the extraordinary experience to witness, as a participant or an observer, many significant social, political, cultural or sports-related events.
Here are two interesting recent examples of sports related events where I was a “witness to history”.
Sunday, April 10 was the final day of the 2022 Masters golf tournament. I stayed up all night watching the tournament live on Tokyo TV (listening to English commentary via Sirius radio and various online reports).
Twenty-five years ago on that day I had a front row seat on the 18th green to witness a young American golfer finish one of the most memorable rounds in golf history. Tiger Woods won the 1997 Masters at Augusta, Georgia, setting records for the lowest score (270 strokes) and the widest margin of victory (12). Seeing Tiger make his remarkable comeback was inspirational!
Early on Sunday as I sleepily scanned cable TV sports coverage I stumbled on the last innings of the first perfect game in Nippon Professional Baseball in 28 years. The pitcher, twenty-year old Roki Sasaki, threw only 105 pitches and set a Japanese pro baseball record by striking out 13 consecutive batters en route to Japan’s 16th perfect game. Another extraordinary performance.
I still recall as a young boy watching on a black and white TV the perfect game thrown by NY Yankee pitcher Don Larsen in game 5 of the 1956 World Series. It is the only post-season perfect game in major league baseball history.