Bode Dockal’s First Two Baseball Games Are Perfect

Figuring there have only been 23 perfect games in the history of Major League Baseball (dating back more than 120 years), seeing one of those in person is a feat in itself. To see two perfect games in one season is a completely different achievement. And then, to see two perfect games in the first two big league games of your life — that’s just incredible.

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Bode and Paul Dockal at Phil Humber’s perfect game on April 21, 2012

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Bode Dockal. He’s just a year old and he’s already seen two perfect games — in the only two Major League Baseball games he’s ever been to. Bode is too young to understand what he’s seen, and there’s no way he’ll ever remember perfection, but his father Paul Dockal is keeping it all documented for him.

“This past weekend I took my son to his first major league baseball game,” Paul wrote on his ‘Blog for Dads‘ back in April. “What an amazing day.”

Well, that’s because Chicago White Sox pitcher Phil Humber tossed a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. 27 batters up; 27 batters down. And Bode Dockal, at just nine months old, was there to see them all.

“The first thing I said to my wife was, ‘This is the best day I’ve ever had with my son.’” Paul told MLB.com.

Little did Paul know he would witness history with his little boy again — the very next time they went to a game together.

Bode Dockal | First Two Baseball Game Are Perfect Games

Bode and Paul Dockal at Felix Hernandez’s perfect game on August 15, 2012

According to an article on MLB.com, Paul took Bode back to Safeco Field on August 15th. The Dockal’s had family in town and the visitors wanted to watch some baseball. And watch baseball they did — perfect baseball. As fate would have it, Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez tossed a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays. It’s the first time in Major League Baseball history two perfect games have been thrown in the same stadium in one season.

I would have died to see just one of those perfect games in person. I was in Europe when Humber threw the first perfecto, and I was in my car driving to work when Hernandez finished off his masterpiece. Luckily, being a local sports guy in Seattle, I was still able to capture the excitement of Hernandez’s gem in our newscasts that night. It almost felt like I was actually there, but that’s not nearly enough for me. I’ll keep buying tickets until I win the baseball lottery. Something Bode Dockal’s done twice — and he’s just a toddler.

Have you ever seen a perfect game in person? I would love to hear your story (so I can live vicariously through you)! Leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and/or Google+. Don’t forget to also check out more of my sports coverage right here on All Around Tim!

Frank Thomas | Meeting ‘The Big Hurt’

I feel like I’m a magnet for celebrity sightings, especially when I go to Las Vegas. I’ve rolled craps with MMA star Ryan Bader and singer/manager René Angélil (better known as Celine Dion’s husband — click here for the story), while also crossing paths with James Brown, Vince Vaughn, Floyd Mayweather and many others. While Vegas never disappoints (from a celebrity standpoint at least), Chicago usually leads to some celebrity sightings as well.

I’ve been to the Windy City five times over the last year and a half. Every time I go there; I see a celebrity or two — or even more. On my last trip to Chi-Town in June, we ran into baseball stars galore. My brother and dad spotted Boston Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett and broadcaster Joe Buck at the Tavern On Rush (a haven for celebrity sightings), and then my brother and I bumped into former Major Leaguer/current ESPN baseball analyst Chris Singleton on the street. From there I met legendary closer Lee Smith before a Chicago Cubs game, and then came the best encounter of all…

While we were in Chicago we saw one game at Wrigley Field between the Red Sox and Cubs, and three games at U.S. Cellular Field between the Cubs and White Sox. Before the second game of the crosstown rivalry, my dad, brother, and I stopped into Bacardi at the Park for a few drinks. We’d all heard that former White Sox star Frank Thomas was making his own beer (no joke), and they were selling some there. So, all three of us grabbed a Big Hurt Beer (“The Big Hurt” is Thomas’ nickname) to try it out. After a few sips, we heard an announcement that Frank Thomas was actually in the building.

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Me, my brother and “The Big Hurt” Frank Thomas

My brother and I decided to check out the situation. The line to meet him wasn’t very long, so we jumped into the fray. No more than three minutes later we were shaking hands with Frank Thomas himself. The dude was massive! He was listed as 6’5″ 240 pounds when he played, but he’s even bigger now – it wouldn’t even be fair to guess how much he weighs – but just look at him next to my brother in the picture. I think that says it all.

We showed Frank that we were drinking Big Hurt Beer and he told us we didn’t need more than one and half of those to be ready for the game (not much of a sales pitch if you ask me). Thomas was also drinking a BHB when we met him, so we all clanked cans for our picture. I later tweeted the picture of the three of us and Frank Thomas retweeted it on his account (don’t follow him if you don’t want to hear about Big Hurt Beer — that’s all he tweets about). I thought that was pretty cool.

It was a brief encounter, but one I won’t forget. I loved Frank Thomas. He not only shined for the Chicago White Sox, but he also played for the Oakland Athletics (twice). I was a huge Bash Brothers (Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco) fan as a kid, and my love for the A’s grew with me from there. If you play for my team — you’re one of my guys — so I became an even bigger fan when Thomas came to the Bay Area.

There’s no doubt Frank Thomas will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. He’s a career .301 hitter with 521 home runs (tied for 18th on the all-time list) and 1,704 RBI. The guy was a walk machine as well, getting 1,667 free passes in his career (10th all-time). Frank’s a two-time American League Most Valuable Player and a five-time All-Star. Simply put — he’s one of the best to ever play the game.

Have you ever met Frank Thomas? How about any other baseball stars? I would love to hear your stories! Leave a comment right here or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and/or Google+. You can also connect with me on YouTube and Pinterest as well!