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Rays Tank: A legend is born

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If this day doesn't mean anything to you, you aren't a Rays fan.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Ladies, gents, and Edskies, this is very special day. Today marks the seven year anniversary of the Great Pumpkin's first rising. Once upon a time, under previous management, they tried to get this guy a holiday. I don't think it really took, partly because the day chosen -- September 21st -- was not a marker of any of his heroics, but also I suspect because one day is not enough to contain Dan Johnson.

It started with a scratch. Even though the miracle season was slipping away, DanJo -- fresh from Durham -- was supposed to be in the starting lineup. That was just Maddon's way. But travel delays forced a change of plans. So it wasn't until the ninth inning, with the Sox up by one and All-Star closer Jonathan Papelbon in to close it, that Maddon introduced us to the previously unheralded ginger.

At first, I was kinda mad that there was no video with DeWayne and Joe calling it, no audio with Dave and Andy. But then, the more I listened to the simple sadness of the "it's gone" in Don Orsillo's voice, I realized, I think I like it this way better.

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Often forgotten in DanJo lovefest is that this only tied the game. In case you forgot, this was the eventual game winner from later in the inning.

Sometimes I forget that there are good memories of Navi too. Troy Percival came on to get the save (no, really), and Tampa Bay never looked back.

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No more highlights, since they would just be anticlimactic. But here are some other heroes of yore from September 9th, some of them positively DanJosian:

  • 1914: "Iron" George Davis of the Boston Braves no-hits the Phillies. It is one of only seven wins Davis accumulates in his four year major league career.
  • 1945: Dick Fowler of the Philadelphia A's notches his only victory of the season when he no-hits the Browns. He is also the first Canadian to throw a major league no-hitter.
  • 1948: Rex Barney of the Dodgers no-hits the Giants. The game includes a one-hour rain delay as well as showers in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings.
  • 1965: Sandy Koufax's fourth no-hitter is a perfect game. In the 1-0 Dodger victory, he bests Bob Hendley of the Cubs, who tosses a one-hitter.
  • 1988: In his final appearance, Bruce Sutter saves his 300th game as the Braves beat the Padres. The future Hall of Famer is the third reliever to reach that milestone.
  • 2002: Randy Johnson of the Diamondbacks passes the 300 strikeouts for the fifth consecutive season, breaking his own record.

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