MLB: My most memorable games

CHICAGO - CIRCA 1999: Randy Johnson #51 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches during an MLB game at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. Johnson played for 22 years with 6 different and was a 10-time All-Star, a 5-time Cy Young Award winner and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015. (Photo by SPX/Ron Vesely Photography via Getty Images)
CHICAGO - CIRCA 1999: Randy Johnson #51 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches during an MLB game at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. Johnson played for 22 years with 6 different and was a 10-time All-Star, a 5-time Cy Young Award winner and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015. (Photo by SPX/Ron Vesely Photography via Getty Images) /
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Dodger pitcher Pedro Astacio in the late stages of the 1996 pennant race. Craig Jones /Allsport
Dodger pitcher Pedro Astacio in the late stages of the 1996 pennant race. Craig Jones /Allsport /

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Colorado Rockies, Sept. 18, 1996, Coors Field, Denver

By now a 47-year-old veteran newspaper editor with some reputation in that profession, I am in Denver attending a professional conference. The Dodgers are playing at Coors, where the morning papers are abuzz with the news that Hideo Nomo had thrown a no-hitter the previous night.

Never in baseball history had a team gotten back-to-back no-hitters, and the idea of such a thing happening at Coors, of all places, seems now too far-fetched to even contemplate. Still, the true shame would be if it did happen and I had passed up the opportunity to witness such a memorable event. So I went.

Pedro Astacio took the mound for Los Angeles against Armando Reynoso. The Dodgers scored once in the first and twice more in the second for an early 3-0 advantage. Atop that, Astacio set the side down in order in both innings. Maybe, just maybe…

The Rockies dispatched that dream of witnessing true MLB immortality in the third. After Steve Decker drew a leadoff walk, Neifi Perez grounded a single up the middle and into center field. The mere occurrence of a hit seemed to rattle Astacio and invigorate the Rockies; before the side had been retired they had tied the game.

In the fifth, Rockies slugger Andres Galarraga homered to put the home team on top for good, Sadly for me, Galarraga pulled his home run to left field; I was seated upper tank in right.

The final: Rockies 6, Dodgers 4. The outcome was more consequential than I realized at the time. Los Angeles, in first place on that day, lost six of its remaining 10 games – including the final four – to finish the season at 90-72, one game behind the division champion San Diego Padres. The last three defeats all came to the Padres.