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"I knew about it, yeah, because he had been a great pitcher with the Mets and he came to the Reds in June of '78, and I'd known about his track record of near misses. I mean five times you go to the ninth with a no-hitter, and you lose it each time?" When you're broadcasting you sort of have to keep the professionalism and the objectivity, but at the same time you cover the team and you see the situations where he's come so close and yet he has these setbacks. For this to happen, are you sort of like a fan in a sense?

"In a sense you are, if it's a player you have a particularly good relationship with. To be honest with you, there's some guys I wouldn't root for at all. But in his case I did because he and I developed a good friendship while he was on the club, and I inwardly rooted like hell for him just like I did for Browning when he pitched the perfect game because of the kind of people they both were and still are today."

"From an individual standpoint they would probably be the top three. I mean from a team perspective, being associated with the Big Red Machine teams that won back-to-back world championships in '75 and '76, and the 1990 team that won it all beating Oakland in the World Series." A lot of them are carried with emotion?

"Oh, a tremendous emotion. All three of them. All three of them. Hell, in Browning's case from the seventh inning on, I could barely keep my scorebook - my hand was shaking so bad." Really?

"Yeah, because I knew what he was attempting to do, and the most amazing thing about his perfect game was there were no difficult plays to preserve it. Inevitably, in a no-hitter you're going to have one or two plays that could go either way. In his case, there's wasn't - everything was routine."

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Jun 24 2002, 03:30:07
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