That is what was achieved by Don Larsen in 1956, the last time two New York teams battled for baseball's world championship in what's become known as a Subway Series.
Larsen, a journeyman Yankee righthander, retired all 27 Brooklyn Dodgers he faced. It was the only perfect game as well as the only no-hitter in World Series history. Truly an event to be savored in baseball history.
But in terms of memorable moments, the match-up wasn't really unique. In baseball's first half-century, it was common for the Yankees to battle either the Dodgers or New York Giants for the title, and many of the game's all-time highlights resulted from these clashes.
That changed shortly after Larsen's masterpiece, when the Dodgers and Giants pulled up stakes and headed west. The Mets arrived in 1962 to return the National League to the Big Apple, but they and the Yanks never managed to make it to the Series at the same time. Until now.
The return of the Subway Series Saturday is being heralded as a comeback for the slumping national pastime, which has lost much of the glamour and wide appeal it enjoyed in Larsen's day.
Even the sport's diehard fans admit that football, with its flashy allure and barely controlled violence, is more suited to the hectic modern era than baseball, which appears snail-like in comparison. As if to emphasize the difference, this season's playoffs were particularly interminable, with nine-inning games stretching past an exhausting four hours. It began to appear that a pitcher's job was not so much to pitch as stand and stare at his catcher, and a hitter's job was to step out of the batter's box and tug at everything from his ear lobe to his jockstrap.
Teams like the Yankees, with the wealth to hire enough good players to field a championship team, can afford to live in denial about baseball's doldrums, because the home town still loves a winner. Elsewhere, the game's problems are more difficult to hide. This was proven by the playoffs' television ratings, which were alarmingly poor.
It remains to be seen whether the excitement generated in New York for the Subway Series will be stimulating enough to rejuvenate national interest in baseball. In terms of its ability to regain its lost luster, this may be the sport's final inning.
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