Luis Mendoza threw the first no hitter by a RedHawk or 89er since the Clinton administration Friday night at the Brick.
As no hitters go, it was far from perfect. He walked six. But Mendoza throttled up for the final inning and got the last three outs.
When I first started covering the RedHawks in 2008, Mendoza was one of the first players I ever interviewed. Sometimes guys in the clubhouse can be moody and unwilling to talk to writers. I found this to be true with Orlando Hernandez earlier this season and it was definitely true when confirmed moonbat Ryan Freel came to town with Iowa earlier this summer. These guys aren’t high school or college players. There is no SID or coach to tell them what to do as is the case at OU and OSU or any high school. Interviews are purely at the player’s discretion. Hernandez finally decided he was willing to talk and was great from then on. Timing is everything.
Which brings us back to Mendoza who is probably the most affable of all Oklahoma City’s players. Mendoza has always been an easy talker for reporters and for fans who want an autograph. He was a willing translator for Neftali Feliz who spoke very little (if any) English. Reporters never get to know players like their teammates do, but Mendoza is almost certainly how he appears. An all around good dude.
So maybe that’s why even after Mendoza got the pie in the face on the field, a dozen or so RedHawks were waiting to give him an adult beverage shower as he walked up the tunnel from the dugout. They know him best and the phrase “couldn’t happen to a nicer guy” was uttered by more than one RedHawk Friday night. Couldn’t agree more.