04/27/2003 9:36 PM ET
Ledee: Ace no-hitter helper
Outfielder has had impact on two no-hitters
PHILADELPHIA -- Being part of one no-hitter is something a player usually will never forget. Hitting a home run then preserving it with a spectacular catch can only make it sweeter.
Ricky Ledee has done it twice.
Surely by now you've seen the highlights of Ledee's home run to right-center field and his catch that preserved Kevin Millwood's masterpiece Sunday. But on July 18, 1999, Ledee had an eerily similar day.
He slugged a two-run homer and made a ninth-inning catch in David Cone's perfect game against the Expos.
"A no-hitter is a no-hitter," said Ledee. "The two I have been in, the pitchers dominated."
Ledee said he thought about the catch for the second out of that 1999 perfecto -- when he juggled a ball hit by Ryan McGuire, but recovered to put it away -- a little bit in the ninth inning. He had a feeling the final out was going to wind up in his glove on Sunday.
"For some reason, I thought I was going to make [the catch]," Ledee said. "I don't know why."
Millwood took more pleasure in Ledee's catch in the seventh inning, when it appeared the no-hitter would end. Marquis Grissom led off the seventh and cranked a ball almost directly at Ledee. He raced back and, twisting to his left, snagged the ball on a dead run.
"From where I was, it looked like he would get there," said Millwood. "Once he reached up and caught it, it was nice. Maybe I'll buy him a beer on the plane."
Ledee didn't allow himself to get too excited about the catch.
"There were still three innings to go and it was a close game," said Ledee. "A hit could cost us the game."
Giants manager Felipe Alou also had that feeling of deja vu, as he was Montreal's manager in 1999 and saw Ledee's catches in both no-hitters first-hand.
"He made a play in left field for New York," said Alou. "He's here today with this team. Ryan McGuire hit the ball. I pinch-hit him out of a hunch, and he hit a flare to left. Ledee broke back and didn't see it well because of the shadows, but he regrouped and made a heckuva play."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for
MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball
or its clubs.
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com