Thursday, 3 July 2014

Pair of remarkable hockey legends in attendance for historic no-hitter

Not since Juan Marichal has San Francisco Giants fans seen a pitcher capture their hearts and minds like Tim Lincecum. On the day that he pitched his no-hitter, it was only fitting that two world-class women’s ice hockey players that have carved their own unique legacies were in attendance for such a memorable milestone.

Julie Chu and Caroline Ouellette have equally had the same impact in the Montreal sporting scene just like Lincecum has with sports fans in San Francisco. While Chu and Ouellette are both rivals in international hockey, both having made their Olympic debuts at the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Games, Chu and Ouellette have helped solidify Montreal as a hotbed for women’s hockey.

Chu, the first woman to win three consecutive Clarkson Cups (two came with Montreal) and Ouellette, the first French-Canadian woman to serve as captain of the Canadian Olympic Team, also won the first-ever Clarkson Cup (and another two with Chu as her teammate). Despite their international rivalries, Chu and Ouellette’s friendship represents more than just an unbreakable bond, but the true spirit of sportsmanship.

Of note, this dynamic duo is both contributing their efforts at a youth hockey camp in Southern California, sponsored by McDonald’s and the 2014 Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. Hosted at the Toyota Sports Centre, the LA Kings “Play like a Girl” Camp featured Chu and Ouellette host groups of players 10 and under, along with another group of players 19 and under.

Making the trek northwards to San Francisco on June 25 for a day-off of fun and leisure, Chu was an honored guest of the Giants. No stranger to baseball, Chu has been fortunate enough to grace the field at Boston’s Fenway Park in 2010 and 2014. On both occasions, she was part of a group of New England-raised athletes being honored by the Red Sox for their participation in the Winter Games. During the visit at AT&T Park, Chu’s name appeared on the scoreboard, resulting in a well-deserved round of applause by the fans.  

Accompanied by Ouellette in the stands, the two witnessed a rare and unique moment in baseball history. Having carved remarkable and historic legacies in hockey, it was only fitting that they were on hand for such a moment. Tim Lincecum did more than just pitch the second no-hitter of his career in a 4-0 victory for the Giants.

Both times that he threw no-hitters in his career, it was accomplished against the same team, the San Diego Padres. Lincecum becomes the first pitcher in over 100 years to no-hit the same team twice in a career. The first was Addie Joss of Cleveland, no-hitting the White Sox in 1908 (which was a perfect game) and 1910. An extra bit of history was made in the contest as Lincecum actually logged two base hits, making him the first pitcher since Rick Wise on June 23, 1971, to toss a no-hitter and record a pair of hits.
It would come as no surprise that their status as world-class athletes may have supplied an element of good luck for Lincecum. 

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