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More baseball history this weekend?

By Matthew Mochow and Michael Squadron, CNN
Kobe Bryant led the Los Angeles Lakers to a win in Thursday's NBA Finals game. Game two is Sunday.
Kobe Bryant led the Los Angeles Lakers to a win in Thursday's NBA Finals game. Game two is Sunday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Roy Halladay makes first start since his perfect game against Padres
  • NHL Finals have games Friday and Sunday
  • NBA Finals' game two is Sunday night
RELATED TOPICS

(CNN) -- Armando Galarraga's perfect game that wasn't, and Roy Halladay's that was, headlined a history-making week in sports.

Plus the NBA Finals, the Stanley Cup Finals, the Belmont Stakes, Tiger Woods back on the golf course, why the legendary John Wooden was an even better man than he was a basketball coach, and a doubleheader in Yankee Stadium that has nothing to do with baseball -- these are some fun things you may want to mention if the talk turns to sports this weekend.

Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga lost his perfect game Wednesday night when umpire Jim Joyce mistakenly called the last batter safe; replays showed that he was clearly out. Galarraga showed grace after the bad call, Joyce apologized, and they shared a moment Thursday, when Galarraga brought the Tigers' lineup card out to Joyce, who was umpiring at home plate. The incident added to what's been an unprecedented year of pitching in Major League Baseball.

If Joyce had gotten the call right, Galarraga would have been the third pitcher to throw a perfect game this season. What's amazing is that before this year, in the 100-year-plus history of baseball, only 18 perfect games had been thrown. That's less than one every six years.

Perfect games happen so infrequently because, of course, they're hard to do. In order to get one, a pitcher must retire every batter he faces over nine innings, no hits, no walks, 27 batters up, 27 outs. (There are also no-hitters, in which a pitcher can walk and hit batters but not give up base hits. Those are special but less rare; more than 200 have been pitched).

Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies makes his first start since his perfect game Friday night against the San Diego Padres. What are the chances of his pitching a second-straight perfect game or even a no-hitter? Something similar has happened only once before; Johnny Vander Meer pitched two straight no-hitters in 1938.

By the way, we're only a third of the way into the baseball season. There are still lots of pitches still to be thrown and quite possibly more history to be made.

Friday night also brings game four of hockey's Stanley Cup Finals, with the Philadelphia Flyers trying to even the best-of-seven series with the Chicago Blackhawks at two wins apiece. If the Blackhawks win Friday night and Sunday's game five, they win their first Stanley Cup since 1961.

Tiger Woods is back on the PGA Tour after missing a few weeks with a neck injury. He's playing in Jack Nicklaus' Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, and hasn't won since he came back to golf after a stint in rehab.

Saturday is the Belmont Stakes, the third leg in horse-racing's triple crown, after the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. No horse has been able to win all three races since 1978, and it's not going to happen this year. Neither the Derby winner nor the Preakness winner is even running in the Belmont.

One of the horses running this weekend, Uptowncharlybrown, is owned by 59 partners. If he wins -- the odds give him a chance but he's not a favorite -- watch for a very crowded winner's circle.

Sunday night in Los Angeles is game two of the NBA Finals, matching the sport's two most successful franchises: the Boston Celtics (17 championships) and the Los Angeles Lakers (15 championships). The Lakers won Thursday night's game one at home. One stat you may want to throw around: Lakers coach Phil Jackson's teams are 47-0 in series after they win game one.

Perhaps it's fitting that much of the basketball world is in Los Angeles this weekend with the news at that John Wooden, the legendary UCLA basketball coach, has fallen gravely ill at age 99. You can certainly spend the weekend talking about his historic accomplishments on the basketball court: a record 10 NCAA basketball championships in the '60s and '70s, and a record 88-game winning streak. But also check out this Rick Reilly Sports Illustrated column from 2000 in which he detailed how Wooden continued to write a monthly love note to his wife, even after she died.

The French Open tennis championship matches will be played in Paris. It is the second of tennis' four major championships; Wimbledon and the US Open are in the summer.

NASCAR is in Pocono, Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James goes one-on-one with Larry King on Friday night, and there's a different kind of doubleheader at Yankee Stadium on Saturday. A championship fight with Uri Foreman, defending his junior middleweight title against Miguel Cotto, will be preceded by the bar mitzvah of Scotty Ballan, a Westchester County, New York, young man whose family rented out the stadium facilities before the fight was scheduled.

 
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