The worst day of Aubrey Huff’s(notes) life came at age 6 when his father was shot and killed as an innocent bystander in somebody else’s domestic dispute. So by comparison, sitting at home eight years later watching Nolan Ryan pitch a no-hitter for the Texas Rangers with unused tickets to the game sitting next to the couch just stung a little.
Huff’s mother, Fonda, was given the tickets at the Winn-Dixie supermarket where she worked. When her son’s own baseball practice went late, she realized they couldn’t make the 90-minute drive from tiny Mineral Wells to Arlington in time for the game. They watched on TV instead and Huff cried in the ninth inning as Ryan blew away the Toronto Blue Jays for his seventh and last no-hitter.
Fast forward 19 years. Huff made it to Rangers Ballpark in plenty of time and brought untold numbers of Rangers fans to tears by blasting a two-run home run that helped the San Francisco Giants win Game 4 of the World Series 4-0 Sunday night. Sitting in the front row was none other than Nolan Ryan, now the Rangers president.