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AN AMERICAN CLASSIC
Rick Reilly
May 08, 1989
Jon Peters of Brenham, Texas, stepped into the national spotlight to pitch for a record 51st consecutive victory
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May 08, 1989

An American Classic

Jon Peters of Brenham, Texas, stepped into the national spotlight to pitch for a record 51st consecutive victory

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A hanging curve. A slashing swing. A line drive between third and short. A pinch runner, Dietrich Burks, churning around third and heading home. A throw to the plate too late and too wide. A euphoric Peters, riding a bed of shoulders. An ending to make Frank Capra blush. Peters has knocked in the game-ending run. he has thrown a no-hitter and he has set a record that may be very hard to erase, ink or otherwise.

"Every night before I go out there," he says in the jubilation afterward, "I think, Ts this going to be the one? Is this the night I lose? But, really, never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd make it to this record." Now he has done it not once, but twice. Did they ever ask Leonardo to paint another Mona Lisa?

But that is not what makes the moment whole. What makes it whole is Jon standing on the mound, swarmed by autograph-, hug-and quote-seekers—and seeing Jill. She is wearing his necklace, and from it hangs a gold "21." She smiles at him. He smiles back. Jon & Jill, consolidated.

Maybe someday Jon Peters will be a major league superstar or maybe he'll be a management trainee. Maybe this summer he'll accept a pro contract or maybe he'll go ahead with the scholarship offer he has already signed with Texas A & M University.

But for right now, on this night, on this very real field, he is the greatest high school pitcher ever, on his way to kiss the prettiest girl in school.

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