Even the headline was identical

BOWLER, Wis. (AP) -- It seemed all too familiar when Mike Rickert pitched a no-hitter for Bowler High School.

The performance Thursday came 22 years to the day after his father, John Rickert, accomplished the same feat, against the same team, also in his senior year at Bowler.

Although no one realized the connection at the time, the headline in the Shawano Leader on Friday read, "Rickert hurls perfect game" -- the same as the headline in the issue of April 23, 1982, announcing his father's no-hitter.

"I was joking around with it, because I knew it was the same team, and I was teasing Dad about if it was the same day," he said. "I kind of guessed it was on the same day -- and it actually was."

His mother, Cheryl Rickert, found an old news article that told of her husband's no-hitter.


"I brought the old article to practice after school, and John started laughing," she said. "Mike said, 'No way,' laughing, and saying that it is just weird."

Both games were played on Thursday, and both were against Iola. Bowler won 10-0 in five innings last week and 2-0 in seven innings in 1982. Mike had 12 strikeouts in last week's game; John had 11 strikeouts in his no-hitter.

"That was the highlight of my senior year," John said, "and for Mike to be able to do that as a senior was neat."

Ray Murphy, who has been coach at Bowler for 25 years, coached both the father and the son.

"I can remember when his dad pitched that game," Murphy said. "It's really a unique coincidence and a strange thing to happen in one family."

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