The Groundhog Day feeling never gets old for Perry.
"After seven innings, I was walking back to the dugout, and here comes the umpire," Perry said Saturday during the Friends of Baseball Breakfast fundraiser, which assists youth baseball efforts in Weld County, Colo.
"I was sure he was going to ask me something about a pitch I was throwing, but he said, 'You don't have to get it so close.' I didn't think much about it. After the eighth inning, he was a little more angry and he said, 'You don't have to get it so close.'"
Perry quickly figured out what was happening.
"It hit me what he was thinking: He had never called a no-hitter and he wanted to call one," Perry said to a laughing audience.
It was not going to be easy. In the ninth inning the Cards sent up left-handed-hitting Bobby Tolan and Lou Brock, followed by right-hander Curt Flood. Tolan was a standout on successful teams, Brock a future Hall of Famer and Flood a three-time All-Star.
"That ninth inning, I got Bobby Tolan on a ground ball to second base," Perry said. "Lou Brock hit the ball up the middle and the shortstop just got it.
"Now I looked in and got the sign and the umpire said, 'Waaaay outside.' So my catcher moved way outside. Strike one. Then strike two. Then he moves further outside. Strike three.
"I got the no-hitter. Curt Flood would never forgive me about this."
But immediately after the game, the experience became notable for a couple of not-so-celebratory coincidences.
"My family had just gone back to North Carolina. I had a kid going to school and he had to be there for opening day. So I was there by myself when I pitched my no-hitter. It didn't last very long.
"That was a night game I pitched, and the next game was a day game, and Ray Washburn [of the Cards] pitched a no-hitter against us," Perry said. "So I didn't have much time to celebrate.
But it is fresh in his mind. And with the opportunities he has based on his status as one of baseball's greats, the story will last forever.