Don Larsen

Don James Larsen (born August 7, 1929) is an American retired Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher. During a 15-year MLB career, he pitched from 1953 to 1967 for seven different teams. Larsen pitched for the St. Louis Browns / Baltimore Orioles (1953–54; 1965), New York Yankees (1955–59), Kansas City Athletics (1960–1961), Chicago White Sox (1961), San Francisco Giants (1962–64), Houston Colt .45's / Houston Astros (1964–65), and Chicago Cubs (1967).

Larsen pitched the sixth perfect game in MLB history, doing so in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series. It is the only no-hitter and perfect game in World Series history and is one of only two no hitters in MLB postseason history (the other Roy Halladay's in 2010). He won the World Series Most Valuable Player Award and Babe Ruth Award in recognition of his 1956 postseason.

Don Larsen
DonLarson2013
Larsen in 2013
Pitcher
Born: August 7, 1929 (age 89)
Michigan City, Indiana
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 18, 1953, for the St. Louis Browns
Last MLB appearance
July 7, 1967, for the Chicago Cubs
MLB statistics
Win–loss record81–91
Earned run average3.78
Strikeouts849
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Early life

Larsen was born in Michigan City, Indiana. Larsen's family moved to San Diego, California in 1944, where his mother became a housekeeper and his father worked as a department store salesman.[1]

Larsen attended Point Loma High School where he was a member of the basketball and baseball teams.[2] He was selected for the All-Metro Conference team as a basketball player, and was offered several college scholarships to play basketball.[2]

In baseball, Larsen's ability for the local American Legion team caught the attention of St. Louis Browns scout Art Schwartz.[2] Schwartz signed Larsen to a contract to play for one of the Browns minor league teams in 1947, with Larsen receiving a $850 signing bonus ($9,537 in current dollar terms).[2] Larsen, on why he signed with the Browns over attending college, later said that he was "never much with the studies".[2]

Minor league baseball and military career

Larsen started his career with the Aberdeen Pheasants of the Class-C Northern League in 1947, appearing in 16 games. He had a 4–3 win-loss record and a 3.42 earned run average (ERA).[3] The next season with Aberdeen, he won 17 games and had a 3.75 ERA in 34 games.[3] Larsen started the 1949 season pitching for the Globe-Miami Browns of the Class-C Arizona–Texas League, before he moved up the minor league hierarchy, playing for the Springfield Browns in the Class-B Illinois–Indiana–Iowa League, and the Wichita Falls Spudders of the Class-B Big State League for the first half of the 1950 season. Larsen was promoted to the Wichita Indians of the Class-A Western League in the second half of the 1950 season.[3] With the Indians, Larsen had a 6–4 record with a 3.14 ERA in 21 games.[3]

In 1951, Larsen was drafted to the United States Army for the Korean War. He spent the next two years in the Army, working in a variety of non-combat jobs.[4] He was discharged from the Army in 1953 and made the St. Louis Browns roster prior to the beginning of the season.[4]

Early Major League career

St. Louis Browns/Baltimore Orioles

DonLarsen1954bowman
Larsen as a member of the Baltimore Orioles in 1954.

Larsen made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut with a start against the Detroit Tigers on April 17, 1953. He pitched five innings, giving up three earned runs, while striking out three in a no decision, an 8–7 Browns win.[5] He had his first career win a little less than a month later, on May 12, 1953 against the Philadelphia Athletics, pitching ​7 23 innings and giving up one earned run in a 7–3 win.[6]

At the end of his rookie season, Larsen finished with a 7–12 record, 4.16 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 38 games, 22 of them starts.[7] He finished first on the team in innings pitched (​192 23) and complete games (7) and second on the team in strikeouts.[8] He also allowed the most hits with 202, and earned runs (89) on the squad.[8] He also broke a Major League record for pitchers by having seven consecutive hits at one point.[4] He batted an impressive .284 with 3 home runs in 81 at bats in his rookie year.

The Browns relocated to Baltimore for the 1954 season, becoming the Baltimore Orioles. In 1954, Larsen went 3–21 with a 4.37 earned run average and 80 strikeouts in 29 games.[7] He led the league in losses and finished third in the league in earned runs (98).[7] The Orioles only won 54 games that season, while having 100 losses, and finished the season in seventh place. Two of Larsen's three wins were against the New York Yankees, including a 10–0 shutout on July 30, his last win of the season.[9] His other victory was against the Chicago White Sox on May 30.[9]

Trade to Yankees

In 1954, the New York Yankees, despite winning 103 games, finished second behind the Cleveland Indians in the American League. Yankees general manager George Weiss blamed the age of their pitching staff for their performance.[10] The Yankees "Big Three" pitching staff of the late 1940s and 50s, Vic Raschi, Ed Lopat and Allie Reynolds were in their late 30s, and wearing down.[10] Raschi was traded to the Cardinals prior to the season, Reynolds retired because of a back injury and Lopat was ineffective and retired within a year. Two other pitchers in the staff, Johnny Sain and Tommy Byrne were also near the end of their careers.[10] Desperate for young starting pitching to pitch behind staff ace Whitey Ford and promising starter Bob Grim, Weiss managed to find a trade partner with the Orioles.[10] At the end of the season, Larsen was traded by the Baltimore Orioles as part of a 17-player trade, with Billy Hunter, Bob Turley and players to be named later to the Yankees for most prominently, catcher Gus Triandos, and outfielder Gene Woodling.[7] When the trade was announced Turley was considered the key player in the trade. During the 1954 season Turley had a 14–15 win-loss record with the Orioles, and some observers considered Turley to have the "liveliest fastball" in the league.[11] However, Weiss and Yankees manager Casey Stengel thought that Larsen had the most potential out of the two, having been impressed with Larsen's performance against the Yankees and demanded that he was included in the trade.[11]

New York Yankees

As a member of the New York Yankees from 1955 through 1959, Larsen was used by manager Casey Stengel as a backup starter and occasional reliever. He went 45–24 during his five seasons in New York, making 90 starts in 128 appearances.

1955 season

Larsen reported to spring training with a sore shoulder and pitched ineffectively to start the year.[12] He was quickly demoted to the Denver Bears, and Larsen visibly upset, decided to "take my sweet time" reporting to the Bears.[12] After staying in St. Louis for a week, Larsen had a change of heart and reported to the team.[12] Larsen spent most of the first four months of the season with the Bears, only pitching in five games for the Yankees during that timespan.[13] During the 1955 season, Larsen participated in nineteen games, starting 13 of them. He had a 9–2 record with a 3.07 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 97 innings pitched.[7] He pitched a shutout against Jim Bunning and the Tigers on August 5, 1955.[14]

1956 season

His 1956 season was the best of Larsen's career. He posted an 11–5 record, with a career best 107 strikeouts and a 3.26 ERA.[7] Larsen was used in between the bullpen and the starting rotation for most of the season, participating in 38 games, starting 20. Larsen had a rough start to the season, and by the end of May Larsen had a 5.64 ERA.[15] He gradually improved and by the beginning of August, Larsen lowered his ERA below 4.00.[15] In a seven start stretch to finish the season, Larsen had five complete games, and pitched 10 innings in another.[15] He pitched a four-hit shutout against his former team (Orioles) on the second game of a doubleheader on September 3.[16] He finished the season with a 7–3 victory against the Boston Red Sox on September 28.[17]

The perfect game

PerfectLarsen
The "everlasting image" of Yogi Berra leaping into Larsen's arms upon the completion of the perfect game

Larsen's most notable accomplishment was pitching the only perfect game in World Series history; it is one of only 23 perfect games in MLB history. He was pitching for the New York Yankees in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers on October 8, 1956. His perfect game remained the only no-hitter of any type pitched in postseason play until Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay threw a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds on October 6, 2010, in Game 1 of the National League Division Series.[18]

Stengel selected Larsen to start Game 2 of the Series. Despite being given a 6–0 lead by the Yankee batters, he lasted only 1.2 innings in a 13–8 loss. He gave up only one hit, a single by Gil Hodges. He walked four batters and allowed 4 runs in the process but, because of an error by first baseman Joe Collins, none of the runs were earned.[19]

Larsen started Game 5 for the Yankees. Larsen's opponent in the game was Brooklyn's Sal Maglie. Larsen needed just 97 pitches to complete the perfect game, and only one Dodger batter (Pee Wee Reese in the first inning) was able to get a 3-ball count. In 1998, Larsen recalled, "I had great control. I never had that kind of control in my life." Brooklyn's Maglie gave up only two runs on five hits. Mickey Mantle's fourth-inning home run broke the scoreless tie. The Yankees added an insurance run in the sixth. After Roy Campanella grounded out to Billy Martin for the second out of the 9th inning, Larsen faced pinch hitter Dale Mitchell, a .311 career hitter. Throwing fastballs, Larsen got ahead in the count at 1–2. On his 97th pitch, a called third strike by home plate umpire Babe Pinelli, Larsen caught Mitchell looking for the 27th and last out.[20] After the pitch, catcher Yogi Berra leaped into Larsen's arms in celebration, setting up the "everlasting image". Larsen's unparalleled game earned him the World Series Most Valuable Player Award and Babe Ruth Award.

When the World Series ended, Larsen did a round of endorsements and promotional work around the United States, but he stopped soon after because it was "disrupting his routine".[21]

1957–60

Don Larsen 1956
Larsen after his perfect game.

In 1957, Larsen had a 10–4 record with 3.74 ERA in 27 games, 20 of them starts.[7] Larsen again had a bad start to the season, giving out four earned runs in ​1 13 innings pitched in his opening start against the Boston Red Sox. He gave up three consecutive hits to Gene Stephens, Gene Mauch and Sammy White to start the second inning, and after a sacrifice fly by pitcher Bob Porterfield, he gave up a double to Frank Malzone, knocking Larsen out of the game.[22] On May 26, Larsen gave up four earned runs in less than one inning of work in a start against the Washington Senators.[23] He started another game two days later against the Red Sox and by the end of the month his ERA was over 6.[24] He improved by the end of the season, hurling a 3-hit shutout against the Kansas City Athletics on September 15.[24] In the 1957 World Series against the Milwaukee Braves, he pitched seven innings in relief in Game 3, getting the win in a 12–3 lopsided defeat.[25] He started the seventh game of the Series, lasting ​2 13 innings in a 5–0 loss as the Braves won the Series.

Larsen won another World Series game in the 1958 World Series. Like the 1957 World Series, it went to a seventh game, and Larsen was New York's starting pitcher. Again he lasted just ​2 13 innings, taking a no-decision.

Both the Yankees' and Don Larsen's fortunes would dip in 1959. New York slipped to third place and Don Larsen dropped below .500 for the first time in his Yankee career, going 6–7. He was traded to the Kansas City Athletics with Hank Bauer, Norm Siebern and Marv Throneberry for Roger Maris, Joe DeMaestri, and Kent Hadley.[26] In July 1960, the Athletics sent Larsen back to the minors.[27]

Later career

He made a comeback of sorts in 1961, going 8–2 while playing for both the Athletics and the Chicago White Sox, to whom he was traded in June 1961 with Andy Carey, Ray Herbert and Al Pilarcik for Wes Covington, Stan Johnson, Bob Shaw and Gerry Staley.[7]

After the 1961 season, Larsen was traded to the San Francisco Giants with Billy Pierce for Bob Farley, Eddie Fisher and Dom Zanni and a player to be named later (Verle Tiefenthaler). Larsen became a full-time relief pitcher, anchoring a strong bullpen that included Bobby Bolin and Stu Miller. He had five wins with 11 saves for the pennant-winning Giants.[7] Larsen won the deciding game of the three-game playoff series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, relieving Juan Marichal in the eighth inning. In the 1962 World Series, Larsen won Game 4 pitching in relief, giving him a career World Series record of 4–2 with a 2.75 ERA.

In 1964, Larsen was sold to the Houston Colt .45s, who pressed Larsen back into a starting role. He responded with a 4–8 record and a 2.27 ERA. In 1965, he was traded to the Orioles for Bob Saverine and cash.[7] The Orioles released him prior to the 1966 season, and he pitched the year for the Phoenix Giants of the Class-AAA Pacific Coast League (PCL) in the San Francisco minor league organization. Larsen was on the Chicago Cubs roster for two weeks of the 1967 season, pitching only four innings in what would be his final stint in the Major Leagues.[7][21] He spent the rest of the season with the Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs of the Class-AA Texas League. Larsen started the 1968 season in the Cubs' minor league system, pitching for the San Antonio Missions of the Texas League and Tacoma Cubs of the PCL, before retiring in the summer.[21]

Larsen was also a good-hitting pitcher, finishing his career with a .242 average and 14 home runs.[7] One of his four-baggers matched his famous achievement on the mound, and in the same season, as he stroked a grand slam against the Boston Red Sox on April 22, 1956, a game in which he pitched 4 innings.[28] He was regarded well enough by his managers that he was used as a pinch hitter 66 times.

Post career

DonLarsen
Larsen at a Yankees fan fair in 2007.
Roy Halladay and Don Larsen
Roy Halladay and Don Larsen, the only two pitchers to throw postseason no-hitters in MLB history.

After retiring from baseball, Larsen attempted to work in the front office of a Major League organization, and as a liquor salesman, neither of which worked out.[21] He became an executive for a paper company, working with farmers who worked in California's Salinas Valley.[21]

In 1964, Larsen was inducted by the San Diego Hall of Champions into the Breitbard Hall of Fame honoring San Diego's finest athletes both on and off the playing surface.[29]

Larsen was in Yankee Stadium for two of baseball's 21 modern perfect games: his own in 1956, and David Cone's in 1999. Cone's game occurred on Yogi Berra Day; Larsen threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Berra before the game. Larsen later said that Cone's perfect game was the first game he had seen in person from start to finish since his retirement.[30]

Larsen and his wife, Corrine, have been married for over 60 years.[31] They live in Hayden Lake, Idaho.[32] He was reported in 2012 to put up for auction the uniform he had worn to pitch his perfect game to pay for expenses of his grandchildren's college education.[33]

As of 2019, he is one of only 3 living players from the inaugural 1954 Baltimore Orioles team, along with Billy Hunter (baseball) and Gil Coan.

Personality

Larsen was known for his personality and his enjoyment of the nightlife, specifically in New York City.[11] During his time in minor league baseball, Larsen first developed a reputation as a "fun-loving guy" who liked to go out to bars and have a drink, according to teammate Bob Turley.[4] When he broke into the Majors with the St. Louis Browns, Larsen started violating a time-limit curfew that was set by managers Marty Marion and then Jimmy Dykes. He was nicknamed "Gooneybird" for his antics.[11]

References

Bibliography
  • Paper, Lew (2009). Perfect: Don Larsen's Miraculous World Series Game and The Men Who Made It Happen. New American Library. ISBN 978-0-451-22819-2.
In-line citations
  1. ^ Paper (2009), p. 11
  2. ^ a b c d e Paper (2009), p. 12
  3. ^ a b c d "Don Larsen Minor League Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d Paper (2009), p. 13
  5. ^ "Apr 18, 1953, Browns at Tigers Play by Play and Box Score". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  6. ^ "May 12, 1953, Browns at Athletics Play by Play and Box Score". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Don Larsen Major League Baseball Stats". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  8. ^ a b "1953 St. Louis Browns Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  9. ^ a b "1954 Baltimore Orioles Schedule, Box Scores and Splits". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  10. ^ a b c d Golenbock, Peter (2010). Dynasty: The New York Yankees 1949 -1964. Dover Publishing Inc. pp. 291–292. ISBN 978-0-486-47736-7.
  11. ^ a b c d Goldenbock (2010), p. 292
  12. ^ a b c Golenbock (2010), p. 303
  13. ^ "Don Larsen 1955 Pitching Gamelogs". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  14. ^ "Aug 5, 1955, Tigers at Yankees Play by Play and Box Score". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  15. ^ a b c "Don Larsen 1956 Pitching Gamelogs". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  16. ^ "Sep 3, 1956, Orioles at Yankees Box Score and Play by Play". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  17. ^ "Sep 28, 1956, Red Sox at Yankees Box Score and Play by Play". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  18. ^ "Roy Halladay throws second no-hitter in postseason history". ESPN.com. October 6, 2010.
  19. ^ "Brooklyn Dodgers 13, New York Yankees 8". Retrosheet. Retrosheet. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  20. ^ Note, though, that Larsen said on the Tim McCarver Show, (airing March 5, 2014 on WCBS in New York City), that Mitchell's check swing went around.
  21. ^ a b c d e Durslag, Melvin (December 1971). "Don Larsen 15 Years Later". Baseball Digest. pp. 31–33. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  22. ^ "Apr 20, 1957, Yankees at Red Sox Play by Play and Box Score". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  23. ^ "May 26, 1957, Senators at Yankees Play by Play and Box Score". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  24. ^ a b "Don Larsen 1957 Pitching Gamelogs". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  25. ^ "Oct 5, 1957, Yankees at Braves Play by Play and Box Score". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  26. ^ "The Free Lance-Star - Google News Archive Search".
  27. ^ "Kentucky New Era - Google News Archive Search".
  28. ^ Sutton, Keith. "Pitchers Hitting Grand Slams". SABR Research Journals Archive. Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  29. ^ "Hall of Fame | San Diego Hall of Champions". Sdhoc.com. Archived from the original on March 16, 2012. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
  30. ^ All Time Games, Don Larsen's Perfect Game, aired on MLB Network on January 1, 2009
  31. ^ December 28, 2017 at 5:00 am (December 28, 2017). "The Coeur d'Alene Press - Local News, DON LARSEN: Happy at home in North Idaho". Cdapress.com. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  32. ^ "The Coeur d'Alene Press - Local News, Larsen: 'I miss all my people'". Cdapress.com. March 28, 2011. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  33. ^ "Don Larsen, former New York Yankee, to auction perfect game uniform jersey for grandkids". Espn.go.com. May 27, 2012. Retrieved March 15, 2018.

Further reading

  • "Don Larsen: The Game I'll Never Forget". Baseball Digest. October 2003.
  • Larsen, Don & Shaw, Mark (2001). The Perfect Yankee: The Incredible Story of The Greatest Miracle in Baseball History. Champaign, Illinois: Sagamore Publishing. ISBN 1-58261-336-2.
  • Hoose, Phillip (2006). Perfect, Once Removed: When Baseball Was All the World to Me. New York: Walker. ISBN 0-8027-1537-0.
  • Bell, Albert A., Jr. (2006). Perfect Game, Imperfect Lives: A Memoir Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Don Larsen's Perfect Game. Ingalls Publishing. ISBN 1-932158-41-3.

External links

1954 Baltimore Orioles season

The 1954 Baltimore Orioles season was the franchise's 54th season (it was founded as the Milwaukee Brewers in 1901, then played as the St. Louis Browns from 1902–53) but its first season as the Baltimore Orioles. The season involved the Orioles finishing 7th in the American League with a record of 54 wins and 100 losses, 57 games behind the AL champion Cleveland Indians in their first season in Baltimore. The team was managed by Jimmy Dykes, and played its home games at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium.

1955 New York Yankees season

The 1955 New York Yankees season was the team's 53rd season in New York, and its 55th season overall. The team finished with a record of 96–58, winning their 21st pennant, finishing 3 games ahead of the Cleveland Indians. New York was managed by Casey Stengel. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium. In the World Series, they were defeated by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 7 games.

1956 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1956 Brooklyn Dodgers edged out the Milwaukee Braves to win the National League title. The Dodgers again faced the New York Yankees in the World Series. This time they lost the series in seven games, one of which was a perfect game by the Yankees' Don Larsen.

1956 New York Yankees season

The 1956 New York Yankees season was the 54th season for the team in New York, and its 56th season overall. The team finished with a record of 97–57, winning their 22nd pennant, finishing 9 games ahead of the Cleveland Indians. New York was managed by Casey Stengel. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium. In the World Series, they defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers in 7 games. The Series featured the only no-hitter in Series play, a perfect game, delivered by the Yankees' Don Larsen in Game 5.

1960 Kansas City Athletics season

The 1960 Kansas City Athletics season was the sixth in Kansas City and the 60th overall. It involved the A's finishing 8th in the American League with a record of 58 wins and 96 losses, 39 games behind the AL Champion New York Yankees.

1961 Chicago White Sox season

The 1961 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 61st season in the major leagues, and its 62nd season overall. They finished with a record 86–76, good enough for fourth place in the American League, 23 games behind the first-place New York Yankees. Their pitching staff surrendered 13 of Roger Maris's 61 home runs that year, the most of any team.

1965 Baltimore Orioles season

The 1965 Baltimore Orioles season involved the Orioles finishing 3rd in the American League with a record of 94 wins and 68 losses.

Art Ditmar

Arthur John Ditmar (born April 3, 1929) is a former starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the Athletics (Philadelphia, 1954 - Kansas City, 1955–56, 1961–62) and the New York Yankees (1957–1961). He batted and threw right-handed and was listed at 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall and 185 pounds (84 kg). Born in Winthrop, Massachusetts, he grew up in the Berkshire County city of Pittsfield, where he graduated from high school.A finesse control pitcher, Ditmar divided his career between the Athletics and Yankees. Ditmar won 47 games for the Yankees in a span of five years, with a career-high 15 in 1960, despite not getting to pitch on a regular basis in a rotation that included Whitey Ford, Bobby Shantz, Don Larsen and Bob Turley. In a nine-season career, Ditmar compiled a 72-77 record with 552 strikeouts and a 3.98 ERA in 1,268.0 innings.

Ditmar defeated the Yankees 8-6, when the Athletics played their last game at Shibe Park in Philadelphia before moving to Kansas City. In the same game, Yankees regular catcher Yogi Berra played his only game at third base in his career, and teammate Mickey Mantle appeared at shortstop (September 26, 1954). Ditmar started and lost both Game 1 and Game 5 of the 1960 World Series for the Yankees, lasting only one-third of an inning in Game 1 and 1 and one-third inning in Game 5.

After a Budweiser television commercial of the 1980s incorporated the original radio broadcast of the 1960 World Series Game 7, with announcer Chuck Thompson incorrectly naming Ditmar instead of Ralph Terry as the pitcher off whom Bill Mazeroski hit his legendary home run, Ditmar sued Anheuser-Busch for $500,000, contending his reputation was tarnished.

Bob Rush (baseball)

Robert Ransom Rush (December 21, 1925 – March 19, 2011) was a professional baseball player who pitched in Major League Baseball from 1948 to 1960.

Rush played for the Milwaukee Braves, Chicago Cubs, and the Chicago White Sox.

On June 11, 1950, Rush and pitcher Warren Spahn of the Braves each stole a base against each other; no opposing pitchers again stole a base in the same game until May 3, 2004, when Jason Marquis and Greg Maddux repeated the feat.Rush was an All-Star selection in 1950 and 1952.

Late in the 1957 season, while Rush was warming up in the Wrigley Field bullpen during a game, a wild pitch he threw went into the stands and injured a spectator, who sued him and the Cubs, one of the few times in Major League Baseball history when a player has been named as a defendant by a fan injured by an object that left the field. The court granted Rush summary judgement which was affirmed on appeal a decade later; however it held that the Baseball Rule, which generally immunizes teams against suits by fans injured by foul balls who sit in seats outside the backstop's protection, did not extend to an errantly thrown ball and that a jury could decide if the Cubs had adequately anticipated the risk of one leaving the field and striking a fan.

He was the Milwaukee starting pitcher for Game 3 of the 1958 World Series. Rush gave the Braves six strong innings, allowing the New York Yankees only three hits. But control problems proved costly, Rush's three walks loading the bases for Hank Bauer's two-run single. Those were all the runs Yankee starter Don Larsen needed in a 4-0 win.

Rush was born in Battle Creek, Michigan, and died in Mesa, Arizona.

David Cone's perfect game

On July 18, 1999, David Cone of the New York Yankees pitched the 16th perfect game in Major League Baseball (MLB) history and the third in team history, and the first no-hit game in regular season interleague play. Pitching against the Montreal Expos at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx in front of 41,930 fans in attendance, Cone retired all 27 batters that he faced. The game took 2 hours and 16 minutes, from 2:05 PM ET to 4:54 PM ET. The game was interrupted by a 33-minute rain delay in the bottom of the third inning in the middle of an at-bat for Tino Martinez. As part of the day's "Yogi Berra Day" festivities honoring the Yankees' former catcher, before the game, former Yankees pitcher Don Larsen threw the ceremonial first pitch to Berra; the two comprised the battery for Larsen's perfect game in 1956.

Cone's perfect game was the 247th no-hitter in MLB history, and 11th, and to date last no-hitter in Yankees history. The previous perfect game in both MLB and Yankee history was 14 months prior on May 17, 1998, when David Wells pitched a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium; Wells' perfect game was also the most recent no-hitter in franchise history at the time. Cone's perfect game gave the Yankees the record for the franchise with most perfect games, breaking a two-perfect game tie with the Cleveland Indians. Since Cone's perfect game, the Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies, and Chicago White Sox have recorded their second perfect games, with the White Sox tying the Yankees with a third perfect game in 2012. To date, Cone's perfect game is the only one achieved in regular season interleague play.

David Wells' perfect game

On May 17, 1998, David Wells of the New York Yankees pitched the 15th perfect game in Major League Baseball history and the second in team history. Pitching against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx in front of 49,820 fans in attendance, Wells retired all 27 batters he faced. The game took 2 hours and 40 minutes to complete, from 1:36 PM ET to 4:16 PM ET. Wells claimed in a 2001 interview with Bryant Gumbel on HBO's Real Sports that he threw the perfect game while being hung over. Jimmy Fallon claimed in a 2018 interview with Seth Meyers that he and Wells had attended a Saturday Night Live after-party until 5:30 A.M. ET the morning of the game. In an interview, David Wells also mentioned having partied with Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers the night before. However, there was no new episode of Saturday Night Live the previous night, as the season finale had aired the week prior.Wells' perfect game was the 245th no-hitter in MLB history and the tenth no-hitter in Yankees history. It was the first regular-season perfect game pitched by a Yankee; the franchise's previous perfect game was thrown by Don Larsen during the 1956 World Series. By coincidence, Wells graduated from the same high school as Larsen - Point Loma High School in San Diego, California. The previous perfect game in MLB history was nearly four years prior, when Kenny Rogers of the Texas Rangers pitched a perfect game against the California Angels at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on July 28, 1994.

Wells' perfect game was the first Yankee no-hitter since Dwight Gooden's against the Seattle Mariners in May 1996. Wells' performance tied the record for franchises with most perfect games. At the time, the Cleveland Indians were the only other team to have two perfect games; David Cone added a third perfect game to Yankees history, breaking the record in July 1999.

Three months later, on September 1, Wells took a perfect game into the seventh inning in a game against the Oakland Athletics, but he gave up a two-out single to Jason Giambi to end his bid for an unprecedented second perfect game. Wells ended up with a two-hit shutout as the Yankees won the game, 7-0.

Don Larsen's perfect game

On October 8, 1956, in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series, Don Larsen of the New York Yankees threw a perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Larsen's perfect game is the only perfect game in the history of the World Series; it was the first perfect game thrown in 34 years and is one of only 23 perfect games in MLB history. His perfect game remained the only no-hitter of any type ever pitched in postseason play until Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay threw a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds on October 6, 2010, in Game 1 of the National League Division Series, and the only postseason game in which any team faced the minimum 27 batters until Kyle Hendricks and Aroldis Chapman of the Chicago Cubs managed to combine for the feat in the decisive sixth game of the 2016 National League Championship Series.

Gil Coan

Gilbert Fitzgerald "Gil" Coan (born May 18, 1922) is a former professional baseball outfielder who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Washington Senators, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox and the New York Giants. Listed at 6'0", 180 lb., he batted left-handed and threw right-handed. As of 2019, he is the oldest living former New York Giants and Baltimore Orioles player and one of only 3 living players from the inaugural 1954 Baltimore Orioles team, along with Billy Hunter and Don Larsen.

Jim Bunning's perfect game

On June 21, 1964, Jim Bunning of the Philadelphia Phillies pitched the seventh perfect game in Major League Baseball history, defeating the New York Mets 6-0 in the first game of a doubleheader at Shea Stadium. A father of seven children at the time, Bunning pitched his perfect game on Father's Day. One of Bunning's daughters, Barbara, was in attendance, as was his wife, Mary.

Needing only 90 pitches to complete his masterpiece, Bunning struck out 10 batters, including six of the last nine he faced; the last two strikeouts were of the last two batters he faced: George Altman and John Stephenson.

The perfect game was the first regular season perfect game since Charlie Robertson's perfect game in 1922 (Don Larsen had pitched a perfect game in between, in the 1956 World Series), as well as the first in modern-day National League history (two perfect games had been pitched in 1880). It was also the first no-hitter by a Phillies pitcher since Johnny Lush no-hit the Brooklyn Superbas on May 1, 1906.

Bunning, who no-hit the Boston Red Sox while with the Detroit Tigers in 1958, joined Cy Young as the only pitchers to throw no-hitters in both the National and American Leagues; he has since been joined by Nolan Ryan, Hideo Nomo and Randy Johnson. The perfect game also made Bunning the third pitcher, after Young and Addie Joss, to throw a perfect game and an additional no-hitter; Sandy Koufax, Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Roy Halladay have since joined him (the latter of these pitchers pitched his additional no-hitter in the 2010 National League Division Series after pitching his perfect game earlier in the season).

As the perfect game developed, Bunning defied the baseball superstition that no one should talk about a no-hitter in progress, speaking to his teammates about the perfect game to keep himself relaxed and loosen up his teammates. Bunning had abided by the tradition during a near-no hitter a few weeks before, determining afterwards that keeping quiet didn’t help.Gus Triandos, Bunning's catcher, had also caught Hoyt Wilhelm's no-hitter on September 20, 1958 while with the Baltimore Orioles, becoming the first catcher to catch no-hitters in both leagues.

List of Baltimore Orioles Opening Day starting pitchers

The Baltimore Orioles are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Baltimore, Maryland. They play in the American League East division. The Orioles started playing in Baltimore in 1954, after moving from St. Louis, where they were known as the St. Louis Browns. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Orioles have used 33 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 60 seasons since moving to Baltimore. The 33 starters have a combined Opening Day record of 22 wins, 18 losses and 17 no decisions. No decisions are only awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game.The first Opening Day for the Orioles was played in Detroit against the Detroit Tigers on April 13, 1954. Don Larsen was the Orioles' Opening Day starting pitcher that day, in a game the Orioles lost 3–0. Jim Palmer and Mike Mussina have made the most Opening Day starts for the Baltimore Orioles, with six apiece. Palmer has a record of five wins and one loss in his Opening Day starts, and Mussina has a record of three wins, two losses and one no decision. Dave McNally made five Opening Day starts for the Orioles, with a record of three wins and no losses. Other Oriole pitchers who have made multiple Opening Day starts are Steve Barber, Rodrigo López, and Jeremy Guthrie, with three apiece, and Milt Pappas, Dennis Martínez, Mike Flanagan, Mike Boddicker, and Rick Sutcliffe, with two apiece. Flanagan's two Opening Day starts occurred eight years apart, in 1978 and 1986.Palmer has the most Opening Day wins for the Orioles, with five. McNally's record of three wins and no losses in Opening Day starts gave him a 1.000 winning percentage, the highest in Orioles history. Flanagan's record of no wins and two losses is the lowest winning percentage of any Orioles' Opening Day starting pitcher. Flanagan and Mussina are the only pitchers to have two losses for the Orioles in Opening Day starts.The Orioles have played in two home ballparks. Memorial Stadium was their home park until 1991, and Camden Yards has been their home park since 1992. Orioles' Opening Day starting pitchers had a record of eight wins, eight losses and eight no decisions in 24 Opening Day starts in Memorial Stadium. They have a record of ten wins, four losses and two no decisions in 15 Opening Day starts at Camden Yards. This makes their aggregate record in Opening Day starts at home 18 wins, 12 losses and 10 no decisions. Their record in Opening Day starts on the road is four wins, six losses and seven no decisions, for an aggregate Opening Day record of 22 wins, 18 losses and 16 no decisions. The Orioles played in the World Series in 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1979 and 1983, winning in 1966, 1970 and 1983. Their Opening Day starting pitchers in those years were Steve Barber (1966), Dave McNally (1969, 1970 and 1971), Jim Palmer (1979) and Dennis Martínez (1983).

List of Major League Baseball perfect games

Over the 144 years of Major League Baseball history, and over 218,400 games played, there have been 23 official perfect games by the current definition. No pitcher has ever thrown more than one. The perfect game thrown by Don Larsen in game 5 of the 1956 World Series is the only postseason perfect game in major league history and one of only two postseason no-hitters. The first two major league perfect games, and the only two of the premodern era, were thrown in 1880, five days apart. The most recent perfect game was thrown on August 15, 2012, by Félix Hernández of the Seattle Mariners. There were three perfect games in 2012; the only other year of the modern era in which as many as two were thrown was 2010. By contrast, there have been spans of 23 and 33 consecutive seasons in which not a single perfect game was thrown. Though two perfect-game bids have gone into extra innings, no extra-inning game has ever been completed to perfection.

The first two pitchers to accomplish the feat did so under rules that differed in many important respects from those of today's game: in 1880, for example, only underhand pitching—from a flat, marked-out box 45 feet from home plate—was allowed, it took eight balls to draw a walk, and a batter was not awarded first base if hit by a pitch. Lee Richmond, a left-handed pitcher for the Worcester Ruby Legs, threw the first perfect game. He played professional baseball for six years and pitched full-time for only three, finishing with a losing record. The second perfect game was thrown by John Montgomery Ward for the Providence Grays. Ward, a decent pitcher who became an excellent position player, went on to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Though convention has it that the modern era of Major League Baseball begins in 1900, the essential rules of the modern game were in place by the 1893 season. That year the pitching distance was moved back to 60 feet, 6 inches, where it remains, and the pitcher's box was replaced by a rubber slab against which the pitcher was required to place his rear foot. Two other crucial rules changes had been made in recent years: In 1887, the rule awarding a hit batsman first base was instituted in the National League (this had been the rule in the American Association since 1884: first by the umpire's judgment of the impact; as of the following year, virtually automatically). In 1889, the number of balls required for a walk was reduced to four. Thus, from 1893 on, pitchers sought perfection in a game whose most important rules are the same as today, with two significant exceptions: counting a foul ball as a first or second strike, enforced by the National League as of 1901 and by the American League two years later, and the use of the designated hitter in American League games since the 1973 season.During baseball's modern era, 21 pitchers have thrown perfect games. Most were accomplished major leaguers. Seven have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame: Cy Young, Addie Joss, Jim Bunning, Sandy Koufax, Catfish Hunter, Roy Halladay, and Randy Johnson. David Cone won the Cy Young once and was named to five All-Star teams. Félix Hernández is likewise a one-time Cy Young winner, as well as a six-time All-Star. Four other perfect-game throwers, Dennis Martínez, Kenny Rogers, David Wells and Mark Buehrle, each won over 200 major league games. Matt Cain, though he ended with a 104–118 record, was a three-time All-Star, played a pivotal role on two World Series–winning teams, and twice finished top ten in Cy Young voting. For a few, the perfect game was the highlight of an otherwise unremarkable career. Mike Witt and Tom Browning were solid major league pitchers; Browning was a one-time All-Star with a career record of 123–90, while Witt was a two-time All-Star, going 117–116. Larsen, Charlie Robertson, and Len Barker were journeyman pitchers—each finished his major-league career with a losing record; Barker made one All-Star team, Larsen and Robertson none. Dallas Braden retired with a 26–36 record after five seasons due to a shoulder injury. Philip Humber's perfect game was the only complete game he ever recorded, and his major league career, in which he went 16–23, ended the year after he threw it.

List of New York Yankees no-hitters

The New York Yankees are a Major League Baseball franchise based in the New York City borough of The Bronx. Also known in their early years as the "Baltimore Orioles" (1901–02) and the "New York Highlanders" (1903–12), the Yankees have had ten pitchers throw eleven no-hitters in franchise history. A no-hitter is officially recognized by Major League Baseball only "...when a pitcher (or pitchers) allows no hits during the entire course of a game, which consists of at least nine innings. In a no-hit game, a batter may reach base via a walk, an error, a hit by pitch, a passed ball or wild pitch on strike three, or catcher's interference". No-hitters of less than nine complete innings were previously recognized by the league as official; however, several rule alterations in 1991 changed the rule to its current form. A no-hitter is rare enough that the San Diego Padres have never had a pitcher accomplish the feat. Three perfect games, a special subcategory of no-hitter, have been pitched in Yankees history. As defined by Major League Baseball, "in a perfect game, no batter reaches any base during the course of the game." This feat was achieved by Don Larsen in 1956, David Wells in 1998, and David Cone in 1999. Wells later claimed he was a "little hung-over" while throwing his perfect game.Ironically, given the Yankees' celebrated history, none of the eleven pitchers who tossed no-hitters for the franchise is in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

George Mogridge threw the first no-hitter in Yankees history, beating their rival Boston Red Sox 2–1, their only no-hitter in which the opposition scored. Their most recent no-hitter was David Cone's perfect game in 1999, the seventh Yankees no-hitter thrown by a right-handed pitcher and their third perfect game. The Yankees' first perfect game was also thrown by a right-handed pitcher, Don Larsen, and came in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series. Larsen's perfect game was the only no-hitter in MLB postseason play until Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies pitched a no-hitter in Game 1 of the 2010 National League Division Series. Coincidentally, Cone's perfect game came on "Yogi Berra Day" at Yankee Stadium. Berra had caught Larsen's perfect game and both he and Larsen were in the stands for the game. Of the eleven no-hitters pitched by Yankees players, three each have been won by the scores 4–0 and 2–0, more common than any other result. The largest margin of victory in a Yankees no-hitter was 13 runs, in a 13–0 win by Monte Pearson.

Andy Hawkins lost a game on July 1, 1990 to the Chicago White Sox while on the road by the score of 4–0 without allowing a hit. Because the White Sox were winning entering the ninth inning at home, they did not bat, and thus Hawkins pitched only 8 innings, but the game was considered a no-hitter at the time. However, following rules changes in 1991, the game is no longer counted as a no-hitter. Additionally, Tom L. Hughes held the Cleveland Indians without a hit through the first nine innings of a game on August 6, 1910 but the game went into extra innings and he lost the no-hitter in the tenth inning and ultimately lost the game 5–0.The longest interval between Yankees no-hitters was between the game pitched by Larsen on October 8, 1956 and Dave Righetti's no hitter on July 4, 1983, encompassing 26 years, 8 months, and 26 days. The shortest gap between such games fell between Allie Reynolds' two no-hitters in 1951, a gap of just 2 months and 16 days from July 12 till September 28. Reynolds is the only Yankees pitcher to throw multiple no-hitters in his career, and one of only six pitchers in Major League history to throw multiple no-hitters in a season along with Max Scherzer in 2015, Roy Halladay in 2010, Nolan Ryan in 1973, Virgil Trucks in 1952, and Johnny Vander Meer in 1938. The Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians have been no-hit by the Yankees more than any other franchise, each doing so three times. Notably, Reynolds' two no-hit victims in 1951 were the Red Sox and the Indians.

The umpire is also an integral part of any no-hitter. The task of the umpire in a baseball game is to make any decision "which involves judgment, such as, but not limited to, whether a batted ball is fair or foul, whether a pitch is a strike or a ball, or whether a runner is safe or out... [the umpire's judgment on such matters] is final." Part of the duties of the umpire making calls at home plate includes defining the strike zone, which "is defined as that area over homeplate (sic) the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap." These calls define every baseball game and are therefore integral to the completion of any no-hitter. No umpire has called multiple Yankee no-hitters. Bill Dinneen, the umpire who called Sad Sam Jones' 1923 no-hitter, is the only person in MLB history to both pitch (for the Red Sox in 1905) and umpire (five total, including Jones') a no-hitter. The plate umpire for Larsen's perfect game, Babe Pinelli, apocryphally "retired" after that game, but that is mere legend; in reality, since Larsen's perfecto was only Game 5 of the seven-game Series, Pinelli didn't officially retire until two days later, concluding his distinguished umpiring career at second base during Game 7, not at home plate during Game 5.

Mike Blyzka

Michael John Blyzka (December 25, 1928 – October 13, 2004) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the St. Louis Browns/Baltimore Orioles (1953–1954). Listed at 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m), 190 lb., Blyzka batted and threw right-handed. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

In a two-season-career, Blyzka posted a 3–11 record with 58 strikeouts and a 5.58 ERA in 70 appearances, including nine start, one save, and 180⅓ innings of work.

Before the 1955 season, in the largest transaction in major league history, Baltimore sent Blyzka along Jim Fridley, Billy Hunter, Darrell Johnson, Dick Kryhoski, Don Larsen and Bob Turley to the Yankees, in exchange for Harry Byrd, Don Leppert, Jim McDonald, Bill Miller, Willy Miranda, Kal Segrist, Hal Smith, Gus Triandos, Gene Woodling and Ted Del Guercio. Del Guercio played 12 seasons in the minor leagues and was the only member of the group not to make the Majors.

Norm Siebern

Norman Leroy "Norm" Siebern (July 26, 1933 – October 30, 2015) was a Major League Baseball player for the New York Yankees, Kansas City Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, California Angels, San Francisco Giants, and Boston Red Sox from 1956 to 1968. His best season came in 1962 with the A's, when he hit 25 home runs, had 117 runs batted in and a .308 batting average. He might be most remembered however, as being one of the players the Yankees traded for Roger Maris. He was signed by Yankees scout Lou Maguolo.Siebern played for the 1956 and 1958 World Series champion Yankees, and nine years later returned to the '67 Series with the Red Sox.

On December 11, 1959, he was part of a seven-player trade that sent him along with World Series heroes Don Larsen and Hank Bauer to the Kansas City A's in exchange for outfielder Roger Maris and two other players. Maris ended up breaking Babe Ruth's single-season home run record in 1961.

The Orioles acquired Siebern on November 27, 1963 in an exchange of starting first basemen, sending Jim Gentile and $25,000 to the Athletics. He spent two seasons in Baltimore, losing his starting spot in the middle of 1965 to Boog Powell, who successfully made the transition from the outfield. Siebern was traded to the Angels on December 2, 1965 for outfielder Dick Simpson. Seven days later, Simpson would be one of three players sent to the Cincinnati Reds for Frank Robinson.Siebern made the American League All-Star teams in 1962, 1963 and 1964.

He had 1,217 hits for his career, with 132 home runs and a lifetime batting average of .272. Defensively, his career fielding percentage was .991. At first base his fielding percentage was .992 and as an outfielder was .984.

Siebern attended Southwest Missouri State, where he played basketball with future New York baseball teammate Jerry Lumpe on a team that won two NAIA Championships in 1952 and 1953. Both players had to miss some tournament games to report to baseball spring training camp with the Yankees.

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Charlie Robertson
Perfect game pitcher
October 8, 1956
Succeeded by
Jim Bunning
Preceded by
Sal Maglie
No-hitter pitcher
October 8, 1956
Succeeded by
Bob Keegan
Preceded by
None
Post-season no-hitter pitcher
October 8, 1956
Succeeded by
Roy Halladay
Franchise
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Culture
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Rivalries
Monument Park
honorees
Key personnel
Championships (27)
American League
Pennants (40)
Division titles (17)
Wild Card titles (7)
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