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,[1] 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.

Don Larsen's perfect game
The "everlasting image" of Yogi Berra leaping into Larsen's arms upon the completion of the perfect game.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Brooklyn Dodgers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
New York Yankees 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 X 2 5 0
DateOctober 8, 1956
1956 World Series Game 5
VenueYankee Stadium
CityNew York City, New York
Time of Game2:06 P.M. EST
TV announcersMel Allen, Vin Scully


Don Larsen of the New York Yankees made his first start in a World Series game in the 1955 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Larsen lost the game.[2]

The Yankees and Dodgers faced each other in the 1956 World Series. Behind Sal Maglie, the Dodgers defeated the Yankees in Game 1. Casey Stengel, the manager of the Yankees, selected Larsen to start Game 2 against the Dodgers' Don Newcombe.[2] Despite being given a 6–0 lead by the Yankees' batters, he lasted only ​1 23 innings against the Dodgers in a 13–8 loss. He only gave up one hit, a single by Gil Hodges, but walked four batters, which led to four runs in the process, but none of them were earned because of an error by first baseman Joe Collins.[3][4] The Yankees won Games 3 and 4 to tie the series at two games apiece.[5]

Game 5

With the series tied at two games apiece, Larsen started Game 5 for the Yankees. Larsen's opponent in the game was Maglie.[6] The Yankees scored two runs off Maglie, as Mickey Mantle hit a home run and Hank Bauer had a run batted in single. Larsen retired all 27 batters he faced to complete the perfect game.[7]

Larsen needed just 97 pitches to complete the 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." The closest the Dodgers came to a hit was in the second inning, when Jackie Robinson hit a line drive off third baseman Andy Carey's glove, the ball caroming to shortstop Gil McDougald, who threw Robinson out by a step, and in the fifth, when Mickey Mantle ran down Gil Hodges' deep fly ball. Brooklyn's Maglie gave up only two runs on five hits and was perfect himself until Mantle's fourth-inning home run broke the scoreless tie. The Yankees added an insurance run in the sixth as Hank Bauer's single scored Carey, who had opened the inning with a single and was sacrificed to second by Larsen. After Roy Campanella grounded out to Billy Martin for the second out of the 9th inning, Larsen faced pinch hitter Dale Mitchell, a .312 career hitter. Throwing fastballs, Larsen got ahead in the count at 1–2. On his 97th pitch, Larsen struck out Mitchell for the 27th consecutive and final out.[8][9] Mitchell tried to check his swing on that last pitch, but home plate umpire Babe Pinelli, who would retire at the end of this World Series, called the last pitch a strike. Mitchell, who only struck out 119 times in 3,984 at-bats (or once every 34 at-bats) during his career, always maintained that the third strike he took was really a ball.

In one of the most iconic images in sports history, catcher Yogi Berra leaped into Larsen's arms after the final out. With the death of Berra on September 22, 2015, Larsen is the last living player for either team who played in this game.


Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Brooklyn 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
New York 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 X 2 5 0
WP: Don Larsen (1–0)   LP: Sal Maglie (1–1)
Home runs:
BKN: None
NYY: Mickey Mantle (3)


NBC televised the game, with announcers Mel Allen for the Yankees and Vin Scully for the Dodgers. In 2006, it was announced that a nearly-complete kinescope recording of the Game 5 telecast (featuring Larsen's perfect game) had been preserved and discovered by a collector. That black and white kinescope recording aired during the MLB Network's first night on the air on January 1, 2009, supplemented with an interview of both Larsen and Yogi Berra by Bob Costas. The first inning of the telecast is still considered lost and was not aired by the MLB Network or included in a subsequent DVD release of the game.

However, parts of the first inning appear in one of the two known color films of the game, an 8mm film shot by Saul Terry. This includes a backpedaling, tumbling catch by 2B and later legendary Yankees Manager Billy Martin in the top of the inning. Terry and his wife, Elissa, attended the game after driving across the country from Los Angeles on their honeymoon. Instead of receiving tickets to "My Fair Lady" on Broadway, they were given tickets to Game 5 of the World Series. His film also includes footage of Mickey Mantle's famous catch in CF; Whitey Ford warming up in the bullpen in the 9th; Duke Snider making a tumbling catch; and Larsen's famous last pitch and bear hug from Yogi Berra, as the Yankees and stadium security come running out of the dugout before the crowd runs across the field.

The film was lost for 50 years, until Terry found it on a canister entitled "New York Trip" in 2006, while making a family film for his 50th wedding anniversary. The film was shown to Larsen, Berra, Tony Kubek, Frank Howard, Bucky Dent, Moose Skowron and several other former Yankees at a dinner in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida in 2007. Terry's family now owns the film. Terry, who died in 2006, also shot footage of the first Dodgers game in Los Angeles at the L.A. Coliseum in 1958, which appears later on the same canister, and was identified several years after the Larsen film by his family.

The other color film of the Perfect Game is 16mm and was shot by PGA Member Al Mengert, who played in the Masters with Sam Snead.

Terry and Mengert's stories were reported in the New York Times in an article by Richard Sandomir. [10]


Roy Halladay and Don Larsen
Roy Halladay and Don Larsen, the only pitchers to throw postseason no-hitters in MLB history

The Dodgers won Game 6 of the series, but the Yankees won the decisive Game 7. Larsen's performance earned him the World Series Most Valuable Player Award[11] and the Babe Ruth Award.[12] 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".[13]

Larsen's perfect game remained the only no-hitter thrown in the MLB postseason until Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies threw a no-hitter on October 6, 2010, against the Cincinnati Reds in the first game of the 2010 National League Division Series.[1] Halladay, who had already thrown a perfect game earlier in the 2010 season, faced 28 batters after giving up a walk (to Jay Bruce of the Cincinnati Reds) in the fifth inning.

Larsen's perfect game remained 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 achieve the feat in Game 6 of the 2016 National League Championship Series. In that game, the Cubs gave up two hits and a walk and committed a fielding error, but managed to put out all four baserunners, three via double plays and one on a pickoff.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Roy Halladay throws second no-hitter in postseason history". October 6, 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Prescott Evening Courier - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved June 24, 2015.
  3. ^ "Brooklyn Dodgers 13, New York Yankees 8". Retrosheet. Retrosheet. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  4. ^ "October 5, 1956 World Series Game 2, Yankees at Dodgers -". Retrieved June 24, 2015.
  5. ^ "Boca Raton News - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved June 24, 2015.
  6. ^ "The Milwaukee Sentinel - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved June 24, 2015.
  7. ^ "Spokane Daily Chronicle - Google News Archive Search".
  8. ^ "Reading Eagle - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved June 24, 2015.
  9. ^ "October 8, 1956 World Series Game 5, Dodgers at Yankees -". Retrieved June 24, 2015.
  10. ^ New York Times: Larsen's Feat Lives in Amateur Films
  11. ^ "1956 World Series - New York Yankees over Brooklyn Dodgers (4-3) -". Retrieved June 24, 2015.
  12. ^ "The Hutch Award, Lou Gehrig Award, Babe Ruth Award & Roberto Clemente Award Winners". Sports Reference. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  13. ^ Durslag, Melvin (December 1971). "Don Larsen 15 Years Later". Baseball Digest. pp. 31–33. Retrieved March 26, 2012.

Further reading

  • Larsen, Don, with Mark Shaw. (1996). The Perfect Yankee: The Incredible Story of the Greatest Miracle in Baseball History. Urbana, IL: Sagamore Publishing. ISBN 978-1-571-67043-4.
  • Paper, Lew. (2009). Perfect: Don Larsen's Miraculous World Series Game and the Men Who Made It Happen. New York: New American Library. ISBN 978-0-451-22819-2.
1956 Major League Baseball season

The 1956 Major League Baseball season was contested from April 17 to October 10, 1956, featuring eight teams in the National League and eight teams in the American League. The 1956 World Series was a rematch of the previous year's series between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers. The series is notable for Yankees pitcher Don Larsen's perfect game in Game 5.

1956 World Series

The 1956 World Series of Major League Baseball was played between the New York Yankees (representing the American League) and the defending champion Brooklyn Dodgers (representing the National League) during October 1956. The Series was a rematch of the 1955 World Series. It was the last all-New York City Series until 44 years later in 2000; the Dodgers and the New York Giants moved to California after the 1957 season. Additionally, it was the last time a New York team represented the National League until 1969 when the New York Mets defeated the Baltimore Orioles in five games.

The Yankees won the Series in seven games, capturing their seventeenth championship. Brooklyn won Games 1 and 2, but New York pitchers threw five consecutive complete games (Games 3–7) to cap off the comeback. The highlight was Don Larsen's perfect game in Game 5. Larsen was named the Series MVP for his achievement. The Dodgers scored 19 runs in the first two games, but only 6 in the remaining five games, with just one in the final three games.

This was the last World Series to date not to have scheduled off days (although Game 2 was postponed a day due to rain).

As of April 2015, three original television broadcasts from this Series (Games 2 partial, Games 3 and 5) had been released on DVD.

2016 National League Championship Series

The 2016 National League Championship Series was a best-of-seven playoff in which the Chicago Cubs defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers for the National League (NL) pennant and the right to play in the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians. As winners of one of the Division Series and the team with the best regular season record in the National League, the Cubs earned home-field advantage regardless of opponent. The series was the 47th in league history. FS1 televised all of the games in the United States.The Cubs would go on to defeat the Cleveland Indians in the World Series in seven games, after overcoming a 3–1 series deficit, winning their first World Series championship for the first time in 108 years, ending the Curse of the Billy Goat.

Andy Carey

Andrew Arthur Carey (October 18, 1931 – December 15, 2011) was born in Oakland, California and was a major league third baseman for the New York Yankees (1952–1960), and three other major league teams from 1960 to 1962. Carey also balked at a trade which would have sent him from the Chicago White Sox to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1962. He batted and threw right-handed.

Carey ended his career on September 30, 1962 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In an 11-year career, he had a .260 batting average, with 64 home runs, and 350 RBIs. He had 741 career hits. Carey led the league in triples in 1955 with 11. He finished his career with 38 triples. While playing for the Yankees in the 1956 World Series, Carey twice helped preserve Don Larsen's perfect game against the Dodgers on Oct 8, 1956. In the second inning, the Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson smacked a shot between third and short that Carey knocked down, allowing shortstop Gil McDougald to pick up the ball and nip Robinson at first. In the eighth, he robbed Gil Hodges by snaring a low line drive that seemed headed for left field.

Carey died on December 15, 2011 of Lewy body dementia.

Babe Pinelli

Ralph Arthur "Babe" Pinelli, born Rinaldo Angelo Paolinelli (October 18, 1895 – October 22, 1984), was an American third baseman and umpire in Major League Baseball. Born in San Francisco, his playing career was mostly with the Cincinnati Reds from 1922 to 1927. He also played with the Chicago White Sox (1918) and Detroit Tigers (1920). After that he became a highly regarded National League umpire from 1935 to 1956, officiating in 6 World Series: 1939, 1941, 1947, 1948 (outfield only), 1952 and 1956; he was crew chief for the final two Series. He also umpired in the All-Star game in 1937, 1941, 1950 and 1956, working behind home plate for the second half of the last three games, and he worked in the 3-game series to determine the NL champion in 1946.

Pinelli wrote an article for The Second Fireside Book of Baseball, titled "Kill the Umpire? Don't Make Me Laugh!" in which he told about his rookie year of 1935, when he was told that he should not call a strike on Babe Ruth, who was winding up his career with the Boston Braves. Pinelli did not see it that way. When he was behind the plate and Ruth came to bat, and a close pitch went by at which Ruth did not swing, Pinelli deemed it a strike and so called it. Ruth turned to the umpire and bellowed, "There's forty thousand people in this park that know that was a ball, tomato-head!" Pinelli did not lose his cool. He replied calmly, "Perhaps—but mine is the only opinion that counts." Ruth had no answer for that.

His final game as a home plate umpire provided an extraordinary capstone to his career. He was behind the plate for Don Larsen's perfect Game 5 in the 1956 World Series. His final call as a plate ump presumably was "Strike 3! You're out!" to pinch-hitter Dale Mitchell. Pinelli later recalled that after the game, he returned to the umpires' room and burst into tears. It has often been reported that that was Pinelli's final game as an umpire, but that is incorrect; Pinelli was a field umpire for the final two games of the Series, and then called it a career.

In his book The Game of Baseball, Gil Hodges recounted a story of how, while dressing for a game, he and several other Brooklyn Dodgers debated which umpires were most likely and least likely to eject a player from a game. Hodges recalled that Pee Wee Reese expressed the opinion that Pinelli was the umpire least likely to throw a player out. Reese was indeed ejected from that day's game—by Pinelli.

Pinelli died at age 89 in Daly City, California. He was elected to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.

Bob Wolff

Robert Alfred Wolff (November 29, 1920 – July 15, 2017) was an American radio and television sportscaster.

He began his professional career in 1939 on CBS in Durham, North Carolina while attending Duke University. He was the radio and TV voice of the Washington Senators from 1947 to 1960, continuing with the team when they relocated and became the Minnesota Twins in 1961. In 1962, he joined NBC-TV.

In his later years, Wolff was seen and heard on News 12 Long Island, on MSG Network programming and doing sports interviews on the Steiner Sports' Memories of the Game show on the YES Network.

Charlie Robertson

Charles Culbertson Robertson (January 31, 1896 – August 23, 1984) was an American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a pitcher, and is best remembered for throwing a perfect game in 1922. He was the last surviving player who played at least one game for the 1919 Chicago White Sox, having died in 1984.

Robertson was born in Dexter, Texas, grew up in Nocona, Texas, and graduated from Nocona High School in 1915. Charles attended Austin College from 1917 until 1919. He began his career with the Chicago White Sox in 1919 at the age of 23. Robertson was an average player for most of his career, having a career record of 49–80 and never winning more than he lost during a single season. His main pitch throughout his career was a slow curveball which he often threw on the first pitch to a batter on any side of the plate, followed by a fastball up in the zone.

Charlie Robertson's perfect game

Charlie Robertson's perfect game was a Major League Baseball game that took place on April 30, 1922, between the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers. Robertson, pitching for the White Sox, retired all 27 batters he faced to pitch a perfect game.

Claude Passeau

Claude William Passeau (April 9, 1909 – August 30, 2003) was an American starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. From 1935 through 1947, Passeau played with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1935), Philadelphia Phillies (1936–39) and Chicago Cubs (1939–47). He batted and threw right-handed. In a 13-year career, Passeau posted a 162–150 record with 1104 strikeouts and a 3.32 ERA in 2179​2⁄3 innings.

Dale Mitchell (baseball)

Loren Dale Mitchell (August 23, 1921 – January 5, 1987) was an American professional baseball left fielder. He played eleven seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1946 to 1956 for the Cleveland Indians and Brooklyn Dodgers.

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.

Dusty Boggess

Lynton Ross "Dusty" Boggess (June 7, 1904 – July 8, 1968) was an American umpire in Major League Baseball who worked in the National League from 1944 to 1962. He umpired in four World Series and in four All-Star Games.

Ed Reulbach

Edward Marvin "Big Ed" Reulbach (December 1, 1882 – July 17, 1961) was a major league baseball pitcher for the Chicago Cubs during their glory years of the early 1900s.

Ed Runge

Edward Paul Runge (May 12, 1918 - July 25, 2002) was an American professional baseball umpire. He worked in Major League Baseball between 1954 and 1970. During his career, he officiated three World Series and five All-Star games.

Felo Ramírez

Rafael "Felo" Ramírez (22 June 1923 – 21 August 2017) was a Cuban-American Spanish language sports announcer, most notably for the Miami Marlins.

Born in Bayamo, Cuba, Ramirez was also a boxing expert, having broadcast fights for Latin American radio and television audiences since 1949 along with other Spanish-language broadcasters such as Buck Canel and, Pancho Pepe Cróquer when the Gillette Cavalcade of Sports, aired through NBC Red Network, extended their Spanish programming activities to Latin American countries, where it was known as the Cabalgata Deportiva Gillette.

New York Yankees Museum

The New York Yankees Museum is a sports museum located at Yankee Stadium on the main level at Gate 6. It is sponsored and presented by Bank of America and is dedicated to baseball memorabilia for the New York Yankees. It is a key attraction at the stadium, which opened in 2009.

Roy Halladay

Harry Leroy Halladay III (May 14, 1977 – November 7, 2017), known as Roy Halladay, was an American professional baseball player who pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies between 1998 and 2013. His nickname, "Doc", was coined by Toronto Blue Jays announcer Tom Cheek, and was a reference to Wild West gunslinger Doc Holliday.

Halladay was chosen by the Blue Jays with their first selection in the 1995 MLB draft and was the 17th overall pick. He played for the team from 1998 through 2009. After being traded to Philadelphia in 2009, Halladay pitched for the Phillies from 2010 to 2013. He was known for his ability to pitch effectively deep into games and, at the time of his retirement, was the active major league leader in complete games with 67, including 20 shutouts.On May 29, 2010, Halladay pitched the 20th perfect game in major league baseball history, beating the Florida Marlins by a score of 1–0. On October 6, 2010, in his first postseason start, Halladay threw the second no-hitter in MLB postseason history (Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series being the first) against the Cincinnati Reds in Game 1 of the 2010 NLDS. This feat made Halladay the fifth pitcher in major league history (and the first since Nolan Ryan in 1973) to throw multiple no-hitters in the same calendar year (including the postseason). During the 2012 season, he became the 67th pitcher to record 2,000 career strikeouts. Halladay was also one of six pitchers in MLB history to win the Cy Young Award in both the American and National Leagues.

On November 7, 2017, Halladay died when his ICON A5 amphibious plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida. The Blue Jays organization posthumously retired his number 32 on March 29, 2018. Halladay was announced as an inductee to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on January 22, 2019; he is the first posthumously-elected player since Ron Santo in 2012 and the first elected by the BBWAA since Roberto Clemente in 1973.

Tom Gorman (umpire)

Thomas David Gorman (March 16, 1919 – August 11, 1986) was an American pitcher and umpire in Major League Baseball who pitched five innings in four games for the New York Giants in 1939, and went on to serve as a National League umpire from 1951 to 1976 and then as a league supervisor. His son Brian has been a major league umpire since 1991 and wears the same uniform number 9 the elder Gorman wore after the NL began adding numbers to umpire uniforms in 1970.

Yogi Berra

Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra (May 12, 1925 – September 22, 2015) was an American professional baseball catcher, who later took on the roles of manager and coach. He played 19 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) (1946–63, 1965), all but the last for the New York Yankees. He was an 18-time All-Star and won 10 World Series championships as a player—more than any other player in MLB history. Berra had a career batting average of .285, while hitting 358 home runs and 1,430 runs batted in. He is one of only five players to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award three times. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest catchers in baseball history, and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

Berra was a native of St. Louis and signed with the Yankees in 1943 before serving in the United States Navy as a gunner's mate in the Normandy landings during World War II, where he earned a Purple Heart. He made his major-league debut at age 21 in 1946 and was a mainstay in the Yankees' lineup during the team's championship years beginning in 1949 and continuing through 1962. Despite his short stature (he was 5 feet 7 inches tall), Berra was a power hitter and strong defensive catcher. He caught Don Larsen's perfect game in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series.

Berra played 18 seasons with the Yankees before retiring after the 1963 season. He spent the next year as their manager, then joined the New York Mets in 1965 as coach (and briefly a player again). Berra remained with the Mets for the next decade, serving the last four years as their manager. He returned to the Yankees in 1976, coaching them for eight seasons and managing for two, before coaching the Houston Astros. He was one of seven managers to lead both American and National League teams to the World Series. Berra appeared as a player, coach or manager in every one of the 13 World Series that New York baseball teams won from 1947 through 1981. Overall, he appeared in 22 World Series, 13 on the winning side.

The Yankees retired his uniform number 8 in 1972; Bill Dickey had previously worn number 8, and both catchers had that number retired by the Yankees. The club honored him with a plaque in Monument Park in 1988. Berra was named to the MLB All-Century Team in a vote by fans in 1999. For the remainder of his life, he was closely involved with the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center, which he opened on the campus of Montclair State University in 1998.

Berra quit school after the eighth grade. He was known for his malapropisms as well as pithy and paradoxical statements, such as "It ain't over 'til it's over", while speaking to reporters. He once simultaneously denied and confirmed his reputation by stating, "I really didn't say everything I said."

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