Perfect game

A perfect game is defined by Major League Baseball as a game in which a pitcher (or combination of pitchers) pitches a victory that lasts a minimum of nine innings in which no opposing player reaches base.[2] To achieve a perfect game, a team must not allow an opposing player to reach base for any reason, including hits, walks, hit batsmen, or fielding errors; in short, "27 up, 27 down" (for a nine-inning game). The feat has been achieved 23 times in MLB history – 21 times since the modern era began in 1900, most recently by Félix Hernández of the Seattle Mariners on August 15, 2012. A perfect game is also a no-hitter and a shutout. A fielding error that does not allow a batter to reach base, such as a misplayed foul ball, does not spoil a perfect game.[3] Weather-shortened contests in which a team has no baserunners and games in which a team reaches first base only in extra innings do not qualify as perfect games under the present definition.

The first confirmed use of the term perfect game was in 1908; the term's current definition was formalized in 1991. Although it is theoretically possible for several pitchers to combine for a perfect game (as has happened 11 times at the major league level for a no-hitter), to date, every major league perfect game has been thrown by a single pitcher.[4]

In Eastern Asian leagues such as Nippon Professional Baseball, KBO League, or Chinese Professional Baseball League, only Complete Perfect Games were recorded as official.

PerfectLarsen
The "everlasting image" of New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra leaping into the arms of pitcher Don Larsen after the completion of Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series[1]

History

The first known use in print of the term perfect game occurred in 1908. I. E. Sanborn's report for the Chicago Tribune about Addie Joss's performance against the White Sox calls it "an absolutely perfect game, without run, without hit, and without letting an opponent reach first base by hook or crook, on hit, walk, or error, in nine innings".[5] Several sources have claimed (erroneously) that the first recorded usage of the term perfect game was by Ernest J. Lanigan in his Baseball Cyclopedia, made in reference to Charlie Robertson's 1922 perfect game.[6] The Chicago Tribune came close to the term in describing Richmond's game in 1880: "Richmond was most effectively supported, every position on the home nine being played to perfection."[7] Similarly, in writing up John Montgomery Ward's 1880 perfect game, the New York Clipper described the "perfect play" of Providence's defense.[8]

As of 2014, the current Major League Baseball definition of a perfect game is largely a side effect of the decision made by the major leagues' Committee for Statistical Accuracy on September 4, 1991, to redefine a no-hitter as a game in which the pitcher or pitchers on one team throw a complete game of nine innings or more without surrendering a hit.[9] That decision removed a number of games that had long appeared in the record books: those lasting fewer than nine innings, and those in which a team went hitless in regulation but then got a hit in extra innings. The definition of perfect game was made to parallel this new definition of the no-hitter, in effect substituting "baserunner" for "hit". As a result of the 1991 redefinition, for instance, Harvey Haddix receives credit for neither a perfect game nor a no-hitter for his performance on May 26, 1959, when he threw 12 perfect innings against the Milwaukee Braves before allowing a baserunner in the 13th.[10]

There has been one perfect game in the World Series, thrown by Don Larsen for the New York Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers on October 8, 1956. By coincidence, the second Yankee pitcher to throw a perfect game, David Wells in 1998, graduated from the same high school as Larsen - Point Loma High School in San Diego, California.[11] In a further coincidence, Larsen was in attendance when the third Yankee pitcher to throw a perfect game, David Cone in 1999, performed the feat on the same day that Larsen and Yogi Berra (the catcher in the 1956 perfect game) were invited to do the ceremonial first pitch.[12]

Ron Hassey is the only catcher in MLB history to have caught more than one perfect game (his first was with pitcher Len Barker in 1981[13] and his second was with pitcher Dennis Martínez in 1991[14]).

The most recent perfect game pitched in Major League Baseball was thrown by Félix Hernández of the Seattle Mariners against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 15, 2012.[15] He struck out the side twice and struck out twelve total batters in the 1-0 victory over Tampa Bay. Since the beginning of the 2009 MLB season, it was the third time that the Tampa Bay Rays were on the losing end of a perfect game.

Clayton Kershaw is the only pitcher to make an all-strikeout perfect game in 2006 in high school with the final score of 13-0 and a shortened game due to the mercy rule.

The only perfect game thrown in a Little League World Series championship was by Angel Macias of the Monterrey, Mexico, team in 1957.[16]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Madden, Bill (September 12, 2008). "Yogi Berra's Favorite Stadium Moment: Don Larsen's Perfect Game". Daily News. Retrieved February 5, 2010.
  2. ^ "MLB Official Info". MLB Advanced Media. 2019. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  3. ^ "MLB Miscellany: Rules, Regulations and Statistics". Major League Baseball. Retrieved August 20, 2007.
  4. ^ "History: No-hitters". Major League Baseball. Retrieved August 22, 2007.
  5. ^ Deutsch et al. (1975), p. 68. This source also includes an 1880 clipping from the New York Herald describing Lee Richmond's perfect game for Worcester. A double error by Cleveland resulted in the lone run scoring, and the writer described it as "the only lapse from perfect play made by the Clevelands during the game"; the use of the word "perfect" in this context refers only to defensive play, a different meaning than its modern baseball sense, as Cleveland's pitcher also surrendered three hits and a walk. See Deutsch et al. (1975), p. 14. Writeups for the Ward perfect game of 1880 and the Young game of 1904 describe the games as "wonderful" and other effusive terms, but do not use the term "perfect game".
  6. ^ Buckley (2002), p. 16, citing Paul Dickson, The Dickson Baseball Dictionary (1989); Coffey (2004), p. 50. The Baseball Cyclopedia reference came in a supplement to the 1922 edition of the book (a publication of Baseball Magazine) and was worded thus: "Charles Robertson of Chicago Americans pitched an absolutely perfect no-hit game against Detroit on April 30, 1922, no one reaching first." The publication listed all the perfect games to that point (a total of five, including Robertson's) and used the term "perfect game" matter-of-factly, possibly indicating the term was already familiar to the readership. Lanigan's work references a 1914 book called Balldom as a source for his list of perfect games, although Balldom itself does not use the term "perfect game", merely characterizing the games as "no batter reached first base." Lanigan was also familiar with Sanborn's baseball articles, making various references to him elsewhere in the Cyclopedia, although there is nothing indicating that Sanborn necessarily inspired Lanigan's use of the term.
  7. ^ Buckley (2002), p. 15.
  8. ^ Buckley (2002), p. 26.
  9. ^ Young (1997), p. 29.
  10. ^ Forker, Obojski, and Stewart (2004), p. 116.
  11. ^ "David Wells Field in Point Loma gets renovated". ABC 10 News. July 1, 2014. Archived from the original on 23 July 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  12. ^ "David Cone Perfect Game Box Score by Baseball Almanac". Baseball-almanac.com. 1999-07-18. Retrieved 2016-11-18.
  13. ^ "Len Barker Perfect Game Box Score". Baseball-Almanac. Retrieved April 27, 2012.
  14. ^ "Dennis Martinez Perfect Game Box Score". Baseball-Almanac. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  15. ^ "Félix Hernández Perfect Game Box Score". Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  16. ^ Morrison, Jim (April 5, 2010). "The Little League World Series' Only Perfect Game". Smithsonian.com. Retrieved September 28, 2015.

Sources

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External links

Armando Galarraga's near-perfect game

In a Major League Baseball game played on June 2, 2010, at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan, Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga nearly became the 21st pitcher in Major League history to throw a perfect game. Facing the Cleveland Indians, Galarraga retired the first 26 batters he faced. His bid for a perfect game was ruined one out short, when first base umpire Jim Joyce incorrectly ruled that Indians batter Jason Donald reached first base safely on a ground ball. Galarraga instead finished with a one-hit shutout in a 3–0 victory. He faced 28 batters and threw 88 pitches (67 strikes and 21 balls), striking out three. The game is sometimes referred to as the "28-out perfect game", the "Imperfect Game", or simply the "Galarraga game".Joyce was tearful and apologetic to Galarraga after the game upon realizing he had made the incorrect call. Galarraga was forgiving and understanding of the mistake. Without irony, he told reporters after the game, "Nobody's perfect." Galarraga was the most prominent of the many people throughout Major League Baseball who subsequently voiced their support for Joyce. Unusually, the umpire met with both the pitcher and the media after the game to apologize for his error. The sportsmanship demonstrated by Galarraga and Joyce earned them both widespread praise for their handling of the incident.

Catfish Hunter's perfect game

On May 8, 1968, Jim "Catfish" Hunter of the Oakland Athletics pitched the ninth perfect game in Major League Baseball history, defeating the Minnesota Twins 4-0 at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum.

Hunter struck out 11 batters, including the last two batters he faced: Bruce Look and pinch-hitter Rich Reese. He also struck out Harmon Killebrew all three times the two future Hall-of-Famers faced each other. Only two batters got to a three-ball count: Tony Oliva in the second inning, who reached a 3-0 count before striking out, and pinch hitter Rich Reese, who fouled off five consecutive 3-2 pitches before striking out to end the game.Hunter relied mostly on his fastball during the game, only disagreeing with catcher Jim Pagliaroni's pitch-calling decisions twice. As a measure of his appreciation for his catcher's contribution to the perfect game, Hunter rewarded Pagliaroni with a gold watch that he had inscribed on back. Only 6,298 fans showed up for the evening contest.

The perfect game was the American League's first regular season perfect game since Charlie Robertson's perfect game in 1922, as well as the first no-hitter in the Athletics' Oakland history, which was in only its 25th game after the franchise had moved from Kansas City, Missouri, its home from 1955 to 1967. Bill McCahan had pitched the Athletics' last no-hitter in 1947; the franchise was then based in Philadelphia.

One of the best hitting pitchers of his time, Hunter also helped his own cause by batting in three of the four Oakland runs. In the bottom of the seventh inning, his bunt single scored Rick Monday to break a scoreless tie. One inning later, with the Athletics leading 2-0, he singled to score Pagliaroni and Monday.

As of 2017, Hunter is the youngest pitcher to pitch a modern-era perfect game, at 22 years, 30 days old.

Cy Young

Denton True "Cy" Young (March 29, 1867 – November 4, 1955) was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher. Born in Gilmore, Ohio, he worked on his family's farm as a youth before starting his professional baseball career. Young entered the major leagues in 1890 with the National League's Cleveland Spiders and pitched for them until 1898. He was then transferred to the St. Louis Cardinals franchise. In 1901, Young jumped to the American League and played for the Boston Red Sox franchise until 1908, helping them win the 1903 World Series. He finished his career with the Cleveland Naps and Boston Rustlers, retiring in 1911.

Young was one of the hardest-throwing pitchers in the game early in his career. After his speed diminished, he relied more on his control and remained effective into his forties. By the time Young retired, he had established numerous pitching records, some of which have stood for over a century. He holds MLB records for the most career wins, with 511, along with most career innings pitched, games started, and complete games. He led his league in wins during five seasons and pitched three no-hitters, including a perfect game.

Young was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937. In 1956, one year after his death, the Cy Young Award was created to honor the best pitcher in Major League Baseball for each season.

Cy Young's perfect game

Cy Young, pitcher for the Boston Americans, pitched a perfect game against the Philadelphia Athletics by retiring all 27 batters he faced on Thursday, May 5, 1904. This event took place in the Huntington Avenue Grounds in Boston, Massachusetts, in front of 10,267 fans in attendance.

After Athletics' pitcher Rube Waddell defeated Young on April 25 and one-hit Boston on May 2, Waddell taunted Young to face him so that he could repeat his performance against Boston's ace. Three days later, Young pitched a perfect game against Waddell and the Athletics. The third perfect game in Major League Baseball history, Young's perfect game was the first in baseball's modern era and in American League history.

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

David Lee Wells (born May 20, 1963), nicknamed "Boomer", is an American former Major League Baseball pitcher. Wells was considered to be one of the game's better left-handed pitchers, especially during his years with the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays. He pitched the 15th perfect game in baseball history. He is tied only with Kenny Lofton for appearing in the post-season with six teams. Wells is currently a broadcaster on MLB on TBS and the host of The Cheap Seats on FOXSports.com.

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

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'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.

Félix Hernández's perfect game

On August 15, 2012, Seattle Mariners pitcher Félix Hernández pitched the 23rd and most recent perfect game in Major League Baseball history and the first in Mariners' franchise history. Pitching against the Tampa Bay Rays at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington, Hernández retired all 27 batters that he faced and tallied 12 strikeouts in a 1–0 victory.This was the third perfect game of the 2012 Major League Baseball season, following perfect games thrown by Philip Humber and Matt Cain, marking the first time that three perfect games were thrown in one MLB season. Also, as the Mariners were the losing team in Humber's perfect game, this was the first time that a team was on the losing and winning end of a perfect game in the same season. As Philip Humber's perfect game took place when the White Sox were visiting Safeco Field, this marked the first time two perfect games were thrown in the same park in the same season. It was also the second time in 2012 that the Mariners had pitched a no-hitter at Safeco Field; they pitched a combined no-hitter on June 8, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers, also 1–0, making it the first time that a team pitched a combined no-hitter and complete game no-hitter in the same season. It also marked the third time the Tampa Bay Rays had been on the receiving end of a perfect game in four seasons, having previously failed to reach first base against Dallas Braden in 2010 and Mark Buehrle in 2009. Evan Longoria, Carlos Peña, Melvin Upton, Jr. and Ben Zobrist all played for the Rays in all three games, tying Alfredo Griffin's dubious mark for most losing perfect games played in.

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 Major League Baseball perfect games

Over the 150 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. (Robertson, it should be noted, played his entire career before the establishment of the MLB All-Star Game.) 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.

Mark Buehrle's perfect game

Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox pitched a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays by retiring all nine batters he faced three times each on Thursday, July 23, 2009. This event took place in U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago in front of 28,036 fans in attendance. This game took 2:03 from 1:07 PM CT to 3:10 PM CT.

It was the eighteenth perfect game and 263rd no-hitter in MLB history, second perfect game and seventeenth no-hitter in White Sox history. The previous perfect game in MLB history was on May 18, 2004 when Randy Johnson of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitched a perfect game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. The previous occasion a White Sox pitcher threw a perfect game was on April 30, 1922 when Charlie Robertson pitched a perfecto against the Detroit Tigers at Navin Field (later known as Tiger Stadium); that was the fifth perfect game in MLB history.

Buehrle also logged his second career no-hitter; the first was against the Texas Rangers on April 18, 2007. He became the first pitcher to throw multiple no-hitters since Johnson. Buehrle did this in the midst of setting a Major League record by retiring 45 consecutive batters over three games.The umpire, Eric Cooper, who stood behind the plate for this perfect game was the same home plate umpire when Buehrle threw his first career no-hitter. Ramón Castro was the catcher.

At the time, the Rays were tied for the second-highest on-base percentage (.343) of any team, so they were one of the least likely to allow a perfect game. Buehrle’s perfect game was to become the first of three perfect games and the first of four no-hitters allowed by Rays in less than three years:

the second was delivered by Dallas Braden of the Oakland Athletics on May 9, 2010 (Mother's Day)

the third was pitched by Edwin Jackson of the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 25, 2010

and the fourth, which meant the Rays tied the Dodgers as the only MLB franchise to allow three perfect games, being delivered by Félix Hernández on August 15, 2012.

Matt Cain's perfect game

On June 13, 2012, Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants pitched the 22nd perfect game (no opposing batters reach first base) in Major League Baseball (MLB) history and the first in Giants' franchise history. Pitching against the Houston Astros at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California, Cain retired all 27 batters that he faced and tallied 14 strikeouts, tied for the most strikeouts in a perfect game with Sandy Koufax of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1965. Following Philip Humber's perfect game earlier in 2012, Cain's performance marked just the third season in MLB history in which multiple perfect games were thrown. In June 1880, Lee Richmond and John Montgomery Ward both threw perfect games; in May 2010 Dallas Braden and Roy Halladay both accomplished the feat.Two notable defensive plays by Cain's teammates kept the perfect game intact. Melky Cabrera made a running catch at the wall in left field in the top of the sixth inning, while Gregor Blanco made a diving catch in right-center field to start the top of the seventh.It was the first Giants no-hitter since left-hander Jonathan Sánchez threw one on July 10, 2009, against the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park. The Astros were no-hit for the fifth time in franchise history, and the first time since Carlos Zambrano threw a no-hitter for the Chicago Cubs on September 14, 2008 at Miller Park (Milwaukee) (moved from Minute Maid Park because of Hurricane Ike). It was the second time the Astros were no-hit by the Giants; Juan Marichal did it on June 15, 1963. It was also the first time in Astros history that no one reached base safely.

Cain surpassed his previous personal best of 12 strikeouts in a single game, which he set in 2006. Cain's 125 pitches were the most thrown in a Major League perfect game. The Giants recorded 10 runs, the most by any team in a perfect game. By scoring a run in the 5th inning, Cain became the only pitcher to have scored a run in his perfect game.

The final out was made by Astros pinch-hitter Jason Castro. Castro chopped a 1-2 pitch to third base where it was fielded deep behind the bag by third baseman Joaquin Arias. Arias successfully made the long throw across the diamond to first baseman Brandon Belt, who then tucked the ball in his back pocket before joining his teammates on the mound in celebration.

No-hitter

In baseball, a no-hitter (also known as a no-hit game and colloquially as a no-no) is a game in which a team was not able to record a single hit. Major League Baseball (MLB) officially defines a no-hitter as a completed game in which a team that batted in at least nine innings recorded no hits. A pitcher who prevents the opposing team from achieving a hit is said to have "thrown a no-hitter". This is a rare accomplishment for a pitcher or pitching staff: only 301 have been thrown in Major League Baseball history since 1876, an average of about two per year. In most cases in MLB, no-hitters are recorded by a single pitcher who throws a complete game; one thrown by two or more pitchers is a combined no-hitter. The most recent major league no-hitter by a single pitcher was thrown on May 7, 2019 by Mike Fiers of the Oakland Athletics against the Cincinnati Reds at the Oakland Coliseum; this was also the 300th no-hitter in MLB history. The most recent combined no-hitter was thrown on July 12, 2019 by Taylor Cole and Félix Peña of the Los Angeles Angels against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium.

It is possible to reach base without a hit, most commonly by a walk, error, or being hit by a pitch. (Other possibilities include the batter reaching first after an uncaught third strike or catcher's interference.) A no-hitter in which no batters reach base at all is a perfect game, a much rarer feat. Because batters can reach base by means other than a hit, a pitcher can throw a no-hitter (though not a perfect game) and still give up runs, and even lose the game, although this is extremely uncommon and most no-hitters are also shutouts. One or more runs were given up in 25 recorded no-hitters in MLB history, most recently by Ervin Santana of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in a 3–1 win at the Cleveland Indians on July 27, 2011. On two occasions, a team has thrown a nine-inning no-hitter and still lost the game. On a further four occasions, a team has thrown a no-hitter for eight innings in a losing effort, but those four games are not officially recognized as no-hitters by Major League Baseball because the outing lasted fewer than nine innings. It is theoretically possible for opposing pitchers to throw no-hitters in the same game, although this has never happened in the majors. Two pitchers, Fred Toney and Hippo Vaughn, completed nine innings of a game on May 2, 1917 without either giving up a hit or a run; Vaughn gave up two hits and a run in the 10th inning, losing the game to Toney, who completed the extra-inning no-hitter.

Philip Humber's perfect game

Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox pitched a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners by retiring all 27 batters he faced on April 21, 2012, as the White Sox defeated the Mariners 4–0. It was the 21st perfect game in Major League Baseball (MLB) history and the third by a member of the White Sox. It was Humber's first career complete game, although he had come close to achieving no-hitters on several occasions at several levels of organized baseball. The game was played in Seattle and broadcast regionally by Fox Sports in the two teams' metropolitan areas.

Humber, a top pitching prospect from a Texas high school, attended Rice University, where he had a successful career. A high draft pick by the New York Mets, he debuted in MLB for the Mets before headlining a group of four prospects traded to the Minnesota Twins for Johan Santana. After two ineffective seasons with the Twins, Humber pitched a season for the Kansas City Royals. Acquired on waivers by the Chicago White Sox in 2011, Humber had his first successful season in an MLB starting rotation. The perfect game, Humber's 30th career start and his second of the 2012 season, totaled 96 pitches.

Roy Halladay's perfect game

On May 29, 2010, Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies pitched the twentieth perfect game in Major League Baseball history, against the Florida Marlins in Sun Life Stadium. He retired all 27 batters, striking out 11. This was the first time in the modern era that two pitchers (Dallas Braden of the Oakland Athletics being the other) threw perfect games in the same month and that multiple perfect games had been achieved in the same season.

Sandy Koufax's perfect game

Sandy Koufax of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitched a perfect game in the National League against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium on September 9, 1965. Koufax, by retiring 27 consecutive batters without allowing any to reach base, became the sixth pitcher of the modern era, eighth overall, to throw a perfect game. The game was Koufax's fourth no-hitter, breaking Bob Feller's Major League record of three (and later broken by Nolan Ryan, in 1981). Koufax struck out 14 opposing batters, the most ever recorded in a perfect game, and matched only by San Francisco Giants pitcher, Matt Cain, on June 13, 2012. He also struck out at least one batter in all nine innings (Cain did not strike out a batter in the ninth in his perfect game), the only perfect game pitcher to do so to date.

The game was also notable for the high quality of the performance by the opposing pitcher, Bob Hendley of the Cubs. Hendley gave up only one hit (which did not figure into the scoring) and allowed only two baserunners. Both pitchers had no-hitters intact until the seventh inning. The only run that the Dodgers scored was unearned. The game holds the record for fewest base runners in a perfect game (both teams), with two; the next lowest total is four.

Koufax's perfect game is a memorable part of baseball lore. Jane Leavy's biography of Koufax is structured around a re-telling of the game. An article in Salon.com honoring Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully focuses on his play-by-play call of the game for KFI radio. This game was selected in a 1995 poll of members of the Society for American Baseball Research as the greatest game ever pitched.

Tom Browning

Thomas Leo Browning (born April 28, 1960) is a former Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher. During a 12-year baseball career, he pitched for the Cincinnati Reds (1984–1994) and the Kansas City Royals (1995). He is also co-author of Tom Browning's Tales from the Reds Dugout.Browning pitched the twelfth perfect game in baseball history on September 16, 1988 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also won the World Series with the Reds in 1990.

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