Perfect: The Inside Story of Baseballs Twenty Perfect Games

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Mitch Albom. Sarah Young. Seuss Women in Business. Bulk Bookstore Gives Back. Click to enlarge. Please select a Wishlist:. Your Price per book :. Total for 25 copies: Save. Found a lower price on another site? Request a Price Match. Quantity: Minimum Order: 25 copies per title Must be purchased in multiples of 25 copies. List Price:. Publisher Identifier:. Retail Price:. Overview Among baseball achievements, the perfect game—one in which no runners reach base—remains the greatest. Product Details Series:.

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Check and wire-transfer payments are available offline through Customer Service. Choose Options. Learn More. You Buy Books. We Plant Trees. Every order you place helps us plant trees across America. Monday-Friday PST. Though convention has it that the modern era of Major League Baseball begins in , the essential rules of the modern game were in place by the season.

Two other crucial rules changes had been made in recent years: In , the rule awarding a hit batsman first base was instituted in the National League this had been the rule in the American Association since first by the umpire's judgment of the impact; as of the following year, virtually automatically. During baseball's modern era, 21 pitchers have thrown perfect games.

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Most were accomplished major leaguers. Matt Cain , though he ended with a — 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 —90, while Witt was a two-time All-Star, going — 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.

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Richmond was pitching in his first full season in the big leagues after appearing in one game in He was apparently considered a good hitter, as he batted second in the lineup. His perfect game featured an unusual 9—3 putout, with Worcester right fielder Lon Knight throwing out Cleveland's Bill Phillips at first.

In the seventh inning, the game was delayed for seven minutes due to rain; Richmond dried the ball off with sawdust when he returned to the mound. Monte Ward threw his perfect game at the Grays' park in Providence, but Buffalo, by virtue of a coin toss, which was the custom under the rules at that time, was officially the "home" team, batting in the bottom of each inning. At the age of 20 years, days, Ward is the youngest pitcher ever to throw a perfect game.

He batted sixth in the lineup. Beginning in , the year after his perfect game, Ward spent more time as a position player than a pitcher; in , following an arm injury, he became a full-time infielder. In either calculation, the streak remains a record. It was also part of a streak of 45 straight innings in which Young did not give up a run, which was then a record. Joss's was the most pressure-packed of any regular-season perfect game.

With just four games left on their schedule, the Cleveland Naps were involved in a three-way pennant race with the Tigers and the White Sox, that day's opponents. Joss's counterpart, Ed Walsh , struck out 15 and gave up just four scattered singles. The lone, unearned run scored as a result of a botched pickoff play and a wild pitch. Joss threw a second no-hitter against the White Sox in , making him and Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants the only major league pitchers ever to throw two no-hitters against the same team.

Robertson's perfect game was only his fifth appearance, and fourth start, in the big leagues. He finished his career with a 49—80 record, the fewest wins of any perfect-game pitcher until Dallas Braden; Robertson's winning percentage of. The Tigers, led by player-manager Ty Cobb , accused Robertson of illegally doctoring the ball with oil or grease.

Larsen did not know he would pitch in Game 5 of the World Series until a few hours before game time. In his perfect game, Larsen employed the style he had adopted in mid-season, working without a windup. Just one Dodgers batter— Pee Wee Reese , in the first inning—worked a three-ball count. The image of catcher Yogi Berra leaping into Larsen's arms after the final strike is one of the most famous in baseball history. Bunning's perfect game, pitched on Father's Day , was the first in the National League since Ward's 84 years before.

Defying the baseball superstition that holds one should not talk about a no-hitter in progress, Bunning spoke to his teammates about the perfect game as it developed to loosen them up and relieve the pressure. Koufax's perfect game was the first one pitched at night. It was nearly a double no-hitter, as Cubs pitcher Bob Hendley gave up only one hit, a bloop double to left-fielder Lou Johnson in the seventh inning that did not figure in the scoring.

The Dodgers scored their only run in the fifth inning: Lou Johnson reached first on a walk, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, stole third, and scored when Cubs catcher Chris Krug overthrew third base on the play. The game also set records for the fewest hits by both teams, one, and the fewest base runners by both teams, two both Johnson. Koufax's 14 strikeouts are tied with Matt Cain for the most ever thrown by a perfect game pitcher. Hunter, a talented batter, was also the hitting star of his perfect game. He went 3 for 4 with a double and 3 RBIs , including a bunt single that drove home the first and thus winning run in the seventh inning—easily the best offensive performance ever by a perfect game pitcher.

At 22 years and 30 days old, Hunter was the youngest pitcher to throw a perfect game in the modern era. This was the first no-hitter of the Athletics' Oakland tenure, which was only 25 games old. Barker's perfect game was the first one in which designated hitters were used. He did not reach a three-ball count in the entire game. Also on the losing end of this game was Danny Ainge , who played 14 seasons in the National Basketball Association. All 11 of Barker's strikeouts were swinging. Witt's perfect game came on the last day of the season. Reggie Jackson , who drove in the only run of the game on a seventh-inning fielder's choice ground ball, was also on the winning team in Catfish Hunter's perfect game.

On April 11, , Witt, pitching out of the bullpen, combined with starting pitcher Mark Langston to throw a no-hitter for the California Angels. Browning's perfect game, for the Cincinnati Reds against the Los Angeles Dodgers in September , came against the team that eventually won that year's World Series, the only time that has happened.

A two-hour, twenty-seven-minute rain delay [25] caused the game to start at approximately 10 PM. Right fielder Paul O'Neill , who played for the winning side in this game, also played for the winning side in the perfect games of Wells and Cone. The following July 4, Browning came within an inning of becoming the first pitcher to throw two perfect games, retiring the first 24 batters in a game against the Phillies before surrendering a leadoff double in the ninth.

Opposing pitcher Mike Morgan was perfect through five full innings, the latest the opposing starter in a perfect game has remained perfect. Two days earlier, Expos pitcher Mark Gardner no-hit the Dodgers through nine innings but lost the no-hitter in the tenth, meaning the Expos narrowly missed throwing a no-hitter and a perfect game in the same series. Rogers benefited from center fielder Rusty Greer 's fantastic diving catch of a line drive hit by Rex Hudler , leading off the ninth inning.

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  7. The Angels and Rangers are the only major league teams to record perfect games against each other. The home plate umpire was a minor league fill-in, Ed Bean, who was working his 29th Major League game and seventh behind the plate. Bean, who was substituting for year veteran Ken Kaiser , worked only seven more MLB games following Rogers' performance.

    They also both enjoyed the night life. Casey Stengel once said of Larsen, "The only thing he fears is sleep. Cone's perfect game occurred on Yogi Berra Day. Don Larsen threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Berra, who had been his catcher during the World Series perfect game. As the game wore on, television cameras showed Larsen, the only perfect game pitcher to attend another perfect game. No Expo worked even a three-ball count.

    Following teammate Wells's perfect game the previous season, this also represents the only time two successive perfect games have been thrown by the same team. Johnson threw his perfect game at the age of 40 years, days, becoming by more than three and a half years the oldest pitcher to achieve the feat. The former holder of the mark, Cy Young, threw his at the age of 37 years, 37 days. Johnson is also the tallest perfect game pitcher at 6' 10", surpassing Mike Witt by three inches.

    Of the teams to have a perfect game thrown against them, the Braves have the second-highest OBP. Buehrle was assisted by a dramatic ninth-inning wall-climbing catch by center fielder DeWayne Wise to rob Gabe Kapler of a home run; Wise had just entered the game as a defensive replacement before Kapler's at-bat. Umpire Eric Cooper , who called the game, had been behind the plate for Buehrle's previous no-hitter.

    Braden's perfect game, pitched on Mother's Day , was the first complete game of his career. His grandmother attended the game and celebrated on the field with him. It was the first time a perfect game had been pitched against the team with the best record in the majors at the time; coming into the contest, the Rays were 22—8.

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    Halladay pitched the second perfect game of the season 20 days after Braden's, the shortest period between perfect games in the modern era. Seven batters reached three-ball counts against Halladay. The hurler had to settle for a no-hitter and became the only perfect game pitcher to throw another no-hitter in the same season, and the fifth with two no-hitters. Halladay is the second pitcher to throw a perfect game and win the Cy Young Award in the same season; Sandy Koufax did so in The final out of Humber's perfect game came after a full-count check-swing third strike to Brendan Ryan on a ball that catcher A.

    Pierzynski dropped. As Ryan disputed umpire Brian Runge 's decision that he had swung, Pierzynski threw the ball to first base for the final out. The White Sox became the second franchise with three perfect games, joining the Yankees. Cain tallied 14 strikeouts, tying Sandy Koufax for the most strikeouts in a perfect game. Cain's pitches are the most ever thrown in a perfect game.

    Cain was aided by a running catch at the wall by Melky Cabrera in the 6th and a diving catch by Gregor Blanco in the 7th. The winning Giants scored 10 runs, making this the highest-scoring perfect game. Home plate umpire Ted Barrett had also called Cone's perfect game, making him the only person to call two; having umpired at third base for Humber's game, Barrett also became just the second man, after Alfredo Griffin, to have been on the field for three perfect games—within two months; since then, there have been four more.

    This was the first perfect game in Mariners history, and the franchise's fourth no-hitter. In an on-field interview immediately following the last out, Hernandez said he had started thinking about the possibility of a perfect game in the second inning. It was the third time in the past four seasons that Tampa Bay was on the losing side of a perfect game. Upton , and Ben Zobrist —joined Alfredo Griffin in having played in three perfect games for the losing team; all four also participated in Buehrle's and Braden's.

    Cain is the only pitcher to score a run during a perfect game Gregor Blanco followed him in the order and hit a home run. Seven perfect-game pitchers have also thrown at least one additional no-hitter: Young, Joss, Bunning, Koufax, Johnson, Buehrle, and Halladay. Witt participated in a combined no-hitter. Koufax has the most total no-hitters of any perfect-game pitcher, with four. Richmond and Robertson were rookies, though each had made a single appearance in a previous season.

    Although by the latter part of the twentieth century, major league games were being played predominantly at night, six of the last ten perfect games, and four of the last six, have taken place in the daytime. Since , nine perfect games have been thrown with the DH rule in effect including one interleague game held at an American League park and only five without it.

    The table below shows the number of perfect games won and lost by the remaining twenty-three franchises. There have been three instances in which a major league pitcher retired every player he faced over nine innings without allowing a baserunner, but, by the current definition, is not credited with a perfect game, either because there was already a baserunner when he took the mound, or because the game went into extra innings and an opposing player eventually reached base:.

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    Four other games in which one team failed to reach base are not official perfect games because they were called off before nine innings were played: [50]. On March 14, , in a spring training game—by definition unofficial—the Red Sox used six pitchers to retire all 27 Toronto Blue Jays batters in a 5—0 victory. On thirteen occasions in Major League Baseball history, a perfect game has been spoiled when a batter reached base with two out in the ninth inning. Unless otherwise noted, the pitcher in question finished and won the game without allowing any more baserunners: [55].

    There have been fifteen occasions in Major League Baseball history when a pitcher—or, in one case, multiple pitchers—recorded at least 27 consecutive outs after one or more runners reached base.

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    In four instances, the game went into extra innings and the pitcher s recorded more than 27 consecutive outs:. In the eleven other instances, the leadoff batter or batters reached base in the first inning, followed by 27 consecutive batters or batters and baserunners being retired through the end of a nine-inning game. The remaining instances in which a pitcher recorded 27 consecutive outs in a game, noting how the opponent's leadoff batter or batters reached base:. In Major League Baseball play since , with the essential modern rules in place, there have been ten instances when a pitcher allowed not a single baserunner through his pitching efforts over a complete game of at least nine innings, but was not awarded a perfect game because of one or more fielding errors:.

    No otherwise perfect game in major league history has ever been spoiled solely by a dropped third strike , interference , or outfield error. On August 23, , the Dodgers' Rich Hill had been pitching perfectly when third baseman Logan Forsythe booted a grounder by the Pirates' first batter in the bottom of the ninth inning, Jordy Mercer. It was the first time in major league history a perfect-game bid was ruined by an error in the ninth. Hill retired the next three batters, but as the Dodgers had not supported his effort with a single run as they failed to in the top of the first extra frame, as well , Hill took his no-hit, no-walk, no—hit batsman game into the bottom of the 10th inning.

    The leadoff batter, Josh Harrison , became the first player ever to spoil a no-hitter with a walk-off homer in extra innings. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: Cy Young's perfect game. Main article: Addie Joss' perfect game. Main article: Charlie Robertson's perfect game.

    Main article: Don Larsen's perfect game. See also: World Series. Main article: Jim Bunning's perfect game. Main article: Sandy Koufax's perfect game.

    Perfect: The Inside Story of Baseballs Twenty Perfect Games Perfect: The Inside Story of Baseballs Twenty Perfect Games
    Perfect: The Inside Story of Baseballs Twenty Perfect Games Perfect: The Inside Story of Baseballs Twenty Perfect Games
    Perfect: The Inside Story of Baseballs Twenty Perfect Games Perfect: The Inside Story of Baseballs Twenty Perfect Games
    Perfect: The Inside Story of Baseballs Twenty Perfect Games Perfect: The Inside Story of Baseballs Twenty Perfect Games
    Perfect: The Inside Story of Baseballs Twenty Perfect Games Perfect: The Inside Story of Baseballs Twenty Perfect Games
    Perfect: The Inside Story of Baseballs Twenty Perfect Games Perfect: The Inside Story of Baseballs Twenty Perfect Games
    Perfect: The Inside Story of Baseballs Twenty Perfect Games Perfect: The Inside Story of Baseballs Twenty Perfect Games

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