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A perfect game is a complete game pitched without a runner reaching base either by hit, base-on-balls, or error. It is one of the rarest feats in baseball and a subset of no-hitters.

The first major league perfect game was thrown in 1880 by Lee Richmond. Only five days later, John Ward threw the second one. It was nearly a quarter of a century before a third one occurred, even though there were two or even three leagues for part of that time.

In Major League Baseball history twenty-three pitchers have thrown perfect games, including one in the World Series. In addition, two pitchers (Harvey Haddix and Pedro Martinez) have thrown nine perfect innings, only to have their perfect game broken up in extra innings. Four pitchers have been perfect through less than nine innings before their games were called.

A perfect game has been thrown sixteen times in Nippon Professional Baseball history, one in the postseason. There have been nine perfect games in the Mexican League, including one utilizing three pitchers, one in the postseason and several 7-inning affairs. There has been one perfect game in the Cuban Serie Nacional.

No major league player has ever thrown two perfect games, although Jean Faut of the AAGPBL accomplished the feat with perfect games in 1951 and 1953.

The most recent perfect game in Major League Baseball was pitched by Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners against the Tampa Bay Rays at Safeco Field in Seattle on August 15, 2012. This was the third perfecto of 2012, following that of Matt Cain on June 13th and Philip Humber on April 21st. This was also the second perfect game thrown at Safeco Field in 2012 (the third no-hitter), the first time that two perfect games had been thrown in the same stadium in the same season.

Ron Hassey is the only catcher to be behind the plate for two perfect games: Len Barker in 1981 and Dennis Martinez in 1991.

Contents

[edit] Perfect Games

[edit] Major League Baseball

Pitcher(s) Date Team Opponent Score Notes
Lee Richmond June 12, 1880 Worcester Ruby Legs Cleveland Blues 1 - 0 First perfect game in Major League history
Monte Ward June 17, 1880 Providence Grays Buffalo Bisons 5 - 0
Cy Young May 5, 1904 Boston Pilgrims Philadelphia Athletics 3 - 0
Addie Joss October 2, 1908 Cleveland Naps Chicago White Sox 1 - 0
Charlie Robertson April 30, 1922 Chicago White Sox Detroit Tigers 2 - 0 Robertson's third start of his Major League career
Don Larsen October 8, 1956 New York Yankees Brooklyn Dodgers 2 - 0 Game Five of the 1956 World Series
Jim Bunning June 21, 1964 (first game) Philadelphia Phillies New York Mets 6 - 0 First perfect game in NL in 20th century
Sandy Koufax September 9, 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers Chicago Cubs 1 - 0 Cubs' picher Bob Hendley pitches one-hitter in loss to Koufax;
Koufax strikes out 14 batters
Catfish Hunter May 8, 1968 Oakland Athletics Minnesota Twins 4 - 0 Hunter drives in three runs with three hits
Len Barker May 15, 1981 Cleveland Indians Toronto Blue Jays 3 - 0 First perfect game to have designated hitters in teams' lineups
Mike Witt September 30, 1984 California Angels Texas Rangers 1 - 0 Pitched on final day of 1984 regular season
Tom Browning September 16, 1988 Cincinnati Reds Los Angeles Dodgers 1 - 0 First perfect game against eventual World Series champion
Dennis Martinez July 28, 1991 Montreal Expos Los Angeles Dodgers 2 - 0 Martinez is first non-USA-born pitcher to pitch perfect game.
Dodger Stadium become first ballpark to host two perfect games.
Kenny Rogers July 28, 1994 Texas Rangers California Angels 4 - 0 Rangers and Angels become first pair of Major League teams to
have perfect games pitched for them against each other
David Wells May 17, 1998 New York Yankees Minnesota Twins 4 - 0
David Cone July 18, 1999 New York Yankees Montreal Expos 6 - 0 First perfect game in regular season interleague play
Randy Johnson May 18, 2004 Arizona Diamondbacks Atlanta Braves 2 - 0 40-year-old Johnson becomes oldest pitcher to pitch perfect game
Mark Buehrle July 23, 2009 Chicago White Sox Tampa Bay Rays 5 - 0 Sox outfielder Dewayne Wise makes catch reaching over the wall
in 9th inning to save Buehrle's gem
Dallas Braden May 9, 2010 Oakland Athletics Tampa Bay Rays 4 - 0
Roy Halladay May 29, 2010 Philadelphia Phillies Florida Marlins 1 - 0 Halladay joins Braden as the first pair to pitch perfect games
in the same season since Richmond and Ward 130 years earlier
Philip Humber April 21, 2012 Chicago White Sox Seattle Mariners 4 - 0
Matt Cain June 13, 2012 San Francisco Giants Houston Astros 10 - 0 Ties Koufax for most strikeouts in a perfect game with 14;
second time in three years that two perfect games
are thrown in the same season.
Felix Hernandez August 15, 2012 Seattle Mariners Tampa Bay Rays 1 - 0 First time that three perfect games are thrown in the same season;
first time that two perfect games are pitched
in the same stadium in the same year.

[edit] Minor League Baseball

see Minor League Perfect Games

[edit] Nippon Professional Baseball

Pitcher(s) Date Team Opponent Site Score K
Hideo Fujimoto June 28, 1950 Yomiuri Giants Nishi-Nippon Pirates Aomori Stadium 4 - 0 7
Fumio Takechi June 19, 1955 Kintetsu Pearls Daiei Stars Osaka Stadium 1 - 0 6
Yoshitomo Miyaji September 19, 1956 Kokutetsu Swallows Hiroshima Carp Kanazawa Stadium 6 - 0 3
Masaichi Kaneda August 21, 1957 Kokutetsu Swallows Chunichi Dragons Chunichi Stadium 1 - 0 10
Sadao Nishimura July 19, 1958 Nishitetsu Lions Toei Flyers Komazawa Stadium 1 - 0 6
Gentaro Shimada August 11, 1960 Taiyo Whales Osaka Tigers Kawasaki Stadium 1 - 0 3
Yoshimi Moritaki June 20, 1961 Kokutetsu Swallows Chunichi Dragons Korakuen Stadium 1 - 0 4
Yoshiro Sasaki May 1, 1966 Taiyo Whales Hiroshima Carp Hiroshima Municipal Stadium 1 - 0 7
Tsutomu Tanaka May 12, 1966 Nishitetsu Lions Nankai Hawks Osaka Stadium 2 - 0 7
Yoshiro Sotokoba September 14, 1968 Hiroshima Toyo Carp Taiyo Whales Hiroshima Municipal Stadium 2 - 0 16
Koichiro Sasaki October 6, 1970 Kintetsu Buffaloes Nankai Hawks Osaka Stadium 3 - 0 4
Yoshimasa Takahashi August 21, 1971 Toei Flyers Nishitetsu Lions Korakuen Stadium 4 - 0 1
Soroku Yagisawa October 10, 1973 Lotte Orions Taiheiyo Club Lions Sendai Stadium 1 - 0 6
Yutaro Imai August 31, 1978 Hankyu Braves Lotte Orions Sendai Stadium 5 - 0 3
Hiromi Makihara*see note May 18, 1994 Yomiuri Giants Hiroshima Toyo Carp Fukuoka Dome 6 - 0 7
Daisuke Yamai and Hitoki Iwase November 1, 2007 Chunichi Dragons Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters Nagoya Dome 1 - 0 7
    • In Makihara's game the Giants committed an error without allowing the batter to reach -- a dropped foul fly ball.

[edit] Mexican League

Pitcher(s) Date Team Opponent Score Notes
Ramiro Cuevas August 14, 1953 Nuevo Laredo Owls Mexico City Red Devils 1 - 0
Francisco Maytorena
Hector Manuel Diaz
Nicolas Garcia
March 24, 1971 Mexico City Tigers Veracruz Eagle 3 - 0 7 Innings
Andrés Ayón June 30, 1972 Saltillo Saraperos Monterrey Sultans 9 - 0 7 Innings
Diego Segui June 21, 1978 Cordoba Coffee Growers Nuevo Laredo Owls 5 - 0 7 Innings
Horacio Pina July 12, 1978 Aguascalientes Railroadmen Mexico City Red Devils 3 - 0
Jairo Valenzuela June 10, 1984 Saltillo Saraperos Cordoba Coffee Growers 5 - 0 7 Innings
Herminio Dominguez April 14, 1985 Campeche Pirates Cordoba Coffee Growers 1 - 0 7 Innings
Don Heinkel June 2, 1992 Campeche Pirates Mexico City Red Devils 7 - 0 7 Innings
Oscar Rivera August 7, 2005 Yucatan Lions Oaxaca Warriors 1 - 0 Postseason

[edit] Mexican Pacific League

Pitcher(s) Date Team Opponent Score Notes
Vicente Romo 1971
Jesus Moreno 1989
Joakim Soria 2006 Obregon Yaquis Hermosillo Naranjeros 6-0

[edit] AAGPBL

Pitcher(s) Date Team Opponent
Annabelle Lee 1944 Minneapolis Millerettes Kenosha Comets
Carolyn Morris 1945 Rockford Peaches Fort Wayne Daisies
Doris Sams August 18, 1947 Muskegon Lassies Fort Wayne Daisies
Jean Faut July 21, 1951 South Bend Blue Sox Rockford Peaches
Jean Faut September 3, 1953 South Bend Blue Sox Kalamazoo Lassies

[edit] Cuban National League

Pitcher(s) Date Serie Team Opponent Site Score
Maels Rodríguez December 22, 1999 XXXIX (Nac) Sancti Spiritus Las Tunas Estadio José Antonio Huelga 1 - 0

[edit] International Tournaments

[edit] "Near" Perfect Games

[edit] Lost in Extra Innings

Pitcher(s) Date Team Opponent Score Innings How Broken
Harvey Haddix May 26, 1959 Pittsburgh Pirates Milwaukee Braves 0 - 1 13 In the 13th inning the first batter reaches on an error,
followed by sacrifice hit, intentional walk and a "walk-off" double
Pedro Martínez (9 inn.)
Mel Rojas (1 inn.)
June 3, 1995 Montreal Expos San Diego Padres 1 - 0 10 In the 10th the first batter leads off with a double,
Rojas replaces Martínez and retires next three batters

[edit] Shortened Games

Pitcher(s) Date Team Opponent Score Innings
Ed Karger August 11, 1907 (second game) St. Louis Cardinals Boston Doves 4 - 0 7
Rube Vickers October 5, 1907 Philadelphia Athletics Washington Senators 4 - 0 5
Dean Chance August 6, 1967 (second game) Minnesota Twins Boston Red Sox 2 - 0 5
David Palmer April 21, 1984 (second game) Montreal Expos St. Louis Cardinals 4 - 0 5

[edit] Umpire Error

Pitcher(s) Date Team Opponent Score Innings How Broken
Armando Galarraga June 2, 2010 Detroit Tigers Cleveland Indians 3 - 0 9 With two outs in the 9th inning, ground ball to first base 3-1 for putout,
umpire Jim Joyce incorrectly calls runner safe;
after the game, Joyce admits his error upon reviewing the replay

[edit] Further reading

  • Rebecca Sichel, Uri Carl and Bruce Bukiet: "Modeling Perfect Games and No-Hitters in Baseball", in The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 40, Number 1 (Spring 2011), pp. 58-65.

[edit] Related Sites

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