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.
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.
- 1 Perfect Games
- 2 "Near" Perfect Games
- 3 Further reading
- 4 Related Sites
Major League Baseball
|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' pitcher 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.
Minor League Baseball
Nippon Professional Baseball
- In Makihara's game the Giants committed an error without allowing the batter to reach -- a dropped foul fly ball.
|Ramiro Cuevas||August 14, 1953||Nuevo Laredo Owls||Mexico City Red Devils||1 - 0|
Hector Manuel Diaz
|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|
Mexican Pacific League
|Joakim Soria||2006||Obregon Yaquis||Hermosillo Naranjeros||6-0|
Cuban National League
|Maels Rodríguez||December 22, 1999||XXXIX (Nac)||Sancti Spiritus||Las Tunas||Estadio José Antonio Huelga||1 - 0|
- In the 1964 European Championship, Dutch national team hurlers Rob Hoffmann and Herman Beidschat combined on a perfect game versus the Spanish national team.
- During the 2010 Intercontinental Cup, Cuba's Dalier Hinojosa threw a perfect game against Hong Kong. He also threw a 7-inning perfect game against Sri Lanka in the 2010 World University Championship.
- In the 2010 Asian Games, Yusuke Ishida and Hirofumi Yanaka had a combined five-inning mercy rule perfect game against the Mongolian national team.
"Near" Perfect Games
Lost in Extra Innings
|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
|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|
|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
- Joe Cox: Almost Perfect: The Heartbreaking Pursuit of Pitching's Holy Grail, Lyons Press, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD, 2017. ISBN 978-1493019502
- 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.