April 21, 2012

"I don't even know what to say. I don't know what Philip Humber is doing in this list."

"No idea what my name is doing there, but I'm thankful it's there."

There are 21 names on the list now, pitchers of perfect games.


John Lynch said...

Must be nice to be immortal.

KmasterFunk said...

This is a guy who was waived by the Royals and the A's in 2010 before being picked up by the White Sox. Makes for a great comeback story.

ndspinelli said...

The only more elite list is attorneys in heaven.

m stone said...

Fluke, pronounced fluke.

Lem said...

It was like it was meant to be.. The last pitch would have been ball four but for the batters half hearted offer (protecting the plate) and the catcher failing to secure it.. the ball rolls at some speed away from the catcher.

I'm thinking there goes the perfect game, but for a baseball rule that when the catcher fails to secure the ball after two strikes the out must be recorded at first base..

However (big however) it turns out the ball did not roll away from the catcher as far away as I thought it did.. the runner saw this and stopped to argue.. by then it was too late.. the improbable perfect game had happened..

And it might as well.. for back in Boston the Red Sox (Fox broke away to cover the perfect game in progress) were up to anything but perfection.

I rather not talk about that.

Lem said...

It was touching how he got a lump in his throat when he mentioned his wife.

This is a guy who was waived by the Royals and the A's in 2010.

Connect the dots..

Ron said...

I still bad for Armando Galarraga....

Had his perfect game taken from by a bad call at the very last play of the game, and less than two years later, he's probably done....

edutcher said...

A very elite group.

One that steroids can't enhance.

Saint Croix said...

Interesting how short the list is.

Lee Richmond
John Montgomery Ward
Cy Young
Addie Joss
Charlie Robertson
Don Larsen
Jim Bunning
Sandy Koufax
Catfish Hunter
Len Barker
Mike Witt
Tom Browning
Dennis Martínez
Kenny Rogers
David Wells
David Cone
Randy Johnson
Mark Buehrle
Dallas Braden
Roy Halladay
Philip Humber

Only four of those guys are hall of famers (Cy Young, Sandy Kourax, Catfish Hunter, Jim Bunning).

Randy Johnson is a lock when he's eligible.

But that's a huge number of mediocrities and also-rans and pretty goods and not bads. All perfect on one glorious day.

Don Larsen, of course, had a perfect game in the World Series. Man, that must have been something.

His career stats? 81-91.

Bob Ellison said...

A perfect game would be 81 strikes.

Gahrie said...

A perfect game would be 81 strikes..

By that standard, a perfect game would be 27 one pitch ground outs to first.

Brian said...

Every Mariners game over the past three years has been a possible perfect game. How many times have I looked at the box score in the 5th or later and seen zeroes? It finally happened.

David said...

Addie Joss, son of a Wisconsin cheesemaker, is also in the Hall of Fame. He had 4 20 game win seasons, and a career era of 1.89, the second best all time. He started 260 games, won 160 and had 234 complete games in his 260 starts. He had two no hitters and seven one hitters.

Joss played for only 9 years. He died of meningitis at age 31 while still an active player. You can see a memorial to him in Watertown. He played at Wayland Academy, and was also a sports writer in the off season.

He was elected by the veterans committee in 1978.

David said...

Also in the Hall of Fame: John Montgomery Ward.

He was also a lawyer, and organizer of an early version of the players' union and and executive and minority owner with the Boston Braves. Also a vet committee inductee.

Saint Croix said...

oops and oops! thanks for the catches.

the non-perfect blog post with two errors, yikes.

Roger J. said...

IMO the finest pitching performance which unfortunately ended in disaster--Harvey Haddix pitched 12 perfect innings, but lost the game in the 13th

David said...

That's ok St. Croix. I would not have known except I looked them up.

Actually, when you look at the ratio of Hall of Famers to the total number of starting pitchers in major league history (not gonna look that up), it shows that great players are much more likely to do great things. Six of the 21 people who pitched perfect games are in the hall. Seven when Johnson goes in. I would not have predicted that.

David said...

Roger I listened to that game late into the night. Haddix was a very good pitcher. It was heartbreaking that he lost.

Craig said...

Did anyone notice that 'King Felix' Hernandez pitched eight innings of two hit shutout ball the previous night and failed to get a win? He left the game leading 1-0.

Larvell said...

Ever since The Baseball Project came out with "Harvey Haddix," the number of perfect games has been taking off. They'll need to rewrite the song again.

madAsHell said...

I'm thinking the Mariners might be the first team to see 2 perfect games in a single season.

Trochilus said...

MLB qualified the precise current definition of a "perfect game" back in 1991, at which time I believe there may have only been 10 or so names on the all time list. (Dennis Martínez coincidentally pitched a perfect game for the Expos that year.)

The 1991 MLB qualification was intended to ensure that the pitcher (or pitchers)* of the perfect game did not allow anyone to reach base.

One name that was eliminated as a result of that qualification was Ernie Shore, even though he retired 27 men in a 9-inning game.

You see, the game he pitched for Boston back in 1917, was begun by then-pitcher, Babe Ruth of the Red Sox, who was obviously still intoxicated from the night before, and promptly walked the first batter on four straight pitches. Ruth became boisterous and obnoxious, and was yanked.

Shore came in as the "relief" pitcher, promptly picked off the runner, and retired the next 26 batters in a row.

For decades -- until 1991 -- Ernie Shore was credited with a perfect game, usually with an asterix, but when the rule was changed in 1991, he was stripped of even that distinction.

"Ex post facto" rule imposed by Major League Baseball, if you ask me!

* p.s. The reason I said "(or pitchers)" above is because the MLB rules allow for more than one pitcher to pitch a perfect game. A perfect game is not necessarily an individual achievement.

For example, it is theoretically possible that one hurler pitches 7 perfect innings, and then a reliever comes in and pitches the remaining 2 perfect innings to close out the game. That would be a "perfect game" according to MLB.

That has never happened, however. And I think it has not happened for fairly obvious reasons!

Trochilus said...

@Roger J. at 4/21/12 11:38 PM, re: the incredible achievement of Harvey Haddix, in having pitched 12 perfect innings:

You are right to see this as an absolutely unique achievement in baseball history.

But, also blame the other Pirates for never scoring!

Can you imagine being the winning pitcher in that game -- a combined shutout, and yet not wanting to ever bring it up as a topic where you could boast about your achievement?

And, to a slightly lesser extent, blame Don Hoak for his error in the 13th.