A perfect game in Major League Baseball is a game by a pitcher (or combination of pitchers) that lasts a minimum of nine innings with no batter reaching any base. – 21 times since the modern era began in 1901, most recently by Félix Hernández of the Seattle Mariners on August 15, 2012. A perfect game, by definition, is also a no-hitter. Until a rule change in 2020, a perfect game was also necessarily a win 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. Games that last fewer than nine innings, regardless of if this is due to weather or because they were part of doubleheaders (which are now seven innings due to another 2020 rule change) in which a team has no baserunners do not qualify as perfect games. Games in which a team reaches first base only in extra innings also do not qualify as perfect games.To achieve a perfect game, a team must not allow any opposing player to reach base by any means: no hits, walks, hit batsmen, uncaught third strikes, catcher's or fielder's interference, or fielding errors; in short, "27 up, 27 down" (for a nine-inning game). The feat has been achieved 23 times in MLB history
The first known use of the term perfect game was in 1908; its current definition was formalized in 1991. Although it is theoretically possible for several pitchers to combine for a perfect game (which has happened 11 times in MLB no-hitters), every MLB perfect game so far has been thrown by a single pitcher.
The first known occurrence of the term perfect game in print was 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".Several sources have claimed that the first recorded usage of perfect game was by Ernest J. Lanigan in his Baseball Cyclopedia, made in reference to Charlie Robertson's 1922 perfect game. The Chicago Tribune came close to the term in describing Lee Richmond's game for Worcester in 1880: "Richmond was most effectively supported, every position on the home nine being played to perfection." Similarly, in writing up John Montgomery Ward's 1880 perfect game, the New York Clipper described the "perfect play" of Providence's defense.
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, Larsen was in attendance when Yankee pitcher David Cone threw a perfect game in 1999 on the same day that Larsen and Yogi Berra (the catcher in the 1956 perfect game) were invited to do the ceremonial first pitch.
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 and his second was with pitcher Dennis Martínez in 1991).
The most recent perfect game in the MLB was by Félix Hernández of the Seattle Mariners against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 15, 2012.He struck out the side twice and struck out twelve total batters in a 1–0 victory.
As of 2014, the 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.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 does not receives credit for a perfect game or a no-hitter for his performance on May 26, 1959, when he threw 12 perfect innings against the Milwaukee Braves before a batter reached in the 13th.
A rule change in effect since the 2020 season awards the offensive team a free runner on second base each half-inning during extra innings. This rule opens the possibility of a team scoring a run (batting in the free baserunner on a sacrifice fly, for example) without any player ever reaching first base. This would still be recorded as a perfect game. The run scored would be recorded as unearned. If his team lost, the game would be recorded as a loss for the pitcher. Another rule change effective in 2020 stipulates that games that are part of doubleheaders will only last seven innings. Such a game in which one team did not reach first base would not be credited as a perfect game (similar to weather-shortened games). However, if a doubleheader game were to have at least two extra innings and one team still did not reach first base, then the game would be credited as a perfect game.
On April 11, 2021, University of North Texas softball pitcher Hope Trautwein threw a perfect game, facing 21 batters and striking out all 21. It was the first seven-inning perfect game with every out being a strikeout in NCAA Division I history.
The only perfect game thrown in a Little League World Series championship was by Ángel Macías of the Monterrey, Mexico, team in 1957.
Sanford Koufax is an American former professional baseball left-handed pitcher. He pitched 12 seasons for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1955 to 1966. Koufax, at age 36 in 1972, became the youngest player ever elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He has been hailed as one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history.
In baseball, a no-hitter is a game in which a team was not able to record a single hit through conventional means. 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". In most cases, 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.
Randall David Johnson, nicknamed "the Big Unit", is an American former professional baseball pitcher who played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), from 1988 to 2009, for six teams, primarily the Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks. His 303 career victories are the fifth-most by a left-hander in MLB history, while his 4,875 strikeouts place him second all time behind Nolan Ryan and first among left-handers. He holds five of the seven highest single-season strikeout totals by a left-hander in modern history. Johnson was a ten-time All-Star, won the Cy Young Award five times, and is one of only two pitchers to win the award in four consecutive seasons (1999–2002). In 1999, he joined Pedro Martínez and Gaylord Perry in the rare feat of winning the award in both the American and National Leagues. He is also one of five pitchers to pitch no-hitters in both leagues. On May 18, 2004, at the age of 40, Johnson became the oldest pitcher in major league history to throw a perfect game; he is one of seven pitchers to have thrown a perfect game and at least one other no-hitter in their careers. He is also one of 18 pitchers in history to record a win against all 30 MLB franchises. On May 8, 2001, Johnson achieved the feat of striking out 20 batters in a game, against the Cincinnati Reds.
David Brian Cone is an American former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher, and current color commentator for the New York Yankees on the YES Network and WPIX. A third round draft pick of the Kansas City Royals in 1981 MLB Draft, he made his MLB debut in 1986 and continued playing until 2003, pitching for five different teams. Cone batted left-handed and threw right-handed.
Don James Larsen was an American professional baseball pitcher. During a 15-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career, he pitched from 1953 to 1967 for seven different teams: the St. Louis Browns / Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees (1955–1959), Kansas City Athletics (1960–1961), Chicago White Sox (1961), San Francisco Giants (1962–1964), Houston Colt .45's / Houston Astros (1964–65), and Chicago Cubs (1967).
Harvey Haddix, Jr. was an American professional baseball left-handed pitcher and pitching coach, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the St. Louis Cardinals (1952–1956), Philadelphia Phillies (1956–57), Cincinnati Reds (1958), Pittsburgh Pirates (1959–1963), and Baltimore Orioles (1964–65).
Henry Ludwig "Hank" Borowy was an American professional baseball starting pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1942 through 1951 for the New York Yankees (1942–45), Chicago Cubs (1945–48), Philadelphia Phillies (1949–50), Pittsburgh Pirates (1950), and Detroit Tigers (1950–51). He batted and threw right-handed.
Richard Allen Bosman is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Washington Senators (1966–71), Texas Rangers (1972–73), Cleveland Indians (1973–75), and Oakland Athletics (1975–76). Bosman started the final game for the expansion Senators and the first game for the Texas Rangers. He is the only pitcher in Major League history to miss a perfect game due to his own fielding error.
The 1956 World Series of Major League Baseball was played between the New York Yankees of the American League and the defending champion Brooklyn Dodgers of the National League in October 1956. The Series was a rematch of the 1955 World Series. It was the last all-New York City Series until 44 years later in 2000, as the Dodgers and the New York Giants moved to California after the 1957 season. Additionally, it was the last time a New York team represented the National League until 1969 when the New York Mets defeated the Baltimore Orioles in five games.
Selva Lewis Burdette, Jr. was an American right-handed starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played primarily for the Boston and Milwaukee Braves. The team's top right-hander during its years in Milwaukee, he was the Most Valuable Player of the 1957 World Series, leading the franchise to its first championship in 43 years, and the only title in Milwaukee history. An outstanding control pitcher, his career average of 1.84 walks per nine innings pitched places him behind only Robin Roberts (1.73), Greg Maddux (1.80), Carl Hubbell, (1.82) and Juan Marichal (1.82) among pitchers with at least 3,000 innings since 1920.
In Major League Baseball, a shutout refers to the act by which a single pitcher pitches a complete game and does not allow the opposing team to score a run. If two or more pitchers combine to complete this act, no pitcher is awarded a shutout, although the team itself can be said to have "shut out" the opposing team.
Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox pitched a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners by retiring all 27 batters he faced on Saturday, 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.