Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Larsen Throws A Gem In World Series

On Oct. 8, 1956, New York Yankees great Don Larsen pitches the only perfect game in World Series history against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Larsen’s perfect game was only the sixth perfect game in MLB history, and the first perfect game in the World Series. Larsen followed Lee Richmond, Monte Ward, Cy Young, Addie Joss and Charlie Robertson as pitchers to throw a perfect game.

Since Larsen the perfect game has been achieved by 16 more players including: Jim Bunning, Sandy Koufax, Catfish Hunter, Len Barker, Mike Witt, Dennis Martinez, Kenny Rogers, David Wells, David Cone, Randy Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Dallas Braden, Roy Halladay, Phillip Humber, Matt Cain and Felix Hernandez.

The shortest span of time between perfect games throw was just five days between Richmond’s perfect game on June 12, 1880 and Ward’s perfect game on June 17, 1880. The longest span between perfect games is just under 24 years, between Ward’s perfect game on June 17, 1880 and Young’s perfect game on May 5, 1904.

The American League has seen 14 prefect games while the National League only nine times.
No single player has ever thrown more than one perfect game.

The most perfect games for a single team is three as the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees have had perfect games pitched. However, only two of the Yankees perfect games came in the regular season, with Larsen’s perfect game coming in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers, meaning the Chicago White Sox have more regular season perfect games.

The team with the most perfect games pitched against them is the Tampa Bay Rays, with three. All of them coming since 2009 with Chicago White Sox Buehrle, Oakland Athletics Braden, and Seattle Mariners Hernandez all doing the feat against the Rays.

Over his career Larsen put up many great performances, but the perfect game in the World Series is no doube his best. Over his 14-year career with the St. Louis Browns, Baltimore Orioles, Yankees, Kansas City Athletics, Chicago White Sox, San Francisco Giants, Houston Colt .45’s / Astros and Chicago Cubs, Larsen won two World Series titles, was the World Series MVP in 1956 with his perfect game, and was the Babe Ruth Award winner in 1956.

Larsen finished his regular season career with 412 games played with 171 games started including 81 wins and 91 losses and 23 saves. He tallied 1,548 innings pitched with a 3.78 ERA, 849 strikeouts and 725 walks. Larsen finished his career with 44 complete games and 11 shutouts.

During his postseason play Larsen played in 10 games, starting in six with four wins and two losses. He tallied 36 innings pitched with a 2.75 ERA, 24 strikeouts and 19 walks. Larsen finished his postseason career with one complete games and one shutout, the Perfect game in 1956 for the Yankees.

In 1964, Larsen was also inducted by the San Diego Hall of Champions into the Breitbard Hall of Fame honoring San Diego's finest athletes both on and off the playing surface.