Dallas Braden poses with the game-winning ball after throwing a perfect game vs the Rays in 2010.E:60 talked with 15 of the 17 living pitchers who have thrown perfect games and the result will air in a special presentation tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
With that in mind, here are a few things you may not have known about perfect games.
The first two came very close together
The first perfect game was thrown by Lee Richmond of the Worcester Ruby Legs against the Cleveland Blues on June 12, 1880. The next was thrown by 20-year-old Monte Ward of the Providence Grays against the Buffalo Bison on June 17, 1880 (the youngest pitcher to throw one).
The five-day gap is the shortest span between perfect games.
There would not be another one thrown until Cy Young tossed one for the Red Sox against the Philadelphia Athletics on May 5, 1904.
The last two (actually three) also came very close together
It’s the only season in major-league history to feature three perfect games.
Hernandez’s was the third no-hitter of the season thrown in Seattle (Humber’s was the first). The only other park to feature three no-nos in a season was Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis in 1917.
Kurkjian's Favorite Quirk-Gem
Safeco Field also became the fourth stadium at which there have been at least two perfect games thrown (all-time, not single-season), joining Dodger Stadium, Yankee Stadium and Oakland Coliseum.
According to our own Dean Oliver, the chance that two perfect games would occur in the same stadium in the same year is about 1 in 800.
That means that one in about 800 baseball seasons would see this. Based on the rate that perfect games have occurred in the last 30 years, the chance is much higher, about 1 in 150 years.
The other team usually pitches well too
The most common final score in a perfect game is 1-0, which has happened on seven occasions, most recently the one by Hernandez.
In 13 of the 23 perfect games, the final score has been either 1-0, 2-0, or 3-0. Only one perfect game was won by a margin wider than 6-0—Cain’s, which was a 10-0 Giants’ win.
Two of a kind
Two teams have been on the winning side of three perfect games — the White Sox and Yankees.
Perfect Game Kernels
Two teams have been the losers in a perfect game three times — the Dodgers (including Larsen’s) and the Rays.
There have been seven perfect games thrown in the month of May. No other calendar month has more than four. Every month from April to October has had at least two, except August, which had only the one by Hernandez.
One and Onlys
Ted Barrett is the first umpire to be behind home plate for two perfect games (David Cone in 1999 and Cain in 2012)
The folks at Retrosheet, who track ejections, have noted that Joe Maddon is the only manager to get ejected from a perfect game (Hernandez's). The only player to get ejected from a perfecto is Kirk Gibson, who got booted from Tom Browning’s in 1988.