Don Larsen's perfect game

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The "everlasting image" of Yogi Berra leaping into Larsen's arms upon the completion of the perfect game

On October 8, 1956, in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series, Don Larsen of the New York Yankees threw a perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Larsen's perfect game is the only perfect game in the history of the World Series; it is one of only 23 perfect games in MLB history. He was pitching for the New York Yankees in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers on October 8, 1956. His perfect game remained the only no-hitter of any type ever pitched in postseason play until Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay threw a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds on October 6, 2010, in Game 1 of the National League Division Series.[1]

Background[edit]

Don Larsen of the New York Yankees made his first start in a World Series game in the 1955 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Larsen lost the game.[2]

The Yankees and Dodgers faced each other in the 1956 World Series. Behind Sal Maglie, the Dodgers defeated the Yankees in Game 1. Casey Stengel, the manager of the Yankees, selected Larsen to start Game 2 against the Dodgers' Don Newcombe.[2] Despite being given a 6–0 lead by the Yankees' batters, he lasted only 1 23 innings against the Dodgers in a 13-8 loss. He only gave up one hit, a single by Gil Hodges, but walked four batters, which led to four runs in the process, but none of them were earned because of an error by first baseman Joe Collins.[3][4] The Yankees won Games 3 and 4 to tie the series at two games apiece.[5]

Game 5[edit]

With the series tied at two games apiece, Larsen started Game 5 for the Yankees. Larsen's opponent in the game was Maglie.[6] The Yankees scored two runs on Maglie, as Mickey Mantle hit a home run and Hank Bauer had a run batted in single. Larsen retired all 27 batters he faced to complete the perfect game.[7]

Larsen needed just 97 pitches to complete the game, and only one Dodger batter (Pee Wee Reese in the first inning) was able to get a 3-ball count. In 1998, Larsen recalled, "I had great control. I never had that kind of control in my life." Brooklyn's Maglie gave up only two runs on five hits. Mickey Mantle's fourth-inning home run broke the scoreless tie. The Yankees added an insurance run in the sixth. After Roy Campanella grounded out to Billy Martin for the second out of the 9th inning, Larsen faced pinch hitter Dale Mitchell, a .311 career hitter. Throwing fastballs, Larsen got ahead in the count at 1–2. On his 97th pitch, Larsen struck out Mitchell for the 27th and final out.[8][9]

Linescore[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Brooklyn 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
New York 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 X 2 5 0
WP: Don Larsen (1–0)   LP: Sal Maglie (1–1)
Home runs:
BRO: None
NYY: Mickey Mantle (3)

Aftermath[edit]

The Dodgers won Game 6 of the series, but the Yankees won the decisive Game 7. Larsen's performance earned him the World Series Most Valuable Player Award[10] and the Babe Ruth Award.[11]

When the World Series ended, Larsen did a round of endorsements and promotional work around the United States, but he stopped soon after because it was "disrupting his routine".[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Roy Halladay throws second no-hitter in postseason history". ESPN.com. October 6, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Prescott Evening Courier - Google News Archive Search". google.com. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Brooklyn Dodgers 13, New York Yankees 8". Retrosheet. Retrosheet. Retrieved March 26, 2012. 
  4. ^ "October 5, 1956 World Series Game 2, Yankees at Dodgers - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Boca Raton News - Google News Archive Search". google.com. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  6. ^ "The Milwaukee Sentinel - Google News Archive Search". google.com. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ "Reading Eagle - Google News Archive Search". google.com. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  9. ^ "October 8, 1956 World Series Game 5, Dodgers at Yankees - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  10. ^ "1956 World Series - New York Yankees over Brooklyn Dodgers (4-3) - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  11. ^ "The Hutch Award, Lou Gehrig Award, Babe Ruth Award & Roberto Clemente Award Winners". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  12. ^ Durslag, Melvin (December 1971). "Don Larsen 15 Years Later". Baseball Digest. pp. 31–33. Retrieved March 26, 2012.