July 20, 1960 |
|April 11, 1981, for the California Angels|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 17, 1993, for the New York Yankees|
|Earned run average||3.83|
|Career highlights and awards|
Prior to his major league career, Witt played baseball at Servite High School, and was an All-County basketball player as well. He was drafted out of high school in the fourth round of the 1978 Major League Baseball draft.
At just twenty years of age, Witt made his major league debut with the California Angels in 1981. Standing 6 feet, 7 inches tall and possessing a great curveball as well as a good fastball, Witt's breakout season came in 1984, when he went 15-11 for the Angels. On July 23 of that year, he struck out sixteen Seattle Mariners during a complete game five-hitter; but the highlight of the year came on the final day of the season, September 30, when he pitched the eleventh perfect game in baseball history against the Texas Rangers at Arlington Stadium. He struck out ten and needed just 94 pitches to complete the gem.
Witt's perfect game is, to date, one of five no-hitters ever pitched on the final day of a Major League Baseball regular season, the others being Bumpus Jones's no-hitter on October 15, 1892 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the combined no-hitter pitched by Vida Blue, Glenn Abbott, Paul Lindblad, and Rollie Fingers for the Oakland Athletics on September 28, 1975 against the California Angels, Henderson Álvarez's no-hitter on September 29, 2013 against the Detroit Tigers ,and Jordan Zimmermann's no-hitter on September 28, 2014 against the Miami Marlins . He was also the first pitcher to hurl a perfect game by a 1-0 score since Sandy Koufax (September 9, 1965, see Sandy Koufax's perfect game).
From 1984 to 1987, Witt led the Angels every year in wins, strikeouts, innings pitched, and complete games. His best season was 1986, when he was named team Most Valuable Player after compiling 18 wins and a 2.84 earned run average, finishing third behind Roger Clemens and Teddy Higuera for the American League Cy Young Award, and guiding the Angels to within one strike of the World Series.
In the middle of the 1987 season, however, Witt suddenly lost his overpowering stuff and saw his strikeout numbers decline significantly. He did manage to combine with starter Mark Langston to pitch a no-hitter on April 11, 1990 against Seattle, pitching the last two innings; but he was traded to the New York Yankees on May 11, 1990 for Dave Winfield, never winning more than five games during his three years there before retiring in 1993.
- Coffey, Michael (2004). 27 Men Out: Baseball's Perfect Games. New York: Atria Books. pp. 157–174. ISBN 0-7434-4606-2.
- "Most Recent No-hitters, By Team". SI Vault. Retrieved 2009-06-05.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors), or Retrosheet, or Pura Pelota (Venezuelan Winter League)
|Perfect game pitcher
September 30, 1984
September 30, 1984
April 11, 1990
(with Mark Langston)