How many perfect games have been thrown in MLB history? From 1880 through the 2021 season, a total of 23 perfect games have been tossed by pitchers. The feat hasn’t been turned since the 2012 season, however, when three pitchers etched their names in the Major League Baseball record books with perfect games.
6 things you may not know about the 23 perfect games that have been thrown in MLB history
The first perfect game in MLB history was thrown in 1880
Lee Richmond tossed the first perfect game in MLB history, leading the Worcester Ruby Legs to a 1-0 win over the Cleveland Blues on June 12, 1880. Just five days later, Monte Ward would throw a perfect game in a 5-0 victory by the Providence Grays over the Buffalo Bisons.
Cy Young is one of the pitchers in MLB history to throw a perfect game
Cy Young, the man for whom baseball’s most coveted pitching trophy is named, twirled a perfect game on May 5, 1904, for the Boston Pilgrims against the Philadelphia Athletics. It was one of 511 wins racked up by Young, including 76 shutouts on his way to a career ERA of 2.63.
Has anyone ever thrown a perfect game in the World Series?
On October 8, 1956, in Game 5 of the World Series, Don Larsen of the New York Yankees threw a perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers at Yankee Stadium. The right-hander needed just 97 pitches to record the history-making win.
Here is Vin Scully’s call of the final out.
A Sandy Koufax perfect game highlights a pitching duel between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs
In a game that took just one hour and 43 minutes to complete, Sandy Koufax of the Los Angeles Dodgers threw a perfect game in a 1-0 win over the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium. The opposing pitcher, Chicago’s Bob Hendley, allowed just one hit and one run, yet took the loss after Los Angeles scored an unearned run on an error in the bottom of the fifth.
Lou Johnson‘s two-out double in the bottom of the seventh accounted for the only hit of the evening. Hendley would strike out just three Dodgers while Koufax struck out 14.
Who has the most strikeouts in a perfect game?
As mentioned above, Koufax posted 14 strikeouts in his gem. Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants would also strike out 14 when he pitched a perfect game during a 10-0 blistering of the Houston Astros in San Francisco on June 13, 2012.
Randy Johnson is the oldest pitcher to throw a perfect game in MLB history
On May 18, 2004, 40-year-old Randy Johnson became the oldest pitcher to throw a perfect game, earning a 2-0 win for the Arizona Diamondbacks over the Atlanta Braves in front of a crowd of 23,381 at Turner Field. Johnson struck out 13 batters, including Chipper Jones in each of his three at-bats.