what is a perfect game in baseball?

Frank Jones

perfect game in baseball

Did you even hear about the perfect game in baseball? It is an extraordinary and elusive achievement a baseball player can record in the arena of a baseball match. Still, if it is so higher-level achievement, many of us don’t know exactly what is a perfect game in Baseball and how it occurs.

In the rich history of Major League Baseball (MLB), only a select few pitchers have managed to accomplish this feat. And in the history of this sport, only 23 players managed to make it.

This achievement simply marks the players in a way that Baseball fans who are aware of this fact consider them legendary players. That’s why anyone should have a proper idea of the perfect game in baseball.

I’m not sure but maybe you are here because you want to learn about this fact extensively. If yes, you are in the right place. Please make sure to check all the sections well to understand this fact.

What Is A Perfect Game in Baseball?

What Is A Perfect Game in Baseball

A perfect game in baseball is a remarkable achievement accomplished by a pitcher when no opposing player reaches base through any means over the course of a complete game. 

It is an extremely rare and remarkable achievement that demonstrates exceptional pitching skill and control. When the pitcher faces the full 27 batters in a game without any of them reaching base, you can consider it a perfect game. 

In this case, the pitcher will prevent hits, walks, errors, or hit-by-pitches from occurring. He simply requires flawless execution and a collective effort from the entire defensive team. Achieving a perfect game is considered a crowning achievement in the world of baseball.

A Perfect Game in MLB

 A Perfect Game in MLB

In Major League Baseball (MLB), the perfect game refers to the same thing as it is. As usual, it’s all about the pitching performance in which a pitcher faces the maximum number of batters which will be more than 27.

Also, he needs to successfully retire all of them without allowing any opposing player to reach base in any manner.

So, here, the pitcher won’t let the opposition make a hit, a walk, a hit-by-pitch, or any other means by which a batter can safely reach base. To do that, he needs to navigate through all nine innings of the game without committing any errors.

Also, he can’t make any defensive mistakes that would grant the opposing team a base runner. For that, he needs to ensure an extraordinary display of skill, control, and consistency by the pitcher, as well as a stellar performance by the entire defensive team.

You may not see the perfect game in MLB so often. Indeed, throughout the history of MLB, only a select few pitchers have been able to accomplish this extraordinary feat.

History of A Perfect Game

History of A Perfect Game

The first perfect game in Major League Baseball (MLB) history was recorded by Lee Richmond of the Worcester Ruby Legs on June 12, 1880. Since then, there have been a total of 23 perfect games pitched in the modern era of MLB.

But the perfect game recorded on October 8, 1956, is considered one of the most iconic perfect games. There, Don Larsen of the New York Yankees achieved perfection in Game 5 of the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers. It is known as the only perfect game in World Series history.

Still, Larsen’s perfect game is not as famous as the one pitched by Sandy Koufax. This player from the Los Angeles Dodgers struck out 14 batters on September 9, 1965, and it was recorded as a perfect game that still stands today.

In recent years, a lot of players also have achievements as well. Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners in 2012, Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants in 2012, and Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010 also threw a no-hitter in the postseason that same year.

List of the Players Who Pitched a Perfect Game

As I’ve said before, there are only 23 players in the history of Baseball who pitched a perfect game. Now, you must be thinking about the players who did it, right? Here is the list of the players for your concern.

Lee Richmond – June 12, 1880 (Ffanned five batters)

  • John Montgomery Ward – June 17, 1880 (Struck out two batters in a 2-0 win)
  • Cy Young – May 5, 1904 (Struck out eight batters in a 3-0 win)
  • Addie Joss – October 2, 1908 (Fanned three batters in a 1-0 win)
  • Charlie Robertson – April 30, 1922 (Struck out six in a 2-0 win)
  • Don Larsen – October 8, 1956 (2-0 Yankees win)
  • Jim Bunning – June 21, 1964 (Fanned 10 batters in a 6-0 win)
  • Sandy Koufax – September 9, 1965 (1-0 win in just one hour, 43 minutes)
  • Catfish Hunter – May 8, 1968 (11 strikeouts in a 4-0 win)
  • Len Barker – May 15, 1981 (11 strikeouts in a 3-0 win)
  • Mike Witt – September 30, 1984 (Struck out 10 batters)
  • Tom Browning – September 16, 1988 (Seven strikeouts in a 1-0 win)
  • Dennis Martinez – July 28, 1991 (Five strikeouts in a 2-0 win)
  • Kenny Rogers – July 28, 1994 (8 batters in a 4-0 victory)
  • David Wells – May 17, 1998 (struck out 11 batters and finished in 120 pitches)
  • David Cone – July 18, 1999 (fanned 10 batters in a 6-0 win)
  • Randy Johnson – May 18, 2004 (13 strikeouts in a 2-0 win)
  • Mark Buehrle – July 23, 2009 (6 batters in a 5-0 win)
  • Dallas Braden – May 9, 2010 (27 outs with six strikeouts in Oakland’s 4-0 win)
  • Roy Halladay – May 29, 2010 (Mariners got a 1-0 win)
  • Philip Humber – April 21, 2012 (Mariners got a 4-0 win)
  • Matt Cain – June 13, 2012 (Astros won 10-0)
  • Félix Hernández – August 15, 2012 (12 Rays batters in a 1-0 win)

Is a Perfect Game and A Complete Game the Same Thing?

A perfect game and a complete game are not the same thing. Still, many of us fail to separate them in a baseball match. Initially, a perfect game is a specific type of complete game. 

It happens when a pitcher faces the maximum number of batters that is 27 or more in a single match and strikes out all of them without letting any opposing player reach the base. On the contrary, a complete game refers to any game in which a pitcher starts and pitches the entire duration of the game, regardless of the outcome.

In a perfect game, no hits, walks, errors, hit-by-pitches, or any other means of reaching base are permitted. But in a complete game, the pitcher remains on the mound for the entire nine innings or more in extra innings, without being relieved by another pitcher. The pitcher is responsible for the game’s outcome.

Generally, a perfect game is an extraordinary feat that requires flawless execution by the pitcher and a flawless defensive effort by the team. It is rare while a complete game is not so uncommon.

So, we can say that not all complete games are perfect games, but a perfect game is always a complete game.


Q: Is a perfect game a rare phenomenon in baseball?

A: Yes, a perfect game is pretty much rare in baseball history. Since the inception of Major League Baseball, there have been only 23 perfect games pitched in the modern era. Considering the thousands of games played each season, it highlights the exceptional skill and precision required to achieve a perfect game.

Q: Are there any perfect games in the postseason?

A: Yes, there has been one perfect game pitched in the history of postseason baseball. Don Larsen of the New York Yankees achieved this remarkable feat in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers. It remains the only perfect game ever thrown in a postseason game.

Q: Is a defensive performance important in a perfect game?

A: Defensive performance is of paramount importance in a perfect game. Achieving a perfect game requires not only exceptional pitching but also flawless defense from the entire team. Every fielder must execute their plays with precision and make no errors that could allow an opposing player to reach base.

Q: What is the record for the most strikeouts recorded in a perfect game?

A: The record for the most strikeouts in a perfect game is held by Sandy Koufax of the Los Angeles Dodgers. On September 9, 1965, Koufax struck out 14 batters in his perfect game against the Chicago Cubs.

Wrapping Up

No doubt that a perfect game in baseball is a remarkable and exceedingly rare accomplishment for any player. It is like a testament to the exceptional skill, control, and dominance of the pitchers who achieve them. 

From Don Larsen’s legendary perfect game in the 1956 World Series to the record-setting performances of Sandy Koufax, Randy Johnson, and Roy Halladay, these exceptional achievements have left an indelible mark on the sport’s history. 

So, it is essential to understand what is a perfect game in baseball so that you can evaluate the achievement of these legendary players. Hopefully, this article helps you understand a perfect game. 

Now, tell us if you encounter a perfect game ever in a baseball match. Tell us which one you enjoyed and how you felt about it. I’ll wait for your response. Thank you.

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