By Brian Kalchik @RantsportsBrian on May 18, 2014
10 years ago today, Randy Johnson became the 17th pitcher in MLB history to record a perfect game. What's even more impressive is that Johnson accomplished this feat in his 17th season in the majors.
So after 10 years have passed, it has made me wonder: where does his feat rank among the 10 greatest perfect games in MLB history?
In a 3-0 shutout of the Toronto Blue Jays, Barker threw the first perfect game in the designated hitter era. Barker recorded 11 strikeouts on 103 pitches.
As a 23-year-old, California Angels pitcher Mike Witt threw the only perfect game on the final day of the regular season. In a 1-0 shutout of the Texas Rangers, Witt struck out 10 batters on just 94 pitches.
In the Giants' 2012 championship season, Matt Cain pitched an absolute gem. Against the Houston Astros, Cain struck out 14 batters and only allowed three batters to reach three balls in the count. The Giants would ultimately end up winning 10-0.
In 1964 on Father's Day, Phillies pitcher Jim Bunning hurled a perfect game at Shea Stadium. Against the New York Mets, Bunning struck out 10 on just 90 pitches in a 6-0 win.
With Don Larsen throwing out the first pitch, David Cone became the third Yankees pitcher to toss a perfect game,. In 1999 against the Montreal Expos, Cone struck out 10 batters on just 88 pitches. What's even more impressive is that Cone had to wait through a 33-minute rain delay in the middle of the game.
In his first season with the Oakland Athletics, Catfish Hunter shut down a powerful Minnesota Twins lineup. He struck out 11 on 107 pitches, including the great Harmon Killebrew three times. Hunter also went 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs.
Overcoming a powerful Tampa Bay Rays team and playing on a poor team of his own, Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez threw the first and only perfect game in Mariners history. Hernandez struck out 12 on 113 pitches with very little run support in a 1-0 win.
Against the Atlanta Braves, a 40-year-old Randy Johnson became the oldest pitcher in major league history to record a perfect game. Johnson struck out 13 Braves, including future Hall-of-Famer Chipper Jones three times.
Against the Chicago Cubs in 1965, Dodgers star Sandy Koufax, arguable the greatest LHP in history, struck out 14 batters, including Ernie Banks three times. The game featured the fewest number of hits (one) and fewest number of base runners in any game in MLB history.
In what is still the only perfect game in World Series history, New York Yankees pitcher Don Larsen won Game 5 of the 1956 World Series with one of the most dominant performances in sports history. Larsen struck out seven on 97 pitches, and it was against a team that featured greats like Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider and Roy Campanella. Larsen and the Yankees would go on to defeat the Dodgers in seven games.
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