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We can’t all be perfect.

But these days, it seems that it’s becoming easier to go unblemished on the pitching mound.

Baseball prides itself on its imperfections, the anomalies unique solely inside its diamond-shaped heart.

It’s a place where flawlessness is usually reserved for myth.

So, when a pitcher tosses a perfect game, it’s considered entry into an elite fraternity — presumably Epsilon Tau Alpha or ERA to the non-Greek-speaking layman.

It’s a caste of 20 players dating back to 1880 that’s about as privileged as it is fickle when it comes to its enrollment.

Despite the discretionary company, it appears, in an age caricatured by hulking hitters, that it is now easier to toss a perfect game — AKA 27 batters up, 27 batters slink back to the dugout without reaching base.

There have been 11 perfect games thrown since Len Barker, a man known around the Cleveland Indian clubhouse as “the Big Donkey,” got stubborn with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1981.

That’d be a dozen perfectos, had Tiger pitcher Armando Galarraga not been fleeced by Jim Joyce. The first-base umpire incorrectly ruled what would have been the final out of Galarraga’s June 2 bid in Detroit to become the fraternity’s 21st member.

Conversely, MLB only witnessed the feat nine times in the 100 years prior to Barker’s perfect game.

That’s an average of one every three years in the post-Barker era, as opposed to one every 11 years dating back to the 19th century.

Perhaps MLB’s new steroid-testing policy has done to the long ball what debit cards did to the panhandling industry — that is, systematically destroy a once-profitable market.

Maybe it’s the pitchers who are much stronger? Of the 65 players suspended by MLB since 2004 for using performance-enhancing supplements, 34 of them were pitchers.

None of them — it should be noted — are members of the perfect game fraternity.

While it can’t be determined whether or not science is being used to gain perfection, we can use science to predict the next one.

Of the 20 perfect game thrown, seven of them have been thrown in May — the most of any month by far.

None have ever been tossed under the humidity of August.

Chalk it up to fresh arms, colder weather and chillier bats.


April – 1

May – 7

June – 3

July – 4

August – 0

Sept. – 3

Oct. – 2

It also helps to be pitching on the Lord’s Day to trap a little divine mound magic. Seven of the 20 perfect games occurred on a Sunday afternoon — the most of any day of the week.

Also a mere six of the 20 have been thrown on the road.

Does a foreign city plus the lure of performance inhibitors equate to perfection?

Only one has been thrown on a Tuesday. Monday’s only perfect game was the biggest anomaly of them all: Don Larsen’s call to perfection in the 1956 World Series.

Saturday has played host to two bouts with history. They happened 130 years apart in 2010 (Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies) and 1880 (Lee Richmond, Worcester Ruby Legs).

Sunday – 7

Saturday – 2

Friday – 3

Thursday – 3

Wednesday – 3

Tuesday – 1

Monday – 1

All of these pitchers in this class of perfection have proven to be fallible.

One of Cy Young’s MLB-record 511 career wins was perfect; but the former Cleveland Spiders is also credited with the most losses (316) in history.

There are as many pitchers with losing career records (five) in the perfect game frat as there are hall of famers.

As Joyce, Galarraga and the rest of baseball were painfully reminded last week:

Nobodie’s perfekt.


The Florida Marlins are selling roughly 13,000 of the unsold tickets to Roy Halladay’s perfect game on May 29 in Miami. Tickets are going for face value and are selling faster than Halladay shut the Marlins.

Dennis Martinez (1991) and Kenny Rogers (1994) threw perfect games three years to the day on July 28.

Eight of the perfect games thrown have come from left-handed pitchers.

The combined career record of pitchers who have thrown perfect games is 3,351-2,424.


Roy Halladay, R*
May 29, 2010

Dallas Braden, L
May 9, 2010

Mark Buehrle, L
July 23, 2009

Randy Johnson, L*
May 18, 2004

David Cone, R
July 18, 1999

David Wells, L
May 17, 1998

Kenny Rogers, L
July 28, 1994

Dennis Martinez, R*
July 28, 1991

Tom Browning, L
September 16, 1988

Mike Witt, R*
September 30, 1984

Len Barker, R
May 15, 1981

Catfish Hunter, R
May 8, 1968

Sandy Koufax, L
September 29, 1965

Jim Bunning, R*
June 21, 1964

Don Larsen, R
Oct. 8, 1956

Charlie Robertson, R*
April 30, 1922

Addie Joss, R
Oct. 2, 1908

Cy Young, R
May 5, 1904

John Montgomery Ward, R
June 17, 1880

Lee Richmond, L
June 12, 1880

*Road Game
Breast In Peace: Pamela Anderson passes away at the age of 72. Her lifeless body was found floating face-up in a Los Angeles pool. The buxom actress flourished in her second career as a Senior Olympic gold-medal swimmer, excelling in, of course, the breast stroke.


My Blog List


"Great article! I'll never forget as a teenager, seeing Carl Yastrzemski at a show. I waited in line, not realizing he was charging for his signature (I didn't pay). It's sad. You grow up idolizing these guys and want to honor them by asking for their autograph, all they want is the money."

- Abdulhadi Ahmedi, via Facebook

SIPAPT: It really is a bummer. Among some of the nicer athletes I've met, I'd have to include Tommy John and Martin Brodeur. Oh, and nice work on correctly spelling 'Yastrzemski.' !!

"I'm still waiting for Jerome Walton's $8 autographs to live up to its price tag. I think I bought like 8 of them and waited an hour on line in a mall. And I don't think he said a word to me."

- Gary Housman, via Facebook

SIPAPT: You can get an autographed Jerome Walton bat on eBay for $72. If you hadn't bought all those autographs back when Walton was considered a young phenom and not-a-future bust, you'd have enough to buy that bat today...and still have enough left over to buy a Bob Feller signature.

"Since my uncle, Jesse Hill was head football coach at USC in the mid 1950's and later A.D., I've got every Trojan Heisman winner on a correct period football program.

"But my prized Heisman winner autograph is Glen Davis of Army, who won it in 1945. Back in the '70's, I was working at the L.A. Herald-Examiner and went to the Times Grand Prix on a press pass, and Davis was the PR guy for the Times in charge of the press. I had to have him sign my press pass so I could get into the Press Patio for the free lunch and beer.

"I kept the signature because I had heard that when he was married to his 1st wife, Terri Moore, Davis had caught her and Howard Hughes making love on the couch in his living room one evening and he knocked Howard out, over the couch, and threw him out on the front lawn, naked before throwing the clothes in the trash. I shook his hand, too.

"I got this story from Jim Bacon, who was Howard's PR guy, and was my co-worker at the Her-Ex later.

"Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba"

- Ferrari Bubba, via



"When I was 15, I worked as a caddie at the really nice local golf course in my hometown. It was the middle of summer and I had other things to do than sweat it out for some rich bozo on a Saturday morning.

"Anyhow, I get to work at 7 a.m. and I get the 'privilege' of being assigned to carry the bag of former St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Bob Forsch. For a guy who slammed 12 home runs and threw two 'no-no's,' he couldn't hit the green to save his life. I know, because I was carrying that 1/4-ton bag of his. Mind you, I've played enough golf to give tips to the guy if he's struggling (He did listen, too).

"So, 18 holes, four hours and what seemed like 15,000 yards later, it finally comes time to pay out. After he signs my pay-card, I look at it, and there it is in all it's glory.

"Right next to this 168-win, 1,100+ strikeout, 3.75 ERA Cardinal great's John Hancock: $2.

"I guess Major Leaguers didn't get paid that much in the '70s and '80s."

- Scott Salisbury, via e-mail

SIPAPT: You gotta remember, back then $2 could get you and a date into a movie, popcorn, Sno-Caps, one milkshake (two straws) and still have enough left over to tip the soda jerk (insert your Bob Forsch joke here).


In Progress At Press Time