Sunday, May 30, 2010

Streak of perfection

For only the second time ever, Major League Baseball has had two perfect games in the same season. And, like the other occasion, in 1880, they occurred in the same month.

May 2010 is when Oakland's Dallas Braden and Philadelphia's Roy Halladay (pictured) recorded 27 consecutive outs to notch only the 19th and 20th perfect games in major league history. Some 130 years ago, Lee Richmond of Worcester and Providence's Monte Ward threw perfect games just five days apart in June 1880.

The subject of my latest published biography, Ray Schalk, was the catcher the fifth perfect game ever. On April 30, 1922, Charlie Robertson, making only his fourth major league start, blanked Ty Cobb and the Detroit Tigers.

MLB, which has gone years and even decades between perfect games, has now seen three perfect games in less than a year. Mark Buehrle of the White Sox had one last July. Note that after Robertson (with Schalk's help) threw a perfect game in 1922, the next perfecto did not come until Don Larsen's historic performance in the World Series of 1956 -- a span of 34 years. This span was less than 34 days.

Here is the list of perfect games, and a list naming the catchers with a hand in history.

Photo: Associated Press

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