Monday, May 31, 2010

A Perfect Month

There is no doubt that May 2010 will go done as one of the rarest months in baseball history.

And why, one might ask?

Because 2 perfect games in one month, let alone, in one season, just isn't suppose to happen-- and unbelievably, it did. Only once before had two perfect games ever been thrown in a single month and it happened way back-- and I mean, WAY BACK, in the beginning-- 130 years ago, to be exact.

So it is fair to say that Dallas Braden and Roy Halladay accomplished the almost impossible. They threw the 19th and the 20th perfect games in major league history within 20 days of each other--

Dallas Braden:
May 9, 2010 (Oakland A's 4 - Tampa Bay Rays 0)

Roy Halladay:
May 29, 2010 (Philadelphia Phillies 1 - Florida Marlins 0)

But like I said, it did happen once before. But we have to go all the way back to 1880, when the 1st and 2nd perfect games ever thrown occurred, within days of each other.

And the honors belonged to Lee Richmond (left, below) and Monte Ward (right, below):

Lee Richmond:
June 12, 1880 (Worcester Ruby Legs 1 - Cleveland Blues 0)

Monte Ward:
June 17, 1880 (Providence Grays 5 - Buffalo Bisons 0)

I think it is safe to say that those 4 teams are now defunct but nonetheless those were the first 2 perfect games ever thrown in professional baseball.

The third perfect game wouldn't occur until May 5, 1904 when Cy Young of the Boston Americans (now the Red Sox) pitched a 3-0 perfecto against the Philadelphia A's.

An interesting breakdown: It took 100 years (1880-1980) for 9 perfect games to be thrown but the next 11 happened relatively quickly during a 30-year period (1981-2010). In fact the last 3 have occurred in less than a year-- Halladay, Braden and Mark Buehrle (July 23, 2009). Go figure!

I guess sometimes fact is stranger than fiction.

Halladay-Braden photos courtesy of Getty Images
Lee Richmond and Monte Ward photos are part of the public domain

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