Posts Tagged ‘a little off topic’

Perfect Pitchers Get All The Glory, While Their Catchers Get None

On the heels of yesterday’s post about Felix Cespedes’s near-perfect game, I got an email from a fellow writer that made me do some thinking about perfect games.  One of the things I found myself wondering: who were the catchers for each of the eighteen perfect games in major league history?

This list is taken from the Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers and fact-checked against Baseball-Reference.com when possible.

1. Lee Richmond (June 12, 1880) – Charlie Bennett
2. Monte Ward (June 17, 1880) – Emil Gross
3. Cy Young (May 5, 1904) – Lou Criger
4. Addie Joss (October 2, 1908) – Nig Clarke
5. Charlie Robertson (April 30, 1922) – Ray Schalk
6. Don Larsen (October 8, 1956) – Yogi Berra
7. Jim Bunning (June 21, 1964) – Gus Triandos
8. Sandy Koufax (September 9, 1965) – Jeff Torborg
9. Catfish Hunter (May 8, 1968) – Jim Pagliaroni
10. Len Barker (May 15, 1981) – Ron Hassey
11. Mike Witt (September 30, 1984) – Bob Boone
12. Tom Browning (September 16, 1988) – Jeff Reed
13. Dennis Martinez (July 28, 1991) – Ron Hassey
14. Kenny Rogers (July 28, 1994) – Ivan Rodriguez
15. David Wells (May 17, 1998) – Jorge Posada
16. David Cone (July 18, 1999) – Joe Girardi
17. Randy Johnson (May 18, 2004) – Robby Hammock
18. Mark Buehrle (July 23, 2009) – Ramon Castro

Look closely and you’ll notice something interesting: seven Hall of Famers (I’m counting Johnson in that group) have pitched perfect games; three Hall of Famers (I’m counting Rodriguez, but not Posada) have caught perfect games. No Hall of Fame catcher, however, has ever caught a perfect game pitched by a Hall of Fame pitcher.

And then there’s Ron Hassey. Catching one perfecto is cool; catching two is off the charts, especially when you realize he was only behind the plate for five more games (plus four appearances as a pinch-hitter) after Martinez’s gem.

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