Matt Cain joined Philip Humber in the 2012 MLB Season and the Perfect Game club, pitching a classic for the San Francisco Giants in their 10-0 win over the Houston Astros. Cain, now 8-2 this season, becomes the 22nd pitcher in MLB history to pitch a perfect game.
He tied Koufax’s record for strikeouts (14) in a perfect game, while also needing 125 pitches to seal the deal, more than any other perfect gamer before him. He’s also the first member of the San Francisco Giants to throw a perfect game. In fact, the Giants have never been involved in this scenario, winners or losers.
Lee Richmond, June 12, 1880
The first perfect game was thrown by Lee Richmond of the Worcester Rugby Legs, playing against the Cleveland Blues. He struck out five batters during the game. Richmond was considered a pretty good hitter, usually batting second in the lineup.
John Montgomery Ward, June 17, 1880
John Montgomery Ward led to the formation of the first professional sports players union, having a career much longer and impressive than Richmond’s. He won three NL Pennants with the Providence Grays and later the New York Gothams/Giants. His perfect game came five days after Richmond’s, playing for Providence against the Buffalo Bisons, also striking out five in the process.
Cy Young, May 5, 1904
Young, who pitched for five different teams between 1890-1911, holds the Major League records for wins (511), innings pitched (7355), career starts (815) and complete games (749). He pitched the first perfect game of the modern era while playing for the Boston Americans at the age of 37, striking out 8 against the Philadelphia A’s.
Addie Joss, October 2, 1908
Elected into the Baseball hall of fame in 1978, Joss played 8 years in Major League Baseball. His career ERA of 1.89 is the second lowest in history, and his WHIP of .968 is the best in history. He threw his perfect game while playing for the Cleveland Naps, beating the Chicago White Sox.
Charlie Robertson, April 30, 1922
The Detroit Tigers complained that Robertson tampered with the ball, but nothing came out of those accusation. Robertson became the first pitcher to throw a perfect game on the road, as his Chicago White Sox beat Ty Cobb and the Detroit Tigers, as Robertson threw 90 pitches, striking out six players.
Don Larsen, October 8, 1956
Nearly 65,000 people were in attendance as Don Larsen of the New York Yankees became the first pitcher in 34 years to throw a perfect game, as the Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 2-0. More impressive, Larsen threw the PG in a World Series game, later winning the MVP for the WS. It is the only perfect game in World Series & MLB Postseason history, and one of only two no hitters in MLB postseason history.
Jim Bunning, June 21, 1964
Bunning is mostly known these days for being a Senator (12 years), but he played Major League ball from 1955 to 1971, being a nine time All-Star selection. He threw his perfect game while playing for the Philadelphia Phillies against the New York Mets, striking out 10 pitchers in Shae Stadium.
Sandy Koufax, September 9, 1965
Koufax is still, and probably always will be, the youngest player to ever enter the Hall of fame, making it at the age of 37 after 12 years playing for the Dodgers in Brooklyn and Los Angeles. A 4-time World Series champion and 3 time Cy Young award winner, he threw 4 no hitters in his career, striking out 14 hitters with 113 pitches in the Dodgers 1-0 win over the Cubs to get his perfect game.
Catfish Hunter, May 8, 1968
A hall of fame inductee in 1987, Hunter pitched for Oakland A’s and the New York Yankees during his 15 year career in Baseball. A five time world champion, one time Cy Young winner and an 8 time All-Star, Hunter threw his perfect game while playing for Oakland against the Twins, striking out 11 guys on 107 pitches.
Len Barker, May 15, 1981
Barker didn’t have an outstanding career, playing 12 years for 4 teams, making only one All-Star game. He was playing for the Indians against the Blue Jays when he threw his perfect game, striking out 11 pitchers on 103 pitches.
Mike Witt, September 30, 1984
Less than 10,000 fans saw Mike Witt of the California Angels throw the 11th perfect game in the history of Baseball, needing only 94 pitches to strike out 10 hitters and complete the PG. He played most of his career for the Angels before finishing it with the Yankees in 1993. He made two All-Star games in the 1980’s.
Tom Browning, September 16, 1988
A World Series champion with the Cincinnati Reds in 1990, Browning threw his perfect game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, striking out 7 hitters during the course of the night game. He played 10 years for the Reds before moving to play a retirement season for the Royals.
Dennis Martinez, July 28, 1991
Dennis Martinez was the first player from Nicaragua to play in the Majors, a career spanning 23 years, including a World Series title with the Orioles in 1983 and four All-Star appearances. Martinez was playing for the Montreal Expos when he threw his perfect game in Dodger stadium. He was 36 at the time, needing less than 100 pitches to complete the feat.
Kenny Rogers, July 28, 1994
It’s funny to think that Rogers only retired four years ago after 20 years in the game, at the age of 44. A world champions with the Yankees (1996) and a four time All-Star, Rogers was pitching for the Rangers against the Angels when he threw his perfect game, which was caught by Ivan Rodriguez.
David Wells, May 17, 1998
Boomer played 21 seasons in MLB, mostly remembered for his time with the Blue Jays and the Yankees, winning two World Series titles, making three All-Star games and winning the MVP of the 1998 ALCS. He threw his perfect game against the Twins in Yankee stadium, with Jorge Posada catching. He struck out 11 hitters, throwing 120 pitches on the day.
David Cone, July 18, 1999
Again with them Yankees. Cone played 18 season in the league, winning five World Series titles with the Blue Jays and Yankees. He won the Cy Young award in 1994. He threw his perfect game against the Expos at the age of 36, with current Yankees manager Joe Girardi acting as catcher. Cone needed only 88 pitches to complete the perfect game.
Randy Johnson, May 18, 2004
Randy Johnson threw his perfect game at the age of 40, older than Cy Young’s record by more than 3 years. He was pitching for the Diamondbacks at the time, striking out 13 players in the 2-0 win over the Atlanta Braves. Johnson won the World Series with Arizona in 2001. He was also a 10 time All-Star and four time Cy Young winner.
Mark Buehrle, July 23, 2009
On to pitchers still playing in the league. Buehrle was 30 when he struck out six as the White Sox went on to beat the Rays 5-0 in Chicago. Buehrle left the Sox after 12 seasons, beginning a new chapter in Miami with the Marlins. He won the World Series in 2005 and is a four time All-Star. He threw a no-hitter two years prior to his perfect game.
Dallas Braden, May 9, 2010
A pitcher for the Oakland A’s since 2007, Braden’s perfect game also came against the Rays, as the A’s beat them 4-0 in the Coliseum. Only 12,000 were in attendance, with Braden not really impressing before or since that season.
Roy Halladay, May 29, 2010
The month of the perfect games, as Hallady, at the age of 33, struck out 11 Marlins on his way to a 1-0 win with the Philadelphia Phillies. Halladay is arguably the best pitcher in Baseball today, also owning a no-hitter in the postseason later that year. He is an 8 time All-Star and two time Cy Young award winner.
Philip Humber, April 21, 2012
Humber needed only 96 pitches as the White Sox beat the Mariners 4-0 in Safeco field, the lowest number of pitches needed to complete a perfect game since David Cone’s 88 in 1999. Humber also struck out nine batter during his memorable day.
Matt Cain, June 13, 2012
Matt Cain didn’t just tie Koufax’s record for 14 strikeouts on a perfect game. He also scored a run, becoming the first ‘perfect pitcher’ to score a run during the historic performance. He also needed 125 pitches to retire the Astros, the most ever needed for a perfect game pitcher.