Here is a quick look at all 20 perfect games in baseball history, beginning with the first one in 1880.
Lee Richmond (1880)
Richmond tossed the first perfect game in big league history on June 12, 1880. A member of the Worcester, Massachusetts Ruby Legs of the National League, Richmond was in his first full season when he set down all 27 Cleveland Blues he faced at the Worcester Acgricultural Fairgrounds in a 1-0 win.
John Montgomery Ward (1880)
A mere five days after Richmond hurled his gem, Ward led his Providence Grays to a 5-0 win over the Buffalo Bisons. A future Hall of Famer, Ward defeated Bisons starter James “Pud” Galvin, who eventually won 364 games and also reached the Hall of Fame.
Cy Young (1904)
The 511-game winner, then a member of the Boston Americans (later, the Red Sox), set down all 27 of Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics in order on May 5, 1904. His opponent that day was another future member of the Hall of Fame, Rube Waddell.
Addie Joss (1908)
Addie Joss pitched only nine seasons during the early years of the prior century before succumbing to meningitis at the tender age of 31. Despite his tragic end, Joss had many great moments in the sun, the best of which came on October 2, 1908, when he pitched for perfection against the White Sox and fellow future Hall of Fame pitcher Ed Walsh.
Charlie Robertson (1922)
Robertson was a journeyman pitcher whose carer record was a mere 49-80, but on April 30, 1922, he was as good as a pitcher can be. He didn’t allow a single baserunner in his 2-0 win over the Detroit Tigers, a lineup that featured Ty Cobb and Harry Heilman. It was the last perfect game thrown for 34 years.
Don Larsen (1956)
The only pitcher to throw a perfect game in the World Series, Don Larsen shut down a Brooklyn Dodgers lineup that featured Jackie Robinson, Duke Snyder, Gil Hodges
Jim Bunning (1964)
Father’s Day, 1964. Bunning kills the Mets 6-0 at Shea Stadium.
Sandy Koufax (1965)
The man nicknamed “The Left Arm of God” hurled his perfecto on September 9, 1965 against the Chicago Cubs. Koufax struck out 14 hitters, the most by any pitcher in a perfect game.
Jim Catfish Hunter (1968)
In 1968, Hunter was still a few years away from reaching the form that led him to the Hall of Fame. But on May 8, 1968, he was a hitting and pitching machine. In four at-bats, Catfish collected three hits and 3 RBI. On the mound, he faced 27 Minnesota Twins hitters (including Rod Carew, Tony Oliva and Harmon Killebrew), and got them all out. Perfect.
Len Barker (1981)
On a miserable, wet night in Cleveland on May 15, 1981, Len Barker pitched the tenth official perfect game in the history of Major League Baseball, defeating the Toronto Blue Jays, 3–0. Barker was so dominating that he never once reached ball three against any Blue Jay hitter.
Mike Witt (1984)
On the last day of the 1984 season, Witt reached perfection against the Texas Rangers at Arlington Stadium. It remains the only perfect game thrown on the season’s last day.
Tom Browning (1988)
Browning pitched his masterpiece against the eventual world champion Los Angeles Dodgers. It remains the only time that a pitcher has thrown a perfect game against the season’s World Series winner. Of note, Paul O’Neill played right field for the victorious Cincinnati Reds that day.
Dennis Martinez (1991)
Three years after Browning did it to the Dodgers, Dennis Martinez did it again, winning 2-0. His catcher that day was Ron Hassey, who was also behind the plate 10 years earlier for Len Barker’s game.
Kenny Rogers (1994)
Then a member of the Texas Rangers, Rogers beat the California Angels 4-0 on July 28, 1994.
David Wells (1998)
With Paul O’Neill in right field, New York Yankees left-hander David Wells shut down the Minnesota Twins in order on May 17, 1998. The 4-0 win marked the first perfect game pitched by a Yankee in 42 years. It wouldn’t be too long before the next one, however.
David Cone (1999)
A mere fourteen months after Wells’s game, David Cone led the Yankees to a 6-0 win over the Montreal Expos on July 18, 1999. Again, Paul O’Neill played right field in the game, making him the only player to be on the winning side of three perfect games.
Randy Johnson (2004)
At 40 years old, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson became the oldest man to throw a perfect game on May 18, 2004 when he shut down the Braves 2-0. Johnson struck out thirteen batters, the second most ever in a game where no opposing batters reached base.
Mark Buerhle (2009)
White Sox ace Mark Buerhle was absolutely brilliant against the defending American League champion Tampa Bay Rays on July 23, 2009, shutting them down in order in the Sox 5-0 victory. Buerhle’s gem was preserved when Sox outfielder DeWayne Wise made a spectacular running, leaping catch to rob the Rays’ Gabe Gross of a certain home run.
Dallas Braden (2010)
Virtually unheard of prior to his run-in with Alex Rodriguez just two weeks earlier, Braden showed that he had more than just a quick temper when he threw a perfecto against the Tampa Bay Rays, winning 4-0.
Roy Halladay (2010)
Halladay’s best game came when the Phillies needed it most. In the midst of one of the most miserable offensive stretches in history, Halladay won the game virtually by himself with 11 strikeouts and no base-runners. The Phillies scored only one unearned run against Florida Marlins’ pitcher Josh Johnson.