What is a Perfect Game in Baseball?

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In the storied annals of baseball—a sport rich with tradition and passion—the concept of a “perfect game” emerges as a pinnacle of pitching achievement. This term not only evokes admiration and awe among fans and players alike but also encapsulates a moment of near-mystical precision and skill on the mound. The quest for a perfect game is a testament to the sport’s competitive spirit and its relentless pursuit of excellence.

What is a Perfect Game in Baseball?

A perfect game in baseball is a rare and impressive achievement that every pitcher dreams of achieving. It occurs when a pitcher faces the minimum number of batters (27) throughout the entire game, retiring all opposing batters without any hits, walks, errors or hit by pitches. A perfect game is considered to be the pinnacle of pitching performance and is often seen as one of the most challenging feats to accomplish in baseball.

How is a Perfect Game Achieved?

In order for a pitcher to achieve a perfect game, they must have impeccable control and precision with their pitches. They must also rely on their defense to make crucial plays and prevent any potential hits or runs from occurring. In addition, a bit of luck is also required as even the best pitchers can have a perfectly placed pitch hit for a base hit.

Example of a Perfect Game

One of the most iconic perfect games in baseball history occurred on May 29, 2010, when Philadelphia Phillies’ pitcher Roy Halladay threw a perfect game against the Florida Marlins. Halladay’s mastery on the mound was evident as he retired all 27 batters he faced, striking out 11 and making no mistakes that would allow a Marlin to reach base. His remarkable achievement highlighted not only his exceptional skill and focus but also the importance of teamwork, as his defense made several key plays to preserve the perfect game. Halladay’s performance that day is often cited as one of the greatest pitching performances in the history of baseball, illustrating the rare combination of skill, precision, and teamwork required to achieve a perfect game.

When Was the Last Perfect Game?

The most recent perfect game in Major League Baseball history was pitched by Domingo Germán of the New York Yankees on June 28th, 2023. In a remarkable performance, he dominated the Oakland Athletics in an 11-0 victory, accomplishing this extraordinary achievement in just 99 pitches with nine strikeouts. A truly memorable moment in baseball history!

Has Anyone Had 2 Perfect Games?

In the storied annals of Major League Baseball, no pitcher has yet achieved the monumental feat of throwing two perfect games. The rarity of a perfect game — achieved only 24 times since 1900 — underscores the immense challenge and a touch of serendipity required to reach such a pinnacle of pitching performance not once, but twice. While many pitchers have come close, repeating a perfect game remains one of baseball’s most elusive achievements.

What Is the Longest Perfect Game?

The longest perfect game in Major League Baseball history extended beyond the traditional 9 innings. On May 26, 1959, Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitched a perfect game for 12 innings against the Milwaukee Braves at Milwaukee County Stadium. Sadly, his perfect game and no-hitter bid ended in the 13th inning when he lost the game. Despite not officially being recognized as a perfect game in the record books due to Major League Baseball’s definition, Haddix’s legendary performance remains one of the greatest pitching feats in baseball history.

Is It Possible to Lose a Perfect Game?

Technically, it’s possible, but very rare, for a team to lose a perfect game due to the unique ways runs can be scored without a batter safely reaching first base. For instance, a game wherein a player reaches base due to an error, stolen bases, or is advanced by sacrifices and eventually scores could result in a loss while maintaining a “perfect game” in terms of no hitters reaching base via hit, walk, or hit by pitch. However, as of now, no Major League Baseball game has concluded with a team achieving a perfect game in this manner and losing. The stringent criteria for a perfect game highlight the perfect synergy of skill, strategy, and a bit of fortune required to etch a pitcher’s name into baseball lore.

What Is More Rare Than a Perfect Game?

Despite a perfect game being one of the most elusive achievements in baseball, there are a few feats that are arguably even more rare. These include hitting for the cycle, where a batter records a single, double, triple, and home run in one game; throwing an immaculate inning, where a pitcher strikes out all three batters on nine pitches; and recording four strikeouts in one inning, known as an “Olympic” or “doubleheader” inning. All of these feats have only occurred a handful of times in Major League Baseball history, further emphasizing the extraordinary level of skill and precision required to achieve them.

Most Perfect Games by a Pitcher

In the modern era of baseball, 22 pitchers have achieved the remarkable feat of throwing a perfect game. This exceptional list includes notable names who have not only reached this rare milestone but have also had illustrious careers, underscored by their induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Notables among these are Cy Young, Addie Joss, Jim Bunning, Sandy Koufax, Catfish Hunter, Randy Johnson, and Roy Halladay, each bringing a unique blend of talent, resilience, and historical moments to the sport.

David Cone, another master on the mound, boasts a resume highlighted with a Cy Young Award, a game with 19 strikeouts, five World Series championships, and five All-Star selections. In a similar vein of achievement, Félix Hernández has adorned his career with a Cy Young Award and six All-Star appearances.

Additionally, pitchers like Dennis Martínez, Kenny Rogers, David Wells, and Mark Buehrle have each surpassed the 200-win mark in their Major League careers, showcasing the blend of skill and consistency required at the highest levels of the game. Matt Cain, celebrated for his postseason performances that contributed to the San Francisco Giants’ World Series victories, Mike Witt, and Tom Browning, whose highlights include a World Series win with the 1990 Cincinnati Reds, have also etched their names into this exclusive circle. Meanwhile, pitchers such as Don Larsen, Charlie Robertson, and Len Barker, despite being categorized as journeymen, managed to shine brightly with perfect games, demonstrating that on any given day, greatness is within reach.

What Team Has Most Perfect Games?

The prestigious title for the team with the most perfect games belongs to the New York Yankees, who have pitched an impressive total of four perfect games, and notably, have never had a perfect game pitched against them. Trailing closely are the Chicago White Sox with three perfect games pitched by their team members; however, unlike the Yankees, they have had one perfect game pitched against them. The Cleveland team, known historically as the Naps, Indians, and currently the Guardians, have also showcased elite pitching with two perfect games to their credit and none against. These statistics not only emphasize the rarity and difficulty of achieving a perfect game but also spotlight these franchises’ remarkable ability to foster such extraordinary pitching talent over the years.

FranchisePerfect games pitchedPerfect games pitched against
New York Yankees40
Chicago White Sox31
Cleveland Naps/Indians/Guardians20
Philadelphia/Kansas City/Oakland Athletics22
Philadelphia Phillies20
Arizona Diamondbacks10
Boston Americans/Red Sox10
Cincinnati Reds10
California/Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels11
Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers13
San Francisco Giants10
Seattle Mariners11
Texas Rangers11
Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals11
Detroit Tigers01
Atlanta Braves01
Baltimore Orioles00
Chicago Cubs01
Colorado Rockies00
Houston Astros01
Kansas City Royals00
Florida/Miami Marlins01
Milwaukee Brewers00
Minnesota Twins02
New York Mets01
Pittsburgh Pirates00
San Diego Padres00
St. Louis Cardinals00
Tampa Bay Rays03
Toronto Blue Jays01

How Many Perfect Games in History?

Pitching a perfect game in Major League Baseball remains a rare and significant achievement. Out of over 238,500 games in 154 years, only 24 official perfect games have been recorded. Each perfect game is unique to the pitcher, emphasizing its once-in-a-lifetime nature. Notable is Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series, the only one in postseason history. The frequency of perfect games has increased over time, with more occurring since 1981. This trend showcases both the individual pitchers’ excellence and the evolving nature of Major League Baseball.


The phenomenon of pitching a perfect game in Major League Baseball is a momentous achievement that underlines the pinnacle of pitching skill and precision. The New York Yankees’ record of four perfect games leads the chart, underscoring their significant contribution to this elite club. With only 24 official perfect games recorded in over a century of baseball history, each event is a testament to the rarity and difficulty of accomplishing such a feat. It also highlights the supreme level of concentration and teamwork required to achieve perfection on the mound. The increase in perfect games since 1981 reflects not only the evolving talents of pitchers but also the dynamic nature of the sport itself. Amidst the countless games played in the history of Major League Baseball, these perfect games stand out as sublime moments where everything aligns, capturing the hearts of fans and securing a special place in baseball lore.

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James Arnold
I'm James, and I live in Stanislaus County, California. I'm playing Baseball for many years, and I love this sport so much that I also encourage my kids (Danny and Sara) to play Baseball & Softball.