Trivia Minute October 8, 2015

192: Don Larsen of the Yankees Throws a Perfect Game in the World Series

by Marcus Michelson
"PerfectLarsen" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PerfectLarsen.jpg#/media/File:PerfectLarsen.jpg
New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra (8) jumps into the arms of pitcher Don Larsen after Larsen completed a perfect game in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers on Oct. 8, 1956 in New York. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

On this date in 1956, Don Larsen of the New York Yankees threw a perfect game in Game 5 of the World Series.

Here are a few facts about Larsen and the only perfect game in World Series history.

Larsen was born in 1929 in Michigan City, Indiana. His family moved to San Diego, California when he was 15 years old. In 1947, he signed a contract to play in the St. Louis Browns minor league system, receiving an $850 bonus. After serving in the U.S. Army between 1951 and 1953, Larsen made his Major League debut with the Browns on April 17, 1953. He finished his rookie season with seven wins and 12 losses. The next year, the Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles. After going 3-21 in his first year in Baltimore, Larsen was traded to the New York Yankees as part of a 17-player trade.

In 1956, Larsen had 11 wins and five losses in helping the Yankees to the American League pennant. He started Game 2 of the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers, but lasted only 1 2/3 innings after walking four batters. Yankees manager Casey Stengel started Larsen again in Game 5 against Brooklyn’s Sal Maglie.

Both Larsen and Maglie were perfect into the fourth inning when Yankees centerfielder Mickey Mantle hit a home run. The Yankees later added another run on a single by Hank Bauer. Larsen, meanwhile kept every Dodgers batter off the base paths, in fact, Pee Wee Reese was the only Dodger able to work a three-ball count against Larsen. With two outs in the ninth inning, Larsen struck out Dale Mitchell for the 27th and final out of the game. The Dodgers were held without a hit, a walk or a runner reaching base on an error. Yankees catcher Yogi Berra ran out to the pitcher’s mound and leaped into Larsen’s arms in one of the most iconic moments in sports history. The Yankees won the game 2-0 and went on to win the World Series in seven games.

Larsen is the last living player from that game. Yogi Berra died in September at the age of 90.

Our question, who is the only other pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the postseason?

Today is Independence Day in Croatia, Children’s Day in Iran and Arbor Day in Namibia. In the United States it’s unofficially National Pierogi Day. It’s the birthday of Australian actor Paul Hogan, American actor Chevy Chase and singer Bruno Mars.

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