This Day In Sports: Don Larsen Reaches Postseason Perfection


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When Don Larsen originated postseason perfection, Yogi Berra originated the "Bromance."

October 8, 1956: Before Don Larsen showed up to Yankee Stadium today, he knew that the Yankees were scheduled to play a World Series Game 5 against the Brooklyn Dodgers. What he didn't know was that he had been slated to pitch the game. By the ninth inning, when Brooklyn pinch-hitter Dale Mitchell watched a called third strike go by, Larsen becomes the first player in MLB history to pitch a perfect game - let alone a no-hitter - in the postseason as he blanks the Dodgers 2-0 before a crowd of 64,519.

Leading up to the perfect game, Larsen had faced quite a bit of imperfection. Two seasons before, Larsen posted a paltry 3-21 record with Baltimore. Three days before the perfect game, he allowed a 6-0 Yankees lead turn into a 13-8 Dodgers Game 3 victory. The day of the game, Larsen's estranged wife had filed a court action to withhold his World Series earnings. However, when all was said and done, Don Larsen's perfect game would earn him World Series MVP and forever put him in the MLB record books.

Larsen's perfect performance would remain unmatched for an astonishing 54 years — almost to the day, as two days ago, Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay pitched only the second no-hitter in postseason history. A fifth-inning walk to Jay Bruce of the Cincinnati Reds would be the only blemish on Halladay's otherwise perfect game. In fact, Halladay (28 batters; 104 pitches; eight Ks) and Larsen's (27 batters; 97 pitches; seven Ks) stats were very similar.