Thursday, June 3, 2010

Counting Down a True Rarity: MLB's 20 Perfect Games

Part 2 of 21

1 Lee Richmond, Worcester Ruby Legs June 12, 1980

A 23-year old left-hander playing in his first full season recorded baseball's first perfect game. Lee Richmond accomplished the feat for the not-so-storied Worcester Ruby Legs against the Cleveland Blues (not to be confused with the more mundanely colored NFL franchise.)

The landmark outing was marked with a couple oddities, including a 9-3 putout and three outs being recorded via the popular "foul bound." (At the time, foul balls caught on one hop resulted in outs.) Only three balls left the infield beside the five batters that went down swinging.

The pitching masterpiece was clearly the highlight of Richmond's six-year career. His overall record was 75-100, although he was surely a workhorse. In 1880, Richmond compiled a 32-32 record, tossing a "BenGay-worthy" 590.2 innings.

Perhaps the 1,053 innings he worked over two seasons from 1880-1881 led to fatigue, resulting in a 14-33 record in 1882 and soon departure from the game.

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