Tuesday, June 8, 2010

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

3 Nov 2001:  Randy Johnson #51of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches during game six of the World Series against the New York Yankees at Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks won 15-2 to force a game 7. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Jed Jacobsohn/ALLSPORT
Part 18 of 21

17 Randy Johnson, Arizona Diamondbacks May 18, 2004

As former Phillie John Kruk would attest, Randy Johnson was one of the most intimidating pitchers in baseball history. Sporting a triple digit fastball and an obscene slider— both delivered by a 6' 10" hurler with a side arm delivery— Johnson seemed capable of throwing a no-hitter every time he took the mound.

On this particular night, at the advanced age of 40, "The Big Unit" was at his dominant best against the Atlanta Braves. Johnson fired 117 pitches, striking out 13 batters in the masterpiece, including the last two outs of the game.

His performance rivaled that of Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax in terms of dominance. Although he went onto play five more seasons, Johnson is the oldest player ever to achieve this rare feat.

Besides throwing a no-hitter earlier in his career, Johnson's overall resume ranks him among the game's all-time greats— so adding a perfect game was surely not shocking throughout the baseball world. Over 22 seasons, he amassed five Cy Young Awards, a 303-166 record, 3.29 ERA, and the second most strikeouts (4,875) in the history of the game.

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