How many perfect games in MLB history?: What is a perfect game, and how many have there been?

How many perfect games in MLB history?: What is a perfect game, and how many have there been?

Babu Tendu
December 10, 2022 at 1:02 PM

Since its inception in 1903, there have been over 235,500 games played in Major League Baseball (MLB). The MLB is the most prominent and influential baseball league in the United States and the world. In its existence so far, there has been a significant occurrence of perfect games and no-hitters. How many perfect games have you witnessed? And what are perfect games? Stick around to find out.

How many perfect games have there been in MLB history?
There is a situation whereby a baseball game is declared perfect in terms of how the ball is pitched. Photo by (Modified by author).
Source: Original

It is vital to take notice of the fact that many no-hitters have taken place compared to actual perfect games, and many tend to confuse the two. Today, Sportsbrief will shed light on that crucial topic and end the doubts among baseball fans.

What is considered a perfect baseball game?

In baseball, a perfect game is where the opposing pitcher retires all opposing batters without allowing any runners to advance. Each team receives three outs per inning during a nine-inning match, for a total of 27 releases. A pitcher is credited with an "ideal match" if they record all 27 outs without allowing any batters to reach base.

What's the difference between a perfect game and a no-hitter?

In baseball, if a pitcher throws a complete match without allowing any hits, this is known as a no-hitter. It's still considered a no-hitter, even if the thrower gives up a walk or a baserunner advances due to a fielding error.

What is considered a perfect baseball game?
Jackson Merrill of the Peoria Javelinas in the field during the Fall Stars Game at Sloan Park on November 6, 2022, in Mesa, Arizona. Photo by Chris Bernacchi.
Source: Getty Images

On the other hand, a pitcher throws a complete match if they prevent the opposing team from reaching base. Whether through a fielding mistake, a walk, or a hit. The simplest of the three results is when a pitcher goes the entire match without allowing any runs.

Here is the official MLB definition of what a no-hitter is:

An official no-hit match occurs when a pitcher (or pitchers) allows no hits during the entire course of a game, which consists of at least nine innings. In a no-hit match, a batter may reach base via a walk, an error, a hit by throw, a passed ball or wild throw on strike three, or a catcher's interference.

Here is what the official MLB definition says of what is considered an ideal game:

An official ideal game occurs when a thrower(or throwers) retires each batter on the opposing team during the entire course of a match, which consists of at least nine innings. In an ideal game, no batter reaches any base during the competition.

How many perfect games have there been in MLB history?

There have been 23 ideal matches in MLB history, with the first two occurring just a few days apart in 1880, thanks to Lee Richmond and John Ward. Since 1900, there have been 21 ideal matches; 17 have happened in the previous 60 years.

How many no-hitters have there been in MLB history?

Since 1876, 318 no-hitters have been recognized by MLB, 23 of which were ideal games. For example, on April 22, 1898, Ted Breitenstein and Jim Hughes threw a no-hitter; on June 29, 1990, Dave Stewart and Fernando Valenzuela threw a no-hitter.

In the 2021 season, there were nine no-hitters thrown. Eight was the previous high, set in 1884. Since 1901, seven times have been the previous record; these times were in 1990, 1991, 2012, and 2015.

Perfect games in MLB history
Jean Segura, the #2 of the Philadelphia Phillies fields the ball during Game 6 of the 2022 World Series match on November 5th, 2022, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Michael Starghill.
Source: Getty Images

Between Bobby Burke on August 8, 1931, and Paul "Daffy" Dean on September 21, 1934, there was a gap of three years and 44 days, which is the longest in the modern era between two no-hitters.

After George Bradley's pitching of the first no-hitter in the National League on July 15, 1876, there was a gap of three years and 11 months without another one. 2005 is the most recent year without a no-hitter.

Some of the perfect games in MLB history

Worcester Ruby Legs' left-handed pitcher Lee Richmond threw the first faultless game. He pitched full-time for only three of his six years as a professional baseball player, finishing with a losing record. John Montgomery Ward pitched the second perfect game for the Providence Grays.

How many no hitters have there been in MLB history
The Houston Astros celebrate on the field after they defeated the Philadelphia Phillies to clinch the 2022 World Series on Saturday, November 5, 2022, in Houston, Texas. Photo by Rob Tringali.
Source: Getty Images

Unofficial MLB perfect games

There have only been three occasions (June 23, 1917, May 26, 1959, and June 3, 1995) where a major league pitcher struck out every batter he faced over nine innings without allowing a baserunner but is not given credit for a faultless match because either there was a baserunner when he took the mound or the game went into extra innings and an opposing player eventually reached base.

The last perfect game in MLB

King Felix owns the record of MLB's most recent complete game despite having last pitched in 2019. Felix Hernandez threw a perfect match on August 15, 2012, against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Seattle Mariners' first ideal match was recorded by the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner, who struck out 12 batters total, including the last one.

How many perfect games in MLB history have you witnessed? Since it started, there have been only 23 perfect matches. The phenomenon occurs when there is a good combination of luck and skill.

READ ALSO: Zlatko Dalić: age, net worth, nationality, coaching career, family, salary recently wrote about Zlatko Dalic. Zlatko Dalić is a former defensive midfielder for some of the biggest clubs in the Croatian top-flight league.

The Croatian resorted to football management after his retirement from playing the game. He has been privileged to manage some top clubs, including Al-Hilal. He is the current Croatian National football team manager. Click on the link above to learn more about him!

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