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Perfection is what so many people – and MLB pitchers – strive for. But what if you came so close to perfection that you could almost taste it, and then lost it in the last out. So in this article, I will be breaking some pitching preformances that were NEARLY perfect.
Harvey Haddix – May 26, 1959
Harvey Haddix’s near perfecto goes in the record books as one of the unluckiest games ever. Haddix had thrown a perfect game through 9 innings, but his team hadn’t gotten any runs for him. So he stayed in the game, pitched another THREE perfect innings, and his team STILL didn’t score any runs. He lost the perfect game, the no-hitter, the shutout, and the game when Joe Adcock hit a walk off double. He had pitched 12 perfect innings, and he still lost the game.
Armando Galarraga – June 2, 2010
This is one of the saddest stories in the game of baseball. Galarraga had thrown a perfect game through the first 26 outs, and then Jason Donald grounded the ball to first base. Galarraga received the throw, beating Donald by a half step, and started to celebrate. The only problem was that Jim Joyce had called Donald safe. Joyce was in tears after the game saying things like “I didn’t get the call correct” and “I took a perfect game away from that kid over there that worked his a** off all night”. The next game, Galarraga was sent to take the lineup card to Joyce, who was working as a home plate ump for that game. Joyce was in tears as he took the lineup card and he patted Galarraga on the back.
The two later wrote a book titled ‘Nobody’s Perfect’. Joyce was regarded as the best umpire in the game, but his fame will always be stained by one call that he made. Galarraga forgave Joyce. This was one of the best cases of sportsmanship in sports history.
Milt Pappas – September 2, 1972
A no-hitter, Pappas lost his perfect game on a 3-2 pitch. It was a controversial strike, and Pappas thinks that he should have had a perfect game. Pappas later retired the last out to complete the no-hitter.
Those are just 3 examples, but there are so many more!