Pitching a perfect game in Major League Baseball is extraordinarily difficult and uncommon. Very few pitchers manage to accomplish this impressive feat!
In this article, using the Tableau baseball dashboard below and stats from Major League Baseball’s perfect games, I will provide statistics that will help you visualize and understand perfect games on a deeper level. But for starters, let’s run through some of the most common questions about this rare phenomenon:
baseball perfect game
baseball data visualization
how many mlb perfect games
how many perfect games in baseball
how many perfect games in major league history
how many perfect games have been thrown in mlb history
how many perfect games have been pitched in mlb history
how many perfect games in mlb history
how many perfect games mlb
last perfect game in mlb
list of mlb perfect games
list of perfect games
major league baseball perfect games
major league perfect games
mlb perfect game
number of perfect games in mlb history
perfect games in baseball
perfect games in major league baseball
perfect games mlb
perfect game world series
pitch perfect game
sandy koufax perfect game
cy young perfect game
dennis martinez perfect game
kenny rogers perfect game
david wells perfect game
david cone perfect game
randy johnson perfect game
mark buehrle perfect game
dallas braden perfect game
roy halladay perfect game
philip humber perfect game
matt cain perfect game
felix hernandez perfect game
What is a perfect game in baseball?
A perfect game in baseball happens when a pitcher or a group of pitchers wins a baseball game by pitching a minimum of 9 innings without allowing a player from the opposing team to get on base.
How many perfect games have been pitched?
In the 140+ year history of Major League Baseball, over 200,000+ games have been played, but only 23 perfect games have been pitched. The first perfect game was pitched on June 12th, 1880 by Lee Richmond at the Worcester Agricultural Fairgrounds in Worcester, Massachusetts. The most recent perfect game was pitched on August 15th, 2012 by Félix Hernández at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington.
Now that you know the basics, click or tap on the interactive Tableau visualization below for a more in-depth understanding of Major League Baseball perfect games:
Other Major League Baseball perfect games statistics:
Of the 23 pitchers who have pitched a perfect game, 15 (65%) have been right-handed and 8 (35%) have been left handed. Interestingly, there’s a higher percentage of lefties in the perfect-game category than in the general population, where around 10% are lefties. Also, since 1988, 60% of the perfect games have been pitched by a left handed pitcher.
The ages of the pitchers who have pitched a perfect game range from 20 to 40, with the most perfect games pitched by pitchers aged 26 and 29, and throughout the mid to late twenties. However, some pitchers defy the odds – like Randy Johnson, who at age 40 pitched a perfect game with 13 strikeouts, the second-most strikeouts in a perfect game!
In regard to time of year, 15 (65%) of the perfect games were pitched in May, June, and July – the least common month to pitch a perfect game is August. The only perfect game MLB history that has been pitched in the World Series happened on October 8, 1956. It was pitched by Don Larsen of the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
Location is an interesting element of baseball perfect games. A majority of them – 4 – happened in New York City (3 in the Bronx, and 1 in Queens).
|Game Date||Pitcher Name||Pitcher DOB||Pitcher Age||Pitcher Arm||City||State||Strikes Thrown||Time of Day||League||Result||Season|
|6/12/1880||Lee Richmond||05/05/1857||23||Left Handed||Worcester||Massachusetts||5||N/A||National||Worcester 1, Cleveland 0||Regular Season|
|6/17/1880||John Ward||03/03/1860||20||Right Handed||Providence||Rhode Island||5||N/A||National||Providence 5, Buffalo 0||Regular Season|
|5/5/1904||Cy Young||03/29/1867||37||Right Handed||Boston||Massachusetts||8||Day||American||Boston 3, Philadelphia 0||Regular Season|
|10/2/1908||Addie Joss||04/12/1880||28||Right Handed||Cleveland||Ohio||3||Day||American||Cleveland 1, Chicago 0||Regular Season|
|4/30/1922||Charlie Robertson||01/31/1896||26||Right Handed||Detroit||Michigan||6||Day||American||Chicago 2, Detroit 0||Regular Season|
|10/8/1956||Don Larsen||8/7/1929||27||Right Handed||New York||New York||7||Day||American||New York 2, Brooklyn 0||World Series|
|6/21/1964||Jim Bunning||10/23/1931||32||Right Handed||New York||New York||10||Day||National||Philadelphia 6, New York 0||Regular Season|
|9/9/1965||Sandy Koufax||12/30/1935||29||Left Handed||Los Angeles||California||14||Night||National||Los Angeles 1, Chicago 0||Regular Season|
|5/8/1968||Catfish Hunter||4/8/1946||22||Right Handed||Oakland||California||11||Night||American||Oakland 4, Minnesota 0||Regular Season|
|5/15/1981||Len Barker||7/7/1955||25||Right Handed||Cleveland||Ohio||11||Night||American||Cleveland 3, Toronto 0||Regular Season|
|9/30/1984||Mike Witt||6/20/1960||24||Right Handed||Arlington||Texas||10||Day||American||California 1, Texas 0||Regular Season|
|9/16/1988||Tom Browning||4/28/1960||28||Left Handed||Cincinnati||Ohio||7||Night||National||Cincinnati 1, Los Angeles 0||Regular Season|
|7/28/1991||Dennis Martinez||5/14/1955||36||Right Handed||Los Angeles||California||5||Day||National||Montreal 2, Los Angeles 0||Regular Season|
|7/28/1994||Kenny Rogers||11/10/1964||29||Left Handed||Arlington||Texas||8||Night||American||Texas 4, California 0||Regular Season|
|5/17/1998||David Wells||5/20/1963||35||Left Handed||New York||New York||11||Day||American||New York 4, Minnesota 0||Regular Season|
|7/18/1999||David Cone||1/2/1963||36||Right Handed||New York||New York||10||Day||American||New York 6, Montreal 0||Regular Season|
|5/18/2004||Randy Johnson||9/10/1963||40||Left Handed||Atlanta||Georgia||13||Night||National||Arizona 2, Atlanta 0||Regular Season|
|7/23/2009||Mark Buehrle||3/23/1979||30||Left Handed||Chicago||Illinois||6||Day||American||Chicago 5, Tampa Bay 0||Regular Season|
|5/9/2010||Dallas Braden||8/13/1983||26||Left Handed||Oakland||California||6||Day||American||Oakland 4, Tampa Bay 0||Regular Season|
|5/29/2010||Roy Halladay||5/14/1977||33||Right Handed||Miami Gardens||Florida||11||Night||National||Philadelphia 1, Florida 0||Regular Season|
|4/21/2012||Philip Humber||12/21/1982||29||Right Handed||Seattle||Washington||9||Day||American||Chicago 4, Seattle 0||Regular Season|
|6/13/2012||Matt Cain||10/1/1984||27||Right Handed||San Francisco||California||14||Night||National||San Francisco 10, Houston 0||Regular Season|
|8/15/2012||Felix Hernandez||4/8/1986||26||Right Handed||Seattle||Washington||12||Day||American||Seattle 1, Tampa Bay 0||Regular Season|