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:

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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:

Baseball Dashboard on MLB Perfect Games
Click or tap image to enable interactivity…

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).

Sources: Major League Baseball and Baseball Almanac
Data: List of Major League Baseball Perfect Games

Game DatePitcher NamePitcher DOBPitcher AgePitcher ArmCityStateStrikes ThrownTime of DayLeagueResultSeason
6/12/1880Lee Richmond05/05/185723Left HandedWorcesterMassachusetts5N/ANationalWorcester 1, Cleveland 0Regular Season
6/17/1880John Ward03/03/186020Right HandedProvidenceRhode Island5N/ANationalProvidence 5, Buffalo 0Regular Season
5/5/1904Cy Young03/29/186737Right HandedBostonMassachusetts8DayAmericanBoston 3, Philadelphia 0Regular Season
10/2/1908Addie Joss04/12/188028Right HandedClevelandOhio3DayAmericanCleveland 1, Chicago 0Regular Season
4/30/1922Charlie Robertson01/31/189626Right HandedDetroitMichigan6DayAmericanChicago 2, Detroit 0Regular Season
10/8/1956Don Larsen8/7/192927Right HandedNew YorkNew York7DayAmericanNew York 2, Brooklyn 0World Series
6/21/1964Jim Bunning10/23/193132Right HandedNew YorkNew York10DayNationalPhiladelphia 6, New York 0Regular Season
9/9/1965Sandy Koufax12/30/193529Left HandedLos AngelesCalifornia14NightNationalLos Angeles 1, Chicago 0Regular Season
5/8/1968Catfish Hunter4/8/194622Right HandedOaklandCalifornia11NightAmericanOakland 4, Minnesota 0Regular Season
5/15/1981Len Barker7/7/195525Right HandedClevelandOhio11NightAmericanCleveland 3, Toronto 0Regular Season
9/30/1984Mike Witt6/20/196024Right HandedArlingtonTexas10DayAmericanCalifornia 1, Texas 0Regular Season
9/16/1988Tom Browning4/28/196028Left HandedCincinnatiOhio7NightNationalCincinnati 1, Los Angeles 0  Regular Season
7/28/1991Dennis Martinez5/14/195536Right HandedLos AngelesCalifornia5DayNationalMontreal 2, Los Angeles 0Regular Season
7/28/1994Kenny Rogers11/10/196429Left HandedArlingtonTexas8NightAmericanTexas 4, California 0Regular Season
5/17/1998David Wells5/20/196335Left HandedNew YorkNew York11DayAmericanNew York 4, Minnesota 0Regular Season
7/18/1999David Cone1/2/196336Right HandedNew YorkNew York10DayAmericanNew York 6, Montreal 0Regular Season
5/18/2004Randy Johnson9/10/196340Left HandedAtlantaGeorgia13NightNationalArizona 2, Atlanta 0Regular Season
7/23/2009Mark Buehrle3/23/197930Left HandedChicagoIllinois6DayAmericanChicago 5, Tampa Bay 0Regular Season
5/9/2010Dallas Braden8/13/198326Left HandedOaklandCalifornia6DayAmericanOakland 4, Tampa Bay 0Regular Season
5/29/2010Roy Halladay5/14/197733Right HandedMiami GardensFlorida11NightNationalPhiladelphia 1, Florida 0Regular Season
4/21/2012Philip Humber12/21/198229Right HandedSeattleWashington9DayAmericanChicago 4, Seattle 0Regular Season
6/13/2012Matt Cain10/1/198427Right HandedSan FranciscoCalifornia14NightNationalSan Francisco 10, Houston 0Regular Season
8/15/2012Felix Hernandez4/8/198626Right HandedSeattleWashington12DayAmericanSeattle 1, Tampa Bay 0Regular Season