Don Larsen, who authored the only perfect game in WS history on October 8, 1956, has passed away from esophageal cancer at the age of 90. The only other pitcher to throw a postseason no-hitter was Roy Halladay in the NLDS in 2010.
Larsen pitched for the Browns (1953), Orioles (1954), Yankees (1955-1959) KC A’s (1960-1961) White Sox (1961), Giants (1962-1964) Colt .45s/Astros (Houston was called the Colt .45s before going into the Astrodome–1964/1965), Orioles again (1965), and Cubs (1967).
He pitched in five WS, and was part of two WS Champions in 1956 and 1958. He won the 1956 WS MVP.
Pitching on the last St. Louis Browns team in 1953, and the first Baltimore Oriole team of 1954, he went 10-33 in those years, losing a MLB leading 21 in 1954.
But things changed when he was traded to the Yankees, for whom he went 45-24 in the next five years, and for whom he pitched that perfect game in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series—-a game my father attended. Things got rough again after leaving the Yanks, as he went 1-10 in 1960. Pitching on poor teams before and after pitching for the Yankees hurt Larsen’s career numbers.
For his career, Larsen had an 81-91 record, ERA 3.78, ERA+ 99. His 162 game average would be 48 games, 20 starts. 9-11, 3.78.
He pitched in 10 WS games, starting 6. He was 4-2, 2.75 in WS play, and started Game 7 of both the 1957 (loss) and 1958 (ND) World Series for the Yankees.
He pitched seven shutout innings in winning Game 3 of the 1958 WS.
Larsen was also a good hitting pitcher, hitting .242 with 14 HR in his career. In 1958, he hit .306 with 4 HR.
Would be remiss in not pointing out the passing away of David Stern, age 77, former NBA commissioner who suffered a brain hemorrhage 3 weeks ago.
There hasn’t been much action on the Yankees’ front, so an update on the HOF voting, via a tracker set up by Ryan Thibodaux:
With 115 votes, 27.9% counted, as of now, these ex-players would reach the 75% necessary to get in:
Derek Jeter, 100%
Larry Walker 86.1%
Curt Schilling 79.1%
Barry Bonds 76.5%
Roger Clemens 76.5%
As late ballots come in, and some voters remain anonymous, those numbers generally DROP, thus really putting Schilling, Bonds and Clemens all on the bubble.
Bonds and Clemens will have some voters, especially the anonymous ones, NOT voting on them because of steroid suspicions.
We’ll see if Jeter continues at 100% and joins Mariano Rivera as a unanimous selection.
Not getting one vote so far are sluggers Jason Giambi, Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko and Alfonso Soriano—all of whom hit over 400 HR in their careers.