After Chicago White Sox pitcher Philip Humber's perfect game on Saturday against the Seattle Mariners, it gave us a reason to pause and look back at how rare and special the perfect game actually is and how the Mariners have been involved in its history.
Former Seattle Mariners great, Randy Johnson, tossed a perfect game in 2004 for Arizona in a 2-0 win over Atlanta. Johnson still ranks as the oldest pitcher in history to throw a perfect game (40 years, 7 months), a little over three years older than Cy Young was when he threw his in 1904.
There have been 21 perfect games in MLB history, 13 in the AL and eight in the NL. The NL has truly cherished their perfect game moments as there were two in the 1880 (Monte Ward and Lee Richmond) before two more happened in 1964 (Jim Bunning) and 1965 (Sandy Koufax), the longest gap between perfect games for either league. The longest stretch of time between AL perfect games was between 1922 (Charlie Robertson) and 1956 (Don Larsen).
The beauty of the perfect game in the NL is that most of them were actually needed in order for a team to win a game. All but two in the NL were thrown in two-run games. The last six in the AL, conversely, have had four or more runs scored.
Unfortunately, the Mariners had to watch a former great of theirs pitch his from afar and were on the wrong side of the most recent entry to the list.