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Nobody Remembers the Stats, Don Larsen RIP

…just the stories. Don Larsen died last week. What will be remembered?

The pressure must have been all the more for the close score. The Yankees had their first of only two runs in the fourth inning. Perhaps the pressure was even greater playing at home, in a tied series’ game five.

The imperfect man pitched a perfect game yesterday. Don Larsen, a free soul who loves the gay life, retired all 27 Dodgers in the classic pitching performance of all time as the Yankees won the fifth game, 2-0, at the Stadium and took a 3-2 edge in the set. In this first perfect World Series game, he made but 97 pitches, threw three balls to only one batter, and fanned seven. A man must be lucky as well as good to reach such an incredible height and Don got four breaks, a “foul homer” which missed being fair by inches, and three superb fielding plays on line drives.

–Joe Trimble, New York Daily News, October 9th.

It had been 34 years since the previous perfect game in the MLB, a meaningless game in April at that. A pitcher in his second start mowed down the future American League winners, the Ty Cobb-lead Detroit Tigers. They apparently complained the balls were doctored. It would be 8 years more before the next perfect game, and (not yet) again in the World Series.

Larsen came to the Yankees before the 1955 season. He was one of seventeen players involved in the largest trade in baseball history. He’d leave the Yankees in 1959 , in a trade with the Kansas City A’s. It brought Roger Maris to the Yankees. An article from the Reading Eagle available on Google News mentions that Larsen’s arm had been “plagued with a sore arm since writing his name in the record books…”

He had a losing record for his career, but I’ve already forgotten it minutes after reading the articles. I’ll remember the stories for a while.

No one will ever remember your stats, just your stories.

Published inSportsWisdom

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