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Don Larsen (1929–2020), legendary Yankees pitcher

AP Photo / Ed Betz

The only person to ever pitch a World Series perfect game

Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in World Series history. On October 8, 1956, he took the mound in game 5 of the World Series for the Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Larsen needed only 97 pitches to get every single Dodger out and lead the Yankees to a win in that game. They would go on to win the World Series over the Dodgers in 7 games. He was an unlikely pitcher to get a World Series perfect game, he lost more games than he won in his career and never won more than 11 games in a season but it all came together on that magical day. Larsen pitched for 8 different teams before retiring in 1967.

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Died: Wednesday, January 1, 2020 (Who else died on January 1?)

Details of death: Died at the age of 90.

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Larsen on his perfect game "They can never break my record. The best they can do is tie it. Oct. 8, 1956, was a mystical trip through fantasyland. Sometimes I still wonder whether it really all happened." —According to ESPN

What they said about him: "Don's perfect game is a defining moment for our franchise, encapsulating a storied era of Yankees success and ranking among the greatest single-game performances in Major League Baseball history. The unmitigated joy reflected in his embrace with Yogi Berra after the game's final out will forever hold a secure place in Yankees lore. It was the pinnacle of baseball success and a reminder of the incredible, unforgettable things that can take place on a baseball field." —New York Yankees statement

Full obituary: The New York Times

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