Don Larsen

Easton Press Don Larsen books

The Perfect Yankee - signed limited edition - 2001

Pitcher Don Larsen

Donald James Larsen, commonly known as Don Larsen, was born on August 7, 1929, in Michigan City, Indiana. He was an American professional baseball pitcher who achieved legendary status in the annals of Major League Baseball (MLB) history for his remarkable performance in the 1956 World Series. Larsen's journey to baseball stardom began in his youth, where he excelled as a talented athlete. After graduating from high school, he signed with the St. Louis Browns (later known as the Baltimore Orioles) in 1947, beginning his professional baseball career.

Over the next several years, Larsen bounced around various MLB teams, including the Browns, the New York Yankees, the Baltimore Orioles, and the Kansas City Athletics, struggling to find consistency and establish himself as a dominant pitcher. Despite his ups and downs, Larsen's perseverance and determination eventually paid off when he was traded to the New York Yankees in 1955. It was during his time with the Yankees that Larsen etched his name into baseball history. On October 8, 1956, Larsen achieved the pinnacle of pitching perfection when he took the mound for Game 5 of the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers. In front of a packed crowd at Yankee Stadium and a national television audience, Larsen proceeded to deliver one of the most extraordinary performances in the history of the sport.

Over the course of nine innings, Larsen faced 27 batters and retired them all, completing a perfect game—the first and only perfect game in World Series history. His flawless performance, which included no hits, no walks, and no opposing players reaching base, solidified his place in baseball lore and earned him instant acclaim as a legend of the game. Larsen's perfect game remains one of the most iconic moments in MLB history, a testament to his skill, focus, and mental fortitude on baseball's grandest stage. Following his historic achievement, Larsen continued to pitch in the major leagues for several more years, retiring in 1967 after a distinguished career.

Beyond his on-field accomplishments, Larsen was beloved by fans and respected by his peers for his humility, sportsmanship, and dedication to the game. He remained a beloved figure in the baseball community throughout his life, making appearances at events and signings to share his memories of that unforgettable day in 1956. Don Larsen passed away on January 1, 2020, at the age of 90, leaving behind a legacy that will forever be remembered in the annals of baseball history. His perfect game stands as a testament to the beauty and unpredictability of the sport, serving as an enduring symbol of excellence and achievement for generations of baseball fans around the world.

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