May 26, 2009

50 years ago today


I remember the day, do you?

50 years ago today Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitched 12 perfect innings against the Milwaukee Braves before losing 1-0 in the 13th inning. Haddix retired 36 consecutive batters in 12 innings, but his Pittsburgh teammates didn't score, as Braves pitcher Lew Burdette was also pitching a shutout.

After a fielding error by Don Hoak ended the perfect game in the bottom of the 13th, the runner was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, which was followed by an intentional walk to Hank Aaron. Joe Adcock then hit a home run, ending the no hitter and the game. However, in the confusion, Aaron left the basepaths and was passed by Adcock for the second out. Eventually the hit was changed from a home run to a double by a ruling from National League president Warren Giles; instead of three runs on a home run, only the first Braves run counted. But the game ended there, with the Pirates and Haddix losing 1–0.

Haddix's 12 and 2/3-inning, one-hit complete game, against the team that had just represented the NL in the previous two World Series, is considered by many to be the best pitching performance in major league history.