Don Larsen: The Perfect Game

Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series was a truly remarkable feat. Here’s a look at what made it so special.

Don Larsen’s Pitching Career

On October 8th, 1956, Don Larsen became a part of baseball history. In Game 5 of the World Series, he pitched a perfect game- the first and only one ever in World Series history. It was truly a remarkable achievement, as perfect games are exceedingly rare. Let’s take a look at Don Larsen’s career and see how he came to make history.

Larsen’s early years

Before Larsen made his mark on history, he was just another ballplayer trying to make it to the big leagues. He was born in Michigan in 1929, but he grew up in San Diego, California. He played sandlot baseball as a kid and then went on to pitch for Point Loma High School.

Larsen was signed by the St. Louis Browns (now the Baltimore Orioles) in 1947. He made his major league debut with the Browns in 1953. He had a solid rookie season, going 7-7 with a 3.96 ERA. The following year, he won 10 games and lost 13. But Larsen never really found his groove with the Browns and he was traded to the New York Yankees in 1955.

Larsen’s time with the Yankees

Larsen joined the Yankees in 1954. He was brought up from the minor leagues late in the season and made his major league debut on August 30, against the Cleveland Indians. He appeared in four games for the Yankees that year, starting one. In those four games, he pitched a total of nine innings, giving up just two hits and no runs.

The following year, 1955, was Larsen’s first full season in the majors. He pitched in 36 games and started 13 of them. He finished the season with a 7–12 record and an earned run average of 4.16. He also had one save.

In 1956, Larsen’s ERA dropped to 3.54, and he had a record of 9–10. He also started 27 games that year, more than any other year in his career.

Larsen’s perfect game

Don Larsen’s perfect game was a game pitched by Don Larsen of the New York Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers on October 8, 1956, in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series. It is widely considered one of the greatest baseball games ever pitched, and is notable as being the only no-hitter or perfect game in World Series history. Larsen was subsequently inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

Larsen’s Post-Baseball Life

Larsen died on January 1, 2020, at the age of 90. After his baseball career, Larsen became a successful businessman, owning and operating several bowling alleys and a bar. He also was active in philanthropy, supporting several charities.

Larsen’s post-baseball career

After his baseball career ended, Larsen opened a successful chain of car washes and became involved in several business ventures. He also dabbled in acting, appearing in episodes of “The Love Boat” and “Mr. Belvedere.” In 2000, he published his autobiography, “The Perfect Yankee,” co-written with Mickey Herskowitz.

Larsen continued to make appearances at baseball memorabilia shows and events honoring the Yankees. In 2006, he was on hand when the Yankees dedicated a plaque for him in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium. He died on Jan. 1, 2020, at the age of 90.

Larsen’s family life

After his baseball career, Larsen became a successful businessman. He was the owner of a bowling alley and several car dealerships. He was also a spokesman for various companies, including pizza and beer brands. In retirement, he enjoyed fishing, golfing, and watching baseball. He was inducted into the Yankees Hall of Fame in 1987.

Larsen was married four times and had seven children. His first marriage, to Mae Borenstein, lasted from 1948 to 1951. His second marriage, to Dolores Wetteland, lasted from 1952 to 1972; the couple had four children together: Kurt, Kelly, Randy, and Scott. His third marriage, to Nancy Bevins-Larsen from 1974 to 1976, produced two children: Erin and Lindsay. His fourth marriage was to Susan Clark; the couple wed in 1978 and remained married until Larsen’s death.

Larsen’s later years

After his playing career ended, Larsen took a job as a greeter at the Home run Inn, a Chicago pizzeria. He remained there for many years before moving to San Diego, where he worked as a dockhand. In 2007, he was living in Hayden Lake, Idaho and working as a substitute teacher.

Larsen was married three times and had four children. His first marriage was to Mary Jane Hatsuko Larsen; they were married from 1952 to 1967 and had two daughters and one son. His second marriage was to Nancy Ann Bergman; they were married from 1967 to 1972 and had one daughter. His third marriage was to Corrine Christensen Johnson; they were married from 1974 until her death in 2010.

In August 2010, Larsen fell at his home and hit his head; the resulting fall caused him to suffer a fracture at the base of his skull. He underwent surgery but never fully recovered, and on January 1, 2015, Larsen died at the age of 90 from complications of the fall.

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