Yankee great Don Larsen, the only pitcher who threw a perfect game in the World Series has passed away at the age of 90 as a result of esophageal cancer. A few days ago, Larsen entered a care hospice.
When it was announced that Larsen had entered the care hospice, you could tell the end was near for him.
This morning, someone wrote on Twitter: “The world is less perfect today.”
In a fourteen year career, Larsen broke in to the Majors in 1953 with the St. Louis Browns, who moved to Baltimore the next season to become the Orioles. In 1955 he joined the Yankees after the O’s traded him. In total he pitched five seasons for the Yankees before they sent him to the Kansas City A’s in a trade that brought Roger Maris to the Yankees.
After the Athletics, Larsen pitched for the White Sox, the Giants, the Astros, the O’s again and the Cubs. He posted a 3.78 career ERA with a 81-91 record.
Larsen was best known for his perfect game during the 1956 World Series vs the Brooklyn Dodgers. Game five, the game he pitched the perfect game in, was won by the Yankees 2-0. With that win, the Yankees took a 3-2 lead over the Dodgers, who tied the series at three in the next game as they beat the Yankees 1-0 at Ebbets Field. Eventually the Yankees beat the Dodgers 9-0 in game seven, to clinch another World Series championship.
The Yankees organization released the following statement regarding Larsen’s passing:
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Don Larsen, who remained a welcome and familiar face at our annual Old-Timers’ Day celebrations in the decades following his playing career.
“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.”
“The Yankees organization extends its deepest condolences to Don’s family and friends during this difficult time. He will be missed.”
Lindsay Berra, granddaughter of catcher Yogi Berra, tweeted the following:
Larsen was this famous that even the Dutch press reported about his passing.