The Perfect Yankee: The Incredible Story of the Greatest Miracle in Baseball History

Overview

By all accounts, the no-hit, perfect game pitched by New York Yankee right-hander Don Larsen in the 1956 World Series qualifies as a true miracle. No one knows why it happened, or why an unlikely baseball player like Don Larsen was chosen to perform it. In The Perfect Yankee, Larsen and co-author Mark Shaw describe for the first time the facts surrounding one of the most famous games in baseball history. Larsen, who compiled an ordinary career record of 81 wins and 91 losses, probably shouldn't have even been the...
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Overview

By all accounts, the no-hit, perfect game pitched by New York Yankee right-hander Don Larsen in the 1956 World Series qualifies as a true miracle. No one knows why it happened, or why an unlikely baseball player like Don Larsen was chosen to perform it. In The Perfect Yankee, Larsen and co-author Mark Shaw describe for the first time the facts surrounding one of the most famous games in baseball history. Larsen, who compiled an ordinary career record of 81 wins and 91 losses, probably shouldn't have even been the starting pitcher that October 8 afternoon ... especially against the Hall of Fame lineup of the defending champion Brooklyn Dodgers! Ninety-seven pitches later, Larsen had firmly entrenched himself as a part of the lore that only the game of baseball can produce. His feat ranks with the great underdog efforts of all time. Leatherbound edition autographed by Don Lasen and Yogi Berra available.

By all accounts, the perfect game pitched by New York Yankees right-hander Don Larsen in the 1956 World Series qualifies as true miracle. No one knows why it happened, or why an unlikely baseball player such as Larsen was the one who tossed it. In The Perfect Yankee Larsen describes the facts surrounding one of the most famous games in baseball history and details the complete story behind the amazing "Walter Mitty" performance. A former Baltimore Orioles pitcher who lost 21 games in 1954, the free spirited Larsen reveals how comic book "Ghoulies" told him he should experiment with a no-windup pitching delivery just prior to the '56 World Series. Knocked out in Game Two, the man known as Gooney Bird to his teammates regrouped to record a miracle win that propelled the Casey Stengel-led Yankees to the world championship over the defending champion Brooklyn Dodgers.

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What People Are Saying

Michael Anderson
Forty years later, Don Larsen's achievement remains unequaled, unchallenged- in a word, perfect. The passage of time has only emphasized the magnitude of Mr. Larsen's feat: retiring 27 consecutive Brooklyn Dodgers in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series. In The Perfect Yankee, Mr. Larsen, with Mark Shaw, whose previous books include Down for the Count and Forever Flying, recounts his great game inning by inning, batter by batter. His asides on his fellow Yankees, the opposing Dodgers, even the umpires working the game are informative and entertaining. But the suspense builds with each description of the 97 pitches he threw that fateful day; and when the umpire Babe Pinelli calls strike three on the pinch-hitter Dale Mitchell, the reader can only endorse what the Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully said at the time: "It's the greatest game ever pitched in baseball history."
&#; The New York Times Book Review
Robin Miller
Don Larsen's description of his 15 years in the major leagues was just like the afternoon that etched him into baseball history: short and sweet. "I wasn't anything special," was Larsen's matter-of-fact self-analysis. his 81-91 lifetime record would support that statement.

But 40 years ago this fall, the New York Yankees pitcher visited a place that nobody, before or since, has ventured. He reached perfection on Oct. 8, 1956 in Game 5 of the World Series.

In no-hitting mighty Brooklyn and retiring 27 consecutive Dodgers on only 97 pitches, Larsen threw himself into immortality with arguably the greatest game ever pitched.

"Everybody is entitled to a few good days," said Larsen, speaking from his summer home in Idaho. "My memory is pretty well shot, but I do remember that was a pretty good day."

It was an achievement so miraculous and timeless it put Larsen forever in our consciousness. It also prompted Indiana author Mark Shaw to write a book celebrating the performance.

The Perfect Yankee is 242 pages of the characters, plays and dramas leading up to and documentingthat nine-inning masterpiece.

"It's pretty hard to write a book about one game, but I guess there are exceptions," said Larsen.
— The Indianapolis Star

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596702158
  • Publisher: Sports Publishing LLC
  • Publication date: 9/15/2006
  • Edition description: 50th Anniversary Edition
  • Edition number: 50
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Don Larsen is an iconic figure from baseball’s golden age. He began his pro baseball career by pitching for the St. Louis Browns in
1953 before joining the Yankees in 1955. On October 8, 1956, he pitched baseball’s first postseason no-hitter during Game 5 of the
World Series. His skills earned him the 1956 World Series MVP
and Babe Ruth Award. He took home 2 more World Series rings in 1957 and 1958. Larsen retired from baseball in 1967. He lives in
Lake Hayden, Idaho.

Mark Shaw author of twenty-plus books, is a former criminal defense attorney who has served as a legal analyst for ABC, ESPN, and USA Today. He is a member of the Assassination Archives and Research Center in Washington, DC, and the Mary Ferrell Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering critical thinking on a range of historical topics, including the assassinations of the 1960s. He lives in Superior, Colorado.

Yogi Berra is one of the greatest and most enduring legends in American sports.

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