Larsen dies; threw WS perfect game
Don Larsen, the journeyman pitcher who reached the heights of baseball glory in 1956 for the Yankees when he threw a perfect game and the only no-hitter in World Series history, died Wednesday night. He was 90.
Larsen's agent, Andrew Levy, said the former pitcher died of esophageal cancer in Hayden, Idaho.
In the 1956 World Series, won in seven games by the Yankees, Larsen was knocked out in the second inning of Game 2 by the Dodgers and didn't think he would have another opportunity to pitch. But when he reached Yankee Stadium on the morning of Oct. 8, he found a baseball in his shoe — the signal from manager Casey Stengel that he would start Game 5.
The Dodgers and Yankees split the first four games and Stengel liked the deception of Larsen's no-windup delivery. The lanky right-hander struck out seven, needed just 97 pitches to tame the Dodgers and only once went to three balls on a batter.
With two out in the ninth, pinch-hitter Dale Mitchell took a third strike, completing the perfect game and sending catcher Yogi Berra dashing out from behind the plate to leap into Larsen's arms. It remains one of baseball's most joyous images.
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