Larsen dies; threw WS per­fect game

Orlando Sentinel - - SCOREBOARD -

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.

Col­lege foot­ball: Alabama QB Tua Tago­v­ailoa said on Twit­ter he will an­nounce on Mon­day whether he will en­ter the NFL draft or re­turn to col­lege for an­other sea­son. Tago­v­ailoa is re­cov­er­ing from sea­so­nend­ing hip surgery and has not played since be­ing in­jured at Mis­sis­sippi State on Nov. 16. He had surgery two days later. In 32 ca­reer games, Tago­v­ailoa had thrown 87 TDs and 11 INTs . ... All-Amer­i­can CB Jeff Oku­dah of Ohio State de­clared for the NFL draft, ESPN re­ported.

Soc­cer: Mikel Arteta earned his first win as Arse­nal man­ager with a 2-0 vic­tory over Manch­ester United. Ni­co­las Pepe and Sokratis Pa­pas­tathopou­los scored first-half goals to give the Gun­ners their first home win the Premier League in three months.

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