Is an Immaculate Inning Rarer than a Perfect Game?

Baseball is one of the most beloved and iconic sports in the world, and the history of the game is filled with remarkable achievements. One of the most impressive feats a pitcher can accomplish is a perfect game, throwing a full nine innings without allowing a single runner to reach base. Even rarer than a perfect game is an immaculate inning, which is when a pitcher throws three consecutive strikeouts in a single inning.

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In this article, we’ll take a look at the history of perfect games and immaculate innings, compare the rarity of the two achievements, and discuss what it takes to accomplish either feat.

History of Perfect Games and Immaculate Innings

The First Perfect Game

The first perfect game was thrown by Lee Richmond of the Worcester Ruby Legs on June 12th, 1880. Richmond was a left-handed pitcher and the game took place at the Worcester Agricultural Fairgrounds. The opposing team, the Cleveland Forest Citys, were unable to score a single run, and Richmond was awarded the perfect game.

The First Immaculate Inning

The first immaculate inning was recorded on June 4th, 1889 by John Montgomery Ward of the New York Giants. Ward was a right-handed pitcher and the game took place at the Polo Grounds in New York City. The three consecutive strikeouts were recorded in the fourth inning, and the opposing team, the Washington Senators, were unable to score a single run.

Frequency of Perfect Games and Immaculate Innings

Since their inception in the late 19th century, there have been a total of 23 perfect games thrown in the major leagues. The most recent perfect game was thrown by Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners in August of 2012.

There have been a total of 67 immaculate innings thrown in the major leagues, with the most recent being thrown by Aroldis Chapman of the New York Yankees in May of 2019.

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Comparing the Rarity of Perfect Games and Immaculate Innings

Given the much smaller number of immaculate innings, it’s clear that they are much rarer than perfect games. To put it into perspective, there have been 23 perfect games in the major leagues since 1880, while there have been just 67 immaculate innings in that same time period.

It’s also important to note that many of the perfect games thrown in the major leagues have actually been thrown in combination with an immaculate inning. Of the 23 total perfect games, 11 of them have also featured an immaculate inning.

What Does it Take to Throw a Perfect Game or Immaculate Inning?

Throwing a perfect game or immaculate inning requires a tremendous amount of skill and concentration. The pitcher must be able to consistently throw strikes and prevent the opposing team from getting any runners on base. Even the slightest mistake can mean the end of the perfect game or immaculate inning.

The pitcher must also be able to stay focused and avoid mental and physical fatigue. This can be especially difficult in the case of a perfect game, as the pitcher must remain focused and pitch effectively for a full nine innings.

The pressure of throwing a perfect game or immaculate inning can also be overwhelming. This is because the pitcher knows that the game is on the line and a single mistake could ruin their chances of achieving the feat.

Impact and Legacy of Perfect Games and Immaculate Innings

Perfect games and immaculate innings are truly remarkable feats and are remembered for years to come. When a pitcher throws a perfect game or immaculate inning, they are immortalized in baseball lore. Fans and media outlets alike take note and celebrate the achievement, and the pitcher is often remembered and revered for years to come.

Conclusion

In conclusion, perfect games and immaculate innings are two of the most impressive feats a pitcher can accomplish. While both are incredibly rare, immaculate innings are even rarer than perfect games. It takes immense skill, concentration, and mental fortitude to throw either a perfect game or an immaculate inning, and both achievements are remembered and celebrated for many years to come.