Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Floyd Bannister's (Near) Perfect Game

Keith Woolner had a piece in Baseball Prospectus today on "hidden" perfect games, i.e., where pitchers got 27 batters in a row out over multiple games. This was the second article from Woolner on the subject - he had asked people to guess who might have had a hidden perfect game in the past. I noticed that Keith used my guess of "Floyd Bannister?" as an example of a wrong answer of a pitcher who had thrown a "hidden" perfect game.

Nevertheless, the whole topic reminded me of the game in 1987 when Floyd Bannister faced the minimum 27 hitters against Seattle in the Kingdome. I remember watching that game that day and being amazed by his performance. The only man to get a hit was Harold Reynolds in the 3rd inning, and he was immediate thrown out at 2nd base trying to stretch his single into a double. So, in fact, no batter really ever reached base against old Floyd - he got 'em all out in a row without the help of a double play or a caught stealing.

What amazes me about that game was Carlton Fisk's comment after it, which I read in the Tribune or Sun-Times at the time. What I recall was that Bannister only shook off Fisk one time that game - the pitch Reynolds smacked for a single. So Floyd didn't throw what the record books count as a perfect game, but Fisk called a perfect game. I've always gotten a little bit of pleasure out of that thought.

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