Harvey Haddix

Harvey HaddixOn May 26,1959, Harvey Haddix pitched a perfect game. Unfortunately, his Pittsburgh teammates couldn’t score a run off Lew Burdette of the Braves and the contest went into extra innings. Haddix toiled on, easily retiring the nine batters over the next three innings, giving him twelve perfect frames. But the Pirates had still failed to score, so the game, played at County Stadium in Milwaukee, went to the 13th. Third baseman Don Hoak made an error, ruining the perfect game, and after a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk to Hank Aaron, Haddix allowed his first hit of the afternoon, a walkoff home run to Joe Adcock. But in the chaos of the celebration by the Braves for their win, Aaron left the field before touching home plate with his “meaningless” run and Adcock passed him on the base paths. Eventually, the league office ruled Adcock’s game-winning hit, the only one off Haddix in 12+ innings, a double. Haddix threw only 115 pitches in his masterpiece loss, facing forty batters in a game that still took less than three hours despite going nearly 13 full innings.

In his previous start, Haddix had retired the last two hitters in a complete game victory. Thus, over the two starts he mowed down 38 consecutive batters without allowing a baserunner, a mark that is believed to be a major league record.

Haddix was nicknamed “The Kitten” in his rookie year while with the St. Louis Cardinals because he bore a striking resemblance to teammate Harry “The Cat” Brecheen.