In Major League Baseball, a perfect game is achieved by a pitcher who throws a complete game of at least nine innings without allowing a single baserunner. This means:

Below is a list of each perfect game pitched in the history of Major League Baseball.

Pre-modern era

June 12, 1880Lee RichmondCleveland Blues 0 at Worcester Ruby Legs 15 K
June 17, 1880John Montgomery WardProvidence Grays 5 at Buffalo Bisons 05 K


Dead ball era

May 5, 1904Cy YoungPhiladelphia Athletics 0 at Boston Americans 38 K
October 2, 1908Addie JossChicago White Sox 0 at Cleveland Naps 174 pitches
6 K


Modern era

April 30, 1922Charlie RobertsonChicago White Sox 2 at Detroit Tigers 090 pitches
6 K
October 8, 1956Don LarsenBrooklyn Dodgers 0 at New York Yankees 2
Game 5 of the 1956 World Series
97 pitches
7 K
June 21, 1964Jim BunningPhiladelphia Phillies 6 at New York Mets 090 pitches
10 K
September 9, 1965Sandy KoufaxChicago Cubs 0 at Los Angeles Dodgers 1113 pitches
14 K
May 8, 1968Jim "Catfish" HunterMinnesota Twins 0 at Oakland Athletics 4107 pitches
11 K
May 15, 1981Len BarkerToronto Blue Jays 0 at Cleveland Indians 3103 pitches
11 K
September 30, 1984Mike WittCalifornia Angels 1 at Texas Rangers 094 pitches
10 K
September 16, 1988Tom BrowningLos Angeles Dodgers 0 at Cincinnati Reds 1100 pitches
7 K
July 28, 1991Dennis MartínezMontreal Expos 2 at Los Angeles Dodgers 095 pitches
5 K
July 28, 1994Kenny RogersCalifornia Angels 0 at Texas Rangers 498 pitches
8 K
May 17, 1998David WellsMinnesota Twins 0 at New York Yankees 4120 pitches
11 K
July 18, 1999David ConeMontreal Expos 0 at New York Yankees 688 pitches
10 K
May 18, 2004Randy JohnsonArizona Diamondbacks 2 at Atlanta Braves 0117 pitches
13 K
July 23, 2009Mark BuehrleTampa Bay Rays 0 at Chicago White Sox 5116 pitches
6 K
May 9, 2010Dallas BradenTampa Bay Rays 0 at Oakland Athletics 4109 pitches
6 K
May 29, 2010Roy HalladayPhiladelphia Phillies 1 at Florida Marlins 0115 pitches
11 K
April 21, 2012Philip HumberChicago White Sox 4 at Seattle Mariners 096 pitches
9 K
June 13, 2012Matt CainHouston Astros 0 at San Francisco Giants 10125 pitches
14 K
August 15, 2012Félix HernándezTampa Bay Rays 0 at Seattle Mariners 1113 pitches
12 K
June 28, 2023Domingo GermánNew York Yankees 10 at Oakland Athletics 099 pitches
9 K


The following near-misses don't count as official perfect games, for the reasons explicated below:

DatePitcherFinal scoreCircumstances
June 23, 1917Ernie ShoreBoston Red Sox 5
at Washington Senators 0
Babe Ruth, when he was still a pitcher, started the game for Boston and walked the first batter. He was then ejected for arguing with the plate umpire. Shore came on in relief. On his first pitch, the runner on first was caught stealing second, after which Shore retired the next 26 batters in order. This was for a time considered a perfect game until MLB revised its rules in 1991 to make the criteria more stringent, after which, a few games like this one were ruled not to be perfect games.
May 26, 1959Harvey HaddixPittsburgh Pirates 0
at Milwaukee Braves 1
Haddix pitched nine perfect innings but his Pirates teammates couldn't score any runs to back him. The game went into extra innings tied at zero. Haddix pitched three further perfect innings before finally allowing a baserunner (who reached base on an error) in the thirteenth inning. A sacrifice bunt, a walk and a double followed that and the Pirates lost 1-0.
June 3, 1995Pedro MartínezMontreal Expos 1
at San Diego Padres 0
Martínez pitched nine perfect innings but, like Haddix, was provided with no run support. The game went into extra innings tied at zero. The Expos scored a run in the top of the tenth inning. Martínez gave up a lead-off double in the tenth inning before being relieved. He pitched a full nine perfect innings and was the winning pitcher, but isn't credited with a perfect game because this wasn't a complete game.
June 2, 2010Armando GalarragaCleveland Indians 0
at Detroit Tigers 3
Galarraga threw a mere 83 pitches to the first 26 batters, which were retired in order. The 27th batter grounded to first base. Galarraga rushed over to first to cover it as the first baseman threw him the ball for the putout. He had the ball and touched the base before the runner reached it, but first base umpire Jim Joyce called the runner safe because the throw to Galarraga was soft and Joyce didn't hear the ball hit the glove. Galarraga then retired the 28th batter for the final out. After the game, Joyce watched replays of the disputed call and admitted that he got it wrong. He personally apologized to Galarraga. Despite widespread media attention, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig declined to reverse the errant call, leaving Galarraga with a one-hit shutout. This game is informally known as the "28-out perfect game" in baseball lore, and it paved the way for the use of instant replay in Major League Baseball, which debuted at the start of the 2014 season.
May 5, 2021John MeansBaltimore Orioles 6
at Seattle Mariners 0
Means came about as close as one can to pitching a perfect game without actually doing so—he managed 9.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB for the no hitter, but in the third inning, when facing Seattle's Sam Haggerty, Means struck out Haggerty with a wild pitch, allowing Haggerty to reach first base. This is believed to be the first instance of a perfect game being lost on a dropped third strike.

Perfect game, also called bowling 300: Bowling a strike in every frame of a bowling game (10 frames plus two bonus frames, for 12 total). A perfect game scores 300 points: 30 points for each of ten frames. This is the highest single-game score possible, and is the Holy Grail of bowling. Many bowling alleys prominently display the name of any bowler who has bowled a perfect game at that establishment.

Homer Simpson bowled a perfect game (s11e232); Al Bundy did not, but Peg Bundy did (s4e76); Ralph Kramden does not seem to have done so.

Perfect Game is a slot machine produced by WMS Gaming, (the gambling branch of Williams the arcade game manufacturer). This is an electronic slot machine, with a monitor instead of actual reels. The theme of this particluar machine is that of a bowling alley. This is a nine line machine with a total of 5 reels, and different versions will accept anywhere from 1 to 90 coins. This machine is usually takes 5 cent tokens, but some casinos have 25 cent and 1 dollar versions of this machine.

The symbols in this game are all bowling related, (balls, pins, bowlers, bowling bags, and similar items are most common). This game features three different bonuses. The first is the "gutter bonus". This is activated by getting 5 bowling pin symbols in a scatter pattern, (that means one on each reel). This will cause a bowling ball to appear on screen, and give you a small bonus. The second bonus is the "Perfect Game" bonus, (which is activated by getting 3 bowler faces). Which is an entire bowling video game all to its own, (you select a bowler, then bowl for up to five frames, or until you leave an open frame). The third bonus, ("Beat the Champ"), is quite rare. To get this one you have to beat a particular score in the "Perfect Game" bonus. I have never actually seen this last bonus, despite repeated trips to the casino.

This game, (like most electronic lot machines), gives the majority of its payout through the bonus round. You will find that your money quickly goes down the drain if you do not manage to hit the bonus round from time to time.

From the WMS Gaming website
Meet Bruno, Linda and Horace, your bowling team! You'll see their faces again and again on the reel symbols and in the bonus rounds of PERFECT GAME, the bowling-themed video slot machine from WMS Gaming. This 5-reel, 9-line video slot game features many first screen bonus features, where the slot player joins the bowling team to strike up some real action!
A game has a perfect game when there is a strategy that will allow you to never lose (i.e. always win or draw)

Is there always a perfect game?

Some games of course cannot be played perfectly. An example of this is Freecell. Despite the claims in the Windows help file that it is believed (but not proven) that it is possible to win every game, some deals are impossible. The first such deal to be found is number 11982 and was discovered in 1995.

Complete information games that are dynamic and finite have perfect games. This means that the players have a complete knowledge of the situation, that players take turns and that the game has a well defined end. In chess for example both of the players have all the information available to them: the positions of the pieces on the board. Chess without the draw by repetition rule or connect four without a limit on the number of rows, would be non finite. In poker information is not shared, players do not show each other their cards. Games like backgammon are not complete information games because players cannot know what the next dice roll will be. Lastly stone paper scissors is not dynamic, because both players make their move at the same time and their decision is revealed simultaneously.

There's a perfect game of chess? I'm off to play the world champion!

Finding how to play a perfect game is difficult. Although many games such as chess, checkers or go can in theory be played perfectly, the complexity and sheer number of possible moves of the games often puts a brute force approach far beyond the possibilities of current computers. Awari, a variant of mancala was recently solved, and an unbeatable opponent known as the Awari Oracle is now available. To gauge the scale of things, this program plays with the aid of a 778 gigabyte database of positions and moves. For some other games (notable checkers and othello) there have been some very good attempts.

Chinook for example is a checkers playing program developed by Dr. Jonathan Schaeffer, and is currently the world champion. It plays with a database of all possible positions with 8 or less pieces of the board (that's around 444 billion positions). You can play a cut down version of Chinook (the database has only positions with 6 pieces) at Ultimately the team hopes to completely solve the game.

Choose carefully...

For some games if both players play a perfect game then the result will be a draw. Noughts and crosses is such a game, with a simple strategy: go for the centre first, followed by the corners (unless of course you are forced to make a certain move to avoid losing). If both players do this, then the outcome will always be a draw, and you cannot beat someone playing this strategy. In other games a perfect game is playable by only one of the players. For example it has been shown that in connect four, if there is not the option of passing a turn, the player who moves first can always win. No matter what the second player does, they cannot win.

Finally a little puzzler: This little 2 player game starts with the numbers 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. Each player picks a number in turn, and once a number is picked it may not be picked again by either player. The aim of the game is to pick exactly three numbers whose sum is 18. It is possible for there to be a draw. Can you play a perfect game?

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