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Is the perfect game the most impressive single game accomplishment in team sports?

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  • Is the perfect game the most impressive single game accomplishment in team sports?

    Having three perfectos pitched this year got me wondering.

    In team sports you do have your share of rare and impressive accomplishments for single game accomplishment.

    In basketball, you'll have players who will score 50 or 60 points a game (or in Wilt Chamberlain's case, 100). In hockey, you'll have players who have scored 5 goals in a game. In football, you'll have quarterbacks with 500 yard passing games or running backs with 200 or even 250 yards rushing in a game.

    All those are incredible. With Chamberlain's record, I'm hard pressed if we'll ever see it again in our lifetimes.

    However, there's a difference between those performances and a perfect game. How? Well, a hockey player who scores 5 goals could score 6. A quarterback could pass for 550 yards. And although unlikely, a basketball player could--plausibly at least--score 101 points in a game.

    But a perfect game, on the other hand, is finite. It is--as its name suggests--perfect. 27 up, 27 down, with no men reaching on base. A pitcher cannot do any better than that, and is very hard pressed to do that.

    The only other accomplishments in sports that I see are similar are a hole in one in golf, or a perfect game in bowling. But golf and bowling--while they can be played with teams--are not necessarily by nature team sports. So in terms of team sports, I would argue the perfect game is unrivaled.

    The only thing that would beat a perfect game, in my mind, would be a perfect game with 27 strikeouts. Now that would be something to see--it would mean not a single batter was able to hit a ball in fair territory. Can't say I ever see that happening in MLB, although I read somewhere recently a high school softball pitcher pulled it off.

    But what do you think? Is the perfect game the most impressive single game accomplishment in all of team sports?

  • #2
    Guess you could extend it to a perfect game with 27 three pitch strikeouts.
    I'm not surprised at all that there have been perfect games with all strikeouts in high school fastpitch, but those are also 7 inning games.
    "If I drink whiskey, I'll never get worms!" - Hack Wilson

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    • #3
      Originally posted by PeteU View Post
      But a perfect game, on the other hand, is finite. It is--as its name suggests--perfect. 27 up, 27 down, with no men reaching on base. A pitcher cannot do any better than that, and is very hard pressed to do that.
      What about an extra inning perfect game?

      I'm a little more impressed with Wilt's 100 pt game, since that's only been done once.
      Last edited by ipitch; 08-17-2012, 08:04 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ipitch View Post
        What about an extra inning perfect game?

        I'm a little more impressed with Wilt's 100 pt game, since that's only been done once.
        Indeed Chamberlain's feat was impressive, and more rare than a perfect game. But could Chamberlain's feat be truly described as "perfect" if it could--plausibly, albeit very unlikely--be improved upon? That's the situation with any type of culumative scoring or gaining effort by a player. Whatever record one player may set, another player could come along and score one more. Same goes for a multihomer game--no one has ever hit more than 4 home runs in a single game, but a player could come along and hit 5, and in doing so would not be upsetting the rules of the sport.

        I maintain that there is no true equivilant of the perfect game in football, basketball or hockey that is a rare yet plausibly achievable accomplishment. Unless we see a quarterback manage a 100% completition rate for an entire game.....that could be considered football's perfect game. Yet it hasn't happened yet in NFL history.

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        • #5
          I'd consider the 27-pitch perfect game the most difficult to achieve. No team would allow a pitcher to have a 3-pitch inning, let alone nine of them.

          Considering the full game is played, a shutout in the NBA would be all but impossible, I'd think. At least if it did happen, there'd be a whole lot of suspicion around it.
          "Chuckie doesn't take on 2-0. Chuckie's hackin'." - Chuck Carr two days prior to being released by the Milwaukee Brewers

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          • #6
            A perfect game also requires a lot of luck and good defense from teammates (see Blanco's catch, DeWayne Wise's catch, etc.).

            Scoring a ton of points in basketball just isn't very impressive to me. Lebron James, for example could easily average 50-60 points per game for an entire season if he took enough shots.
            My top 10 players:

            1. Babe Ruth
            2. Barry Bonds
            3. Ty Cobb
            4. Ted Williams
            5. Willie Mays
            6. Alex Rodriguez
            7. Hank Aaron
            8. Honus Wagner
            9. Lou Gehrig
            10. Mickey Mantle

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            • #7
              Originally posted by GiambiJuice View Post
              A perfect game also requires a lot of luck and good defense from teammates (see Blanco's catch, DeWayne Wise's catch, etc.).
              Or a juiced Melky with that 6th inning grab at the top of the fence to keep Matt Cain's going.
              "Chuckie doesn't take on 2-0. Chuckie's hackin'." - Chuck Carr two days prior to being released by the Milwaukee Brewers

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ben Grimm View Post
                I'd consider the 27-pitch perfect game the most difficult to achieve. No team would allow a pitcher to have a 3-pitch inning, let alone nine of them.

                Considering the full game is played, a shutout in the NBA would be all but impossible, I'd think. At least if it did happen, there'd be a whole lot of suspicion around it.
                Wasn't there a 27 pitch perfect game part of the Albert Brooks/Brendan Frazer movie "The Scout" from back in the 1990s? I know it's fiction and all....

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by PeteU View Post
                  Wasn't there a 27 pitch perfect game part of the Albert Brooks/Brendan Frazer movie "The Scout" from back in the 1990s? I know it's fiction and all....
                  Then that would make Brendan Frazer not only the greatest movie actor in the past 100 years, but also the single-greatest pitcher for one day as well!!!
                  "Chuckie doesn't take on 2-0. Chuckie's hackin'." - Chuck Carr two days prior to being released by the Milwaukee Brewers

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                  • #10
                    (stupid post, sorry)
                    Last edited by Dude Paskert; 08-17-2012, 01:11 PM.
                    "If I drink whiskey, I'll never get worms!" - Hack Wilson

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ben Grimm View Post
                      Then that would make Brendan Frazer not only the greatest movie actor in the past 100 years, but also the single-greatest pitcher for one day as well!!!
                      He was totally incredible in "Dudley Do Right"...not a good kind of incredible, but still incredible.
                      "If I drink whiskey, I'll never get worms!" - Hack Wilson

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                      • #12
                        A position player who hits home runs every time up and makes fabulous double and triple plays defensively. Unfortunately he can't win the game by himself.

                        I've heard of hockey goalies who made over 50 saves in a shutout.
                        "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
                        "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

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                        • #13
                          How about a 5 HR game?

                          Possible, but never done even once in 143 years of MLB.
                          I see great things in baseball. It's our game - the American game.
                          - Walt Whitman

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jnakamura View Post
                            How about a 5 HR game?

                            Possible, but never done even once in 143 years of MLB.
                            Not only is that very, very difficult to do but also how many times does a batter come to the plate 5 times in one game. Sure it happens but not that often.
                            I read about Gehrig's 4 homer game and if I recall in one at bat, game recap described as a long fly ball.

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                            • #15
                              In 1902, Nig Clarke hit 8 home runs in a Texas League game and his team scored 51 runs. Clarke was helped by the short RF fence estimated at between 140 to 210 feet from home plate. Clarke batted left and went a perfect 8 for 8. I'm not sure why they kept pitching to him.
                              "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
                              "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

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