What are the most recent perfect games in Red Sox history?

Cy Young Boston Wind Up
Cy Young Boston Wind Up / Transcendental Graphics/GettyImages

Cy Young was arguably the greatest pitcher to ever wear the Red Sox uniform. Even though he last pitched in 1911, he still holds eight different MLB records, with his 511 career wins being the most prestigious one. It's no wonder the award for the top pitcher in each league is named after him. He also holds one more record no one will ever beat — he threw the first perfect game in modern baseball history.

Before 1893, baseball was a lot different than the modern version of the game. The biggest changes made in that year were the reduction of walks from eight pitches to four and the distance from the mound to the plate was increased to 60 feet and inches, up from 45 feet. There were two "perfect games" thrown before the modern rules were in place, but given the chance to throw eight balls before walking a batter made it much more likely to happen.

On May 5th, 1904, in front of 10,267 fans at the Huntington Grounds, Young took the mound against the Philadelphia Athletics opposite future Hall of Famer Rube Waddell. Waddell heckled Young before and during the game, hurling insults to try to throw him off. This did not seem to affect Young much, and he completed the first modern perfect game in a mere one hour and 25 minutes, and he struck out eight batters in the process.

Young fanned Waddell to finish the game and proceeded to yell, "how do you like that, you hayseed!" to rub salt in the wound. That game was in the middle of a then-record 45-inning scoreless streak for Young. What might be the most amazing feat during this streak is he didn't give up a hit for 25 1/3 innings, or 76 batters, which is still a Major League record. This game also began the superstition of not talking to a pitcher in the middle of a no-hitter, and the Boston players avoided Young to not break his concentration.

Cy Young pitched the Red Sox's only perfect game and the first one in the modern baseball era

For 120 years, the baseball gods have not blessed Fenway Park, nor a single Red Sox pitcher with a perfect game. Oddly enough, there has never been a perfect game thrown against the Red Sox either, but Yankee pitcher Mike Mussina came the closest.

On Sept. 2, 2001, Mussina came within one out of the perfecto, until Carl Everett came up to the plate to pinch hit for catcher Joe Oliver. Everett, who was 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in his previous encounter with Mussina, got a high fastball on the outside half of the plate and broke it up with a clean single to left center.

"I think I'm going to remember that pitch until I retire," Mussina later recalled. He even mentioned the game during his 2019 Hall of Fame induction speech.

“I did a lot of ‘almost’ stuff," he said. "Those things didn’t happen, but things turned out OK. Now I get to say that I went to the Hall of Fame.”

There is one more notable perfect game for the Sox, but it did not happen during the regular season. On March 15, 2000, the great Pedro Martínez took the mound. He pitched three innings in a spring training game and, with the help of five relievers, the Sox went on to complete the only known perfect game thrown in spring training history.

One hundred and twenty years is long enough — we need a perfect game thrown by a Red Sox pitcher. It will certainly be a special moment for Red Sox Nation and for the Red Sox franchise when someone can finally accompany Young in the history books.

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