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The Day in Sports | COUNTDOWN TO 2000 / A day-by-day
recap of some of the most important sports moments
of the 20th Century: MAY 26, 1959

For Haddix, There Was No Perfect Ending


It remains perhaps the premier one-game pitching performance in baseball.

Since 1900, there have been 13 perfect games--ending with 27 batters up, 27 batters down.

But only one pitcher, Harvey Haddix, ever threw a perfect 12 innings . . . and lost!

It happened 40 years ago today.

Haddix, pitching for Pittsburgh at Milwaukee, retired 36 consecutive Brave hitters. Then, in the 13th, Milwaukee's Felix Mantilla reached first on a throwing error by Don Hoak.

He was sacrificed to second, and Hank Aaron was intentionally walked. Joe Adcock then hit a home run, but after the winning run scored he was called out for passing Aaron on the basepaths and credited with a double.

Haddix got the 1-0 loss. Lew Burdette, who gave up 12 hits, was the winner.

"I knew I had a no-hitter going, but I didn't know it was perfect," Haddix said afterward.

"I thought I might have walked someone. The ball Adcock hit was a bad pitch. It was a slider I wanted down and away but it went high. I guess I should have walked him."

Also on this date: In 1959, Ed Walsh, one of baseball's premier spitball pitchers in the early 1900s, died at 78. In 1908, Walsh had a 40-15 season with the Chicago White Sox. He won 195 games and his career earned-run average was 1.82. . . . In 1982, the new U.S. Football League, with no signed players, coaches or stadium leases, announced it had signed a $20-million TV deal with ABC.

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