Randy Johnson’s 2004 perfect game ranked as the 19th-best in history
On May 18, 2004, the Atlanta Braves sent 27 batters to the plate to face Randy Johnson and 27 times, they failed to reach first base.
It was the first, and only, perfect game thrown by a D-back, and the then 40-year-old provided one of few highlights during a 51-111 season.
Perfect games are perfect, but Chris Landers of MLB.com, judging on “historical awesomeness,” tried to rank the 23 acts of perfection and put Johnson’s performance at No. 19.
Johnson left his fingerprints all over the record books during his Major League career, from most strikeouts by a lefty to most consecutive seasons with 300 or more K’s. He was even the oldest player to hit a home run, until Bartolo came along.
And, on May 18 against Atlanta, he became the oldest pitcher to throw a perfect game at 40 years, eight months and eight days old. (He even struck out 13, because of course he did.)
His 13 strikeouts are the third most thrown in a perfect game, but besides the image of Robby Hammock jumping into his arms as the big lefty flashed a rare smile, there was no single catch or play to give it that “historical awesomeness.”
The top five perfect games thrown on Landers’ list belonged to Cy Young, Dallas Braden, Jim Bunning, Sandy Koufax and of course Don Larson’s performance in the 1956 World Series.