HARVEY HADDIX PITCHES NEAR PERFECT GAME IN 1959
Harvey Haddix won 136 games during his 14 season career, but he is best remembered for a game he lost. On May 26, 1959, Haddix pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates at the Milwaukee Braves, who featured a powerful lineup led by Eddie Mathews and Hank Aaron. But for most of this game, the Braves’ batters struggled with the magical pitches of Harvey Haddix. Haddix pitched a perfect nine innings, retiring all 27 batters he faced. Unfortunately for Haddix, Braves’ pitcher Lew Burdette also pitched nine scoreless innings, and the game continued into extra innings. Haddix pitched a perfect 10th, 11th, and 12th, and had now retired 36 straight batters. But Burdette continued matching the zeroes and the game went to the 13th inning. After Burdette pitched a scoreless top of the 13th inning, the Braves sent Felix Mantilla to the plate to lead off the bottom of the inning. Mantilla hit a ground ball to Pirates’ 3B Don Hoak, who threw errantly to first base, allowing Mantilla to reach safely on the error and ending the perfect game of Harvey Haddix. Haddix would yield the game winning base hit to Joe Adcock later in the inning, the only hit he allowed in the game. After pitching 12 perfect innings, Haddix lost his perfect game, his no hitter, his shutout, and despite giving up only 1 hit in 12 2/3 innings, he was the game’s losing pitcher by the hard luck score of 1-0.