Imagine pitching what many consider the greatest game ever pitched and yet come out the loser?!
Today we celebrate Harvey Haddix and the 12 perfect innings he pitched
in 1959 against the defending National League champion Milwaukee Braves
before losing it all in the unlucky 13th inning:
As we all pretty much know be heart now, on May 26th of 1959 Haddix took
the hill against the Milwaukee Braves, led by sluggers Hank Aaron,
Eddie Mathews and Joe Adcock among others.
Well, all Haddix went on to do was retire the first 36 batters he faced! That’s 12 straight innings of three-up, three-down.
What adds to the incredible accomplishment was that, according to Hall
of Famer Bill Mazeroski, who was playing behind Haddix that day at
second base, there were no game-saving defensive gems.
Haddix was in complete control as he went through the order four times before reaching the 13th inning.
His opposing pitcher, Lew Burdette, wasn’t throwing a perfect game, or
even a no-hitter, but he WAS shutting the Pirates out as well,
necessitating the game going into extra innings.
Sadly for Haddix, the 13th opened up with an error by third baseman Don Hoak, allowing Felix Mantilla to reach first base.
After a sacrifice bunt by Eddie Mathews (imagine that today!), he
understandably walked Hank Aaron to face Joe Adcock, not exactly an easy
Well, Adcock drilled a Haddix pitch into the stands, hitting what seemed to be the game-winning 3-0 homer.
But with the game already legendary it couldn’t end THAT easily right?
Turns out upon Adcock hitting the game-winner, Aaron decided to just
head straight for the dugout instead of running out the bases, which
then led to Adcock passing him at second base, resulting in an out,
leading to National League President Warren Giles to rule the hit a
game-winning double, going into the books officially as a Braves 2-0
Nevertheless, 12-consecutive perfect innings is something that you can’t even dream of.
But for Haddix not incredible enough...