Andrew Perna. 11th May, 2010 - 5:11 pm
Athletics pitcher Dallas Braden became the 19th pitcher in Major League history to throw a perfect game on Sunday.
Braden dazzled the Rays as Oakland won 4-0. Ironically, Tampa Bay was on the wrong end of baseball's last perfect game.
Mark Buehrle tossed a gem for the White Sox on July 23, 2009 and Chicago topped the Rays 5-0.
Since the first perfect game was thrown, in 1880, some impressive and notable names has achieved the feat -- Cy Young, Don Larsen, Sandy Koufax, Catfish Hunter, David Wells, David Cone and Randy Johnson.
The achievement itself is very rare. Consider all the games that are played each season. Now consider that a perfect game is only thrown about once every seven years.
There were just 11 perfect games in baseball's first 100 years, but we've enjoyed eight in the last 22 years.
Thirteen of the 19 pitchers won more than 100 games in their career.
In addition, seven won more than 200 games and just a pair tallied more than 300 victories in their career.
Braden, who is still very early in his career, has a win-loss record of 17-23. Only four of the 19 "perfect" pitchers have finished their careers with more losses than wins. That includes Don Larsen, who was 81-91, and Len Barker, who went 74-76.
At this point, Charlie Robertson, who threw his perfect game for the White Sox on April 30, 1922, is the "worst" pitcher to accomplish the feat.
Robertson had a carer mark of 49-80 with an ERA of 4.44 in an era when hitters weren't as dominant. His perfect effort came in just his third big-league start.
What's more ironic than anything, even his inexperience and losing mark, is that Oakland's Braden was in danger of being known more for his recent feud with Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez than anything else.
Now, Braden has one of the most elusive achievements in sports on his record.
Throwing a perfect game doesn't ensure a stellar career, but of the 19 men that have done so, more have been above-average than below-average.
Including Cy Young (511) and Braden (17), pitchers that have thrown a no-hitter have averaged 176 wins and 128 losses.
It remains to be seen how Braden's career will play out.
Will he be a Charlie Robertson or perhaps a Kenny Rogers?
Andrew Perna is Deputy Editor of RealGM.com. Please feel free to contact him with comments or questions via e-mail: Andrew.Perna@RealGM.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: APerna7.