Don Larsen’s Miraculous World Series Game and the Men Who Made it Happen

Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780451231239
  • 448 Pages
  • NAL
  • Adult


“If you want to live inside the most famous statistical afternoon in baseball history, Perfect is…well, let’s just say ‘ideal’.”
-Chuck Closterman, Esquire

On October 8, 1956, New York Yankees pitcher Don Larsen took the mound for game five of the World Series against the rival Brooklyn Dodgers. In an improbable performance that the New York Times called “the greatest moment in the history of the Fall Classic,” Larsen, an otherwise mediocre journeyman pitcher, retired twenty-seven straight Dodger batters to clinch a perfect game and, to date, the only postseason no-hitter ever witnessed in major league baseball. Here, Lew Paper delivers a masterful pitch-by-pitch account of that fateful day and the extraordinary lives of the players on the field- seven of whom would later be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Meticulously researched and relying on dozens of interviews, Paper’s gripping narrative recreates Larsen’s feat in a pitching duel that featured legendary figures such as Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson, Yogi Berra, and Roy Campanella.

More than just the story of a single game, Perfect is a window into baseball’s glorious past.


“The story of Larsen and his legendary afternoon was hanging out there, like a juicy curve ball, for somebody to smash it out of the park, and Lew paper, a Washington lawyer and author, has done exactly that with Perfect.”
-Washington Post

“This gem of a story brilliantly recreates one of the greatest moments in baseball history by interweaving the intense drama of the game with superb portraits of the key players who shared in the historic moment. Perfect captures our hearts as it carries us back to the golden age of baseball and the more innocent world of the 1950s. Though it was a sad day for me as a Dodger fan, I am now mature enough to read and savor this wonderful account.”
-Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Team of Rivals and Wait Till Next Year

“If you think you know all there is to know about Don Larsen’s perfect game, think again. In Perfect, the true story of that historic game and the men who played it is revealed in all its imperfect glory. The Dodgers couldn’t come through against Larsen, but with this charming, meticulously researched book, Lew Paper has connected for a resounding hit.”
-Jonathan Eig, author of The Luckiest Man: The Life and Times of Lou Gehrig, and Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season

“Lew Paper does something more than give you fresh details about Don Larsen’s perfect game. He uses the game as a backdrop to tell you about the players who were there, and by the end of the book you will know each of them as a friend. Special game . . . . Special players. . . . Special book . . . . I couldn’t put it down, and neither will you.”
-Joe Garagiola, former Major League baseball player, Hall of Fame broadcaster, and author of Baseball is a Funny Game

“It’s an extraordinary book with a startling approach. A fascinating pitch-by- pitch detail of the most famous game in World Series history with individual bios of the nineteen players in the game that give a penetrating picture of what major-league baseball and major-league baseball players were like in the game’s great Golden Age.”
-Robert W. Creamer, author of Babe: The Legend Comes to Life and Stengel: His Life and Times

“So you think you know everything about Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series . . . . not until you have read Lew Paper’s classic.”
-Tim McCarver, Former Major League Catcher and Fox Sports Broadcaster

“Lew Paper masterfully captures the thoughts of ‘Gooney Bird,’ the supporting cast of players, and Don Larsen ‘s World Series masterpiece. Perfect jumps out from that Fall afternoon in Yankee Stadium to you in your comfy old rocking chair. It’s real life. Whatta writer!”
-Tony Kubek, former New York Yankee shortstop (1957-65), Hall of Fame Broadcaster, and Co-author of Sixty-One

“A terrific book. Don Larsen’s perfect game was one of those once-in-a-lifetime events for those of us lucky enough to witness it. Lew Paper takes us behind the scenes and allows us to get to know all the participants.”
-Peter Golenbock, author of Dynasty: The New York Yankees 1949-1964 and Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers

“A memorable book about baseball’s most memorable game and the men who played it.”
-Michael Shapiro, author of Bottom of the Ninth and The Last Good Season

“Baseball purists and non-fans alike will find a lot to enjoy in Perfect, a home run of a look back at Larsen’s gem, the golden age of baseball and the men who made the game great.”
-Asssociated Press

“What Paper loves is the game itself; if you want a salacious, gossipy examination of baseball’s Golden Era, this is not the book to buy. But if you want to live inside the most famous statistical afternoon in baseball history, Perfect is…well, let’s just say “ideal”.”
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