Big League Stew

Wow! White Sox pitcher Philip Humber throws 21st perfect game in baseball history

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

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White Sox pitcher Philip Humber pitched the 21st perfect game in baseball history on Saturday. (AP)

And this is why baseball rules. On a random Saturday in April, in front on a small matinee crowd in Seattle, a former top prospect can rear back to finally realize his promise — and make one of the rarest kinds of baseball history while doing so.

Seriously, before Saturday's 4-0 win over Seattle, Philip Humber's name was the farthest thing from a household name in the city where he plays. But after it ended, he had become  a trending topic on Twitter, a lead item on national sports broadcasts and a permanent addition to baseball's record books. By setting down 27 Seattle Mariners batters in order, the 29-year-old Chicago White Sox righthander became just the 21st pitcher in baseball history to throw a perfect game, joining such legendary names like Cy Young, Sandy Koufax and Roy Halladay. 

That it took the better part of a decade for Humber to get there after being drafted by the New York Mets with the third overall pick in the 2004 draft doesn't matter much. Nor does the fact that 2011 was his first full season in the majors. Because of one afternoon in which his slider was filthy — 15 of his 27 outs, including the final one, came via the pitch reports ESPN's Stats and Info — Humber's name will join Mark Buehrle and Charlie Robertson's in team history as the only White Sox pitchers to throw perfect games.

From the Associated Press:

''I don't know that I dominated them,'' Humber said. ''Obviously the ball was hit at people. I'm thankful for that. It was a well-pitched game. Definitely something I'll never forget.''

We'll also never forget Humber's final out, which came with a touch of controversy. With Brendan Ryan getting the final opportunity to be a spoilsport, Humber delivered a 3-2 pitch that would have gone for a ball. But Ryan started to swing and while he thought he checked it, home plate umpire Brian Runge ruled that he had gone around. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski then picked up the ball and fired it to first for the 2-3 putout and a claim on his own slice of perfect game history. (Ramon Castro had been behind the plate for Buehrle's perfect game in 2009.)

Yahoo' Sports own Tim Brown has more on a very special day in baseball ....

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The White Sox toast Philip Humber after Saturday's perfect game. (@WhiteSox)

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