Sport: Near-Perfect Game

The chances of a no-hitter are very slim; of some 50,000 major league games, only 86 have been no-hitters. The "perfect game"—i.e., a no-hitter with no batter reaching base on a walk or error—has not been achieved in the major leagues since 1922.* Last week Brooklyn Dodger Pitcher Carl Erskine missed the perfect game by the scant margin of a base on balls to—of all people—Pitcher Willie Ramsdell, weakest hitter of the Chicago Cubs.

At the time—the third inning, with rain threatening—no one thought much of Erskine's chances for a no-hitter, least of all Brooklyn's Manager Charley Dressen. With a glance at...

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