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Hero of Zero: Germán, Wearing No. 0, Tosses Perfect Game

There are people who think no pitcher should ever wear No. 0, there are people who think no Yankee should ever wear No. 0, and there are people who especially think that no Yankee pitcher should ever wear No. 0. But Domingo Germán didn’t care about any of that last night. With a big goose egg on his back, he proceeded to put goose eggs up on the scoreboard, notching MLB’s first perfect game since 2012.

Germán is the first zero-clad pitcher ever to toss a perfect game, which isn’t surprising given how rare that uni number is, especially for pitchers. According to, only 35 players in MLB history have worn No. 0; of those, only four have been pitchers. Three of those four are currently active: Germán, Mets reliever Adam Ottavino, and Cubs starter Marcus Stroman. (The fourth, Astros reliever Kent Emanuel, appeared in 10 games in 2021.)

In fact, it appears that Germán is the first pitcher to achieve perfection, or even a no-hitter, while wearing a single-digit uni number. I haven’t had time to research every single no-hitter, but this 2018 article says that no single-digitized pitcher had ever thrown a no-hitter, and no no-nos since then involved a single-digit hurler until Germán’s feat last night. (Of course, some pitchers threw no-hitters without any uni number, back in the pre-uni-numerical era, but that’s a different category.)

The funny thing about this is that Germán cycled through an unusually large array of uni numbers with the Yankees — he previously wore Nos. 50, 55, 64, and 65 — before arriving at No. 0 this season. If he’d thrown his perfecto while wearing one of those other numbers, well, it would still be a special achievement, but it wouldn’t be uni-notable. After what happened last night, I have a feeling he won’t be changing his number again.

Comments (28)

    Given their unquenchable zeal for retiring numbers, he could be the last-ever single-digit Yankee.

    Agree they’ve retired too many numbers. Sorry but Paul O’Neill doesn’t deserve it vis-a-vis someone like Babe Ruth or Yogi Berra or Joe DiMaggio.

    I’m very happy to see 0 on the Yankees; in the past decade or so their numbering has exploded upwards, with people in the 80s and 90s not just in the regular season, but *early* in the season. Make 0 a regular number and spare one person the indignity of yet another 60+ jersey.

    And there may have been a whopping 3 thousand people at the Coliseum to see it. And most were Yankees fans.

    The announced attendance was ~12,500 but yeah it was kinda disappointing seeing empty seats down the 1st base line when they showed a closeup of German on the mound.

    Last night was the 7th worst attended perfect game (that we have data for), but the best attended Oakland PG.
    Larsen @ NYY-64,519
    Wells @ NYY-49,820
    Rogers @ TEX-46,581
    Martinez @ LAD-45,560
    Cain @ SF-42,298
    Cone @ NYY-41,930
    Bunning @ NYM-32,026
    Koufax @ LAD-29,139
    Buehrle @ CWS-28,036
    Halladay @ FLA-25,086
    Robertson @ DET-25,000
    Johnson @ ATL-23,381
    Humber @ SEA-22,472
    Hernandez @ SEA-21,889
    Browning @ CIN-16,591
    German @ OAK-12,479
    Braden @ OAK-12,228
    Joss @ CLE-10,508
    Young @ BOS-10,267
    Witt @ TEX-8,375
    Barker @ CLE-7,290
    Hunter @ OAK-6,298

    With the very narrow availability of ‘traditional’ numbers available to Yankees players, why WOULDN’T someone, especially a pitcher, want to wear 0? It’s a pretty bold statement to make. Apparently this guy has the talent to back it up.

    I just happen to be visiting my Mom in Northern California where she gets the local A’s broadcast. I don’t have MLB network and live in San Diego, where I wouldn’t have been able to see this perfect game un fold. We picked up the game around the 7th and being a uni watcher and someone who gets it we started talking about the number 0 on uniforms and what that means and everything else that I knew about that, including the unique Yankees uniform history. I just shared the article with her and we are still talking about uniform numbers and colors and on and on! Such a fun night to talk to my Mom about uniforms and so forth. Feels like we have started a conversation that won’t end!

    I pointed out on Twitter that the 4 Yankee pitchers to do it Don Larson, David Wells, David Cone and Domingo all have names that start with D. People really liked that tweet. As a math teacher, I would say the probability of a team throwing 4 perfect games with all players having the same first initial is several thousand to one. Given how rare perfect games are it likely will never happen again.

    Well us Yankee fans are currently petitioning for Gerrit Cole to change his name to Derrit Cole, so then we’ll really find out how unlikely it is lol

    Haha…well since these are independent events, and D is a reatively common first initial, the probability of the next Yankee who throws a perfect game having a name starting with D is maybe only 15 to one. What the Yankees could do is trade for Dane Dunning and Dylan Cease, hoping maybe that this phenomenon is not random.

    So while last night’s perfect game keeps one trivia question regarding Yankee perfect games alive, it put an end to another. Previously, there was one person who was in uniform at all 3 perfect games in Yankee history. That was Don Zimmer (ANOTHER “D” name!). He was a player for the Dodgers when Larsen threw his perfect game, and was a member of the Yankees coaching staff (bench coach on both occasions, I believe) for Wells’ and Cone’s perfect games.

    Read a comment from someone who said that white shoes with white pants makes players look like they’re wearing footie pajamas.

    I looked on Google, but the only thing that came up was Brett Gardner getting a warning from MLB and the Yankees for wearing white spikes back in 2015.

    Not to mention he was also suspended for violating the league and union’s Joint Domestic Violence Policy. What a swell guy!

    Hi. Yep, the previous lowest number for a no-hitter was 11, by Doc Gooden and Hideo Nomo.

    Great achievement, but I still think 0 and 00 should be exclusively used by basketball players. It looks too weird for me on any other kind of jersey.

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