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 Baseball-Reference.com, 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.