Bill Madden's impeccable record with Yankees and baseball history

By Mia Taylor July 1, 2023

A unique piece of baseball fandom history ends as Domingo German throws the fourth perfect Yankee game, forever altering the trivia books.

Forgive me if I held back my cheers as Domingo German etched his name into baseball history with a perfect game at Oakland on Wednesday. It wasn’t a reflection of him per se but rather a loss of my unique privilege. For two decades, I cherished the honor of being one of the few who attended all three Yankee perfect games - by Don Larsen, David Wells, and David Cone - a precious niche now disrupted.

After Cone's flawless game on Yogi Berra Day, with a rain interruption, Joe Torre and Don Zimmer mused about witnessing all three Yankee perfect games. In that manager's office conversation, I proudly interjected my presence at all three. Larsen's perfect game was my spectator debut, courtesy of my father who had pulled me out of my sixth-grade class to accompany him to Yankee Stadium.

On this significant day, another attendee emerged: Bob Sheppard, the Yankees' PA announcer from 1951. Our evocative quartet often chuckled about being the answer to this rare trivia question. The odds of a repeat occurrence seemed unfathomable.

Remarkably, I remember Larsen’s perfect game with more clarity than those of Wells and Cone. Fast forward 42 years to find me in the press box, witnessing Wells decimating the Minnesota Twins' line-up. Matching Larsen's feat created a postseason-like ambiance that sunny afternoon, an emotionally charged crowd of 49,820 enhancing the spectacle.

It was uncanny to find Larsen and Wells shared not just a sunny game day, but also are alumni from San Diego's Point Loma High School. Arthur Richman, the Yankees’ VP and Larsen's best friend, brought some additional magic to the moment by getting Larsen on the phone with Wells.

More strangeness surfaced with Cone's perfect game a year later, almost missed due to its coinciding with Yogi's return to Yankee Stadium. Yet, as Cone sent Montreal Expos player after player back to the dugout, I raced from home to the Stadium, unwilling to miss another slice of baseball history.

And then came German, previously suspended and unpredictable, defying odds and critics alike with a phenomenal 99-pitch victory against the much-maligned A's. As I marveled at his achievement, I acknowledged the inevitable by texting Torre - our quaint trivia history no longer unique unless he had chosen to visit Oakland that night unannounced.