NEW YORK (AP) — Don Larsen was watching the news Wednesday night when he saw an item of particular interest.
His most exclusive of clubs had just picked up another member.
Larsen saluted Roy Halladay on Thursday for becoming the second pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the postseason, telling MLB Network in a telephone interview that he was happy for the Philadelphia Phillies right-hander.
When asked what he would say to Halladay, Larsen responded: “I would just congratulate him on a nice day. We work pretty hard to do these things, and these things come pretty unexpected.”
Halladay recorded his second no-hitter of the season in a 4-0 victory Wednesday against the Cincinnati Reds in Game 1 of the NL division series. The 2003 AL Cy Young Award winner threw a perfect game at Florida on May 29.
Larsen tossed a perfect game for the New York Yankees in the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers, for more than five decades the only playoff no hitter.
“I felt good, it was a nice, beautiful day in the World Series, you know,” Larsen said about his most memorable performance. “And it worked out pretty nice. I never had as good control in my life, and that was the key to my success that day.”
Larsen, who turned 71 in August, and Halladay had almost identical numbers in their postseason gems. Larsen struck out seven in New York’s 2-0 victory in Game 5, and Halladay had eight Ks and one walk in his playoff debut against Cincinnati.
The 54th anniversary of Larsen’s perfect game is this Friday.
“I had a good slider, and I could throw hard, but you know, I think the most important thing for a pitcher to do is have nice control, throw the ball approximately where the catcher would like to have it,” said Larsen, who had Hall of Famer Yogi Berra behind the plate.
“In our day we played a lot of series between other clubs, and I think that helped you pretty well,” Larsen said. “The catcher can really help you out because they know the batters, they know the stances and I think the catcher is the greatest asset you can have.”
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.