David Palmer’s Five-Inning Perfect Game

On April 21, 1984, David Palmer of the Montreal Expos pitched a five-inning perfect game as the second half of a doubleheader against the St. Louis Cardinals. The next day, the New York Times wrote:

David Palmer kept himself warmed up Saturday night in case the downpour stalling his five-inning perfect game would ease. But he let himself dream for a moment, just in case.

Umpire Lee Weyer scanned the drenched artificial turf and ended the game with a hand signal.

Weyer’s decision gave Palmer the majors’ fourth shortened perfect game. It also let the Expos sweep a soggy doubleheader from the St. Louis Cardinals, with Palmer’s 4-0 victory following a 6-3 triumph.

Palmer, a right-hander, threw 57 pitches, only one of which was hit out of the infield. He faced a 3-2 count only once. He struck out 2 and got 11 hitters to ground out.

He is a 26-year-old who has had surgery twice on his right elbow and spent much of the last four years away from the majors. This was only his second official appearance since 1982.

Palmer said: ”It’s a five-inning game, but it still goes down as a perfect game. I’ll take it. I have had my bad luck in the past three years and now I am having real good luck.”

The last shortened perfect game came when Minnesota’s Dean Chance pitched five innings against Boston on Aug. 6, 1967. The last abbreviated perfect game in the National League was in 1907, when Edwin Kargar of St. Louis threw seven innings against Boston.

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