Dean Chance’s Five-Inning Perfect Game

On August 6, 1967, Chance pitched five perfect innings in a 2-0, rain-shortened victory against Boston at Metropolitan Stadium. He struck out four to beat Red Sox starter Jim Lonborg. The AP said: “The Red Sox hit only four balls to the outfield, with the longest blows being Jim Lonborg’s drive that backed Bob Allison against the left-field fence in the third inning and Elston Howard’s liner to center in the third. The only difficult play for Minnesota fielders occurred in the fourth when Dalton Jones grounded sharply to Harmon Killebrew at first. He blocked the ball in front of him, recovered quickly, and tossed to Chance, who covered first base for the putout.”

The game took 63 minutes, and “Chance was credited with a complete game in the official pitching statistics.” He pitched an official no-hitter a few weeks later.

23 years later, at 49, Chance was working as a salesman and helped run carnival sideshows. Twins PR director Tom Mee said: “Dean lived life in the fast lane, and when that lane ended, that was it. He’s a happy-go-lucky guy. He burned himself out at age 30, but he lived about 90 years in those first 30.”


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