An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Cousin's Memoir Recalls Don Larsen's Impact

An otherwise mediocre pitcher named Don Larsen entered the baseball pantheon in 1956, when he took the mound for the New York Yankees and threw a perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the World Series.

Larsen's cousin, Phil Hoose, was 9 years old at the time of the famous feat. He had just moved to Speedway, Ind. He went home from school to eat lunch from a TV tray and try to watch the game. His mother made him go back to class.

Hoose is now a sports journalist and the author of several sports books. His latest is Perfect, Once Removed: When Baseball Was All the World to Me. It corresponds with the 50th anniversary of his cousin's famous feat.(Scroll down for an excerpt.)

Larsen's career before and after Oct. 8, 1956, was nondescript despite a 4-2 record in five World Series. He played for six teams in 14 years in the majors, retiring after the 1967 season. His overall record was 81-91.

But Hoose says Larsen helped "a weak and mouthy kid" turn his life around, a topic he explores in the book.

Larsen will host a charity dinner next month to mark the anniversary; proceeds will go toward his foundation, which supports the ALS Association and other causes.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit