Perfect Game Pitcher Len Barker Autograph Hand Signed Baseball Cleveland Indians
Barker's most notable accomplishment as a major league pitcher occurred on May 15, 1981 as a member of the Cleveland Indians. On a cold, damp night in Cleveland, Barker pitched the tenth official perfect game in baseball history, defeating the Toronto Blue Jays, 3–0 (the game was originally reported as the ninth perfect game in major league baseball history until the league later changed the criteria for recognizing a perfect game). The final out of the game was a flyout caught by Rick Manning in short center field. Barker's pitching was so consistent that he never once reached ball three against any Blue Jay hitter.
Barker's perfect outing, one of only twenty-three in the history of Major League baseball, is also the last no-hitter thrown by an Indian and remains one of the fondest memories in Cleveland sports history. "I run into people almost every day who want to talk about it," Barker said in 2006. "Everyone says, 'You're probably tired of talking about it.' I say, 'No, it's something to be proud of.' It's a special thing."
Barker was selected for the 1981 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, held in Cleveland on August 9. The event was notable on two accounts: It was the first game played after a lengthy players' strike and gave Barker the opportunity to pitch two scoreless innings before 72,086 fans in his home stadium.