September 16, 1988: Tom Browning pitches a perfect game to beat the ’88 World Champion Dodgers, 1-0, at Riverfront Stadium. The game didn’t start until 10:02 PM because of a two hour and 27 minute rain delay. Browning threw 102 pitches and fanned seven. In the 9th inning, Browning retired Rick Dempsey on a deep fly ball to the warning track in right field on a 1-1 pitch. Steve Sax hit a first pitch grounder to SS Barry Larkin, and Browning completed his masterpiece by fanning pinch hitter Tracy Woodson. Browning never had a three ball count all night. the only run of the game was scored off Dodgers pitcher Tim Belcher on a throwing error. Belcher allowed only 3 hits and carried a no-hitter into the 6th inning.
After the game Browning did sent a few items to Cooperstown for the Hall of Fame, but he kept the ball. Maybe he should have sent that too. Ten years later, Browning admitted he didn’t know what happpened to the trophy ball. “I think it’s in the woods behind our house,” he admitted. “It didn’t have anything on it, and it was just sitting there. I guess the kids needed a ball to play with.”
All “Reds trivia” posts come from Greg Rhodes and John Snyder’s fabulous book, “Redleg Journal” (see link for purchasing) and are used with Greg’s permission.
Thanks again to Greg Rhodes for permission to use his material.