Yankee great Don Larsen dies at age 90 in Hayden

Yankees Hall of Famer Don Larson

(AP) — New York Yankees legend Don Larsen died Wednesday night in hospice care in Hayden, Idaho. He was 90 years old.

The journeyman pitcher reached the heights of baseball glory in 1956 when he became the only pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the World Series.

Larsen’s agent, Andrew Levy, said the former pitcher died of esophageal cancer. Levy said Larsen’s son, Scott, confirmed the death.

“Don’s perfect game is a defining moment for our franchise, encapsulating a storied era of Yankees success and ranking among the greatest single-game performances in Major League Baseball history,” the Yankees said in a statement.

No other pitcher has thrown a perfect game in the postseason, but in 2010 the Phillies’ Roy Halladay pitched a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds during the National League Division Series.

Larsen pitched in three other World Series. He won Game 2 of the 1957 series against Hank Aaron and the Milwaukee Braves, but lost the decisive Game 7. He shut out the Braves 4-0 on six hits in Game 3 of the 1958 Series, when New York beat Milwaukee in seven games, and was back in the Bronx with the San Francisco Giants for the 1962 Fall Classic.

Larsen retired in 1967 with an 81-91 record over 14 major league seasons. He later worked as a liquor salesman and paper company executive.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Don Larsen, who remained a welcome and familiar face at our annual Old-Timers’ Day celebrations in the decades following his playing career,” the Yankees said. “He will be missed.”

Larsen stopped by a 4 News Now Extreme Team project in 2018, when Freeman High School received a new baseball field as the Extreme Team’s annual Diamonds & Dreams project.

In a message posted Christmas Day on social media, Scott Larsen said his father was diagnosed with esophageal cancer soon after returning from his annual trip to St. Louis in August to attend the St. Louis Browns Historical Society gathering. The elder Larsen “immediately began a rigorous program of radiation therapy” that he had recently completed, Scott Larsen said.

In addition to his son, Larsen is survived by his wife of 62 years, Corrine, daughter-in-law Nancy, and grandsons Justin and Cody.

Funeral arrangements were pending.