If you are a major league pitcher looking to etch your name into the record books you might want to start requesting Ted Barrett as your home plate umpire, not because he is less likely to call balls but because he has now stood behind home plate in not one but two perfect games.
On July 18, 1999 Barrett was behind home plate when David Cone pitched a perfect game for the New York Yankees and on Wednesday night he was in the same spot when San Francisco Giants‘ right-hander Matt Cain pitched a perfect game against the Houston Astros.
Speaking of his luck Barrett told ESPN:
“As the game goes on, you look up on the board, you see zero hits and you see the guy’s facing the minimum and you know he’s throwing the ball pretty well, locating his spots. And so, there’s been a lot of times I’ve thought, ‘This guy, he could be unhittable tonight.’ “
Barrett is now the only umpire to ever call two perfect games in MLB history.
If pitchers can’t get Barrett they can always hope for Brian Runge who umpired a perfect game for Philip Humber during the Chicago White Sox vs. Seattle Mariners game on April 21 and then served as the third-base umpire for Cain’s matchup when not one but six Seattle pitchers combined for a 1-0 no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers last week.
In a sport full of superstitions it looks like Ted Barrett might be the next big thing on players minds, if nothing else he could psychologically give pitchers a one-up on their competition.