Last month I was at a baseball game on a hot August afternoon. The pitcher was doing pretty well, but there had only been 22 perfect games in the history of American baseball (which is a little under 400,000 games). So, being statistically minded, the odds of any baseball game being perfect game were about 1 in 20,000. According to a dubious probability site, this is about the same probability as being murdered or becoming a professional athlete and 4x less likely than getting a hole in one at golf, now to be fair this isn’t a completely valid comparison since most people who watch baseball see more than one game, increasing the chance of seeing a perfect game. Nonetheless, as much as a perfect game looked on the cards, I could not get out of my head the complete statistical improbability of it happening.
Nonetheless, it did happen, 27 batters up, 27 down, the 23rd perfect game in baseball and the first in Mariners history.
Aside from being an electric experience, it was a good reminder that though statistics can give you a guide to what may happen after the event the odds are always 100% or 0%.