Twelve-year-old Brandon Burditt of the Redmond West Majors Phillies achieved one of the rarest feats in Little League baseball by pitching a perfect game last month against the Athletics.
Burditt, who attends Rockwell Elementary School, made 16 out of the 18 outs himself in the 2-0 victory, with 15 strikeouts and one pop out.
“I challenged him in that game to throw a first-pitch strike to every batter, so I was more focused on whether he was accomplishing that rather than where he was in the game,” said Phillies manager Joe Stansell. “It was a lot of fun to watch, but he’s had a lot of success throughout the season. We can’t say we’re that surprised.”
Burditt’s strength lies in the fact that he is extremely tall at 6-foot-1, and able to simply overpower hitters with his cannon of a right arm. Although he never has had Burditt clocked on a radar gun, Stansell estimates that his ace is capable of throwing his fastball in the mid 70s — the equivalent of a 100-mph pitch in major league baseball — which usually makes opposing teams flail helplessly at his offerings.
“It’s pretty rare to see a kid be able to hit a ball in play against him,” Stansell said.
Off the mound, Stansell also lauded Burditt’s ability as a marvelous offensive player.
“Burditt has the fastest hands of any kid. He hits lots of home runs, anytime he hits the ball, it comes off his bat so fast kids can’t react,” said the Phillies’ coach. “His size and his physical ability also make him extremely fast. He has two inside-the-park home runs.”
Perfect games, even in little league, are extremely rare. Little League International estimates that only a several dozen perfect games are pitched annually out of the tens of thousands of games pitched in league organizations around the world.
“To be able to witness a perfect game requires fantastic pitching and great fielding,” said Stansell. “Before Brandon’s performance, I hadn’t seen a perfect game in nine seasons as a coach… his future really looks bright.”