On Thursday Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle tossed just the 18th perfect game in Major League Baseball history, setting down every Tampa Bay Rays hitter without giving up a hit or walk, or having a runner reach on an error. As cool as Buehrle's perfecto was though, it couldn't have happened without centerfielder DeWayne Wise's already legendary ninth-inning, home run-preventing catch.

As Jonathan Sanchez and Juan Uribe can attest, good fielding is crucial to hurling a perfecto, so we took a look back at the 5 Greatest Perfect Game-Saving Catches of All Time...


5. Ricky Ledee, New York Yankees
Pitcher: David Cone
Date: 7/18/99
Opponent: Montreal Expos
Perfect Game-Saving Catch: Cone had retired the first 25 Expos when he induced pinch hitter Ryan McGuire into hitting a lazy pop-up to left field. Playing in left, Ledee stumbled as he came in on the ball, before recovering to make the catch. Cone then got the last Montreal batter to foul out, completing the third perfect game in Yankee Stadium history.



4. Chris Sabo, Cincinnati Reds
Pitcher: Tom Browning
Date: 9/18/88
Opponent: Los Angeles Dodgers
Perfect Game-Saving Catch: In the 5th inning of Browning's perfecto against L.A., fleet-footed, begoggled Reds third baseman Chris Sabo ranged far behind the bag to grab a hard hit grounder off the bat of Dodger rightfielder Mike Marshall. Sabo spun and threw to first, nailing Marshall by half a step.



3. Tom Veryzer, Cleveland Indians
Pitcher: Len Barker
Date: 5/15/81
Opponent: Toronto Blue Jays
Perfect Game-Saving Catch: Although he didn't know it at the time, Veryzer preserved Barker's perfect game in the first inning, when he moved far to his left to nab Toronto lead-off hitter Alfredo Griffin's hard-hit grounder before flipping the ball to first for the first on Cleveland's 27 consecutive outs.



2. Shea Hillenbrand, Arizona Diamondbacks
Pitcher: Randy Johnson
Date: 5/18/04
Opponent: Atlanta Braves
Perfect Game-Saving Catch: Again proving that sometimes the most crucial out in a perfect game is the first, D'Backs first baseman Hillenbrand fielded Atlanta lead-off hitter Jesse Garcia's bunt to start the game, and when Johnson was unable to cover first, dove head first to tag the bag just ahead of Garcia's foot.



1. Rusty Greer, Texas Rangers
Pitcher: Kenny Rogers
Date: 7/28/94
Opponent: California Angels
Perfect Game-Saving Catch: Rogers had gone eight perfect innings when he faced the Angels' Rex Hudler to lead off the ninth. Hudler hit a slicing liner to right-center which rookie centerfielder Rusty Greer snagged in a full dive.