The pursuit of perfection

When Angel Macias pitched a perfect game in the 1957 Little League World Series championship game, it was the first time such a feat had taken place at Little League’s Williamsport, Pa., headquarters.

It became a noteworthy climax for the Monterrey, Mexico, team that won the World Series. It also became the focus of the book “The Perfect Game,” written by W. William Winokur, and the subject of this CNS story.

Winokur has already been on the promotional circuit for the book, and the tour took him to Williamsport Aug. 17.

“One of the final 16 teams (in the tournament) was a team from Mexico, so I got invited down to their dugout for a pep talk before their game against Italy,” he recalls. “I tell the kids this incredible story about their predecessors from Monterrey 40 years ago … and all they overcame to get to Williamsport. And I said, `I don’t want to pressure you, but in the final game, this kid, Angel Macias, pitched a perfect game.’

“And this one boy, Jesus Aceda, said, `Senor, I’m the pitcher, and if we have a perfect game, will you write about us, too?’ And I said, `Sure, why not?'”

Two hours later, Winokur was in a meeting when someone came into the meeting looking for him. The message: “That kid, Jesus, he pitched a perfect game.”

“It’s like only the fourth perfect game in all of Williamsport (Little League) history,” Winokur said.

Aceda’s Matamoros team beat Venezuela in an international championship semifinal game Aug. 20, so Winokur said he was returning to Williamsport from a vacation at Fire Island, N.Y., “to be their good luck charm.” he said. Matamoros prevailed against the Japanese entry from Tokyo, 5-4, in the Aug. 23 game to become Little League international champions. In the Little League World Series the following day, however, they lost to the Waipahu, Hawaii team, representing the U.S. West, 12-3.

No word if Winokur’s shopping a book deal for the Matamoros boys just yet.

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