(CNN) — Nearly one year ago, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay took to the mound and threw the 20th perfect game in Major League Baseball history, beating the Florida Marlins 1-0.
Five months later, Halladay nearly did it again, pitching a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Division Series.
Fast forward to this April and “Halladay” was perfect again, except this one was a video game and earned 25-year-old Brian Kingrey $1 million in the MLB2K11 Perfect Game Challenge.
Kingrey, a music teacher from Hammond, Louisiana, used Halladay in “MLB2K11” (Visual Concepts, 2KSports) to beat the Houston Astros on Opening Day and win the contest.
In a perfect game, the pitcher doesn’t allow a single base runner via hit, walk or other means.
For the second year, 2KSports had offered up the prize to the first player to record a perfect outing.
He said he did his research on opposing batters, and while Halladay wasn’t his first choice, it turned out to be his best choice.
“I didn’t know about the Astros too much, but when I was looking at batting averages, they like to swing at the ball,” he said. “They’re really aggressive. They like to swing at balls they probably shouldn’t swing at.”
He said the combination of Halladay’s nasty slider and the fact that there were only a few left-handed hitters in the aggressive Astros’ line up (Halladay, who is coincidentally on the game’s cover, is a right-handed pitcher) gave him the advantage he needed.
“I put my outfielders all as far to the right as possible, because I would use that slider,” he said. “They would hit it to the right a lot. And if they did hit it, I would usually have somebody over there to grab it. I hardly had anybody on the left side of the field.”
Kingrey admits that baseball and other sports games aren’t his favorites. But he is a competitive gamer in other genres. He said his wife “forced me to go out and get (the game) immediately.”
He practiced about four to five hours a day and got the perfect game on his third try on Opening Day. Kingrey said he watches more baseball now and is a newly minted Phillies fan.
He and his wife got married October and just bought a new house. He said they are going to use some of the prize money to get a new refrigerator to replace the dorm-room sized one they are using right now. (Which should leave a bit of cash to play with, unless it’s a really, really nice refrigerator).
Kingrey plans to meet Halladay later this year and thank him for helping him win the contest.
Last year, Wade McGilberry won the Perfect Game contest using Kenshin Kawakami of the Atlanta Braves to record a perfect game against the New York Mets.
“MLB2K11” is available on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PlayStation 2, PSP, Nintendo DS and PC.
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