willisfeat

Willis no-hit Senators, 117 years ago today … or did he?

Wire services reports of this game recorded it as a no-hitter, though both the home and away newspaper accounts disagree.
Wire services reports of this game recorded it as a no-hitter, though both the home and away newspaper accounts disagree.
Vic Willis is credited with throwing the second no-hitter for the Braves franchise 117 years ago today, although accounts in both the home and away newspapers recorded this game as a one-hitter.

Willis, pitching for the National League’s Boston Beaneaters at the Huntington Avenue Grounds on Monday, August 7, 1899, no-hit the Washington Senators for a 7-1 win, according to the official no-hitter list.

But The Washington Times had a different take, noting in its sub-headline: “Washington Secures Only One Little Scratch Hit of Willis.

“Dinneen made the only hit off him,” the paper said, “accomplishing this feat in the sixth inning, when he was the first man to bat.”

The Boston Globe agreed, and the headline on Globe sportswriter Tim Murnane’s story read “Only One Hit Off Willis in the Full Nine Innings,” although Murnane said the hit was “was not worth the name.”

Box scores in both the Washington and Boston papers show one hit.

But the wire service accounts and box scores that spread across the nation show the game as a no-hitter, and that’s how it stands in the MLB record books. And people still give me crap about the Carlos Beltran fair/foul call in Johan Santana’s no-hitter!