The forgotten Subway Series near no-no

willets shea signThere have been six Subway Series no-nos over New York’s baseball history, with the Brooklyn Dodgers no-hitting the New York Giants three times, the Giants topping Brooklyn twice and the New York Yankees’ Don Larsen throwing a perfect game against the Dodgers in the 1956 World Series.

And then there’s the "Cookie Game" in Game 4 of the 1947 World Series, when the New York Yankees’ Bill Bevens threw 8 2/3 innings of no-hit ball before Cookie Lavagetto lined a double off the right field wall to kill the no-no and drive home two runs for the Dodgers win.

But on Sept. 9, 1971, the New York Mets nearly no-hit the New York Yankees in the annual Mayor’s Trophy Game exhibition. (For those who don’t remember the pre-interleague play tradition, the Mayor’s Trophy Game was a once-a-year contest between New York’s AL and NL teams to benefit the city’s sandlot baseball program.)

In front of a Shea Stadium crowd of 48,872, the Mets’ Jim McAndrew and Nolan Ryan no-hit the Yankees for seven innings as the Mets nursed an early 1-0 lead. Ron Taylor took the ball for the eighth and got the first two outs before Frank Baker singled to left for the game’s first hit. The Yankees wound up winning 2-1 in the ninth.

Here are the true Subway Series no-nos.

1 Tom Lovett
  Brooklyn Grooms (NL)
  Monday, June 22, 1891
Brooklyn Grooms 4, New York Giants 0
Eastern Park (Brooklyn)
2 Amos Rusie
  New York Giants (NL)
  Friday, July 31, 1891
New York Giants 6, Brooklyn Grooms 0
Polo Grounds (New York)
3 Richard "Rube" Marquard
  New York Giants (NL)
  Thursday, April 15, 1915
New York Giants 2, Brooklyn Robins 0
Polo Grounds (New York)
4 Rex Barney
  Brooklyn Dodgers (NL)
  Thursday, September 9, 1948
Brooklyn Dodgers 2, New York Giants 0
Polo Grounds (New York)
5 Carl Erskine
  Brooklyn Dodgers (NL)
  Saturday, May 12, 1956
Brooklyn Dodgers 3, New York Giants 0
Ebbets Field (Brooklyn)
(His second of two no-hitters)
6 Don Larsen
  New York Yankees (WS Game 5)
  Monday, October 8, 1956
New York Yankees 2, Brooklyn Dodgers 0
Yankee Stadium (New York)
(Perfect game in Game 5 of 1956 World Series)

Trivia: Best birthday for a no-no?

nonotriviaFebruary 20 is the birthday of four no-no pitchers – Justin Verlander, Clyde Wright, Jim Wilson and Dave Davenport – but there is one date of the year that’s more prolific with five no-hitter pitchers born.

What is the date and who are the pitchers? Comment, tweet or Facebook reply your answers.

No-no birthday wishes to Verlander, Wright, Wilson, Davenport

Happy birthday to four no-no pitchers: Justin Verlander, who threw two no-nos for the Detroit Tigers, Clyde Wright, who threw one for the California Angels, Jim Wilson, who tossed one for the Milwaukee Braves, and Dave Davenport, who threw one for the St. Louis Terriers of the Federal League.

Verlander, who turns 32 today, threw his on:

  • Tuesday, June 12, 2007
    Detroit Tigers 4, Milwaukee Brewers 0
    Comerica Park (Detroit)
  • Saturday, May 7, 2011
    Detroit Tigers 9, Toronto Blue Jays 0
    Rogers Centre (Toronto)

Wright, who turns 74, threw his on:

  • Friday, July 3, 1970
    California Angels 4, Oakland Athletics 0
    Anaheim Stadium (Anaheim)

Wilson, born 93 years ago on this day, threw his on:

  • Sunday, June 12, 1954
    Milwaukee Braves 2, Philadelphia Phillies 0
    Milwaukee County Stadium (Milwaukee)

Davenport, born 125 years ago on this day, threw his on:

  • Tuesday, September 7, 1915 (First game of doubleheader)
    St. Louis Terriers 3, Chicago Chi-Feds/Whales 0
    Handlan’s Park (St. Louis)

Lincecum to camp with confidence, trademark long hair

Here’s a good story on MLB.com from Anthony Castrovince on Tim Lincecum, the author of two no-hitters against the Padres over the past two seasons.

Lincecum did a lot of offseason work with his father, who helped craft The Freak’s freaky delivery, and the pitcher seems ready to fight for a rotation spot on the Giants’ staff.

The long hair is also making a return.

Pitchers and catchers reporting

A 1980s Spring Training game at St. Petersburg's Al Lang Stadium
A 1980s Spring Training game at St. Petersburg’s Al Lang Stadium
Pitchers and catchers are reporting to Spring Training camp today for the Cincinnati Reds, the Cleveland Indians, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Francisco Giants.

Other teams’ pitcher-and-catcher reporting dates are Thursday and Friday, and full workouts mostly begin next week after position players arrive in Florida and Arizona.

Just 46 days until Opening Day!

Happy 150th birthday to Ben Sanders, who threw an 1892 no-hitter

Sending 150th birthday wishes out to Ben Sanders, who threw a no-hitter for the Louisville Colonels on Monday, August 22, 1892.

The Colonels that day beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 in a game played at Louisville’s Eclipse Park.

Both ball clubs finished near the bottom of the National League standings in 1892, with the Colonels posting a 63-89 record and the Orioles faring much worse at 46-101.

Nomo, who threw 2 no-nos, joined Dodgers 20 years ago today

Twenty years ago today, the Los Angeles Dodgers introduced 26-year-old Hideo Nomo as the team’s newest pitcher. The five-time Japanese all-star was the first major league player from that country to appear in a U.S. major league game.

Nomo threw one no-hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers and followed it up five years later with one for the Boston Red Sox. Here they are:

  • Los Angeles Dodgers (NL)
    Tuesday, September 17, 1996
    Los Angeles Dodgers 9, Colorado Rockies 0
    Coors Field (Denver)
  • Boston Red Sox (AL)
    Wednesday, April 4, 2001
    Boston Red Sox 3, Baltimore Orioles 0
    Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore)

Today would be no-no thrower Don Wilson’s 70th birthday

Today would be the 70th birthday of Don Wilson, who threw no-hitters for the Houston Astros in 1967 and 1969. The right-handed flamethrower, who pitched one game in 1966, was a mainstay of the Houston rotation from 1967 to 1974, winning 104 games.

He died of accidental asphyxiation in his home on Jan. 5, 1975 when he left his car running after pulling into his garage. His son, who was upstairs, also died.

The Astros retired Wilson’s No. 40.

Here are Wilson’s no-nos.

  • Sunday, June 18, 1967
    Houston Astros 2, Atlanta Braves 0
    Astrodome (Houston)
  • Thursday, May 1, 1969
    Houston Astros 4, Cincinnati Reds 0
    Crosley Field (Cincinnati)

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