Happy birthday Burt Hooton, threw ’72 no-no in fourth start

Burt Hooten
Burt Hooten
A happy 66th birthday to Burt Hooton, who threw a no-hitter for the Chicago Cubs in just his fourth major-league start.

Hooton was just 22 when he tossed the April 16, 1972 no-no at Wrigley Field, leading the Cubs to a 4-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. Hooton walked seven and struck out seven, and, according to the AP, a 16-mph wind blowing in helped keep the ball in the park for the Texas right-hander.

Cubs shortstop Don Kessinger saved the no-no in the third with a leaping catch of a Denny Doyle line drive, and outfielder Rick Monday snagged a Luzinski line drive at the left-center field wall in the seventh to keep it intact.

Baseball lost Lew Burdette, who threw ’60 no-no, 9 years ago today

Lew Burdette
Lew Burdette
Lew Burdette, who threw a 1960 no-no for the Milwaukee Braves, died nine years ago today.

Burdette, born in Nitro, West Virginia in 1926, no-hit the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday, August 18, 1960, for a 1-0 win at Milwaukee County Stadium. His no-no was one of 203 victories over an 18-year career, and Burdette posted no less than 17 wins per season between 1956 and 1961. He was 80 when he died of lung cancer in 2007.

Burdette’s grandson Nolan Fontana plays in the Houston Astros organization. The infielder drove in 40 runs for the AAA Fresno Grizzlies in 2015.

Baseball lost another no-no pitcher on this date. Frank “Noodles” Hahn, who died on February 6, 1960, tossed a no-hitter for the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday, July 12, 1900, for a 4-0 win over the Phillies at League Park.

Happy birthday Devern Hansack, threw 5-inning, rain-shortened no-no in ’06

Devern Hasack (Hey Devern, Game is Over! by Eric Kilby licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)
Devern Hasack by Eric Kilby licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Happy 38th birthday to Devern Hansack, who threw a five-inning rain-shortened no-hitter for the Boston Red Sox in 2006.

Major League Baseball’s committee for statistical accuracy had already determined that rain-shortened no-nos were not official no-hitters, but Hansack made the most of his October 1, 2006, against the Baltimore Orioles on the final day of the season. He no-hit the O’s for five innings while the Red Sox built a 9-0 lead. Umpires called the game at Fenway Park after the fifth due to rain.

You can find the full list of such “close but no cigar” outings on our No-hitters not officially recognized page.

Hansack’s no-no was one of his three career starts in the majors, as he appeared in just nine major league games between 2006-2008 while compiling a 2-2 record with a 3.70 ERA.

“Schoolboy” Johnny Taylor born 100 years ago today

"Schoolboy" Johnny Taylor
“Schoolboy” Johnny Taylor
“Schoolboy” Johnny Taylor, who no-hit Satchel Paige’s Dominican All-Stars in 1937, was born 100 years ago today.

Taylor, a New York Cubans pitcher, was representing the Negro All-Star Team on Sunday, September 19, 1937, during a benefit All-Star game at the Polo Grounds. Taylor held Paige’s team hitless and issued just two bases on balls. Paige allowed two runs on eight hits, with the damaging one coming on a two-run home run by Jim West in the eighth inning.

Taylor, a native of Hartford, holds the Connecticut state record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game. In his final high school game in 1933, Taylor fanned 25 batters in a game on June 2, 1933, Taylor, according to the Hartford Courant.

Sydney’s Welch throws ABL playoff no-hitter, 5 years ago today

bluesoxSyndey Blue Sox pitcher David Welch threw the first no-hitter in the history of the new Australian Baseball League, five years ago today.

On Feb. 4, 2011, in Game 1 of a best-of-three playoff series, Welch no-hit the Adelaide Bite for an 8-0 win in front of 1,162 fans at Blacktown Olympic Park. The 27-year-old southpaw walked three batters while striking out 10.

This year’s ABL Championship is set to begin Friday with the Brisbane Bandits hosting the Adelaide Bite in a best-of-three series. The Bite advanced to face first-place Brisbane after topping the Canberra Cavalry with a 9-2 victory in the deciding game of the preliminary round.

Welch’s 2011 playoff performance was actually the third time he had been a part of a no-hitter during his pro career. On Friday, Aug. 5, 2005, Welch threw two innings of a four-pitcher no-hitter for the Helena Brewers during the Pioneer League squad’s 11-0 win over the Billings Mustangs.

Welch followed that with a AA seven-inning no-hitter on June 2, 2008 — his 25th birthday — leading his Huntsville Stars to victory over the Chattanooga Lookouts.

But the Aussie right-hander never was able to take his no-no prowess to the show, and Welch returned to his home country after playing four games of the 2010 season in the Mexican League. He retired from the game in July 2011, five months after his ABL playoff no-no.

You can view our list of Australian no-hitters, and also check out some of our other international no-hitters lists we’ve recently added to the site.

(Feature photo Night at the ballpark by Simon_sees licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Happy birthday Lou Criger, Cy Young’s favorite catcher

Lou Criger
Lou Criger
Lou Criger, Cy Young’s favorite catcher who caught two of his no-hitters, was born 144 years ago today.

Criger caught Young’s 1897 no-no for the Cleveland Spiders during the opening game of a September 18 doubleheader at Cleveland’s League Park. The Spiders topped the Cincinnati Reds 6-0. Criger was also behind the plate for Young’s May 5, 1904, perfect game for the Boston Americans against the Philadelphia Athletics at Huntington Avenue Grounds.

The legendary battery was disconnected in 1908 when Boston traded Criger to the Cleveland Naps.

Although it’s not an official no-hitter, Criger also caught New York Highlanders pitcher Tom Hughes’s 1910 no-hitter through nine. Hughes lost that no-no in the 10th and the game in the 11th.

Happy birthday to no-no thrower Scott Erickson

Happy 48th birthday to Scott Erickson, who threw a no-hitter for the Minnesota Twins in 1994.

Erickson had been struggling when he took the ball on Wednesday, April 27, 1994, entering the game with a 7.48 ERA. But he treated the 18,000 fans at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome by no-hitting Milwaukee Brewers for a 6-0 win, walking four and striking out five.

Erickson’s gem was only the second no-hitter against the Milwaukee Brewers, coming 20 years after the Kansas City Royals’ Steve Busby no-hit Milwaukee on June 19, 1974.

It was also the first no-no in the Metrodome, which had a reputation as a hitter’s park. The dome saw just one other no-hitter during its history from 1982 to 2009 – Eric Milton’s 7-0 no-hitter against the Anaheim Angels in 1999.

(Feature image Metrodome 5/2007 by Eric Kilby licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Ferrell, notched 4 RBIs during his Indians no-no, born 108 years ago today

Wes Ferrell
Wes Ferrell
Wes Ferrell, who tossed a Cleveland Indians no-hitter in 1931 while driving in four runs, was born 108 years ago today.

On Wednesday, April 29, 1931, Ferrell held the St. Louis Browns hitless at Cleveland’s League Park for a 9-0 win. He was just as impressive at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a two-RBI home run and a two-RBI double.

Ferrell struck out eight and walked three. The other Brownie base runner was Wes’ brother Rick Ferrell (the St. Louis catcher), who reached base in the eighth inning on shortstop Bill Hunnefield’s error.

Happy birthday Kent Mercker, threw 1 2/3 no-hitters

nohitclubHappy 48th birthday to the Atlanta Braves’ Kent Mercker, who threw a 1994 no-hitter three years after tossing 6 innings of a combined no-no.

Mercker threw his solo no-no during his first start of the 1994 season. On Friday, April 8, 1994, at Dodger Stadium, Mercker walked four Los Angeles Dodgers, struck out 10 and held the team hitless to lead the Braves to a 6-0 win.

Three seasons earlier, on Wednesday, September 11, 1991, Mercker got the start at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium and threw six innings of no-hit ball against the San Diego Padres. Mercker had been making just his second start of the season and was used to pitching just two innings at a time, so manager Bobby Cox gave the ball in the seventh to Mark Wohlers, who followed with two hitless innings. Alejandro Pena got the first two outs in the ninth before the Padres’ Darrin Jackson hit a slow roller toward third base.

Terry Pendleton charged the ball, which took a big hop, and Pendleton made a stab at it. Jackson reached first, and official scorer Mark Frederickson ruled it an error. Pendleton said he was fine with taking the E-5, and the Braves had their combined no-no.

Happy 69th birthday to no-no record holder Nolan Ryan

73angleshomefrontWishing a very happy birthday to Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, who turns 69 today.

Ryan holds the major league record for no-hitters with seven. He tied Sandy Koufax’s mark of four no-hitters in 1975 and broke the record in 1981.

Here are Ryan’s no-nos:

1 Nolan Ryan
  California Angels (AL)
  Tuesday, May 15, 1973
California Angels 3, Kansas City Royals 0
Royals Stadium (Kansas City)
(His first of seven no-hitters)
2 Nolan Ryan
  California Angels (AL)
  Sunday, July 15, 1973
California Angels 6, Detroit Tigers 0
Tiger Stadium (Detroit)
(His second of seven no-hitters)
3 Nolan Ryan
  California Angels (AL)
  Saturday, September 28, 1974
California Angels 4, Minnesota Twins 0
Anaheim Stadium (Anaheim)
(His third of seven no-hitters)
4 Nolan Ryan
  California Angels (AL)
  Sunday, June 1, 1975
California Angels 1, Baltimore Orioles 0
Anaheim Stadium (Anaheim)
(His fourth of seven no-hitters tying Sandy Koufax for most career no-hitters. Ryan would throw his fifth in 1981 and add two more to retire with seven.)
5 Nolan Ryan
  Houston Astros (NL)
  Saturday, September 26, 1981
Houston Astros 5, Los Angeles Dodgers 0
Astrodome (Houston)
(His fifth of seven no-hitters, setting a new major league record with one more than Sandy Koufax.)
6 Nolan Ryan
  Texas Rangers (AL)
  Monday, June 11, 1990
Texas Rangers 5, Oakland Athletics 0
Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum (Oakland)
(His sixth of seven no-hitters, adding to his major league record.
7 Nolan Ryan
  Texas Rangers (AL)
  Wednesday, May 1, 1991
Texas Rangers 3, Toronto Blue Jays 0
Arlington Stadium (Texas)
(His seventh of seven no-hitters, finalizing his major league record.)

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