Category Archives: General

2-time no-no thrower Spahn elected to Hall, 43 years ago today

Warren Spahn (Image courtesy of the Ernie Harwell Sports Collection, Detroit Public Library)
Warren Spahn (Images courtesy of the Ernie Harwell Sports Collection, Detroit Public Library)
Two-time no-no thrower Warren Spahn was elected to the Hall of Fame, 43 years ago today.

The southpaw from Buffalo, N.Y., spent the majority of his 21-year career with the Boston and Milwaukee Braves, compiling a 363-245 record with a 3.09 ERA. He was a 14-time All Star and won the Cy Young Award in 1957. He led the American League in complete games for nine seasons, and captured the AL strikeout crown for four straight seasons from 1949-1952.

Spahn threw his two no-hitters within a 13-month stretch in 1960-’61 at Milwaukee County Stadium:

1 Warren Spahn
  Milwaukee Braves (NL)
  Friday, September 16, 1960
Milwaukee Braves 4, Philadelphia Phillies 0
Milwaukee County Stadium (Milwaukee)
(His first of two no-hitters)
2 Warren Spahn
  Milwaukee Braves (NL)
  Friday, April 28, 1961
Milwaukee Braves 1, San Francisco Giants 0
Milwaukee County Stadium (Milwaukee)
(His second of two no-hitters)

Kemp hits first Padres cycle, will a no-no follow?

hitsforcycle1Matt Kemp became the first San Diego Padres player to hit for the cycle on Friday night, knocking one rare feat off of the team’s bucket list. The team is still seeking its first no-hitter after 7,444 games.

Kemp notched his cycle at Coors Field against the Colorado Rockies during the Padres’ 9-5 win.

He began by blasting a first-inning homer over the center field fence, then followed with a a third-inning single up the middle and a seventh-inning RBI double over the head of Rockeis center fielder Charlie Blackmon.

The Padres had been in that position before. The team said it had been one hit shy of the cycle 361 times, and on those occasions, 258 of them fell a triple short.

But Kemp completed the cycle by driving Justin Miller’s 1-0 slider deep to center. It took an odd bounce off the top of the wall, and Kemp hustled into third with a stand-up triple.

It was the 309th cycle in major league history but the first in Padres history. The feat leaves the Miami Marlins as the only team void of a cycle.

Beltré ties record with third cycle, hit all in Arlington

beltreThe Texas Rangers’ Adrián Beltré became just the fourth major league player to hit for a third career cycle on Monday, and all three were accomplished in Arlington, Texas.

Beltré hit his third cycle Monday night during the Rangers’ 12-9 win over the Houston Astros with a triple (first inning), double (second inning), single (third inning) and homer (fifth inning).

Beltré’s first cycle came on September 1, 2008 against the Rangers when he was a member of the Seattle Mariners. He notched his second on August 24, 2012 at home against the Minnesota Twins.

The three cycles puts him in a tie with three other major leaguers. Long John Reilly hit for the cycle twice in 1883 and once in 1890, Bob Meusel did it in 1921, 1922, and 1928 and Babe Herman cycled twice in 1931 and once in 1933.

Cycles are just slightly more common than no-hitters. There have now been 308 cycles in the majors, compared to 290 no-hitters.

Rays, Tigers evoke 98-year-old Toney-Vaughn memories

James 'Hippo' Vaughn
James ‘Hippo’ Vaughn
The Tampa Bay Rays and the Detroit Tigers seemed poised today to do something not seen around these parts in 98 years.

The Rays’ Chris Archer and the Tigers’ Justin Verlander kept everyone off the base paths through 4 2/3 innings on Wednesday, getting through just over half of what the Chicago Cubs’ Hippo Vaughn and the Cincinnati Reds’ Fred Toney completed in 1917.

Verlander lost his perfecto and no-hitter on a fifth-inning homer. Archer scuttled his chance at a perfect game on a one-out 7th-inning infield single. The Tigers took the game 2-1.

On Wednesday, May 2, 1917 at Weeghman Park, Vaughn and Toney each held their opponents hitless through nine innings of baseball. The game went to the 10th, and the Reds scored on a single, an error and a error on a swinging bunt. Toney got the no-no and the 1-0 victory, but Vaughn had to settle for a stellar performance that’s not recognized as an official no-hitter.

1990: The All-Star Game two-hitter

mathformulaThe calculations are in, and it appears that the chance of an All-Star Game no-hitter on Tuesday night are just a fraction above 0 percent.

With only seven shutouts in All-Star history, it’s no surprise that there have been no no-hitters since the tradition began in 1933. Midsummer classic fans haven’t even gotten to witness a one-hitter, but the American League staff did take a one-hitter into the ninth inning during the 1990 All-Star Game at Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

The possibility of an All-Star no-no had been killed early when the San Francisco Giants’ Will Clark tagged the Oakland As’ Bob Welch for a first-inning single. Welch managed to keep the NL hitless for the rest of his two-inning stint, and Dave Steib, Bret Saberhagen, Bobby Thigpen, Chuck Finley held the fort through eight when Dennis Eckersley was called on for the save.

Eckersley gave up a lead-off single to the Phillies’ Lenny Dykstra before retiring the next three to getting the save and preserve the only two-hitter in All-Star history.

Final score: American League 2, National League 0.

Nationals’ Max Scherzer throws no-hitter vs. Pirates

The Washington Nationals’ Max Scherzer has thrown baseball’s 289th no-hitter, becoming just the second pitcher to plunk the 27th batter during a perfecto yet recover for the no-no.

Scherzer retired the first 26 Pittsburgh Pirates he faced before grazing pinch-hitter Jose Tabata with a pitch in the ninth inning, losing the perfecto. He got Josh Harrison to fly out to left to complete the no-hitter. Scherzer struck out 10 batters on the day and walked no one.

Only one other pitcher lost a perfect game by hitting the 27th batter yet recovered to save the no-no, and it was in 1908. The New York Giants’ George “Hooks” Wiltse retired the first 26 Philadelphia Quakers he faced during the first game of a July 4 doubleheader that year before hitting opposing pitcher George McQuillan on the arm. The game at the time was a 0-0 tie.

The Giants scored in the top of the 10th and Wiltse got his three outs in the bottom half to complete the no-no for a 1-0 win.

Holt’s hit-for-cycle is majors’ 306th

holtcycleboxscoreBrock Holt’s hit-for-cycle for the Boston Red Sox last night is the 306th in major league history.

Hitting for the cycle, of course, involves a batter hitting a single, double, triple and home run – not necessarily in that order – in one game. We here at are big fans of the cycle, as it’s sort of the batter’s equivalent of the no-hitter in terms of frequency – there are 288 no-hitters and 306 cycles.

Holt, the Red Sox lead-off batter against the Atlanta Braves, started with a double off the Green Monster. He grounded out in the third, but got his second hit in the fifth by lining a single to right. Brock homered into the left-field seats over the Monster in the seventh, then completed the cycle by driving the ball into “The Triangle” in deep right-center field for a triple. The Red Sox beat the Braves 9-4.

The last major-league player to hit for the cycle was Michael Cuddyer when he was with the Colorado Rockies in 2014. Here’s the full list.