Amos Rusie threw the first New York Giants no-hitter, 125 years ago today.
At the Polo Grounds on Friday, July 31, 1891, Rusie no-hit the Brooklyn Grooms for a 6-0 win.
According to the New York Times, Rusie injured his hand just a week earlier and it was feared that he might miss some action, but he asked Capt. Buck Ewing to get the start against Brooklyn. Rusie did walk seven batters, but the Times said that 16 batters were retired on grounders “of a very weak character.”
Also throwing a no-hitter on this date in 188 is the Philadelphia Athletics’ Gus Weyhing, who no-hit the Kansas City Cowboys on Tuesday, July 31, 1888, for a 4-0 win at Philly’s Jefferson Street Grounds.
The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Sandy Koufax threw his third career no-hitter, 52 years ago today.
On Thursday, June 4, 1964, at Connie Mack Stadium, Koufax no-hit the Philadelphia Phillies for a 3-0 win. Koufax struck out 12 and faced the minimum number of batters (27), with his only blemish issuing a fourth-inning walk to Dick Allen. Allen was caught attempting to steal second base.
Koufax’s performance that night tied Larry Corcoran, Cy Young and Bob Feller for most career no-hitters.
Koufax would throw a fourth no-no to break the record in 1965, but his record would fall in 1981 when Nolan Ryan threw his fifth no-no.
I’ll be appearing on MLB Network’s MLB Now from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. EDT today as a panelist alongside host Brian Kenney, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman and commentator and former MLB pitcher Joe Magrane. Please tune in!
Philip Humber threw a perfect game for the Chicago White Sox, four years ago today.
On April 21, 2012, Humber blanked the Seattle Mariners for a 4-0 win at Safeco Field, retiring every Mariners batter he faced.
Twenty-seven consecutive outs almost weren’t enough. Humber won the game on a strikeout of pinch hitter Brendan Ryan, but it required a 2-3 putout to put the game in the books. Humber’s low-and-outside pitch got away from catcher A.J. Pierzynski, and Ryan paused to argue the call with home plate umpirer Paul Runge before running to first base. Pierzynski threw the ball to first and Humber had his perfecto.
Humber, the New York Mets’ first-round draft in 2004, made his first Major League start in September 2007 against the Washington Nationals. He was traded to the Minnesota Twins in the Johan Santana deal, but his next start wasn’t until August 2010 as a Kansas City Royals pitcher. When Humber threw his perfect game, he became the seventh ex-Met to do so (See the archive of our No-hitters … after they left the Mets page. He retired this season after failing to make the San Diego Padres’ roster.
Santana, of course, finally broke the Mets’ curse less than two months later.
New Jersey hosted its first major-league baseball game, 60 years ago today.
The Brooklyn Dodgers played 15 regular-season games at Jersey City’s Roosevelt Stadium during the 1956 and 1957 seasons. The first was on April 19, 1956, and the Dodgers topped the Philadelphia Phillies for a 10-inning 5-4 win in an error-filled game (5 errors for the Dodgers, 3 for the Phillies). More than 12,000 fans watched the game.
The Dodgers actually went 6-1 at Roosevelt Stadium in 1956 and clinched the National League pennant, but the team lost the World Series to the New York Yankees, thanks in part to Don Larsen’s perfect game in Game 5.
Hall of Famer Bob Feller threw the only Opening Day no-hitter in baseball history, 76 years ago today.
The 21-year-old Feller used his “heater from Van Meter” fastball on April 16, 1940 to mow down eight White Sox batters as the Cleveland Indians topped Chicago 1-0. Feller’s parents and sister, Marguerite, were among the 14,000 fans at Chicago’s Comiskey Park that afternoon.
“I knew I had a chance for a no-hitter in the ninth,” Feller told the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “but I tried to put the thought out of my mind by reminding myself you never have a no-hitter until the last man is out.”
Feller threw two additional no-hitters, tying Larry Corcoran and Cy Young for a major league record that would later be broken by Sandy Koufax and Nolan Ryan:
Cleveland Indians (AL)
Tuesday, April 30, 1946
Cleveland Indians 1, New York Yankees 0
Yankee Stadium (New York)
Cleveland Indians (AL)
Sunday, July 1, 1951 (First game of doubleheader)
Cleveland Indians 2, Detroit Tigers 1
Cleveland Stadium (Cleveland)
Feller nearly had some company on April 16, 1940. With all 16 teams in action, Boston Red Sox southpaw Lefty Grove took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before it was broken up with a single by the Washington Senators’ Cecil Travis. Grove retired the game’s first 21 batters but lost the perfecto on an eighth-inning error. He settled for a two-hit 1-0 complete-game shutout.
Asked by an AP reporter if he was disappointed by Travis’ single, Grove said, “No. No-hitters are bad luck.”
Two other no-hitters were thrown on the date of April 16:
Chicago Cubs (NL)
Sunday, April 16, 1972
Chicago Cubs 4, Philadelphia Phillies 0
Wrigley Field (Chicago)
St. Louis Cardinals (NL)
Sunday, April 16, 1978
St. Louis Cardinals 5, Philadelphia Phillies 0
Busch Stadium (St. Louis) (His first of two no-hitters)
Today marks the 69th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the major leagues color barrier.
On April 15, 1947, Robinson made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, playing first base and going 0-3 with a run scored. He batted .297 that season to take Rookie of the Year honors.
Robinson’s iconic No. 42, retired throughout baseball, is being worn by every major league player today.
Here’s a little related no-no trivia. Only one pitcher threw a no-hitter while wearing No. 42. It was Sonny Siebert, on Friday, June 10, 1966, Cleveland Indians 2, Washington Senators 0 at Cleveland Stadium.
Happy birthday to “Cannonball” Dick Redding, a Negro Leagues pitcher who threw a no-hitter for the Lincoln Giants in 1912 and likely threw dozens more.
Redding, born on this date in 1890 in Atlanta, no-hit the Cuban Stars in Atlantic City on Wednesday, August 28, 1912, for a 1-0 victory. Redding played for a variety of teams from 1911 through 1928 and has been described as throwing as many as 30 career no-hitters — seven in 1912 alone. Unfortunately, finding box scores for Negro League games is a challenging endeavor, so it’s tough to add more exact dates to our list.
One other Redding no-hitter was referenced by the New York Press in its story about the August 28 no-no — an August 5 perfect game against the Cherokee Indians during that club’s East Coast barnstorming tour.