Long before “Field of Dreams,” “Bull Durham” and “Major League” hit the silver screen, Leonard Nimoy played an uncredited part of a ballplayer in a film about a once feral cat owning a major league club.
Nimoy, best known for portraying “Mr. Spock” on “Star Trek,” died today at the age of 83. In the 1951 film “Rhubarb,” Nimoy played a baseball player for the Brooklyn Loons, a team owned by eccentric T.J. Banner until he dies and wills his money – and the Loons – to a cat named Rhubarb.
Nimoy is sitting at the lower left of the card table in this scene. His big line comes at 4:52 into the clip: “Wait a minute. Rhubarb will be at the game tomorrow, won’t he Eric?”
Of the three baseball rare feats – the no-hitter, the hit-for-the-cycle and the triple play – the San Diego Padres are void of two. But despite still seeking the club’s first no-hitter and hit-for-cycle, the Padres have turned seven triple plays during their 45 years of existence, and the second occurred 43 years ago today.
Clay Kirby was protecting a 2-0 lead in the seventh inning at San Diego Stadium on Aug. 1, 1971 when he gave up a leadoff single to the Atlanta Braves’ Earl Williams. Williams reached second on a wild pitch before Kirby walked Hal King, bringing Oscar Brown to the plate.
Second baseman Don Mason snagged a hard-hit liner off Brown’s bat and threw to first-baseman Nate Colbert to double King off first. Colbert then threw to shortstop Enzo Hernandez to triple Williams off second for the 4-3-6 triple play.
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 have never even got 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.
If you love no-hitters and have an iPhone or iPad, a must-have app is No-Hitter Alerts created by Ben Packard.
This great 99-cent app will inform you of any no-no in progress in whatever inning you want choose. (To me, it’s worth tuning into MLB TV for teams you don’t care about when a game reaches the 7th inning without a hit.) The app will also let you set a different inning for teams you care about, so if I happen to be missing a Mets or Padres game on a particular night I’ll get a heads up in the fifth.)
132 years ago today, Charles J “Curry” Foley became the first Major League player to hit for the cycle.
Foley accomplished the feat on May 25, 1882, while playing right field for Buffalo during the Bisons’ 20-1 National League crushing of the Cleveland Blues.
“The game proved a Waterloo for the visitors, and was robbed of all interest at an early stage by the terrific slugging,” an unnamed newspaper writer penned from Riverside Grounds. “Nothing like it was ever seen before.”
Hitting for the cycle involves notching a single, double, triple and homer in the same game. It’s about as rare as a no-hitter, with 304 over baseball’s history compared to 292 no-nos. Though the term “hit-for-cycle” apparently wasn’t used back then, the box score says that Foley went 4-for-6 and those hits included a double, a triple and a home run that “cleared the bases.”
Foley, who was born in Ireland, made his last appearance on a ball field in 1888 due to rheumatism. He died on Oct. 21, 1898, at the age of 42 after being bedridden for years.
“He was a very bright fellow, using superior judgment in his work,” the writer of his obituary noted. “Not only did he excel as a ball player, but he made his mark as a writer. He had a wonderful memory, and his reminiscences of feats on the ball field were most interesting and entertaining.”
The San Diego Padres turned their fourth of the franchise’s seven triple plays, 36 years ago today.
On April 11, 1978, the Braves were trying to get on the board during a scoreless game at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium when Dale Murphy and Rod Gilbreath hit back-to-back singles in the bottom of the second inning. Up came Braves’ starting pitcher Phil Niekro, who hit a grounder to third-baseman Bill Almon. Almon steps on third to force out Gilbreath, throws to second-baseman Derrel Thomas to retire Murphy and then Thomas throws to first-baseman Gene Richards to get Niekro.
25 years ago today, the San Diego Padres turned their sixth of seven triple plays in franchise history.
On April 9, 1989, after Eric Show began the bottom of the eighth inning by walking Kevin Bass, Manager Jack McKeon brought in Mark Davis to face Greg Gross. Gross laid down a sacrifice bunt but reached first on an error by second baseman Roberto Alomar. Ken Caminiti stepped to the plate and hit a liner down the third base line, which was fielded by third-baseman Luis Salazar, who threw to Alomar for one, and Alomar threw to Jack Clark for the double play.
Clark realized that Bass was heading home and threw to catcher Mark Parent, who tagged out Bass at the plate. The Padres wound up winning 5-4.
Since 1969, the Padres have turned seven triple plays. (Read about the others on our Padres triple plays page.)
Welcome to the new nonohitters.com, which is shifting its focus from the Mets’ streak that ended in 2012 to one owned by the only team in Major League Baseball without a no-no – The San Diego Padres.
If you’re a Mets fan, don’t worry. You can still find all of the historical Mets content at mets.nonohitters.com.
But historical content is just that – history – and it was time to bring this site into to the present (though with a ’70s retro look). The circa-1962 Mets had a seven-year jump on the circa-1969 Padres, so The Friars have nearly 1,000 games to surpass the Mets drought of 8,019 games. And then there’s the Philadelphia Phillies, who went 58 years, 1 month and 18 days without a no-no. The 8,945-game-long Phillies began on May 3, 1906, one game after southpaw Johnny Lush threw a 6-0 no-hitter against the Brooklyn Superbas, and lasted until June 21, 1964, when Jim Bunning threw a 6-0 perfect game against the Mets during a Father’s Day doubleheader at Shea.