Today, May 26, marks the 58th anniversary of what is perhaps the greatest baseball game ever thrown by a pitcher.
On May 26, 1959, in Harvey Haddix’s first season with the Pirates, the Medway, Ohio southpaw retired 36 Milwaukee Braves batters for a perfect game through 12 innings, but his team couldn’t score. Haddix lost the perfect game when Don Hoak threw a routine grounder in the dirt, then lost the no-hitter and the game when Joe Adcock launched a ball over the right-center field fence.
Haddix was later immortalized by The Baseball Project, which asks in its chrous, “Why don’t we add ‘ol Harvey to the list?”
John Goodgame threw a Negro Leagues no-hitter for the West Baden Sprudels, 106 years ago today.
On Friday, April 21, 1911, Goodgame no-hit the French Lick Plutos in West Baden, Indiana, for a 3-0 win. The website Agate Type: Reconstructing Negro League & Latin Baseball History dug up a short Indianapolis Freeman write-up about the game, showing that Goodgame, a new recruit out of Talladega College, struck out 11 and walked just one.
The Detroit Tigers’ Hoot Evers became the only major league player to notch two triples while hitting for the cycle, 66 years ago today.
Evers accomplished the feat on Thursday, September 7, 1950, on the road at Cleveland’s Briggs Stadium, and the Indians had already built a 7-0 lead and knocked Tigers starter Art Houtteman off the mound before Evers got his first at bat. Evers immediately got the toughest part out of the way by tripling off the Indians’ Bob Feller to score Vic Wertz and cut the Indians’ lead to 7-3. That led Cleveland skipper Lou Boudreau to yank Feller after just a third of an inning in place of Jesse Flores.
Evers came up in the third inning and hit an RBI double off Flores, which again prompted Boudreau to go to the bullpen. Evers grounded out to short in the fifth before hitting a second RBI triple in the sixth, this one off of Al Benton. He then hit a two-run home run off in the eighth off Sam Zoldak before singling off Marino Pieretti to complete the cycle in the bottom of the 10th. The game was called after 10 as a 13-13 tie.
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.