Hall of Fame great Bob Gibson threw his only career no-hitter, 46 years ago today.
The St. Louis Cardinals’ flamethrower shut down the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday, August 14, 1971, for an 11-0 victory at Three Rivers Stadium.
Gibson struck out 10 and walked three batters while helping his team at the plate with three RBIs. One came on a sacrifice fly in the fifth, and the others reached home on Gibby’s eighth-inning bases-loaded single.
Gibson won 251 games over a 17-year career spent entirely with the Cardinals. The Omaha, Nebraska, native was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981.
Wilson Alvarez threw a no-hitter for the 1991 Chicago White Sox in just his second major league start, 26 years ago today.
Alvarez, a 6-foot-1 southpaw from Maracaibo, Venezuela, no-hit the Baltimore Orioles on August 11, 1991, walking five and striking out seven.
His outing at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium went considerable better than his major-league debut, in which he left the game after facing five batters without getting a single out. On July 24, 1989 as a member of the Texas Rangers, Alvarez yielded a leadoff single to Junior Felix and then served up back-to-back homers to Tony Fernandez and Kelly Gruber. Bobby Valentine pulled Alvarez after the southpaw issued back-to-back bases on balls to George Bell and Fred McGriff.
Alvarez went on to carve out a 14-year career, posting a 102-92 record with a 3.96 ERA. He retired in 2005 as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Also throwing a no-hitter on this date is the Boston Braves’ Vern Bickford, who no-hit the Brooklyn Dodgers at Braves Field on Friday, August 11, 1950 for a 7-0 win.
Vic Willis is credited with throwing the second no-hitter for the Braves franchise 118 years ago today, although accounts in both the home and away newspapers recorded this game as a one-hitter.
Willis, pitching for the National League’s Boston Beaneaters at the Huntington Avenue Grounds on Monday, August 7, 1899, no-hit the Washington Senators for a 7-1 win, according to the official no-hitter list.
But The Washington Times had a different take, noting in its sub-headline: “Washington Secures Only One Little Scratch Hit of Willis.
“Dinneen made the only hit off him,” the paper said, “accomplishing this feat in the sixth inning, when he was the first man to bat.”
The Boston Globe agreed, and the headline on Globe sportswriter Tim Murnane’s story read “Only One Hit Off Willis in the Full Nine Innings,” although Murnane said the hit was “was not worth the name.”
Box scores in both the Washington and Boston papers show one hit.
But the wire service accounts and box scores that spread across the nation show the game as a no-hitter, and that’s how it stands in the MLB record books.
Knuckleballer Phil Niekro threw the Braves’ first no-hitter after the club’s move to Atlanta, 44 years ago today.
Sticking with his trademark knuckler from the seventh inning on, Niekro no-hit the San Diego Padres for a 9-0 win at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium on Sunday, August 5, 1973. Niekro had been mixing in fastballs and sliders in the earlier innings.
Five Padres reached base during the game, three on walks and two on errors.
The Buffalo Bisons’ Pud Galvin tossed the majors’ most lopsided no-hitter, 133 years ago today.
On Monday, August 4, 1884, at Detroit’s Recreation Park, Galvin no-hit the Detroit Wolverines for an 18-0 win. The Detroit Free Press wasn’t exactly complimentary: “It may not be much of a feat to shut out without a hit such a lot of weak batters as Detroit has managed to consolidate in four seasons, but whatever credit attaches thereto belongs to Galvin.”
The Chicago Cubs’ Jake Arrieta just missed Galvin’s mark last year, no-hitting the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday, April 21, 2016, at Great American Ballpark for a 16-0 victory.
Galvin’s 1884 game marked his second no-hitter, the first coming at Buffalo’s Riverside Park on Friday, August 20, 1880, when Galvin no-hit the Worcester Ruby Legs for a 1-0 win.
Galvin, who was born Christmas Day 1856, won 365 games over an 18-year career and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1965 by the Veterans Committee.
Amos Rusie threw the first New York Giants no-hitter, 126 years ago today.
Rusie, getting the start at the Polo Grounds on Friday, July 31, 1891, Rno-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 team captain 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 1888 is the Philadelphia Athletics’ Gus Weyhing, who no-hit the Kansas City Cowboys for a 4-0 win at Philly’s Jefferson Street Grounds.
Jim Bibby threw the first no-hitter in Texas Rangers history, 44 years ago today.
On Monday, July 30, 1973, on the road at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum, Bibby no-hit the Oakland Athletics for a 6-0 win. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound right-hander relied mostly on his fastball during the contest, struck out 13 A’s batters but walked six.
Shortstop Jim Fregosi saved the no-no in the third, fielding a deep ground ball into the hole off the bat of Ted Kubiak and firing to first for the out. Then in the eighth, Fregosi’s replacement, Pete Mackanin, made back-to-back defensive gems on a Kubiak slow bouncer and a Bill North sharp grounder to keep the no-no intact.
Matt Kilroy threw a 7-inning no-hitter that ended in a scoreless tie, 128 years ago today.
Kilroy, pitching for the American Association’s Baltimore Orioles, got the start at Oriole Park on Jluy 29, 1889, for the second game of a doubleheader against the St. Louis Browns.
Umpire Fred Goldsmith called the game due to darkness after 7 innings and an hour and 40 minutes of play with a 0-0 score. The contest was delayed in the third inning after police had to calm the crowd after Goldsmith ruled that Kilroy missed third base while scoring, negating an Orioles run.
The Baltimore Sun called Kilroy’s performance “the best sample of work in the box exhibited on League or Association grounds this season.”
Two perfect games and one plain old no-hitter were thrown on this date.
At Dodger Stadium on Sunday, July 28, 1991, the Montreal Expos’ Dennis Martínez retired all of the 27 Los Angeles Dodgers he faced for a 2-0 win.
Three years to the day later, on Thursday, July 28, 1994, the Texas Rangers’ Kenny Rogers threw a 4-0 perfecto against the California Angels at The Ballpark at Arlington.
The other no-hitter was a combination effort by the Chicago White Sox’s John “Blue Moon” Odom (5 inn.) and Francisco Barrios (4 inn.), who no-hit the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday, July 28, 1976, for a 2-1 win at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum.