Nolan Ryan threw the fifth of his major-league record seven no-hitters, 36 years ago today.
On September 26, 1981, as a member of the Houston Astros, Ryan broke Sandy Koufax’s 16-year-old mark of four career no-nos with a 5-0 no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ryan struck out 11 and walked three, making great use of his breaking ball.
Koufax had set the record of four no-hitters on September 9, 1965, tossing a perfect game against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium.
The St. Louis Cardinals’ Paul Dean and the Oakland Athletics’ Vida Blue threw no-hitters on this date.
On Friday, September 21, 1934, during the second game of an Ebbets Field doubleheader against Brooklyn, Dean no-hit the Dodgers for a 3-0 win. The no-no broke the longest no-hitter drought in Major League Baseball history in terms of game days at 535 (more than three years!), a record that stands today.
Older brother Dizzy Dean pitched the opener of that doubleheader, holding the the Dodgers to three hits for a 13-0 complete-game win.
On Monday, September 21, 1970, Blue no-hit the Minnesota Twins at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum for a 6-0 victory. At 21 years, 1 month and 24 days, Blue set the new modern-era mark for a youngster.
Bob Moose temporarily interrupted the Miracle Mets’ postseason push with a no-hitter at Shea Stadium, 48 years ago today.
At Shea Stadium on Saturday, September 20, 1969, Moose struck out six and walked three to lead the Pirates to a 4-0 win over New York. (My father and two of my sisters were at the game. The Cubs lost, too, so the Mets maintained a four-game lead in the newly formed National League East division.
Five other no-hitters were thrown on this date, though none of those have been thrown in the 48 years since Moose’s no-no. September 20’s six no-hitters ties three other dates for the most no-nos for a particular date: April 27, May 15 and September 28.
Here are the other September 20 no-hitters:
8 of 296
Chicago White Stockings (NL)
Wednesday, September 20, 1882
Chicago White Stockings 5, Worcester Ruby Legs 0
Lake Front Park (Chicago) (His second of three no-hitters)
45 of 296
James "Nixey" Callahan
Chicago White Sox (AL)
Saturday, September 20, 1902 (First game of doubleheader)
Chicago White Sox 3, Detroit Tigers 0
South Side Park (Chicago) (First American League no hitter)
56 of 296
Pittsburgh Pirates (NL)
Friday, September 20, 1907
Pittsburgh Pirates 2, Brooklyn Superbas 1
Exposition Park (Pittsburgh)
61 of 296
Chicago White Sox (AL)
Sunday, September 20, 1908
Chicago White Sox 1, Philadelphia Athletics 0
South Side Park (Chicago) (His second of two no-hitters)
139 of 296
Baltimore Orioles (AL)
Saturday, September 20, 1958
Baltimore Orioles 1, New York Yankees 0
Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)
The St. Louis Cardinals’ Ray Washburn payed back the San Francisco Giants with a no-hitter, 49 years ago today.
At Candlestick Park on Wednesday, September 18, 1968, Washburn no-hit the Giants for a 2-0 win. Just a day earlier, the Giants’ Gaylord Perry no-hit the Cards for a 1-0 win. It marked the majors’ first back-to-back revenge no-nos, though the feat was duplicated a year later by the Cincinnati Reds’ Jim Maloney and the Houston Astros’ Don Wilson.
Three other no-hitters were tossed on this date, but they all are more than 100 years old:
Cy Young threw the first of his three no-hitters for the National League’s Cleveland Spiders during the first game of a Saturday doubleheader at League Park on September 18, 1897. The Spiders topped the Cincinnati Reds 6-0.
The Philadelphia Phillies’ Chick Fraser no-hit the Chicago Cubs during the second game of a Friday, September 18, 1903, doubleheader at Chicago’s West Side Park. The Phillies beat the Cubs 10-0.
And the Cleveland Naps’ Bob “Dusty” Rhoads no-hit the Boston Red Sox on Friday, September 18, 1908, for a 2-1 at Cleveland’s League Park.
Today is the 50th anniversary of Joel “Joe” Horlen’s Chicago White Sox no-hitter.
During the first game of a Sunday, September 10, 1967, doubleheader at the old Comiskey Park, Horlen no-hit the Detroit Tigers for a 6-0 win. The Sox jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the first inning on RBI singles by Ken Boyer and Pete Ward, a two-run triple by Wayne ausey and an RBI single by Horlen.
Causey saved Horlen’s no-no in the ninth by fielding a tough chance behind second base and making an off-balance throw to first for the inning’s first out. Horlen enticed two additional ground outs to seal the feat.
“I just knew I had to get the ball,” Causey told the AP.
Also throwing a no-hitter on this date is the Cleveland Indians’ Ray Caldwell, who no-hit the New York Yankees on September 10, 1919, during the first game of a Wednesday doubleheader for a 3-0 win at the Polo Grounds.
Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax threw his fourth no-hitter in the form of a perfect game, 52 years ago today.
On September 9, 1965, Koufax retired each of the 27 Chicago Cubs batters he faced at Dodger Stadium to set a new record for career no-hitters. Nolan Ryan would eventually break the mark of four and extend his record to seven. But Koufax’s perfecto had such an impact on the Cubs that the team avoided being no-hit for nearly 50 years, with the finally streak ending at 7,921 games in 2015 at the hands of Cole Hamels.
Also throwing no-hitters on this day are:
Boston Braves (NL)
Wednesday, September 9, 1914 (Second game of doubleheader)
Boston Braves 7, Philadelphia Phillies 0
Fenway Park (Boston)
Philadelphia Athletics (AL)
Sunday, September 9, 1945 (Second game of doubleheader)
Philadelphia Athletics 1, St. Louis Browns 0
Shibe Park (Philadelphia)
Brooklyn Dodgers (NL)
Thursday, September 9, 1948
Brooklyn Dodgers 2, New York Giants 0
Polo Grounds (New York)
Darryl Kile threw a Houston Astros no-hitter, 24 years ago today.
Kile struck out nine while walking one in the Wednesday, September 8, 1993, game at the Astrodome in which the Astros won 7-1. Kile retired the first 10 New York Mets batters, but the Mets got their run in the fourth thanks to a walk followed by an Astros defensive breakdown.
After walking Jeff McKnight, Kile threw a wild pitch that catcher Scott Servais thought hit Joe Orsulak on the foot. It didn’t, and as McKnight ran to third, first baseman Jeff Bagwell grabbed the ball and threw it off-line, allowing McKnight to score.
Kile, who later played for the Colorado Rockies and the St. Louis Cardinals, died tragically on June 22, 2002, of a heart attack.
Frank Smith, Jeff Tesreau and Anibal Sanchez threw no-hitters on this date.
Smith, a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox, threw his first of two career no-hitters during the second game of a Wednesday doubleheader at Detroit’s Bennett Park on September 6, 1905. Smith had plenty of run support in this game, as the Sox accumulated 15 runs to shut out the Tigers.
Tesreau, a 6-foot-2 New York Giants right-hander from Ironton, Missouri, shut out the Philadelphia Phillies 3-0 during the first game of a Friday, September 6, 1912, doubleheader at National League Park. The scorecard initially credited Phillies leadoff batter Dode Paskert with a first-inning hit, but the official scorer changed his ruling after the game to give Tesreau the no-no. The disputed play was Paskert’s short fly ball near home plate that dropped between first baseman Fred Merkle and catcher Art Wilson.
“Each fielder got under the ball,” noted a story in the Washington Post. “Then fearing a collision, they permitted the ball to drop to the ground.”
Sanchez threw the fourth Florida Marlins no-hitter on Wednesday, September 6, 2006, no-hitting the Arizona Diamondbacks at Pro Player Stadium for a 2-0 win. The no-no broke the longest no-hitter drought in Major League Baseball history in terms of number of games played, with the games between Randy Johnson’s 2004 perfect game and Sanchez’s no-no reaching 6,364.