Category Archives: This day in no-no history

Mets sign man who would break no no-no curse, 7 years ago today

Seven years ago today, the New York Mets obtained the man who would eventually break the team’s 50-year streak of never having thrown a no-hitter.

John Santana
John Santana
The Mets dealt outfielder Carlos Gomez and minor-league pitchers Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra to the Minnesota Twins to obtain the two-time Cy Young Award winner from Venezuela. The trade was conditional on contract negotiations, and Santana and the Mets agreed to a six-year, $137.5 million contract on Feb. 1, 2008.

On June 1, 2012, Santana threw the Mets’ first no-hitter after 8,019 regular season games without one. Santana’s gem left the San Diego Padres as the only major league team without a no-no.

On this day in 1892 … Jones throws no-hitter in first appearance

Bumpus JonesOn Oct. 15, 1892, 122 years ago today, Charles Leander “Bumpus” Jones tossed a no-hitter in his first major league appearance for the Cincinnati Reds, topping the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-1.

Two other pitchers – Ted Breitenstein of the American Association’s St. Louis Browns (1891) and Bobo Holloman of the American League’s St. Louis Browns (1953) – threw no-hitters in their first starts, but both had first appeared for their teams in relief.

Jones remains the only one to perform the feat in his first time on the mound.

Perry’s no-hitter, 46 years ago today

Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry, who pitched for the San Diego Padres in 1978 and 1979, threw his only career no-hitter 46 years ago today.

Perry, a San Francisco Giants starter with a reputation for doctoring the baseball, had an impressive 2.45 ERA during the 1968 season but run support obviously was an issue as that yielded him just a 16-15 record.

Perry would need just one run of support on Sept. 17, 1968, courtesy of a Ron Hunt first-inning homer, as he no-hit the St. Louis Cardinals for a 1-0 victory at Candlestick Park. Another eventual Hall of Famer, Bob Gibson, took the loss in that game despite yielding just four hits and a walk over his eight innings of work.

Perry seemed to get better with age over his storied 22-year career. After being dealt before the 1978 season by the Texas Rangers to the Padres for Dave Tomlin and $125,000 cash, Perry won his second Cy Young award with a 21-6 record and a 2.73 ERA. Perry also pitched for the Padres in the 1979 season before he was sent back to Texas.

Niekro no-nos Padres, 41 years ago today

41 years ago today, Knuckleballer Phil Niekro threw a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres.

The Aug. 5, 1973 game at Atlanta Stadium marked the Braves franchise’s first no-hitter since moving from Milwaukee. Niekro walked three and struck out four, and the AP’s account of the game said that all of the plays behind him were routine. Niekro went exclusively with the knuckleball in the ninth inning and finished it out by getting Cito Gaston to ground out to third.

The final score was Atlanta Braves 9, San Diego Padres 0.

5 years ago today, Buehrle completes 27-up, 27-down hat-trick

Five years ago today, Chicago White Sox hurler Mark Buehrle threw a perfect game to become the only major league pitcher to toss three complete games while facing the minimum 27 batters.

Buehrle’s second effort was on April 18, 2007, when he no-hit the Texas Rangers. Buehrle had picked off Sammy Sosa from first after the designated hitter drew a fifth inning walk.

His lesser-known 27-up, 27-down performance was on July 21, 2004, when he threw a two-hit, 14-0 complete game against the Cleveland Indians. Buehrle was perfect through 6⅓ until Omar Vizquel singled with one out in the seventh. Vizquel was retired when Matt Lawton grounded into an inning-ending double play.

The next inning, pinch-hitter Tim Laker led off with a single, but Casey Blake doubled him up. Buehrle completed the effort, throwing just 90 pitches (67 for strikes).

I did some research on the Baseball-Reference.com Play Index and found that there have been 33 games in which a starter threw a complete game, faced the minimum 27 batters yet gave up at least one hit. Sixteen were one-hitters, 10 were two-hitters and six were three-hitters.

Only John Candalaria has accomplished this rare feat while yielding four hits. It happened on July 25, 1982, with Candalaria’s Pittsburgh Pirates facing the Atlanta Braves at Three Rivers Stadium.

Candalaria lost his no-hitter in the first inning on a one-out Rafael Ramirez single, but catcher Steve Nicosia threw him out on a steal attempt.

Bob Horner led off the second inning with a single to right, but Rufino Linares grounded into a 6-3 double-play. Horner also led off the eighth with a single to right, but this time Linares grounded into a 4-6-3 double-play.

Glenn Hubbard got the game’s fourth hit in the ninth with a lead-off infield single, but Bruce Benedict cleared the bases with a 6-4-3.

The most recent 27-up, 27-down with at least one hit was on May 29 of this year, when the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Josh Collmenter threw a 3-hit 4-0 shutout against the Cincinnati Reds (a double and two singles paired with three double-plays).

Before that, the San Diego Padres’ Andrew Cashner faced the minimum 27 during his 2-0 one-hit complete game victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sept. 16, 2013 at PNC Park. The no-no was broken up by Jose Tabata with a 7th-inning single to right, but Tabata was sent to the dugout on a double-play.

44 years since the Kirby-Gomez incident

Just a day after Odrisamer Despaigne nearly allowed the San Diego Padres to finally shed the label of being the only major league team never to throw a no-hitter, nonohitters.com celebrates the anniversary of another significant event in that story.

San Diego could have exited the no-no club 44 years ago today, early in the franchise’s history. On July 21, 1970, the New York Mets were beating the Padres 1-0, but Padres starter Clay Kirby still had a no-hitter going through eight innings. With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, San Diego skipper Preston Gomez decided to pull Kirby for a pinch hitter, Cito Gaston.

“He was coming out, because I play to win,” Gomez told The AP after the game. “I knew he had a no-hitter going but we got to score some runs.”

Gaston struck out, reliever Jack Baldschun gave up a ninth-inning lead-off single to Bud Harrelson and the Mets rallied to pad their lead to 3-0, which would be the final score.

What if Gomez had allowed Kirby to bat? Would Kirby have reached base and started a rally that would have given them a 2-1 lead and an eventual no-no win? Would Kirby have struck out, yet kept the no-hitter alive through the top of the ninth to set up a ninth-inning Padres walk-off victory?

We’ll never know, and the club still doesn’t have no no-no.

Kirby acknowledged after the game that he was a little mad and a little surprised but said Gomez is the manager and it’s his call.

Gomez made the same move on Sept. 5, 1974, while managing the Houston Astros. Don Wilson was three outs from a no-hitter but the Astros trailed the Cincinnati Reds 3-0 and Gomez sent in pinch-hitter Tommy Helms in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Helms grounded out, Tony Perez killed the no-no with a ninth-inning single off Mike Cosgrove and the Reds wound up winning 2-1.

42 years ago today, Leron Lee breaks up Seaver’s no-hitter in ninth

The Padres have been one-hit by the New York Mets three times, but none was as crushing to the Mets as Leron Lee’s 9th-inning no-no-killing single against eventual Hall of Famer Tom Seaver at Shea Stadium on July 4, 1972.

Seaver took a no-hitter into the ninth inning this day, although he walked two batters in the fourth and two batters in the eighth so the perfect game was off the board.

Seaver took the mound in the ninth and got Dave Roberts to ground out before Leron Lee lined a ball up the middle to end the no-no bid. He then got Nate Colbert to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game for a 2-0 complete-game shutout, Seaver’s fourth career one-hitter.

Seaver struck out 11 batters, and the Mets scored their only runs with two outs in the third when Jim Fregosi and Ed Kranepool drew bases-loaded walks from the Padres’ Clay Kirby.

It was the Mets’ ninth one-hitter and it marked the team’s 1,692nd game without a no-hitter. On the other side, Kirby lost his no-hitter on Wayne Garrett’s first-inning single to move the Padres’ count to 556 games.

Same day no-nos, 24 years ago today

24 years ago today, on June 29, 1990, the Oakland A’s Dave Stewart and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela threw no-hitters on the same day.

Stewart threw his at the Toronto Skydome against the Blue Jays, striking out 12 for a 5-0 win. He told Sports Illustrated that it was the first no-hitter of his life.

“I didn’t even have one in Little League,” he told SI after the game. “I’ve never felt better than when I walked off that field tonight. As a pitcher, a no-hitter is it. What else can there be?”

Meanwhile, Valenzuela was getting ready for his start against the St. Louis Cardinals in L.A. when his teammates were watching Stewart’s gem in progress on ESPN in the Dodgers clubhouse.

“You’re watching a no-hitter on TV, and now you’re going to see one in person,” he told them.

124 pitches later, Valenzuela kept his word, no-hitting the Cardinals for a 6-0 victory.

The double no-hitter occurred only one other time, and it was back in 1898.

On April 22 of that year, the Cincinnati Reds’ Ted Breitenstein no-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates for an 11-0 victory. It was Breitenstein’s second no-no. The same day, Jim Hughes of the NL Baltimore Orioles no-hit the Boston Beaneaters for a 8-0 win.

Ellis, on LSD, no-hits Padres, 44 years ago today

Pittsburgh Pirates hurler Dock Ellis thought June 12, 1970 was an off-day, so after a long night of partying he woke up and decided to take some LSD. What he didn’t know was he had slept through a full day and he was actually scheduled to pitch Game 1 of a doubleheader against the San Diego Padres that day.

But Ellis was able to not only secure a 2-0 Pirates win in San Diego, he held the Padres hitless in what is believed to be the only Major League no-hitter thrown by a man tripping on acid.

The story was long thought to be an urban legend, but Ellis talked openly about the experience in a 2005 Dallas Observer story. Ellis, who died in 2008, had long been drug free and was working as a drug counselor when he was interviewed for the article.

“What’s weird is that sometimes it felt like a balloon. Sometimes it felt like a golf ball,” the alternative weekly reported. “But he could always get it to the plate. Getting it over the plate was another matter entirely. Sometimes he couldn’t see the hitter. Sometimes he couldn’t see the catcher.”

That’s evident in the box score, as Ellis apparently walked eight and hit at least one batter.

Padres left alone, two years ago today

johanTwo years ago today, on June 1, 2012, Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in New York Mets history, anointing the San Diego Padres with new-found infamy as the team with the longest current drought. Santana’s gem ended the Mets’ streak at 8,019 games with no no-nos, dating back to the franchises first game in 1962.

The Padres have been at it since 1969.

The Mets streak lasted 50+ seasons, which is the longest a franchise has ever gone from its birth, but it’s not the longest no no-no streak. That record belongs to the Philadelphia Phillies, who were void of a no-hitter for 58 years, 1 month, 18 days between 1906 and 1964. The 8,945-game-long streak began on May 3, 1906, one game after Phillies’ southpaw Johnny Lush threw a 6-0 no-hitter against the Brooklyn Superbas. It ended on June 21, 1964, when Jim Bunning threw a 6-0 perfect game against the Mets during a Father’s Day doubleheader at Shea Stadium in New York.