No-hitters … before they were Padres

Eleven pitchers have thrown complete-game no-hitters before joining the San Diego Padres, and two have participated in combined no-nos. Oddly, there was no pitcher who threw a no-hitter after leaving the Padres until June 3, 2017, when the Miami Marlins’ Edinson Volquez no-hit the Arizona Diamondbacks. Here is the list of No-hitters … before they were Padres:


1 Earl Wilson
  Boston Red Sox (AL)
  June 26, 1962
Boston Red Sox 2, Los Angeles Angels 0
Fenway Park (Boston)

When Red Sox pitcher Earl Wilson stepped to the plate in the third inning of this contest at Fenway, both he and Bo Belinsky were working on no-hitters. Wilson killed Belinsky’s no-no and helped his team with a solo homer as the Red Sox blanked the L.A. Angels 2-0 with Wilson never yielding a hit.

Wilson is one of just four Major League pitchers to hit home runs during their no-hitters, joining Wes Ferrell (1931), Jim Tobin (1944) and Rick Wise (1970, 2 home runs).

Wilson, a former catcher, wound up hitting 33 home runs as a pitcher during his 11-year career, which ended with the San Diego Padres in 1970. Wilson went 1-6 in 15 appearances with the Padres, but he helped secure that lone win himself. On Sept. 9, 1970 during the second game of a doubleheader, Wilson as a reliever stepped to the plate and broke a 4-4 tie with a three-run homer and held the Atlanta Braves scoreless for four innings to secure the Padres’ victory.

And although the Padres have retired No. 42 along with all Major League teams, the honor over Petco’s center field is not for Wilson’s Padres uniform number.


2 Sonny Siebert
  Cleveland Indians (AL)
  Friday, June 10, 1966
Cleveland Indians 2, Washington Senators 0
Cleveland Stadium (Cleveland)

Leon Wagner gave Sonny Siebert a 1-0 lead with a first inning homer in this contest against the Washington Senators. And although the Indians would add a second run in the third, Siebert wouldn’t need it to preserve the Indians victory. Siebert struck out seven and walked just one as he held the Senators hitless for a no-no witnessed by a home crowd of 10,469.

Siebert, who won 140 games during a 12-year career, pitched for the Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers and St. Louis before the Cardinals dealt him to the Padres after the 1974 season for Ed Brinkman and Danny Breeden. Sibert started just six games for the Padres (for a 3-2 record) before he was traded to the Oakland Athletics in May of that season for Ted Kubiak.


3 Tom Phoebus
  Baltimore Orioles (AL)
  Saturday, April 27, 1968
Baltimore Orioles 6, Boston Red Sox 0
Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)

Tom Phoebus made a great first impression on the city of Baltimore, throwing shutouts in his first two starts late in the 1966 season. He went on to win the rookie pitcher of the year in 1967 with a 14-9 record with a 3.33 ERA.

On April 27, 1968 against Boston, Phoebus struck out nine Red Sox and walked three en route to his only Major League no-hitter. Orioles third-baseman Brooks Robinson preserved Phoebus’ no-no in the eighth inning by with a diving grab of Rico Petrocelli’s liner over the third base line.

Phoebus struggled during his 1971 season with the Padres, going 3-11 with a 4.46 ERA. He appeared in just one game for San Diego in 1972 before his contract was purchased by the Chicago Cubs.


4 Gaylord Perry
  San Francisco Giants (NL)
  Tuesday, September 17, 1968
San Francisco Giants 1, St. Louis Cardinals 0
Candlestick Park (San Francisco)/td>

Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry, who had a reputation for doctoring the baseball over his storied 22-year career, 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.

Meanwhile, Perry seemingly got better with age. 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.


5 Rick Wise
  Philadelphia Phillies (NL)
  Wednesday, June 23, 1971
Philadelphia Phillies 4, Cincinnati Reds 0
Riverfront Stadium (Cincinnati)

Philadelphia Phillies starter Rick Wise had a perfect game going into the sixth inning of this game at Riverfront Stadium until Reds shortstop Dave Concepcion drew a sixth-inning walk. That would be Cincinnati’s only baserunner as Wise gave himself a huge boost at the plate with two homers – a 2-run blast in the fifth inning and a solo shot in the eighth. Wise got the 28th batter, Pete Rose, to line out to third in the ninth to preserve his no-hitter as the Phillies topped the Reds 4-0.

Wise is the only no-no pitcher in Major League history to hit two home runs while throwing a no-hitter. Wes Ferrell (1931), Jim Tobin (1944), and Earl Wilson (1962) all hit a single home run during their no-hitters.

Wise joined the Padres as a free agent for the 1980 season and was in San Diego through 1982, posting a 10-16 record with a 3.75 ERA.


6 John Montefusco
  San Francisco Giants (NL)
  Wednesday, September 29, 1976
San Francisco Giants 9, Atlanta Braves 0
Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium (Atlanta)

John Montefusco, the National League rookie of the year in 1975, notched his only no-hitter the following season with a stellar performance on the road against the Atlanta Braves. The only blemish keeping him from a perfecto was a fourth-inning leadoff walk to Jerry Royster.

The Giants would have to wait until 2009 for the team’s next no-hitter by Jonathan Sanchez. Montefusco told the San Jose Mercury News that he was watching that game and rooting for Sanchez that night, although “The Count” he admitted would miss being the last guy to throw a Giant no-no. Tim Lincecum would take that role in 2013 with a no-hitter against the Padres.

Montefusco spent the 1982 season and most of the 1983 season with the Padres, posting a 19-15 record with a 3.77 ERA.


7 Fernando Valenzuela
  Los Angeles Dodgers (NL)
  Friday, June 29, 1990
Los Angeles Dodgers 6, St. Louis Cardinals 0
Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles)

The Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela on June 29, 1990 got the opportunity to watch four of five innings of Oakland A’s pitcher Dave Stewart domination of the Toronto Blue Jays before he had to abandon the clubhouse TV to warm up for his own start. Someone later informed him that Stewart had thrown a no-hitter. “You guys are watching one on TV, now you’re going to watch one live,” Valenzuela responded, according to an MLB-TV interview.

Valenzuela did just that, no-hitting the St. Louis Cardinals while striking out seven and walking three. The accomplishment by Stewart and Valenzuela mark just the second time that no-hitters have been thrown on the same day.

Valenzuela spent the 1995, ’96 and part of ’97 season with the Padres with a 23-19 record and a 4.22 ERA.

Here’s the MLB TV story:


8 Kevin Brown
  Florida Marlins (NL)
  Tuesday, June 10, 1997
Florida Marlins 9, San Francisco Giants 0
Candlestick Park (San Francisco)

The Florida Marlins’ Kevin Brown had a perfect game going in the eighth inning on June 10, 1997 when he hit the San Francisco Giants’ Marvin Benard with a pitch. That would be Brown’s only mistake as he finished out the no-hitter without even yielding a base on balls. It was the Marlins’ second no-hitter during a season in which they would become the World Champions.

Brown was traded to the Padres during Marlins owner Wayne Huizenga’s post-World-Series fire sale and posted a solid 18-7 record with a 2.38 ERA during the 1998 season. He signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers the next season.

Here’s the final pitch and celebration of Brown’s no-no:


9 David Wells
  New York Yankees (AL)
  Sunday, May 17, 1998
New York Yankees 4, Minnesota Twins 0
Yankee Stadium (New York)
(Perfect game)

David Wells is the only Major League pitcher to throw a perfect game before joining the Padres. “Boomer” struck out 11 Twins batters and faced the minimum 27 during the 4-0 win. He said he accomplished the feat while battling a pretty bad hangover spurred by an overnight Saturday Night Live cast party.

Wells, who signed as a free agent with Padres in 2004, posted an 18-18 record with a 4.33 ERA.

Here’s the final out of his perfecto:


10 Edwin Jackson
  Arizona Diamondbacks (NL team in IL game)
  Friday, June 25, 2010
Arizona Diamondbacks 1, Tampa Bay Rays 0
Tropicana Field (Tampa)

Edwin Jackson, a German-born journeyman pitcher who made his first start for San Diego on July 17, 2016, tossed his no-no six years before joining the Padres. On June 25, 2010, while pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Jackson needed 149 pitches to no-hit the Tampa Bay Rays for a 1-0 victory at Tropicana Field. The 26-year-old right-hander told Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch that it would take a hit to get him off the mound, and he completed the no-no by retiring Jason Bartlett on a groundout on pitch No. 149.


11 Jered Weaver
  Los Angeles Angels (AL)
  Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Los Angeles Angels 9, Minnesota Twins 0
Angel Stadium of Anaheim (Anaheim)

Veteran righthander Jered Weaver, who signed a one-year deal with the Padres in February, tossed a no-hitter as a member of the Los Angeles Angels in 2012. Weaver allowed just two base runners – one on a passed ball and another on a walk.

Note that Weaver also threw 6 innings (Jose Arrendondo tossed the other 2 innings) of an 8-inning unofficial no-hitter in 2008. The home L.A. Dodgers led 1-0 after 8 1/2 innings so Arrendondo didn’t have a chance to pitch the ninth.

Honorable mention


* Vida Blue (5 inn.)
Glenn Abbott (1 inn.)
Paul Lindblad (1 inn.)
Rollie Fingers (2 inn.)
  Oakland Athletics (AL)
  Sunday, September 28, 1975
Oakland Athletics 5, California Angels 0
Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum (Oakland)

Rollie Fingers, who became a late-inning closer in 1971, finished out a multi-pitcher no-no for the Oakland Athletics in 1975 with two perfect innings of work. Fingers spent the 1977-80 seasons with the Padres, posting a 34-40 record with a .459 ERA while saving 108 games. Fingers, who spent 17 years in the majors and set the since-broken all-time save mark with 341 saves, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992.


* Mark Langston (7 inn.)
Mike Witt (2 inn.)
  California Angels (AL)
  Wednesday, April 11, 1990
California Angels 1, Seattle Mariners 0
Anaheim Stadium (Anaheim)

Mark Langston, a San Diego native, threw the first seven innings of a combined no-hitter for the California Angels on April 11, 1990, with Mike Witt finishing up the final two innings. Langston told The AP that he took himself out of the game as his arm speed just wasn’t there. Langston spent the 1998 season with the Padres with a 4-6 record with a 5.86 ERA.

5 thoughts on “No-hitters … before they were Padres”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The online home for baseball's no-hitters