Yogi Berra, the Hall of Fame great who died Tuesday at the age of 90, is known mostly by New York Yankees fans as a catcher and by New York Mets fans as a manager.
But Berra’s final four games behind home plate were actually in a Mets uniform, and he did so after managing the Yankees to the 1964 American League pennant.
Berra, who caught Don Larsen’s World Series perfect game in 1956, took over as skipper in the Bronx in 1964 when Ralph Houk stepped into the general manager role. Berra led the Yankees to a 99-63 record, finishing the year one game ahead of the Chicago White Sox. New York faced St. Louis in the World Series but lost to the Cardinals in seven games. Houk had already made the decision to fire Berra, and that move was made official after the World Series.
The Cardinals manager, Johnny Keane, resigned as manager of the Cardinals and was handed the keys to the Yankees. Such abrupt moves and new ownership led the Yankees franchise down a dark path.
Berra, meanwhile, jumped boroughs and signed as a player-coach for the Mets. Berra appeared in four games in early May — two as a pinch-hitter and two as a catcher — before hanging up the cleats for good and settling in as a full-time coach.
Berra hit just 2-for-9 in those games, which included three Mets losses. His best performance was going 2-for-3 while catching Al Jackson’s May 4 2-1 complete game win against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Berra took over as Mets’ manager after Hodges death and lead the team to its second National League pennant in 1973. The Mets lost the ’73 World Series to the A’s. He stayed with the club until midway through the ’75 season, when he was replaced by interim manager Roy McMillian.
A committee of five Detroit Tigers came within two outs of the majors’ 294th no-hitter on Tuesday before Tyler Saladino tagged Neftali Felix for a one-out triple in the ninth.
Daniel Norris was throwing a perfect game through five, but he was pulled from the game because of his pitch count. Buck Farmer took the ball for the sixth and continued the perfecto, retiring Carlos Sanchez on a ground dout, Tyler Flores on foul-tipped strikeout and Saladino on another K.
Ian Krol led off the seventh inning by hitting Adam Eaton with a pitch, but he recovered to induce outs from Jose Abreau, Trayce Thompson and Melky Cabrera to keep the no-no alive.
The game remained 0-0 at that point, as the Tigers could only find green for five hits off Jose Quintana. But Victor Martinez, J.D. Martinez and James McCann led off the bottom of the seventh with back-to-back-to-back singles to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Drew VerHagen drew the first out of the eighth on the first pitch but needed an overturned call for the second out, though the high throw by third baseman Nick Castellanos would have likely resulted in that play resulting in an error. He struck out Carlos Sanchez to end the inning.
Neftali Feliz came in for the ninth and retired pinch-hitter J.B. Schuck before giving up Saladino’s triple and an Eaton single to tie the game at 1.
There has never been a perfect game by committee.
September 20 is a popular day for a no-hitter.
Six no-hitters have been tossed on this date, though none of those have been thrown in the 46 years since Bob Moose temporarily interrupted the Miracle Mets’ postseason push with a no-hitter at Shea Stadium on Saturday, September 20, 1969.
Moose on that day struck out six and walked three to lead the Pirates to a 4-0 win over New York. The Cubs lost, too, so the Mets maintained a four-game lead in the newly formed National League East division.
September 20’s six no-hitters ties four other dates for the most no-nos for a particular date: April 27, May 15 September 28.
Here are the other September 20 no-hitters:
|8 of 293
||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 293
||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 293
||Pittsburgh Pirates (NL)
||Friday, September 20, 1907
Pittsburgh Pirates 2, Brooklyn Superbas 1
Exposition Park (Pittsburgh)
|61 of 293
||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 293
||Baltimore Orioles (AL)
||Saturday, September 20, 1958
Baltimore Orioles 1, New York Yankees 0
Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)
Four no-hitters were tossed on this date, but three of them are more than 100 years old.
The only modern-day no-hitter was thrown on Wednesday, September 18, 1968, by the St. Louis Cardinals’ Ray Washburn against the San Francisco Giants. It came just a day after the Giants’ Gaylord Perry no-hit the Cards.
- 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.
The San Francisco Giants’ Gaylord Perry and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Hideo Nomo threw no-hitters on this date.
Forty-seven years ago today, on Tuesday, September 17, 1968, Perry out-dueled Bob Gibson to no-hit the St. Louis Cardinals for a 1-0 win at Candlestick Park. The Cards’ Ray Washburn retaliated by no-hitting the Giants the next day.
Nineteen years ago today, on Tuesday, September 17, 1996, Nomo threw a no-no against the Colorado Rockies for a 9-0 win at Coors Field. Nomo followed it up with a second no-hitter for the Boston Red Sox in 2001.
The Milwaukee Braves’ Warren Spahn, the Boston Red Sox’s Dave Morehead and the Cincinnati Reds’ Tom Browning all threw no-hitters on this date.
Fifty-five years ago today, on Friday, September 16, 1960, Spahn no-hit the Philadelphia Phillies for a 4-0 win at Milwaukee County Stadium. It was his first of two no-nos.
Fifty years ago today, on Thursday, September 16, 1965, Morehead no-hit the Cleveland Indians for a 2-0 win at Fenway Park. And 27 years ago today, on Friday, September 16, 1988, Browning threw a perfect game against the Los Angeles Dodgers for a 1-0 win at Riverfront Stadium.
The Rochester Broncos’ Ledell “Cannonball” Titcomb threw a no-hitter against the Syracuse Stars, 125 years ago today.
It was the first no-hitter thrown at the now-standard 60-foot-6-inch pitching distance.
On Monday, September 15, 1890, Titcomb no-hit the Stars for a 7-0 win in an American Association match-up at Rochester’s Culver Field. Titcomb walked two and hit one batter while striking out seven. The Broncos also committed three errors.
Rochester and Syracuse had been brought into the American Association in 1890 to replace the Brooklyn and Cincinnati franchises, which defected to the National League after the 1889 season. Both the Broncos and the Stars folded after just one season.
Happy 77th birthday to Gaylord Perry, who threw a no-hitter for the San Francisco Giants in 1968.
Perry on Tuesday, September 17, 1968, no-hit the St. Louis Cardinals at Candlestick Park for a 1-0 victory. The Giants’ celebration was short-lived, as the Cards’ Ray Washburn no-hit the Giants for a 2-0 win the very next night.
The Chicago Cubs’ Carlos Zambrano threw a neutral site no-hitter, seven years ago today.
The Houston Astros had a game scheduled against the Cubs on Sunday, September 14, 2008, but the team was forced to play the game outside of Houston because of Hurricane Ike. The Brewers offered Miller Park, and the stadium’s close proximity to Chicago made the game feel like a Cubs’ home game.
Zambrano held the Astros hitless while striking out 10 batters and walking one to lead Chicago to a 5-0 win in front of 23,441 fans.
Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax threw his fourth no-hitter in the form of a perfect game, 50 years ago today.
Koufax on September 9, 1965, 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 4 and extend his record to 7.
But Koufax’s perfecto had such an impact on the Cubs that the team avoided being no-hit for nearly 50 years, with the streak ending this year at the hands of Cole Hamels.