Randy Johnson throws perfect game at age 40, 12 years ago today

Randy Johnson threw the majors’ 17th perfect game, and the Arizona Diamondbacks’ first no-hitter, 12 years ago today.

On Tuesday, May 18, 2004, the 40-year-old Johnson retired all of the 27 Atlanta Braves batters he faced at Turner Field for a 2-0 victory to become the oldest pitcher to throw a perfect game.

It was Johnson’s second no-hitter. His first one thrown back in 1990 was the Seattle Mariners’ first no-no.

Happy birthday to Frank Mountain, threw no-no with homer

Frank Mountain
Frank Mountain
Happy 156th birthday to Frank Mountain, one of five major league pitchers to hit a home run while throwing a no-hitter.

Mountain, a hurler for the American Association’s Columbus Buckeyes, threw the majors’ 13th no-no against the Washington Nationals on June 5, 1884. The National Republican’s account of the game was not particularly kind to the hometown Nats.

“The Columbus club yesterday played a fine game in the field and at the bat,” the newspaper said. “The Washingtons fielded poorly and batted like school boys, the net result being a well earned victory for the former and a well deserved defeat for the latter.”

Here are the four no-hitters in which the pitcher hit one homer:

13 of 295 Frank Mountain
  Columbus Buckeyes (AA)
  Thursday, June 5, 1884
Columbus Buckeyes 12, Washington Nationals 0
Capitol Grounds (Washington, D.C.)
101 of 295 Wes Ferrell
  Cleveland Indians (AL)
  Wednesday, April 29, 1931
Cleveland Indians 9, St. Louis Browns 0
League Park (Cleveland)
112 of 295 Jim Tobin
  Boston Braves (NL)
  Thursday, April 27, 1944
Boston Braves 2, Brooklyn Dodgers 0
Braves Field (Boston)
145 of 295 Earl Wilson
  Boston Red Sox (AL)
  Tuesday, June 26, 1962
Boston Red Sox 2, Los Angeles Angels 0
Fenway Park (Boston)

… and here is the only no-hitter in which the pitcher hit two homers:

179 of 295 Rick Wise
  Philadelphia Phillies (NL)
  Wednesday, June 23, 1971
Philadelphia Phillies 4, Cincinnati Reds 0
Riverfront Stadium (Cincinnati)

Anniversaries of Wells’ perfecto, Nottebart’s no-no

Don Nottebart
Don Nottebart
The New York Yankees’ David Wells tossed a perfect game and the Houston Colt .45s’ Don Nottebart threw a no-hitter on this date.

Eighteen years ago today, on Sunday, May 17, 1998, Wells threw a perfect game at Yankee Stadium for a 4-0 win over the Minnesota Twins. Wells later said in his autobiography Perfect I’m Not: Boomer on Beer, Brawls, Backaches, and Baseball that he was still half drunk from a Saturday Night Live cast party the night before.

On Friday, May 17, 1963, 53 years ago today, Nottebart no-hit the Philadelphia Phillies for a 4-1 win at Colt Stadium. It was the first no-hitter for the franchise now known as the Houston Astros.

Smith tosses first Negro American League no-no, 79 years ago today

Hilton Smith was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2001
Hilton Smith was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2001
Hilton Smith threw the first Negro American League no-hitter, 79 years ago today.

On May 16, 1937, during the first game of a Sunday doubleheader, Smith threw a no-no as a member of the Kansas City Monarchs. The right-hander from Giddings, Texas no-hit the Chicago American Giants for a 4-0 win.

According to his SABR bio written by Ralph Berger, Smith became a school teacher after baseball and also worked for the Armco Steel Company in Kansas City as a foreman until 1978.

He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2001.

Another fine day for a no-no

Clyde Shoun
Clyde Shoun
It’s another fine day for a no-no.

May 15 is one of four days sharing the record for most no-hitters with six. The others are April 27, September 20 and September 28. Chicago holds two of the May 15 no-nos, with one belonging to the Federal League’s Chi-Feds/Whales and the other property of the Cubbies.

Here are the May 15 no-nos:

75 of 287 Claude Hendrix
  Chicago Chi-Feds/Whales (FL)
  Saturday, May 15, 1915
Chicago Chi-Feds/Whales 10, Pittsburgh Rebels 0
Exposition Park (Pittsburgh)
113 of 287 Clyde Shoun
  Cincinnati Reds (NL)
  Monday, May 15, 1944
Cincinnati Reds 1, Boston Braves 0
Crosley Field (Cincinnati)
127 of 287 Virgil Trucks
  Detroit Tigers (AL)
  Thursday, May 15, 1952
Detroit Tigers 1, Washington Senators 0
Briggs Stadium (Detroit)
(His first of two no-hitters)
140 of 287 Don Cardwell
  Chicago Cubs (NL)
  Sunday, May 15, 1960 (Second game of doubleheader)
Chicago Cubs 4, St. Louis Cardinals 0
Wrigley Field (Chicago)
185 of 287 Nolan Ryan
  California Angels (AL)
  Tuesday, May 15, 1973
California Angels 3, Kansas City Royals 0
Royals Stadium (Kansas City)
(His first of seven no-hitters)
207 of 287 Len Barker
  Cleveland Indians (AL)
  Friday, May 15, 1981
Cleveland Indians 3, Toronto Blue Jays 0
Cleveland Stadium (Cleveland)
(Perfect game)

20th anniversary of Gooden’s no-no

gooden postcardToday is the 20th anniversary of Dwight Gooden’s no-hitter for the New York Yankees.

On Tuesday, May 14, 1996, Gooden no-hit the Seattle Mariners for a 2-0 victory at Yankee Stadium. “Doc” appeared to be running out of steam in the ninth frame as he walked Alex Rodriguez and Edgar Martínez and then threw a wild pitch to allow runners to reach second and third. But he recovered to strike out Jay Buhner and then got Paul Sorrento to pop out to short to complete the no-no. Teammates carried the 31-year-old hero off the Yankee Stadium field to the cheers of more than 20,000 fans.

Gooden thrice came close to getting a no-no while with the New York Mets:

  • On June 6, 1984, in just his 11th major-league start, the emerging strikeout artist reached the eighth inning with a no-hitter intact before yielding a lead-off single to the Pirates’ Doug Frobel. New York won 2-1 in 13 innings.
  • On September 7, 1984, Gooden threw a one-hit 10-0 shutout against the Chicago Cubs. The only Cubs hit was a 5th-inning single by Keith Moreland.
  • On June 5, 1988, Gooden again reached the eighth inning and again lost it on the leadoff batter as the Cubs’ Damon Berryhill singled. Gooden held on for an 11-3 complete-game victory.

Also throwing a no-hitter on this date was the Kansas City Royals’ Jim Colborn. On Saturday, May 14, 1977, Colborn no-hit the Texas Rangers for a 6-0 win at Royals Stadium.

Happy birthday Halladay, Martínez and Walsh

doctoberHappy birthday to no-no throwers Roy Halladay, Dennis Martínez and Ed Walsh.

Halladay, who turns 39 today, threw both his no-hitters for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010. On May 29 of that year, Halladay tossed a perfect game against the Florida Marlins for a 1-0 win at Sun Life Stadium. Then, on October 6 in the first game of the 2010 National League Division Series, he threw postseason play’s second ever no-no for a 4-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park.

Martínez, who turns 61 today, threw a perfect game for the Montreal Expos. On Sunday, July 28, 1991, he led the Expos to a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Martínez is the first Nicaraguan-born pitcher to play in the majors.

Walsh, born 135 years ago today, threw a 5-0 no-hitter for the Chicago White Sox on August 27, 1911 against the Boston Red Sox at Comiskey Park. The Hall of Famer holds the record for the lowest lifetime ERA in baseball history – 1.82. Walsh also threw a five-inning rain-shortened no-hitter against the New York Highlanders in 1907.

Happy 132nd birthday to Miles ‘Alex’ Main, threw no-no for K.C. Packers

76_milesalexmainMiles “Alex” Main, who threw a no-hitter for the Kansas City Packers in 1915, was born 132 years ago today.

Main no-hit the Buffalo Buffeds/Blues in a Federal League match-up at Buffalo’s International Fair Association Grounds on August 16, 1915. Only three Buffeds reached base thanks to one walk and a couple of Kansas City errors as the Packers won 5-0.

Main also pitched briefly for the Detroit Tigers (1914) and the Philadelphia Phillies (1915).

‘Toothpick’ Sam Jones 1st African-American to throw MLB no-no, 61 years ago today

Sam "Toothpick" Jones
Sam “Toothpick” Jones
"Toothpick" Sam Jones became the first African-American to throw a Major League Baseball no-hitter, 61 years ago today.

Jones, pitching for the Chicago Cubs on May 12, 1955, no-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates for a 4-0 win at Wrigley Field. He completed an accomplishment that likely would have been preceded by such Negro Leagues greats as Dick "Cannonball" Redding, "Bullet" Joe Rogan, Leon Day and Satchel Paige had baseball integrated earlier.

Also throwing no-hitters on this date are Charles "Chief" Bender, Carl Erskine and A.J. Burnett.

Bender, a starter for the Philadelphia Athletics, threw a no-hitter against the Cleveland Naps at Shibe Park on Thursday, May 12, 1910. Erskine tossed his second Brooklyn Dodgers no-hitter, a 3-0 win over the New York Giants, on Saturday, May 12, 1956 at Ebbets Field. Burnett, a Florida Marlins pitcher, no-hit the San Diego Padres at Qualcomm Stadium on Saturday, May 12, 2001 for a 3-0 win.

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