Today would be the 95th birthday of two-time no-no thrower Warren Spahn.
The southpaw from Buffalo, N.Y., spent the majority of his 21-year career with the Boston and Milwaukee Braves, compiling a 363-245 record with a 3.09 ERA. The Hall of Famers was a 14-time All Star and won the Cy Young Award in 1957. He led the American League in complete games for nine seasons, and captured the AL strikeout crown for four straight seasons from 1949-1952.
Spahn threw his two no-hitters within a 7-month stretch in 1960-’61 at Milwaukee County Stadium:
Milwaukee Braves (NL)
Friday, September 16, 1960 Milwaukee Braves 4, Philadelphia Phillies 0 Milwaukee County Stadium (Milwaukee) (His first of two no-hitters)
Milwaukee Braves (NL)
Friday, April 28, 1961 Milwaukee Braves 1, San Francisco Giants 0 Milwaukee County Stadium (Milwaukee) (His second of two no-hitters)
Ed Head threw a no-hitter for the Brooklyn Dodgers, 70 years ago today.
Head, a 6-foot-1 right-hander from Selma, Alabama, no-hit the Boston Braves on April 23, 1946, for a 5-0 victory at Ebbets Field. Four Braves reached base – three on walks issued by Head and one on an error by Dodgers’ shortstop Pee Wee Reese.
Head told the AP after the game: “I knew I had it all the time – don’t ask me how, but I knew it.”
Ted Breitenstein and Jim Jay Hughes threw no-hitters on the same day, 118 years ago today.
Ted Breitenstein, who pitched for the Cincinnati Reds, no-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati’s League Park on Friday, April 22, 1898. That same day, Jim Jay Hughes, of the National League Baltimore Orioles, no-hit the Boston Beaneaters.
The feat wasn’t duplicated until 1991, when the Oakland Athletics’ Dave Stewart and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela threw same-day no-nos.
The Chicago Cubs Jake Arrieta no-hit the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday night, less than eight months after throwing one against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Arrieta walked four and struck out six as the Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 16-0 at Great American Ballpark. Arrieta’s last no-no was on Sunday, August 30, 2015, when he no-hit the Dodgers for a 2-0 win at Dodger Stadium.
The Reds had last been no-hit on Wednesday, October 6, 2010, when the Philadelphia Phillies’ Roy Halladay no-hit Cincinnati during the opening game of the NLDS. To find the last regular season no-hitter against the Reds, you have to go back more than 44 years. On Wednesday, June 23, 1971, the Phillies’ Rick Wise no-hit the Reds for a 4-0 win at Riverfront Stadium.
Philip Humber threw a perfect game for the Chicago White Sox, four years ago today.
On April 21, 2012, Humber blanked the Seattle Mariners for a 4-0 win at Safeco Field, retiring every Mariners batter he faced.
Twenty-seven consecutive outs almost weren’t enough. Humber won the game on a strikeout of pinch hitter Brendan Ryan, but it required a 2-3 putout to put the game in the books. Humber’s low-and-outside pitch got away from catcher A.J. Pierzynski, and Ryan paused to argue the call with home plate umpirer Paul Runge before running to first base. Pierzynski threw the ball to first and Humber had his perfecto.
Humber, the New York Mets’ first-round draft in 2004, made his first Major League start in September 2007 against the Washington Nationals. He was traded to the Minnesota Twins in the Johan Santana deal, but his next start wasn’t until August 2010 as a Kansas City Royals pitcher. When Humber threw his perfect game, he became the seventh ex-Met to do so (See the archive of our No-hitters … after they left the Mets page. He retired this season after failing to make the San Diego Padres’ roster.
Santana, of course, finally broke the Mets’ curse less than two months later.
John Goodgame threw a Negro Leagues no-hitter for the West Baden Sprudels, 105 years ago today.
On Friday, April 21, 1911, Goodgame no-hit the French Lick Plutos in West Baden, Indiana, for a 3-0 win. The website Agate Type: Reconstructing Negro League & Latin Baseball History dug up a short Indianapolis Freeman write-up about the game, showing that Goodgame, a new recruit out of Talladega College, struck out 11 and walked just one.
The Cleveland Naps’ (Indians’) Addie Joss threw the second of his two no-hitters 106 years ago today.
Joss on Wednesday, April 20, 1910 no-hit the Chicago White Sox for a 1-0 victory at South Side Park.
It was his second no-no against Chicago. On Friday, October 2, 1908, Joss threw a perfect game against the White Sox at home at League Park.
With the pair of gems, Joss became the first person to throw two no-hitters against the same team. The San Francisco Giants’ Tim Lincecum duplicated the feat in 2013 and 2014, no-hitting the San Diego Padres in each.)
Very sad to read today about the death of Milt Pappas, one of the major-league pitchers I interviewed while writing Baseball’s No-Hit Wonders.
As told in his obit in the Chicago Tribune, Pappas no-hit the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field on Sept. 2, 1972, but lost his perfect game on the last batter. I interviewed him just under a year ago, and it was so much fun. He was, of course, still upset with Bruce Froemming about the umpire not giving him calls on the final batter to give him the perfecto.
Pappas told me that people still came up to him to talk about that game.
“I’m still being recognized and still going out and signing autographs, and I’m wondering to myself on numerous occasions, ‘If I would have done the perfect game, would I be getting this kind of adulation?” he asked. “I wouldn’t have had the 40 years of ‘Man, you got screwed’ and ‘Who’s that umpire that called that?’”
I’m also forever thankful to Pappas for reading the book, enjoying the book and taking the time to give me a blurb. He will be missed by many.
New Jersey hosted its first major-league baseball game, 60 years ago today.
The Brooklyn Dodgers played 15 regular-season games at Jersey City’s Roosevelt Stadium during the 1956 and 1957 seasons. The first was on April 19, 1956, and the Dodgers topped the Philadelphia Phillies for a 10-inning 5-4 win in an error-filled game (5 errors for the Dodgers, 3 for the Phillies). More than 12,000 fans watched the game.
The Dodgers actually went 6-1 at Roosevelt Stadium in 1956 and clinched the National League pennant, but the team lost the World Series to the New York Yankees, thanks in part to Don Larsen’s perfect game in Game 5.