Happy birthday, ‘Doc’ Gooden

gooden postcardHappy 51st birthday to Dwight “Doc” Gooden, who won his first World Series with the New York Mets but threw his only career no-hitter for the crosstown Yankees.

At Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, May 14, 1996, Gooden no-hit the Seattle Mariners for a 2-0 win, striking out five while walking six. It was his first year back in baseball after sitting out the 1995 season.

Gooden twice reached the eighth inning with no-hitters intact during his 11 seasons with the Mets:

  • On June 6, 1984, Gooden had a no-no going but yielded a lead-off single to the Pirates’ Doug Frobel. The Mets won 2-1 in 13 innings, with Tom Gorman getting the “W.”
  • Four years later, on June 5, 1988, Gooden again reached the eighth inning and again lost it on the lead-off hitter. This time it was the Cubs’ Damon Berryhill, who singled. Gooden held on for an 11-3 complete-game victory.
  • Wednesdsay marks the 31st anniversary of Gooden winning the National League Rookie of the Year award.

Happy 51st birthday Kenny Rogers

gamblerHappy 51st birthday to Kenny Rogers, who knew how to hold ’em against the California Angels on July 28, 1994.

The Texas Rangers’ southpaw on that day popped the halos off 27 consecutive Angels batters to toss the majors’ 14th perfect game at The Ballpark at Arlington. Rogers struck out eight batters and had some help from center fielder Rusty Greer in the ninth inning when he made a diving catch to preserve the perfecto.

It was only the third perfect game thrown by a lefty, putting Rogers in a club with the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Sandy Koufax (1965) and the Cincinnati Reds’ Tom Browning (1988).

Happy 80th birthday, Bob Gibson

Happy 80th birthday to Bob Gibson, the Nebraska-born Hall of Famer who pitched a no-hitter for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1971.

On Saturday, August 14, 1971, Gibson no-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates for an 11-0 win at Three Rivers Stadium. Gibson struck out 10 and walked three batters while helping his team at the plate with three RBIs. One came on a sacrifice fly in the fifth, and the others reached home on Gibby’s eighth-inning bases-loaded single.

Gibson won 251 games over a 17-year career spent entirely with the Cardinals and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981.

Also born on this day in 1886 is Nick Maddox, who threw a no-hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates. On Friday, September 20, 1907, Maddox no-hit the Brooklyn Superbas for a 2-1 home victory at
Exposition Park.

No-no birthdays for Walter Johnson, John Candelaria

Walter Johnson
Walter Johnson
Walter Johnson, a 400+ game winner who threw a 1920 no-hitter for the Washington Senators, was born 128 years ago today.

Johnson no-hit the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Thursday, July 1, 1920, for a 1-0 victory. He finished out a 21-year Hall of Fame career with a record of 417-279.

Also born on this day is the Pittsburgh Pirates’ John Candelaria, who threw a no-hitter in 1976. The “Candy Man” no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers at Three Rivers Stadium on Monday, August 9, 1976 for a 2-0 win. Wishing him a happy 62nd birthday!

‘Ice Box’ Chamberlain born on this day

Elton Ice Box ChamberlainElton “Ice Box” Chamberlain, who threw a 7-inning darkness-shortened no-hitter in 1893, was born 148 years ago today.

Chamberlain threw his unofficial no-no for the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday, September 23, 1893, during the second game of doubleheader at League Park. The 6-0 game against the Boston Beaneaters was called after 7 innings when the light ran out.

According to Chamberlain’s SABR bio written by Charles F. Faber, baseball writers dubbed him Ice Box “for the ice water that flowed through his veins.”

No-hitter hat trick thrower Feller born on this day in 1918

Getting in under the wire here, but had to commemorate what would have been Bob Feller’s 97th birthday today.

Feller used his trademark Heater from Van Meter fastball to throw three no-hitters:

1 Bob Feller
  Cleveland Indians (AL)
  Tuesday, April 16, 1940
Cleveland Indians 1, Chicago White Sox 0
Comiskey Park (Chicago)
(Baseball’s first and only opening-day no-no.)
2 Bob Feller
  Cleveland Indians (AL)
  Tuesday, April 30, 1946
Cleveland Indians 1, New York Yankees 0
Yankee Stadium (New York)
3 Bob Feller
  Cleveland Indians (AL)
  Sunday, July 1, 1951 (First game of doubleheader)
Cleveland Indians 2, Detroit Tigers 1
Cleveland Stadium (Cleveland)

Also born on this date (in 1945) is Ken Holtzman, who turns 70 today. Holtzman threw no-hitters for the Chicago Cubs in 1969 and 1971.

Vander Meer, threw back-to-back no-nos, born 101 years ago today

Johnny Vander Meer, the only major league pitcher to throw back-to-back no-hitters, was born 101 years ago on this day.

The lefty from Prospect Park, New Jersey was a starter for the 1938 Cincinnati Reds. Pitching at Crosley Field on Saturday, June 11, Vander Meer no-hit the Boston Bees (Braves) for a 3-0 victory. In his next start four days later in Brooklyn, Vander Meer no-hit the Dodgers for a 6-0 win in Ebbets Field’s first ever night game.

The feat has never been duplicated.

Happy 55th birthday, Fernando Valenzuela

Happy 55th birthday to Fernando Valenzuela, who threw a no-hitter in 1990 just hours after Dave Stewart threw a no-no.

At Dodger Stadium on Friday, June 29, 1990, Valenzuela tossed a 6-0 no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals. In an earlier day game, Stewart threw a no-hitter for the Oakland Athletics against the Toronto Blue Jays for a 5-0 win at the Skydome.

The games marked just the second time major league no-hitters were thrown on the same day. The first time was on April 22, 1898, when the Cincinnati Reds’ Ted Breitenstein and the NL Baltimore Orioles’ Jim Jay Hughes both threw no-nos.

Kimber, only pitcher to throw no-no for a tie, born on this day in 1854

Happy 161st birthday to Sam Kimber, who threw the only major-league no-hitter to end in a tie.

Kimber, born on this day in 1854, threw 10-innings of no-hit ball on Saturday, October 4, 1884, for the Brooklyn Atlantics, an American Association team that morphed into the Dodgers. Unfortunately, the Atlantics could not tag Toledo Blue Stockings’ pitcher Tony Mullane for a run despite two doubles by Brooklyn’s Charlie Householder. The game was called as a 0-0 tie due to darkness.

Another no-no thrower born on this day (1944) is Jim Bibby. Bibby, who posted a 111-101 record over a 12-year career, tossed his gem for the Texas Rangers on Monday, July 30, 1973, for a 6-0 win over the Oakland A’s at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum.

For World Series no-nos, there is only one

donlarsenmemorabiliaAs we get ready to begin the World Series tonight, let’s remember the only no-hitter ever tossed in the fall classic.

The New York Yankees’ Don Larsen threw a perfect game in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series for the first no-hitter in postseason history and the only in World Series history. Larsen retired all 27 Brooklyn Dodgers batters he faced at Yankee Stadium on Monday, October 8, 1956, for a 2-0 win.

The only other postseason no-no came 54 years later. The Philadelphia Phillies’ Roy Halladay threw a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds in the first game of the National League Divisional Series in 2010.

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