Chicago Cubs pitcher Jimmy Lavender’s no-hit the New York Giants, 102 years ago today
Lavender’s gem came during the first game of a Tuesday, August 31, 1915, doubleheader at the Polo Grounds.
The Giants’ Fred Merkle, immortalized by a 1908 base-running blunder that became known as “Merkle’s Boner,” was the only New Yorker to reach first base this game. He took first once on a second-inning error by Bob Fisher and another time on Lavender’s only walk in the eighth. Merkle never reached second.
Also throwing a no-hitter on this date is the Chicago White Sox’s Vern Kennedy, who no-hit the Cleveland Indians on Saturday, August 31, 1935 at Comiskey Park — 80 years ago today.
Today marks the anniversary of no-hitters thrown by the the New York Yankees’ Monte Pearson (79 years) and the Chicago White Sox’s Ed Walsh (106 years).
Pearson threw his no-no against the Indians during the nightcap of a Saturday doubleheader at Yankee Stadium on August 27, 1938, with the Yankees topping Cleveland 13-0. Previous Yankees no-hitters were thrown by George Mogridge (1917) and “Sad” Sam Jones (1923).
Walsh no-hit the Boston Red Sox for a 5-0 win at Comiskey Park on Sunday, August 27, 1911, striking out eight and walking one. It marked the fourth no-hitter in franchise history, with James “Nixey” Callahan tossing one in 1902 and Frank Smith throwing no-nos in 1905 and 1908.
Frank Wickware threw a Negro Leagues no-hitter for the Chicago American Giants, 103 years ago today.
On Wednesday, August 26, 1914, Wickware no-hit the Indianapolis ABCs for a 1-0 win.
According to Wickware’s SABR bio written by Stephen V. Rice, Wickware allowed just one base runner. The ABCs’ George Shively led off the game by drawing a walk and was thrown out trying to steal second. Wickware then retired the next 26 batters for the nearly perfect game..
Dean Chance threw a complete-game no-hitter for the Minnesota Twins 50 years ago today, just 19 days after throwing a rain-shortened perfect game.
Chance no-hit the Cleveland Indians during the second game of a Friday doubleheader on August 25, 1967, for a 2-1 win at Cleveland Stadium. Chance yielded an earned run in the first inning on two walks, an error and a wild pitch. He settled down and scattered three walks over the next eight innings, striking out a total of eight batters.
Just four starts earlier, on Thursday, August 6, 1967, Chance retired the only 15 Boston Red Sox batters he faced at Metropolitan Stadium for a 2-0 rain-shortened victory. Such games were considered official no-hitters until 1991.
Chance died in October 2015 at the age of 74.
Also throwing a no-hitter on this date was the Detroit Tigers’ Virgil Trucks. On Monday, August 25, 1952, trucks no-hit the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium for a 1-0 win. It was Trucks’ second no-no.
The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Rich Hill became the first pitcher since 1995 to throw nine innings of no-hit ball without completing the feat.
With the game gridlocked at 0 in the bottom of the 10th, Hill gave up a no-out walk-off homer to the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Josh Harrison, killing the no-no and giving the Pirates a 1-0 win. The 37-year-old Hill struck out 10, walked none and threw just 99 pitches.
The last pitcher to take a no-no into the 10th was the Montreal Expos’ Pedro Martínez. At San Diego’s Jack Murphy Stadium on Saturday, June 3, 1995, Martinez retired all 27 Padres he faced and entered the 10th with the perfecto in tact and the Expos up 1-0. Martinez gave up a leadoff double, killing both the perfect game and the no-hitter. Mel Rojas came in and retired the next three batters to secure the one-hit victory.
Hill was working on a perfecto until the ninth, when Jordy Mercer reached base on an error by third baseman Logan Forsythe.
Hall of Fame great Bob Gibson threw his only career no-hitter, 46 years ago today.
The St. Louis Cardinals’ flamethrower shut down the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday, August 14, 1971, for an 11-0 victory 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. The Omaha, Nebraska, native was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981.
Wilson Alvarez threw a no-hitter for the 1991 Chicago White Sox in just his second major league start, 26 years ago today.
Alvarez, a 6-foot-1 southpaw from Maracaibo, Venezuela, no-hit the Baltimore Orioles on August 11, 1991, walking five and striking out seven.
His outing at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium went considerable better than his major-league debut, in which he left the game after facing five batters without getting a single out. On July 24, 1989 as a member of the Texas Rangers, Alvarez yielded a leadoff single to Junior Felix and then served up back-to-back homers to Tony Fernandez and Kelly Gruber. Bobby Valentine pulled Alvarez after the southpaw issued back-to-back bases on balls to George Bell and Fred McGriff.
Alvarez went on to carve out a 14-year career, posting a 102-92 record with a 3.96 ERA. He retired in 2005 as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Also throwing a no-hitter on this date is the Boston Braves’ Vern Bickford, who no-hit the Brooklyn Dodgers at Braves Field on Friday, August 11, 1950 for a 7-0 win.