Here is the trailer video for my upcoming book, Baseball’s No-Hit Wonders: More Than Century of Pitching’s Greatest Feats.
It tells the story of the start of NoNoHitters.com, and how it blossomed into the upcoming book, which is being published by Unbridled Books in March. It features some home movie footage my dad took with an 8mm camera of Bob Moose’s no-hitter against the New York Mets in 1969 as well as my first game at Shea, a July 3, 1975, four-hit shutout by Jerry Koosman against the Chicago Cubs.
Happy 44th birthday to Pedro Martínez, who threw nine innings of perfect baseball against the San Diego Padres on June 3, 1995.
A ball from that game sits in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, even though Martínez is not credited with an official no-hitter. His Montreal Expos couldn’t score a run until the top of the 10th inning, and Martínez gave up a double to lead off the bottom of the 10th inning.
Mel Rojas took the ball in relief, and after throwing a wild pitch to allow Bip Roberts to advance to third, Rojas retired the side to preserve the combined one-hit shutout.
Martínez was elected to the Hall this year on his 219-100 career record and a lifetime ERA of 2.93. His 3,154 strikeouts rank 13th all-time.
A couple of old-time throwers of American League “no-hit, no-run games” were born on this day.
Weldon Henley, born on this day in 1880, threw a no-no for the Philadelphia Athletics against the St. Louis Browns during the opener of a Saturday, July 22, 1905, doubleheader at St. Louis’ Robison Field. The A’s topped the Browns 6-0.
“Smokey” Joe Wood, born on this day in 1889, tossed a no-no for the Boston Red Sox during the first game of a Saturday, July 29, 1911, doubleheader at the Huntington Avenue Grounds. The Red Sox beat topped the Browns 5-0.
Four throwers of no-hitters were born on this date: Ewell Blackwell, Jim Bunning, Al Leiter and Bud Smith.
Blackwell, born on this date in 1922, threw a no-no for the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday, June 18, 1947, against the Boston Braves. In his following start, Blackwell just missed duplicating teammate Johnny Vander Meer’s mark of two straight no-nos, losing his second no-no after 8 1/3 innings against Brooklyn.
Bunning, who turns 84 today, threw a no-hitter for the Detroit Tigers against the Boston Red Sox during the first game of a Sunday doubleheader on July 20, 1958. He followed up that gem six years later as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, throwing a perfect game against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium during the first game of a Father’s Day doubleheader on Sunday, June 21, 1964. Bunning was the first major-league pitcher to throw no-nos in both the AL and NL.
Leiter, celebrating his 50th birthday today, tossed the Florida (now Miami) Marlins’ first no-hitter in franchise history. He blanked the Colorado Rockies on Saturday, May 11, 1996, for an 11-0 win at Joe Robbie Stadium.
Bud Smith, who turns 36 today, threw a no-hitter as a St. Louis Cardinals rookie on Monday, September 3, 2001, shutting down the San Diego Padres for a 4-0 win at Qualcomm Stadium.
Happy 78th birthday to Juan Marichal, who threw a no-hitter for the San Francisco Giants in 1963.
On Saturday, June 15, 1963, Marichal no-hit the Houston Colt .45’s for a 1-0 win at Candlestick Park. Marichal walked two and struck out five in the victory, which was one of his league-leading 25 wins of the season.
Opposing pitcher Dick Drott had a one-hit shutout going into the eighth before the Giants notched the game’s sole run on a pair of doubles.
The Cincinnati Reds’ Charles “Bumpus” Jones threw a no-hitter in his first major league appearance, 123 years ago today.
After watching Jones pitch well in an exhibition, player-manager Charles Comiskey gave him the opportunity to pitch the Reds’ final game of the season on Saturday, October 15, 1892. Jones no-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates for a 7-1 home victory at League Park.
We also wish a happy 70th birthday today to Jim Palmer, who threw a no-no for the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday, August 13, 1969. Palmer no-hit the Oakland Athletics for an 8-0 win at Memorial Stadium.
Dean Chance, who threw a complete-game no-hitter for the Minnesota Twins in 1967 just 19 days after throwing a rain-shortened perfect game, died Sunday at the age of 74, according to multiple news reports.
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.
Today is the 59th anniversary of Don Larsen’s perfect game for the New York Yankees in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series — the first no-hitter in postseason history.
Larsen retired all 27 Brooklyn Dodgers batters he faced at Yankee Stadium on Monday, October 8, 1956 for a 2-0 win.
In other no-no news, we wish a happy 130th birthday to the Philadelphia Phillies’ Johnny Lush, who threw a no-hitter on Tuesday, May 1, 1906. Lush, who was born in the Little League hometown of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, no-hit the Brooklyn Superbas for a 6-0 win at Brooklyn’s Washington Park.
The Philadelphia Phillies’ Roy Halladay threw the second no-hitter in post-season history, five years ago today.
On Wednesday, October 6, 2010, in Game 1 of the National League Divisional Series, Halladay no-hit the Cincinnati Reds for a 4-0 win at Citizens Bank Park. It was Halladay’s second no-hitter that season, as he threw a perfecto against the Florida Marlins that June.
The first postseason no-no, of course, was the New York Yankees’ Don Larsen’s perfect game in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Outside of Halladay’s postseason no-no, the Reds have the longest current regular-season streak of avoiding a no-hitter dating back to Wednesday, June 23, 1971, when the Phils’ Rick Wise no-hit the team. The Cubs gave up that crown in 2015.
The only other pitcher to throw a no-hitter on this date is Matt Kilroy, back in 1886, but it was a regular season matchup. Kilroy, pitching for the American Association’s Baltimore Orioles, no-hit the Pittsburgh Alleghenys for a 6-0 win at Pittsburgh’s Recreation Park.
The San Diego Padres have finished the 2015 season without a no-hitter, marking the 47th straight season they’ve missed that feat since joining the National League in 1969.
The Friars did notch one other rare feat this season, when Matt Kemp became the first Padres player to hit for the cycle on Friday, August 14, 2015 at Coors Field. The team had been one of two major league teams (the Marlins being the other) without a cycle.
Our 2015 poll of who will throw the first Padres no-hitter finished as follows:
Some other guy (27%)
James Shields (24%)
Andrew Cashner (19%)
Odrisamer Despaigne (10%)
Tyson Ross (9%)
Ian Kennedy (8%)
Brandon Morrow (3%)
Colin Rea (1%)