Padres left alone, two years ago today

johanTwo years ago today, on June 1, 2012, Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in New York Mets history, anointing the San Diego Padres with new-found infamy as the team with the longest current drought. Santana’s gem ended the Mets’ streak at 8,019 games with no no-nos, dating back to the franchises first game in 1962.

The Padres have been at it since 1969.

The Mets streak lasted 50+ seasons, which is the longest a franchise has ever gone from its birth, but it’s not the longest no no-no streak. That record belongs to the Philadelphia Phillies, who were void of a no-hitter for 58 years, 1 month, 18 days between 1906 and 1964. The 8,945-game-long streak began on May 3, 1906, one game after Phillies’ southpaw Johnny Lush threw a 6-0 no-hitter against the Brooklyn Superbas. It ended on June 21, 1964, when Jim Bunning threw a 6-0 perfect game against the Mets during a Father’s Day doubleheader at Shea Stadium in New York.

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Padres’ move to Washington announced, 41 years ago today

Washington Nat'l Lea. Topps 1974 team cardOn May 27, 1973, 41 years ago today, a group of businessmen from Washington, D.C., announced they had bought the San Diego Padres for $12 million and were relocating the team to the nation’s capital for the 1974 season.

The move was thought to be such a done deal that Topps began printing its 1974 Padres baseball cards with the team name “Washington Nat’l Lea.” The blog Ghosts of DC even has a photo of pitcher Dave Freisleben in a prototype Washington road uniform, an ugly light blue polyester pullover with red and blue trim.

But the team never moved. The City of San Diego filed lawsuits, outgoing owner C. Arnholt Smith needed to complete the deal and retired McDonald’s chief executive officer Ray Krok stepped up with the cash and kept the Friars in San Diego.

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Beckett throws Dodgers’ 24th no-no, tops among franchises

Josh Beckett’s no-hitter for The Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday marks the franchise’s 24th no-no, tops in the majors.

The first was on Oct 4, 1884, when Sam Kimber threw a 10-inning no-no against the Toledo Blue Stockings that ended in a 0-0 tie.

Beckett, a 2003 World Series MVP who has been struggling to regain his form, walked three and struck out six during his 6-0 road victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

It marked the Dodgers’ first no-hitter since Hideo Nomo threw a 9-0 no-hit no-run game against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on Sept. 17, 1996.

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Foley 1st to hit for cycle 132 years ago today

Curry Foley Digital ID: 56697. New York Public Library132 years ago today, Charles J “Curry” Foley became the first Major League player to hit for the cycle.

Foley accomplished the feat on May 25, 1882, while playing right field for Buffalo during the Bisons’ 20-1 National League crushing of the Cleveland Blues.

“The game proved a Waterloo for the visitors, and was robbed of all interest at an early stage by the terrific slugging,” an unnamed newspaper writer penned from Riverside Grounds. “Nothing like it was ever seen before.”

Hitting for the cycle involves notching a single, double, triple and homer in the same game. It’s about as rare as a no-hitter, with 304 over baseball’s history compared to 292 no-nos. Though the term “hit-for-cycle” apparently wasn’t used back then, the box score says that Foley went 4-for-6 and those hits included a double, a triple and a home run that “cleared the bases.”

Foley, who was born in Ireland, made his last appearance on a ball field in 1888 due to rheumatism. He died on Oct. 21, 1898, at the age of 42 after being bedridden for years.

“He was a very bright fellow, using superior judgment in his work,” the writer of his obituary noted. “Not only did he excel as a ball player, but he made his mark as a writer. He had a wonderful memory, and his reminiscences of feats on the ball field were most interesting and entertaining.”

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Trivia answer … Ryan’s 9th-inning heartbreaks

Nolan Ryan's circle of no-no hats in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Nolan Ryan’s circle of no-no hats in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Today’s trivia question was: What do Dick Allen, Reggie Jackson, Mike Schmidt, Nelson Liriano and Dave Bergman all have in common?

The question was borne out of Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish’s loss of a no-hitter in the ninth inning Friday night for the Texas Rangers.

The five players featured in our question all broke up ninth-inning no-hitters by no-no king Nolan Ryan. Don’t feel too sorry for Ryan, though, as he ended his career with a record-setting seven no-hitters.

The first lost ninth-inning no-no came on Aug. 7, 1974, when Ryan – then a California Angel – yielded a one-out single to Dick Allen. Ryan wound up giving up three hits and taking a 2-1 loss against the Chicago White Sox. In the second lost no-no, Ryan was no-hitting the New York Yankees through 8 1/3 innings on July 13, 1979, when Reggie Jackson singled. The Yankees wound up scoring an unearned run, but Ryan held on for a one-hit 6-1 victory.

Ryan’s third lost no-no in the ninth came as a member of the Houston Astros on April 27, 1988, after Ryan took a 2-0 lead into the ninth inning. The Phillies’ Greg Gross lead off the inning by reaching base on an error. After Juan Samuel struck out, Mike Schmidt hit a one-out single to kill the no-no, and Lance Parrish followed with a double that scored Gross and Schmidt’s pinch-runner, Bob Dernier. The Astros scored in the top of the 10th and inning, Dave Smith pitched a perfect bottom half of the inning for the win.

Ryan lost no-no number 4 was on April 23, 1989, courtesy of the Toronto Blue Jays’ Nelson Liriano. Liriano tagged Ryan for a one-out triple, then scored on ground out as Ryan held on for a 4-1 one-hit complete-game victory. (Side note: Five days later, Liriano stole another no-no in the ninth, this one as a pinch-hitter crushing the hopes of the California Angels’ Kirk McCaskill.)

The Detroit Tigers’ Dave Bergman is responsible for the fifth ninth-inning lost no-no, tagging Ryan for a one-out single. Bergman advanced to third on a Matt Nokes double, prompting Texas manager Bobby Valentine to bring in reliever Jeff Russell. Bergman scored on a Chet Lemon ground out and the Rangers held on to preserve a 4-1 victory, credited to Ryan.

Oddly, all of Ryan’s lost ninth-inning no-nos came with one out.

And two of them were part of Ryan’s record-tying 12 career one-hitters, a mark that matches Bob Feller’s total.

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Trivia question for today …

nonohittersbox… What do Dick Allen, Reggie Jackson, Mike Schmidt, Nelson Liriano and Dave Bergman all have in common?

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Yu gotta be kidding! Darvish loses no-no in ninth

Yu Darvish Topps cardFor the second time in his career, the Texas Rangers’ Yu Darvish lost a no-hitter on the final batter, giving up a ninth-inning base hit Friday night to Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.

A couple of innings earlier, Big Papi killed Darvish’s perfect game. With two out in the seventh, Ortiz lofted what appeared to be a routine fly ball between right field and second base. Right-fielder Alex Rios should have taken charge and called off second-baseman Rougned Odor, but the two failed to communicate and the ball dropped between them. It was ruled an error on Rios.

Darvish last April threw 8 2/3 innings of perfect baseball against the Houston Astros – including 14 strikeouts – before Marwin Gonzalez drilled a base hit up the middle.

The Rangers’ last no-hitter was on July 28, 1994, when Kenny Rogers threw a perfect game against the California Angels for a 4-0 victory.

The last time the Red Sox were no-hit was on April 22, 1993, when the Seattle Mariners’ Chris Bosio dominated Boston 2-0.

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Padres’ first no-hitter* – 55 years ago today

Russ Heman 1959 Topps card - Cleveland IndiansThe San Diego Padres notched the franchise’s first no-hitter 55 years ago today, but the accomplishment carries a significant asterisk.

The Padres in 1959 were a Pacific Coast League affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, and on May 7 of that year, a 6-foot-4 200-pound pitcher by the name of Russ
Heman took the ball against the Vancouver Mounties at Capilano Stadium.

Heman was “invincible” on the mound that night, according to the Canadian Press, keeping most of Vancouver’s balls on the ground.

Just two Mounties reached based during the 1 hour, 35 minute game. Ray Barker reached first safely in the fourth inning on a Billy Moran throwing error and Brooks Robinson – yes, that Brooks Robinson – drew a walk in the fifth inning. (The eventual Hall of Fame third baseman had been sent down to Vancouver to regain his baseball swagger after serving during the ’58-’59 off-season in the Arkansas National Guard.)

Heman outdueled Erv Paluca for the 2-0 win, notching the PCL Padres’ first of three no-hitters.

Meanwhile, the Major League San Diego Padres remain void of a no-no.

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Padres count reaches 7,200

A first-inning Omar Infante double off Robbie Erlin makes it 7,200 regular season San Diego Padres games without a no-hitter,

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Thurmond’s one-hitter, 28 years ago today

Mark Thurmond '86 Topps Padres cardTwenty-eight years ago today, Mark Thurmond threw the San Diego Padres’ 10th one-hitter at Jack Murphy Stadium, holding onto a perfect game through 6 1/3 innings.

Thurmond, who joined the Padres in 1983, had not yielded a hit or walk to a St. Louis Cardinals batter on April 30, 1986, when Willie McGee stepped into the box with one out in the seventh inning and blooped a single to kill both the perfecto and the no-hitter. McGee’s hit marked the Padres’ 2,714th game without a no-no.

Thurmond salvaged a one-hit, one-walk 5-0 shutout, helping his cause with an RBI single in the fourth to drive in Bruce Bochy.

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