Today is the anniversary of two New York Yankees no-hitters thrown 70 years apart.
The first was thrown on Tuesday, September 4, 1923, by the Yankees’ “Sad” Sam Jones, and he accomplished the feat without throwing a single strikeout. Jones no-hit the Philadelphia Athletics for a 2-0 win at Shibe Park.
The second was thrown on Saturday, September 4, 1993, by Jim Abbott, who no-hit the Cleveland Indians that day for a 4-0 win. Abbott, who was born with one hand, conveyed his amazing story in his 2012 autobiography Imperfect: An Improbable Life and he continues to share his inspiring message through motivational speeches throughout the country.
When Abbott arrived at Yankee Stadium the next day, reporters from as far off as Philadelphia and Boston surrounded his locker to talk about the previous day’s no-no. He knew that their questions would be centered on the one-handed pitcher making his way — a story line he never cared for.
“The stories could say what they wanted, but two-handed guys and one-handed guys don’t throw no-hitters. Pitchers throw them,” he wrote.
(Jim Abbott photo from National Baseball Hall of Fame)
St. Louis Cardinals rookie Bud Smith no-hit the San Diego Padres, 15 years ago today.
Smith, appearing in just his 13th major league game on Monday, September 3, 2001, struck out seven and walked four while holding the Padres hitless at Qualcomm Stadium en route to a 4-0 win. Smith threw 134 pitches during the game, and his Cardinals career wound up being short, and he pitched his last major league ballgame in July 2002.
Also throwing a no-hitter on this date is the Philadelphia Athletics’ Bill McCahan. At Philadelphia’s Shibe Park on Wednesday, September 3, 1947, McCahan no-hit the Washington Senators for 3-0 win.
Forty-four years ago today, on Sept. 2, 1972, the Chicago Cubs’ Milt Pappas no-hit the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field, becoming the only pitcher in MLB history to lose a perfect game by walking the 27th batter but still get a no-hitter (two others did it on hit batsmen).
Pappas retired the first 26 Padres he faced and was one out away from a perfect game with a 3-2 count on pinch-hitter Larry Stahl when home plate umpire Bruce Froemming called a ball to issue the base on balls. Pappas started yelling at Froemming and nearly got kicked out of the game.
“I’ve got a call, and I’m not a fan. I’m an umpire,” Froemming told the MLB Network’s Bob Costas.
Pappas managed to get pinch-hitter Garry Jestadt to pop out to second to complete the no-no, an 8-0 victory.
A couple of years ago I interviewed Pappas, who passed away in April, and he was still upset with umpire Bruce Froemming for 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?’”
Chicago Cubs pitcher Jimmy Lavender’s no-hit the New York Giants, 101 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 baserunning 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’s the 100th anniversary of “Dutch” Leonard’s first Boston Red Sox no-hitter.
On Wednesday, Aug. 30, 1916, Leonard no-hit the St. Louis Browns at Fenway Park for a 4-0 win. Leonard walked just two late batters, holding on to the perfect game until the eighth inning. He added his second no-hitter two years later.
Also throwing no-hitters on this date are the St. Louis Browns’ Earl Hamilton (1912), the St. Louis Cardinals’ Lon Warneke (1941) and the Chicago Cubs’ Jake Arrieta (2015).
On Friday, August 30, 1912, Hamilton no-hit the Detroit Tigers on the road at Navin Field for a 5-1 win. It was Ty Cobb who single-handedly killed Hamilton’s shutout. Cobb reached first on a fourth-inning walk, took second and third on a grounder booted by Browns’ second baseman Del Pratt and snagged home on an attempted steal of second. Cobb took off on catcher Walt Alexander’s throw to second, then slid around Alexander on the return throw to the plate.
On Saturday, August 30, 1941, at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field, Warneke no-hit the Reds for a 2-0 win. Warneke walked just one batter and the AP in its report said Warneke was backed by a strong defense.
“They stopped almost everything, and some of the balls were tagged for greener pastures,” the wire story noted.
At Dodger Stadium on Sunday, August 30, 2015, Arrieta no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers for a 2-0 win. Arrieta walked just one and fanned 12, blazing through the ninth inning by striking out the side. The only other Dodgers base runner reached on a Starlin Castro error in the third inning, but Castro redeemed himself by reaching out for a liner with two outs in the seventh to save Arrieta’s no-no.
Charlie Ferguson threw the first no-hitter for the Philadelphia Phillies franchise, 131 years ago today.
Ferguson, pitching for the Philadelphia Quakers on Saturday, August 29, 1885 at home at Recreation Park, no-hit the National League’s Providence Grays for a 1-0 win. The Reading Times noted a rivalry between Quakers pitchers Ferguson and Ed Daily, who held Providence to two hits the day before.
“Both are doing remarkably fine work just at present,” the paper noted, “but Ferguson’s achievement Saturday of retiring the Providence club without a hit ranks as first.”
The two hurlers pitched quite similarly over the 1885 season. Ferguson posted a 26-20 record with a 2.22 ERA, while Daily notched a 26-23 record with a 2.21 ERA.
Frank Wickware threw a Negro Leagues no-hitter for the Chicago American Giants, 102 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..
The San Francisco Giants’ Matt Moore came one out away from a no-hitter Thursday night before yielding a bloop single to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Corey Seager — on Corey Seager bobblehead night at Chavez Ravine.
Moore reached 133 pitches, so once the no-no was off the board, pitching coach Dave Righetti (who is no stranger to no-nos) called to the bullpen for Santiago Castilla. Castilla threw one pitch to secure the 4-0 shutout.
The Giants were trying to become the first team to throw no-hitters in five consecutive seasons. They’ve done it over the last four years:
San Francisco Giants (NL)
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
San Francisco Giants 10, Houston Astros 0
AT&T Park (San Francisco) (Perfect game)
San Francisco Giants (NL)
Saturday, July 13, 2013
San Francisco Giants 9, San Diego Padres 0
Petco Park (San Diego) (His first of two no-hitters)
San Francisco Giants (NL)
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
San Francisco Giants 4, San Diego Padres 0
AT&T Park (San Francisco) (His second of two no-hitters; Lincecum becomes only pitcher since Addie Joss to no-hit the same team twice.)
San Francisco Giants (NL)
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 San Francisco Giants 5, New York Mets 0 Citi Field (New York)
The only other team to throw no-hitters in four consecutive seasons is the Dodgers, and they were all by Sandy Koufax (1962, ’63, ’64, ’65).