132 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.”
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.
For 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.
The 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.
Twenty-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.
Ian Kennedy took a no-hitter into the sixth inning Thursday before giving up a Nolan Arenado double down the third base line that hit the bag, making it impossible for third baseman Alexi Amarista to make another save.
That marks the San Diego Padres’ 7,182nd game with no no-no and continues the team’s infamy as being the only to not accomplish the feat.
Amarista kept the no-no against the Colorado Rockies alive in the third inning on a soft grounder toward third. Amarista barehanded the dribbler and threw a perfect strike to first baseman Tommy Medica for that inning’s second out.
Kennedy was perfect through four innings before issuing a lead-off walk to Troy Tulowitzki. Padres shortstop Evereth Cabrera then robbed Justin Morneau of a base hit by leaping to snag a soft liner. Kennedy then got out of the jam by getting Willin Rosario to ground into a double play.
Kennedy gave up three runs on three additional hits, none of them particularly clean, in the seventh to lose the one-hitter and the shutout.
It is taking at least 7,181 games for the San Diego Padres to get the team’s first no-hitter in franchise history.
For one of the other Major League teams born in 1969 – the Montreal Expos – it took just just nine games.
The franchise that relocated to Washington, D.C., to become the Nationals in 2005 accomplished the feat on April 17, 1969. Reliever-turned-starter Bill Stoneman struck out eight and walked five but gave up no-hits during the Expos’ 8-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. Stoneman told newspaper reporters after the game that he wasn’t the least bit nervous: “I guess it’s because I was never even close to a no-hitter before.”
Stoneman would get one more no-no in 1972, and Expos pitchers would throw two more before the move to D.C., but no pitcher has accomplished the feat while wearing a Washington Nationals uniform.
Meanwhile, the Padres are still seeking their first, 45 years into the team’s history.