Today is the 61st 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 MLB 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 the ninth, Larsen enticed outs from Carl Furillo and Roy Campanella before Dodgers manager Walter Alston called back pitcher Sal Maglie and sent pinch hitter Dale Mitchell to the plate. With a 2-2 count, catcher Yogi Berra called for a fastball. Mitchell tried to check his swing, but home-plate umpire Babe Pinelli already called it Strike 3.
Berra jumped into Larsen’s arms, and the picture of that embrace remains on of baseball’s most quintessential images.
The Brooklyn Atlantics’ Sam Kimber threw baseball’s only tie-game no-hitter, 133 years ago today.
On Saturday, October 4, 1884, Kimber threw 10 innings of no-hit ball against the Toledo Blue Stockings at Brooklyn’s Washington Park but his team couldn’t score him a run off Toledo pitcher Frank Olin, who yielded just four hits. The game was called at the conclusion of the 10th inning due to darkness.
Another no-hitter was thrown on this date seven years after Kimber’s gem. During the first game of a Sunday, October 4, 1891, doubleheader, the St. Louis Browns Ted Breitenstein no-hit the Louisville Colonels for an 8-0 win at Sportsman’s Park.
Nolan Ryan threw the fifth of his major-league record seven no-hitters, 36 years ago today.
On September 26, 1981, as a member of the Houston Astros, Ryan broke Sandy Koufax’s 16-year-old mark of four career no-nos with a 5-0 no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ryan struck out 11 and walked three, making great use of his breaking ball.
Koufax had set the record of four no-hitters on September 9, 1965, tossing a perfect game against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium.
The St. Louis Cardinals’ Paul Dean and the Oakland Athletics’ Vida Blue threw no-hitters on this date.
On Friday, September 21, 1934, during the second game of an Ebbets Field doubleheader against Brooklyn, Dean no-hit the Dodgers for a 3-0 win. The no-no broke the longest no-hitter drought in Major League Baseball history in terms of game days at 535 (more than three years!), a record that stands today.
Older brother Dizzy Dean pitched the opener of that doubleheader, holding the the Dodgers to three hits for a 13-0 complete-game win.
On Monday, September 21, 1970, Blue no-hit the Minnesota Twins at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum for a 6-0 victory. At 21 years, 1 month and 24 days, Blue set the new modern-era mark for a youngster.
Hilldale’s Phil Cockrell threw a Negro Leagues no-hitter, 106 years ago today.
On September 5, 1921, during the second game of a Monday doubleheader, Cockrell no-hit the Detroit Stars for a 3-0 win. He followed that up with another no-no less than a year after, no-hitting the Chicago American Giants for a 5-0 win on Saturday, August 19, 1922.
Also throwing a no-hitter on this date is the Brooklyn Superbas’ George Napoleon “Nap” Rucker. On September 5, 1908, during the second game of a Saturday doubleheader at Brooklyn’s Washington Park, Rucker no-hit the Boston Doves for a 6-0 win.
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.
Happy 135th birthday to the New York Giants’ Red Ames, who threw nine innings of no-hit ball on Opening Day in 1909 before giving up a hit in the 10th and losing the game in the 13th.
On April 15, 1909, Ames no-hit the Brooklyn Superbas over nine innings at the Polo Grounds but neither team could score a run, as Brooklyn’s Kaiser Wilhelm held the Giants to just one hit.
The Superbas’ Whitey Alperman tagged Ames for a one-out double to left center in the 10th inning, but Ames stranded Alperman at third to keep the game scoreless. Brooklyn scored three runs in the top of the 13th for the victory, with Ames giving up a total of 7 hits. Wilhelm yielded just four hits.
Amos Rusie threw the first New York Giants no-hitter, 126 years ago today.
Rusie, getting the start at the Polo Grounds on Friday, July 31, 1891, Rno-hit the Brooklyn Grooms for a 6-0 win.
According to the New York Times, Rusie injured his hand just a week earlier and it was feared that he might miss some action, but he asked team captain Buck Ewing to get the start against Brooklyn. Rusie did walk seven batters, but the Times said that 16 batters were retired on grounders “of a very weak character.”
Also throwing a no-hitter on this date in 1888 is the Philadelphia Athletics’ Gus Weyhing, who no-hit the Kansas City Cowboys for a 4-0 win at Philly’s Jefferson Street Grounds.
Two perfect games and one plain old no-hitter were thrown on this date.
At Dodger Stadium on Sunday, July 28, 1991, the Montreal Expos’ Dennis Martínez retired all of the 27 Los Angeles Dodgers he faced for a 2-0 win.
Three years to the day later, on Thursday, July 28, 1994, the Texas Rangers’ Kenny Rogers threw a 4-0 perfecto against the California Angels at The Ballpark at Arlington.
The other no-hitter was a combination effort by the Chicago White Sox’s John “Blue Moon” Odom (5 inn.) and Francisco Barrios (4 inn.), who no-hit the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday, July 28, 1976, for a 2-1 win at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum.