Merry Christmas to all, and on this day we’ll also celebrate the birth of two no-hitter throwers born 100 years apart.
Charlie Lea, the only no-hitter pitcher born in France, entered the world on this day in 1956 into the town of Orleans, which sits about 69 miles southwest of Paris. Lea tossed a no-no for the Montreal Expos in 1981. On May 10, 1981, during the second game of a Sunday doubleheader at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, Lea no-hit the San Francisco Giants for a 4-0 win.
Born 100 years before Lea was Pud Galvin, who tossed a no-no for the National League’s Buffalo Bisons in 1880. At Buffalo’s Riverside Park on Friday, August 20, 1880, Galvin no-hit the Worcester Ruby Legs for a 1-0 win, the first of his two no-hitters.
Galvin followed it up with a road no-hitter at Detroit’s Recreation Park against the Wolverines on Monday, August 4, 1884. Buffalo won 18-0 in game that still holds the record for the biggest run differential in a major league no-no.
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.
The Houston Astros’ Larry Dierker no-hit the Montreal Expos, 40 years ago today.
On Friday, July 9, 1976, Dierker walked four and struck out eight at the Astrodome to lead Houston to a 6-0 no-hit victory. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound righthander from Hollywood, California, told the Associated Press’ B.F. Kellum that he figured if he was going to pitch a no-no, it would have come early in his career.
“I didn’t think I had the stuff to pitch a no-hitter,” Dierker told the AP. “It’s hard to believe.”
Dierker nearly threw a perfect game in 1966. In a Sept. 30 game against the New York Mets that remained scoreless until the bottom of the ninth, Dierker took the mound and immediately gave up double to Mets’ third baseman Eddie Bressoud. That set the wheels in motion, as Dierker threw a wild pitch to Ron Hunt (pinch-hitting for left fielder Danny Napoleon) allowing Bressoud to reach third and then served up a pitch that resulted in a Hunt walk-off single to right.
The Washington Nationals’ Max Scherzer threw baseball’s 289th no-hitter one year ago today, becoming just the second pitcher to plunk the 27th batter during a perfecto yet recover for the no-no.
Scherzer retired the first 26 Pittsburgh Pirates he faced on June 20, 2015, before grazing pinch-hitter Jose Tabata with a pitch in the ninth inning, losing the perfect game. He then got Josh Harrison to fly out to left to complete the no-hitter. Scherzer struck out 10 batters and walked no one.
Only one other pitcher lost a perfect game by hitting the 27th batter yet recovered to save the no-no, and it was in 1908.
The New York Giants’ George “Hooks” Wiltse retired the first 26 Philadelphia Quakers he faced during the first game of a July 4 doubleheader that year before hitting opposing pitcher George McQuillan on the arm. The game at the time was a 0-0 tie. The Giants scored in the top of the 10th and Wiltse got his three outs in the bottom half to complete the no-no for a 1-0 win.
Frank Mountain threw the second and final no-hitter in Columbus Buckeyes history, 132 years ago today.
Mountain on June 5, 1884 no-hit the Washington Nationals of the American Association for a 12-0 win on the Capitol Grounds. Just a week earlier, teammate Ed Morris no-hit the Pittsburgh Alleghenys (Pirates) for a 5-0 win at Pittsburgh’s Recreation Park.
in 1884, the New York Metropolitans captured the AA pennant but lost the World Series 3-0 to the National League champion Providence Grays.
The Buckeyes folded before the start of the 1885 season.
The Philadelphia Phillies’ Tommy Greene threw a no-hitter against the Montreal Expos, 25 years ago today.
On Thursday, May 23, 1991, Greene no-hit the Expos for a 2-0 win at Olympic Stadium. Greene struck out 10 but walked seven batters, needing 130 pitches to complete the no-no. Five days later, Greene threw a complete-game three-hit shutout against the Expos, striking out nine while walking none for a 12-0 win at Veterans Stadium.
Happy 30th birthday to the Detroit Tigers’ Jordan Zimmermann, who threw a Washington Nationals no-hitter on the final day of the 2014 season.
On Sunday, September 28, 2014, Zimmermann no-hit the Miami Marlins for a 1-0 victory at Nationals Park. It was the first no-hitter for the Nationals franchise since its move from Montreal to D.C. (Expos pitchers tossed four no-hitters.)
Also born on this date, 144 years ago today, is Charles “Deacon” Phillippe, who tossed a no-hitter for the National League’s Louisville Colonels on Thursday, May 25, 1899. Phillippe no-hit the New York Giants for a 7-0 at Louisville’s Eclipse Park.
Happy 156th birthday to Frank Mountain, one of five major league pitchers to hit a home run while throwing a no-hitter.
Mountain, a hurler for the American Association’s Columbus Buckeyes, threw the majors’ 13th no-no against the Washington Nationals on June 5, 1884. The National Republican’s account of the game was not particularly kind to the hometown Nats.
“The Columbus club yesterday played a fine game in the field and at the bat,” the newspaper said. “The Washingtons fielded poorly and batted like school boys, the net result being a well earned victory for the former and a well deserved defeat for the latter.”
Here are the four no-hitters in which the pitcher hit one homer:
13 of 295
Columbus Buckeyes (AA)
Thursday, June 5, 1884
Columbus Buckeyes 12, Washington Nationals 0
Capitol Grounds (Washington, D.C.)
101 of 295
Cleveland Indians (AL)
Wednesday, April 29, 1931
Cleveland Indians 9, St. Louis Browns 0
League Park (Cleveland)
112 of 295
Boston Braves (NL)
Thursday, April 27, 1944
Boston Braves 2, Brooklyn Dodgers 0
Braves Field (Boston)
145 of 295
Boston Red Sox (AL)
Tuesday, June 26, 1962
Boston Red Sox 2, Los Angeles Angels 0
Fenway Park (Boston)
… and here is the only no-hitter in which the pitcher hit two homers:
179 of 295
Philadelphia Phillies (NL)
Wednesday, June 23, 1971
Philadelphia Phillies 4, Cincinnati Reds 0
Riverfront Stadium (Cincinnati)
The Colorado Rockies aren’t the only franchise to exit the no no-no club on this day.
Forty-seven years ago today, on April 17, 1969, the Montreal Expos’ Bill Stoneman no-hit the Philadelphia Phillies for a 7-0 victory at Connie Mack Stadium in just the Expos’ ninth game. It’s the earliest a franchise has ever knocked the accomplishment off its bucket list. Stoneman would get one more no-no in 1972 and Expos pitchers would throw two more before the move to D.C. Jordan Zimmermann threw the Nationals’ first no-no on Sept. 28, 2014. Max Scherzer added two Nationals no-hitters last season.
The San Diego Padres, an expansion partner of the Expos, are still awaiting the team’s first no-hitter.
Here’s when the other two 1969 expansion teams exited the no no-no club:
Kansas City Royals
In his 10th Major League start, Kansas City Royals starter Steve Busby no-hit the Detroit Tigers for a 3-0 victory on April 27, 1973 despite walking five batters. Busby would throw another no-hitter on June 19, 1974, becoming the first pitcher to ever throw two no-nos in his first two full seasons (he had thrown a couple late-season games in 1972). Other Royals pitchers would throw two more no-hitters to give the franchise a total of four.
The Pilots lasted just one season in Seattle, and the team couldn’t notch a no-hitter or even a one-hitter during those 162 games (they did get three two-hitters). After the squad moved to Milwaukee and was renamed the Brewers, the franchise would have to wait 17 years for its first no-hitter. Juan Nieves became the first Puerto Rico native to throw a no-no on April 15, 1987 as the Brewers topped the Baltimore Orioles 7-0. Robin Yount made a game-ending diving catch to preserve Nieves’ gem, which remains the Brewers’ only no-no.