Walter Johnson, a 400+ game winner who threw a 1920 no-hitter for the Washington Senators, was born 130 years ago today.
Johnson no-hit the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Thursday, July 1, 1920, for a 1-0 victory. He finished out a 21-year Hall of Fame career with a record of 417-279.
Also born on this day is the Pittsburgh Pirates’ John Candelaria, who threw a no-hitter in 1976. The “Candy Man,” who turns 64 today, no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers at Three Rivers Stadium on Monday, August 9, 1976 for a 2-0 win. Wishing him a happy 64th birthday!
Today is the 125th anniversary of Bumpus Jones’ debut no-hitter.
Charles Leander “Bumpus” Jones made his major-league debut for the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday, October 15, 1892, and made the most of it, no-hitting the Pittsburgh Pirates at League Park for a 7-1 win.
Reds player-manager Charles Comiskey, who had watched Jones pitch well in an 1892 exhibition, gave Jones the opportunity to pitch Cincinnati’s final game of the ’92 season. Two pitchers – Ted Breitenstein and Alva “Bobo” Holloman – have thrown no-hitters in their first major league starts, but only Jones did so in his first major league appearance.
The Boston Red Sox’s Bill Rohr came within one strike of the feat in 1967.
Rohr made his major league debut against New York at Yankee Stadium on April 14, 1967, and reached the ninth inning without allowing a hit. (He had allowed six base runners to reach on five walks and one on an error.)
Tom Tresh led off the ninth inning by hitting a fly ball to left, and Carl Yastrzemski saved the day with a diving catch. After Joe Pepitone flied out to right for the second out, Rohr served up a 3-2 flat curve to Elston Howard and Howard lined it to right center for a single. Rohr got Charley Smith to fly out to right to complete the 3-0 complete-game one-hitter.
Rohr took it in stride.
“It would have been nice to have a no-hitter, but it’s awfully nice to be 1-0 in the big leagues,” he said after the game.
Rohr made just 26 more appearances in the majors (seven of those as starts) with his last for the Cleveland Indians in 1968. He played out his final three years in the minors before retiring with an MLB 3-3 record.
Bob Moose temporarily interrupted the Miracle Mets’ postseason push with a no-hitter at Shea Stadium, 48 years ago today.
At Shea Stadium on Saturday, September 20, 1969, Moose struck out six and walked three to lead the Pirates to a 4-0 win over New York. (My father and two of my sisters were at the game. The Cubs lost, too, so the Mets maintained a four-game lead in the newly formed National League East division.
Five other no-hitters were thrown on this date, though none of those have been thrown in the 48 years since Moose’s no-no. September 20’s six no-hitters ties three other dates for the most no-nos for a particular date: April 27, May 15 and September 28.
Here are the other September 20 no-hitters:
8 of 296
Chicago White Stockings (NL)
Wednesday, September 20, 1882
Chicago White Stockings 5, Worcester Ruby Legs 0
Lake Front Park (Chicago) (His second of three no-hitters)
45 of 296
James "Nixey" Callahan
Chicago White Sox (AL)
Saturday, September 20, 1902 (First game of doubleheader)
Chicago White Sox 3, Detroit Tigers 0
South Side Park (Chicago) (First American League no hitter)
56 of 296
Pittsburgh Pirates (NL)
Friday, September 20, 1907
Pittsburgh Pirates 2, Brooklyn Superbas 1
Exposition Park (Pittsburgh)
61 of 296
Chicago White Sox (AL)
Sunday, September 20, 1908
Chicago White Sox 1, Philadelphia Athletics 0
South Side Park (Chicago) (His second of two no-hitters)
139 of 296
Baltimore Orioles (AL)
Saturday, September 20, 1958
Baltimore Orioles 1, New York Yankees 0
Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)
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.
Hall of Fame great Bob Gibson threw his only career no-hitter, 46 years ago today.
The St. Louis Cardinals’ flamethrower shut down the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday, August 14, 1971, for an 11-0 victory at Three Rivers Stadium.
Gibson struck out 10 and walked three batters while helping his team at the plate with three RBIs. One came on a sacrifice fly in the fifth, and the others reached home on Gibby’s eighth-inning bases-loaded single.
Gibson won 251 games over a 17-year career spent entirely with the Cardinals. The Omaha, Nebraska, native was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981.
The Washington Nationals’ Max Scherzer threw baseball’s 289th no-hitter two years ago yesterday, 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.
Scherzer threw a second no-hitter less than four months later, no-hitting the New York Mets at Citi Field for a 2-0 victory. He came close to throwing a third on Tuesday night, zapping the Miami Marlins into the eighth before losing his no-no bid on an A.J. Ellis come-backer.
Pittsburgh Pirates hurler Dock Ellis thought June 12, 1970 was an off-day, so after a long night of partying he woke up and decided to take some LSD. What he didn’t know was he had slept through a full day and he was actually scheduled to pitch Game 1 of a doubleheader against the San Diego Padres.
But Ellis was able to not only secure a 2-0 Pirates win in San Diego, he held the Padres hitless in what is believed to be the only Major League no-hitter thrown by a man tripping on acid.
The story was long thought to be an urban legend, but Ellis talked openly about the experience in a 2005 Dallas Observer story. Ellis, who died in 2008, had long been drug free and was working as a drug counselor when he was interviewed for the article.
“What’s weird is that sometimes it felt like a balloon. Sometimes it felt like a golf ball,” the alternative weekly reported. “But he could always get it to the plate. Getting it over the plate was another matter entirely. Sometimes he couldn’t see the hitter. Sometimes he couldn’t see the catcher.”
That’s evident in the box score, as Ellis apparently walked eight and hit at least one batter.
The Philadelphia Phillies’ Roy Halladay threw a perfect game against the Florida Marlins, seven years ago today.
On Saturday, May 29, 2010, at Sun Life Stadium, Halladay sent every Marlins batter he faced back to the dugout, and a lone unearned run in the third was all the Phillies needed to defeat Florida 1-0.
Halladay added a second no-hitter in the 2010 postseason, shutting down the Cincinnati Reds 4-0 in the first game of the National League Divisional Series.
Also throwing a no-hitter on this date is Ed Morris, who tossed one for the American Association’s Columbus Buckeyes 132 years ago today. On Thursday, May 29, 1884 at Pittsburgh’s Recreation Park, Morris shut down the Pittsburgh Alleghenys for a 5-0, no-hit win.
The Arizona Diamondbacks’ Zack Greinke took a no-hitter into the eighth inning on Thursday night before losing it on a Gregory Polanco homer to lead off the inning.
The lost no-no leaves us in a drought of more than a year dating back to April 21, 2016, when the Chicago Cubs’ Jake Arrieta no-hit the Cincinnati Reds.
Greinke had been facing the minimum, walking one and striking out 11 before Polanco went yard. The only runner to reach base before the homer, Jordy Mercer, was thrown out stealing in the third inning.
Greinke finished out the eighth and handed the ball to Fernando Rodney, who completed the one-hit 2-1 victory.