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.