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.