Sending 154th birthday wishes out to Ben Sanders, who threw a no-hitter for the Louisville Colonels on Monday, August 22, 1892.
The Colonels that day beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 in a game played at Louisville’s Eclipse Park, though the legitimacy of his no-no is in doubt.
The local paper’s headline for this game reads “Only One Hit” based on George Van Haltren’s sharp grounder toward third in the fourth inning. The shot was just missed by third baseman Hughie Jennings. Shortstop Charley Bassett snagged the ball about 20 feet behind third base, but his desperate throw was about 3 feet wide, and Van Haltren was safe at first. “At the time of the play, there was no question about it being a hit,” noted the story in Louisville’s Courier-Journal. “However, when the game was over and that proved to be the only hit made, a few inflammable cranks set up the claim that Jennings and Bassett had made bad errors. They wanted to improve Sanders’ already splendid record, though it could only be done by robbing Van Haltren.
The Courier-Journal box score recorded it as a hit, but Sanders is in baseball’s record books as having thrown a no-hitter.Baseball’s No-Hit Wonders: More Than a Century of Pitching’s Greatest Feats, by Dirk Lammers, p. 61
Both ball clubs finished near the bottom of the National League standings in 1892, with the Colonels posting a 63-89 record and the Orioles faring much worse at 46-101.