No-hitter mark might fall this year

bobbypope428@gmail.comJuly 16, 2012 

Will 2012 go down as the year of the no-hitter in Major League Baseball history?

To date, with 2½ months remaining in the regular season, we have already seen five no-nos, which is closing in on the all-time record of seven in both the 1990 and 1991 seasons. Two of those no-hitters have been perfect games, just the 21st and 22nd all-time. Philip Humber had one for the Chicago White Sox against Seattle on April 21, and San Francisco’s Matt Cain recorded one against the Houston Astros on June 13.

Overall, there have been 277 no-hitters in the major leagues since 1876. The most famous belongs to New York Yankees hurler Don Larsen, who had a perfect game in the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers in a 2-0 win. Larsen threw just 97 pitches in that game. The only other postseason no-hitter belongs to Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay, who blanked the Giants in 2010.

Nolan Ryan is the all time no-hit king with seven to his credit, four while pitching for the California Angels, one with the Houston Astros and two with the Texas Rangers. One of those while with the Rangers came at age 44, making him the oldest pitcher to toss a no-hitter. Sandy Koufax is next in line with four, all with the Los Angeles Dodgers, while Bob Feller, Cy Young and Larry Corcoran had three each.

Feller, who also had 12 one-hitters in his career, is the only hurler to register an opening day no-hitter. He accomplished the feat on the first day of the 1946 campaign, shutting out the Chicago White Sox 1-0.

Middle Georgia native Alva “BoBo” Holloman, who was born in The Rock, near Thomaston in Upson County, is the only major league player to record a no-hitter in his first starting assignment in the big leagues. Pitching for the St. Louis Browns on May 6, 1953, he blanked the Philadelphia A’s 6-0.

Cincinnati’s Johnny Vander Meer is the only hurler to ever toss back-to-back no-hitters. He didn’t allow a hit to the Boston Bees on June 11, 1938, and four days later he no-hit the Brooklyn Dodgers in the first night game ever played at Ebbets Field.

Possibly the greatest pitching performance of all-time belongs to Harvey Haddix while playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates in June 1960. He worked 12 innings of perfect baseball before losing to the Milwaukee Braves 2-0 in the 13th on a two-run double by Joe Adcock.

Since moving to Atlanta in 1966, the Braves have recorded two ­no-hitters. Phil Niekro go the first one in August 1973 with a 9-0 win over San Diego, and then in September 1991 Kent Mercker, Mark Wohlers and Alejandro Pena combined on one, also against the Padres, in a 1-0 win.

On the other hand, Atlanta has been the victim of six no hitters since moving to the South. Those came against Houston’s Don Wilson in 1967, Ken Holtzman with the Chicago Cubs in 1969, John Montefusco with the Giants in 1976, Ken Forsch with Houston in 1979, Randy Johnson with the Diamondbacks in 2004 and Ubaldo Jimenez with the Rockies in 2010. Johnson’s effort against Atlanta was a perfect game.

Macon native John “Blue Moon” Odom, while pitching for the Chicago White Sox in 1976, combined with Francisco Barrios for a no-hitter against the Oakland A’s. Ironically, the A’s were the team that signed Odom and was the team he played with the majority of his career.

The catcher who has caught the most no-hitters is former Georgia Tech All-American Jason Varitek. He was behind the plate for Boston for performances by Hideo Nomo, Derek Lowe, Clay Bucholz and Jon Lester.

Wonder how many more no-hitters we will have this year?

Contact Bobby Pope at bobbypope428@gmail.com

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