Sunday, July 20, 2008

50 Years of No-Hitters

It was 50 years ago today that Jim Bunning (pictured), then of the Detroit Tigers, tossed a no-hitter against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. It is significant in that it was the last time the Sox were no-hit on their home field.

Bunning, now a Republican senator from Kentucky and a Hall of Famer in 1996, also went on to throw a perfect game against the Mets at Shea Stadium on Father's Day in 1964. It was the first of just two no-hitters thrown at Shea (Bob Moose's gem in 1969 was the other). He became the second of four pitchers to throw no-hitters in both leagues (Cy Young, Nolan Ryan and Hideo Nomo are the others; Nomo just officially retired two days ago).

BTW, what do both of Bunning's no-hitters have in common? They were both first games of scheduled doubleheaders. Scheduled doubleheaders, you remember them, don't you? You mean you don't?

It got me to thinking about the other no-hitters the Red Sox have been involved in in the last half-century. So, here they are, all 10 of them, with five at Fenway Park and five on the road. (Seven by the Sox, three against them.)

At Fenway Park:
June 26, 1962: Earl Wilson vs. LA Angels, 2-0. (It was the first no-hitter ever by a black pitcher in the majors, and Wilson also hit a home run in the game.)
September 16, 1965: Dave Morehead vs. Cleveland, 2-0. (Losing pitcher was Luis Tiant, only 1,247 people witnessed it.)
April 27, 2002: Derek Lowe vs. Tampa Bay, 10-0. (Nearly 33,000 in the park that day, including me.)
September 1, 2007: Clay Buchholz vs. Baltimore, 10-0.
May 19, 2008: Jon Lester vs. Kansas City, 7-0.

Away from Fenway:
August 1, 1962: Bill Monbouquette vs. Chicago, 1-0.
April 27, 1968: Tom Phoebus, Baltimore vs. Red Sox, 6-0.
July 4, 1983: Dave Righetti, New York vs. Red Sox, 4-0.
April 22, 1993: Chris Bosio, Seattle vs. Red Sox, 7-0.
April 4, 2001: Hideo Nomo vs. Baltimore, 3-0. (Nomo's first start in a Red Sox uniform.)

This list doesn't include two other no-hit games the Sox have been involved in: Matt Young's no-hitter that he lost in Cleveland, 2-1 in 1992, and Devern Hansack's rain-shortened five-inning no-hitter in the final game of the year in 2006. MLB doesn't recognize any no-hit games that don't go at least nine innings anymore. (Young only pitched eight innings that day.) Don't ask me why.

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