The seventh no-hitter of the 2012 season was pitched by none other than Homer Bailey of my Cincinnati Reds! The Pittsburgh Pirates fell victim to the Reds pitcher, who walked only one batter while striking out ten. It’s the first Reds no-no since Tom Browning threw a perfect game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988.
Two Men, One Call, And A Game For Baseball History
by Armando Galarraga and Jim Joyce with Daniel Paisner
Grove Press, 2012
One of the most heartwarming stories of the 2010 baseball season was the almost perfect game pitched by Armando Galarraga. A blown call in the bottom of the ninth inning by umpire Jim Joyce cost the pitcher his place in the history books, but the events that followed the game brought special attention to the sportsmanship and integrity of both individuals.
In Nobody’s Perfect, Galarraga and Joyce trade off chapters, telling their personal histories, their journeys through the minor leagues, the disappointments along the way, and the joy of finally making it to the big leagues. Galarraga’s story has been told a hundred times over, but Joyce’s contribution to this book really make it an interesting read. It is not often one hears about the umpire’s life, from school to the minor leagues to the call-up. Joyce truly offers a fresh perspective on a life in baseball.
Of course, the impetus behind the book was that fateful night in Detroit in June, 2010. The night that the ump saw something different than everyone else in the world. The humility Joyce showed after the game in admitting that he had messed up, as well as Galarraga’s attitude of immediate forgiveness without qualification, showed that there is still some good in this world. Not everyone is so self-centered that they feel they are entitled to perfection, and both sides of this controversy beautifully displayed that fact.
This book was originally released as a hardback in 2011, but recently received paperback treatment with a slightly different graphic. It is an excellent book, highly recommended for any baseball fan.
Kevin Millwood was the starter and went six innings, but left the game with an injury. Five pitchers came in to complete the no-hitter for Seattle: Charlie Furbush (2⁄3 of an inning), Stephen Pryor (1⁄3), Lucas Luetge (1⁄3), Brandon League (2⁄3), Tom Wilhelmsen (1). The last multiple-pitcher no-hitter was also an interleague contest, when the Astros shut down the Yankees. No Houston pitcher went three innings in that game.
The first no-hitter in New York Mets history was pitched by Johan Santana tonight in an 8-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
With the tenth no-hitter in Angels history, Jered Weaver defeated the Minnesota Twins 9-0.
Only the twenty-first pitcher in history to pitch a perfect game,
joining a handful of Hall of Famers and a bunch of lucky guys.
Congratulations, Philip Humber!
Johnny Vander Meer’s Historic Night Under the Lights
by James W. Johnson
University of Nebraska Press, 2012
One of the most amazing feats in baseball history, Johnny Vander Meer‘s consecutive no-hitters may never be matched. Author James W. Johnson takes the reader on a journey through nine innings of unbelievable baseball as Vander Meer refused to allow a single Brooklyn Dodger hit. It was Brooklyn’s first ever home night game, Babe Ruth was in attendance, and there was electricity in the crowd. The rookie pitcher was unfazed, and with his family on hand, he made history.
Double No-Hit is more than a story about a single game, however. Johnson delights the reader with anecdotes about other players involved, both teammates and opponents, including Hall of Famers Ernie Lombardi and Leo Durocher. Vander Meer’s relationship with his manager Bill McKechnie and general manager Warren Giles is discussed, as well as the remainder of Vandy’s career and beyond. Johnson examines the pitcher alongside the careers of Nolan Ryan, Bob Feller, and other Hall of Famers. The author argues that Vander Meer’s case isn’t as bad as his 119-121 record implies, but his career statistics are well below Cooperstown standards.
In the epilogue, Johnson takes a look at other pitchers who came close to matching Vander Meer’s feat, the closest being teammate Ewell Blackwell nine years later when he took a second no-hitter into the bottom of the ninth inning. Minor leaguer Tom Drees pitched back-to-back no-hitters in 1989, but one of those was only a seven-inning game. On the major league level, it has never happened since 1938.
Double No-Hit gives modern fans a new appreciation for Vander Meer’s accomplishment. The backstory adds more depth to the game itself, while the post-game history allows you to enter the pitcher’s mind and see his career as he saw it. A great read, recommended for fans of the Cincinnati Reds and baseball history.