May 2 marks the anniversary one of the most remarkable events in Reds history. On May 2, 1917, Chicago’s Wrigley Field hosted the only “double” no-hitter in major league history.
Reds’ ace Fred Toney outdueled Cubs’ ace Hippo Vaughn, 1-0, as both pitchers held the opposition hitless for nine innings. The Reds finally broke through in the top of the tenth scoring on a couple of hits after Vaughn recorded the first out. Toney finished his no-hitter by retiring the Cubs in the bottom of the inning.
The “double” no-hitter game was recorded as a double no-hit game until 1991 when Major League Baseball changed the rules stripping pitched games of no-hit status if batters hit safely in extra innings. (This rule change also stripped former Red Harvey Haddix of his 12 inning perfect game for the Pirates when he lost in the 13th to the Braves, 1-0, in 1959.)
The Reds are credited with 15 no-hit games, the most impressive being Tom Browning’s perfect game in 1988, the last no-hitter hurled by a Reds pitcher. The Reds have been victimized ten times since 1875.
Here’s a history of Reds No-Hit Games
- August 26, 1884 Dick Burns of the Cincinnati Outlaw Reds in the UA defeated the Kansas City Unions, 3-1. Burns won 25 career games. He was 23-15 in the Union Association and 2-12 for his career in the National League.
- October 15, 1892 Bumpus Jones beats the Pittsburgh Pirates, 7-1, in first career game. Bumpus only gets 2 career victories. It is the last game in major league history where the pitcher’s line (now the rubber) is as close as 50 feet to homeplate.
- April 22, 1898 Ted Breitenstein beats the Pirates, 11-0 (his second career no-hitter). Breitenstein wins 160 career games.
- July 12, 1900 Noodles Hahn beats the Phillies, 4-0. Hahn’s second major league season.
- May 2, 1917 Fred Toney beats the Cubs, 1-0, in 10 innings. The Cubs’ Hippo Vaughn also holds the Reds hitless through nine innings before the Reds breakthrough. Toney holds the minor league record for the longest hitless game. He pitched 17 no-hit innings for Winchester to beat Lexington in a Class D Blue Grass League Game in 1907.
- May 11, 1919, Hod Eller beats the Cardinals, 6-0. Eller, ace of 1919 World Series champions, has a career that lasts five seasons.
- June 11,1938, Johnny Vander Meer no-hits the Boston Braves, 3-0
- June 15, 1938, Johnny Vander Meer no-hits the Brooklyn Dodgers, 6-0, the second of his consecutive no-hitters. It was the first night game in Ebbets Field history. Following his second no-hitter, Vander Meer politely declined the Reds’ request to change his uniform number to “00.”
- May 15, 1944, Clyde Shoun no-hits the Boston Braves, 1-0. Shoun, a career reliever, became a starting pitcher during the war years and tossed the no-hitter in his first start of 1944. He pitched in 454 career games over 14 seasons. Shoun outduels Braves pitcher Jim Tobin who had tossed a no-hitter himself three weeks before. Tobin was the Braves only baserunner of the game, reaching base on a walk. The winning run comes on a homer by shortstop Chuck Aleno, a .165 hitter in 1944 who never hits another homer in the majors. The Reds’ Bucky Walters had held the Braves to one hit the day before.
- June 18, 1947, Ewell Blackwell no-hits the Boston Braves, 6-0. Four days later, Blackwell comes within two outs of duplicating teammate Vander Meer’s double no-hit accomplishment, when he goes 8 1/3 hitless innings before giving up a single to the Dodgers. The Dodgers’ only hit was a ground ball that went through Blackwell’s legs in the ninth inning.
- August 19, 1965, Jim Maloney no-hits the Chicago Cubs, 1-0, 10 innings. It’s his second 10-inning hitless performance of the season (see below for more info). Maloney walked 10 and struck out 12 in the game.
- July 29, 1968, George Culver no-hits the Philadelphia Phillies, 6-1. Culver, like Shoun, is a career reliever. Culver hurls a no-hitter in his one season as a starting pitcher.
- April 30, 1969, Jim Maloney no-hits the Houston Astros, 10-0, his second career no-hitter. Maloney struck out 13. The Astros’ Don Wilson no-hits the Reds the very next day. Two game series, two no-hitters.
- June 16, 1978, Tom Seaver no-hits the Cardinals, 4-0. Seaver had made it into the ninth three times with the Mets without allowing a hit, but this was his only no-hitter.
- September 16, 1988, Tom Browning hurls a perfect game vs. the Dodgers, 1-0
Shortened No-Hit Games (not official no-hitters)
- September 23, 1893 (2nd game, 7 innings), Elton Chamberlain no-hits the Boston Beaneaters, 6-0. The game was called due to darkness.
- August 24, 1906 (2nd game, 7 innings, Jake Weimer beats the Brooklyn Superbas, 1-0. The game was called due to darkness.
Reds No-Hit Games broken up in extra innings
- May 26, 1956, 11 innings – Johnny Klippstein (7 innings), Hersh Freeman (1 inning), and Joe Black (3 innings) vs. Milwaukee Braves. Braves won 2-1 in 11 innings; Black surrendered a double with two-out in 10th, and two hits in the 11th. Smoky Burgess was the catcher in the game for the Reds. Burgess has the distinction of having caught two extra inning no hitters in Milwaukee in which his team lost. He was also the catcher in Harvey Haddix’s 13 inning loss for the Pirates to the Braves after pitching 12 perfect innings.
- June 14, 1965, 11 innings – Jim Maloney pitched 10 no hit innings before allowing home run in the 11th to lose to the Mets, 1-0. He allowed one more hit. Maloney strikes out 18 during the game.
Pitchers who no-hit the Reds:
Tony Mullane (Louisville Eclipse, 1882), Ed Seward (Philadelphia Athletics, 1888), Cy Young (Cleveland Spiders, 1897), Jeff Pfeffer (Boston Doves, 1907), Tex Carleton (Brooklyn Dodgers, 1940), Lon Warneke (St. Louis Cardinals, 1942), Ken Johnson (Houston Colt .45’s, 1964), Don Wilson (Houston Astros, 1969), Ken Holtzman (Chicago Cubs,1971) , and Rick Wise (Philadelphia Phillies, 1971). They were no-hit in two shortened game, Fred Frankhouse (Brooklyn Dodgers, 1937) and Larry McKeon (Indianapolis Hoosiers, 1884). They were no-hit through nine in one extra inning game (Hippo Vaughn) as mentioned above.
Information about the no-hitters and players was found from several sources: “This Day in Baseball” by David Nemec and Scott Flatow, the great “Redleg Journal” by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder, baseball-reference.com, and even wikipedia.org.