On May 26, 1956, Johnny Klippstein, Hersh Freeman, and Joe Black combined to no-hit the Milwaukee Braves for 9 2/3 innings, but the Redlegs lost the game, 2-1, in 11 innings.

The Braves scored their first run early. Starter Klippstein gave up a run in the second when he hit a batter and walked two before Frank Torre hit a sacrifice fly to give the Braves the lead. Klippstein walked seven in the game through seven innings before being relieved by Freeman in the eighth and then Black in the ninth.

The Reds tied the game in the ninth when Ted Kluszewski singled with two outs and Wally Post doubled home pinch runner Jim Dyck to tie the score at 1-1.

Jake Dittmer broke up the no-hitter with two outs in the tenth with a double off Black, but was stranded on base. The Braves won it in the bottom of the 11th when Hank Aaron tripled off Black with one out. The Reds intentionally walked the next two hitters before Torre singled to right for his second rbi of the night and giving the Braves the win.

Interesting fact for the game…the Reds used lefty slugging first baseman George Crowe to pinch hit for rookie outfielder Frank Robinson in the sixth inning of the game. The Reds were down 1-0 in the sixth inning with one runner on and no one out with right handed pitcher Ray Crone on the mound for the Braves. Crowe and Crone had been teammates in Milwaukee so there may have been some familiarity between the two. Robinson was a rookie, but Robinson was hitting .291 with eight homers at the time on his way to tying a rookie home run record of 38 and being named an all-star in his rookie season. Crowe was batting .279 with four homers as a part-time player. I don’t know how often a pinch hitter was used for Robinson, but I have to guess that manager Birdie Tebbets was looking for some sort of edge in the game to help Klippstein in his no-hit bid and decided to pinch hit for the rookie. Crowe flied to left and then was replaced by Stan Palys in left field who was later double switched out of the game.

Klippstein was 12-11 for the year with a 4.09 ERA. 1956 was his best year as a starting pitcher in the majors in a career that lasted 18 years. He had some very good years as a reliever in the 1960’s toward the end of his career. 1956 was Freeman’s best year; he went 14-5 with 18 saves, a 3.40 ERA, and led the league with 47 games finished in relief. Black was 3-2 with a 4.52 ERA in 32 relief appearances.