CLEVELAND – Despite a decades-long drought at the World Series, the Goalies are no strangers to the pleasure of finishing a game without a hitter.
Guardians fans have seen some of baseball’s best players throw a no-no while wearing a Cleveland uniform – and some less likely candidates as well. That’s the beauty of baseball. Any launcher can conjure up the magic of a game and achieve one of the game’s rarest achievements.
MLB.com looks back on all the hits in Guardians franchise history.
May 15, 1981: Len Barker
Indians 3, Blue Jays 0 (Perfect game)
Barker completed the organization’s perfect second game and 10th in Major League history, leading the team to victory at Cleveland Stadium. The 6-foot-5 right-hander has never hit a three-ball count against a Blue Jays hitter. Barker has also recorded seven strikeouts in the last 11 batters faced. The Barker Jewel was the first pitched by a pitcher who did not come to bat during the game, with the American League adopting the designated hitter in 1973.
“I meet people almost every day who want to talk about it,” Barker said in 2006. “Everyone says,“ You’re probably tired of talking about it. “I said, ‘No, that’s something to be proud of.’ It’s something special. “
May 30, 1977: Dennis Eckersley
Indians 1, Angels 0
Sporting News’ 1975 AL Rookie Pitcher pitcher of the year struck out 12 batters and allowed just two base runners for the second no-hit pitch of the 1977 season – the other being Jim Colborn of the Royals against the Texas Rangers on May 14. Eckersley, a 6-foot-2 right-hander from Oakland, conceded a walk to Tony Solaita in the first inning. Bobby Bonds reached the eighth on wild ground called the third strike.
The Angels failed to beat Eckersley, 22, wrote The New York Times about the future Hall of Fame, who was traded to the Red Sox before the 1978 season.
July 19, 1974: Dick Bosman
Indians 4, A 0
Bosman’s no-no stunned Athletics, who entered the four-game series at Cleveland Stadium on a five-game winning streak. Oakland, the two-time defending World Series champions, led by Reggie Jackson, could only achieve a Bosman pitch error in the fourth. Otherwise, the right-hander managed to turn the round on just 79 pitches, striking out four. The A’s best chance to spoil the hit came with Pat Bourque’s bat, whose right-flying ball was knocked over just off the wall to the right, allowing outfielder Charlie Spikes to grab. Bosman dealt with the A’s in the ninth, removing Billy North on strikes to end the game.
“It was a masterpiece,” said teammate Gaylord Perry. “He missed the strike zone with just 19 shots, and it’s amazing.”
Oakland, however, came away with the last laugh, winning their third consecutive World Series later this season, beating the Dodgers in five games. The tribe finished in fourth place in the AL East, 14 games behind Baltimore, the first place.
June 10, 1966: Sonny Siebert
Indians 2, Senators 0
Siebert’s seven-hit performance against the Senators may have been the culmination of St. Mary, Missouri’s double-all-star game. by shortstop Chico Salmon in the eighth. Siebert entered the game with a 4-3 record but hadn’t registered a win for nearly three weeks. In friendly jokes with his wife, Carol, he promised he would make history before he got home.
“I wasn’t doing so well and she was laughing at me for being bombed so much,” Siebert said. “Promise me you’ll let go and I’ll throw a hit.”
July 1, 1951: Bob Feller
Indians 2, Tigers 1
Eight-time All-Star and World Series winner Feller, Hall of Famer for Cleveland, threw his third and final without a hit. In doing so, he joined Larry Corcoran and Cy Young as the only pitchers – at the time – to complete three no-no’s. The 6-foot right-hander struck out five at bat and walked three. Tigers shortstop Johnny Lipon scored the team’s only run after committing a mistake and turning on a sacrifice fly. Feller would go on to throw five more seasons for Cleveland, retiring at the age of 37.
June 30, 1948: Bob Lemon
Indians 2, Tigers 0
The 1948 championship season marked Lemon’s first full season as a pitcher from a utility outfielder. He became No. 2 in the rotation behind Feller. Hall of Famer Lemon struck out four strikes and three goals against Detroit, and the right-hander earned his 11th win and fifth shutout of the season.
July 10, 1947: Don Black
Indians 3, A 0
Black was no stranger to non-hitters and had even pitched two in the minor leagues as a member of the Philadelphia Athletics organization. Black was traded from A’s to Cleveland in 1946 and was eagerly awaiting a chance with his old team. Even a 45-minute rain delay couldn’t stop Black, who walked six and struck out five strikes for the very first no-hit pitch at Cleveland Stadium. The right-hander helped his cause even further with a pair of hits and an RBI.
April 30, 1946: Bob Feller
Indians 1, Yankees 0
After losing two starts to begin the 1946 campaign, critics began to believe that Feller may have lost his fastball during wartime service with the Navy (’42 -’44). But Feller, 27, silenced those criticisms with a game against the Yankees in 11 strikes and five walks – scoring the first to do so as an opposing team at Yankee Stadium.
According to ESPN Classic, Yankees slugger Joe DiMaggio complimented the feat: “Feller was as great as he ever was. He deserved the hit.”
April 16, 1940: Bob Feller
Indians 1, White Sox 0
Cleveland opened the 1940 season with a trip to Comiskey Park, and the result was a record that stands to date. Of all the hits thrown in the major leagues, Feller’s first remains the only one thrown on opening day. It was a cold and windy day. Feller, who was 21 at the time, ended up walking five and three on catches – a performance he later admitted he struggled to grab the ball.
“He always said of his three games without a hitting, that day he had the worst of the three,” Bob DiBiasio, longtime public relations manager at MLB.com, said in 2015.
April 29, 1931: Wes Ferrell
Indians 9, Browns 0
When Ferrell took the hill against the struggling St. Louis Browns, Major League Baseball hadn’t seen a draw in the past two seasons. It was also the first no-no at League Park since Addie Joss for the almost 21-year-old tribe to the day. Ferrell nearly lost the no-no to his own brother, Rick, who burned a ball along the third baseline that passed a diving Johnny Burnett. Shortstop Bill Hunnefield backed the play, and his pitch knocked first baseman Lew Fonseca out of the bag and the play was called an error. Ferrell also helped his own cause, finishing the game with four RBIs, a double and a two-run homer in the fourth.
September 10, 1919: Ray Caldwell
Indians 3, Yankees 0
Only three starts after being struck by lightning, Caldwell continued his formidable 1919 run with Cleveland by throwing a hit against his longtime former teammates at the Polo Grounds. The 3-0 victory sparked a mid-September streak for the tribe of 12 wins in 13 games. Caldwell was released by the Red Sox earlier in the season with a 7-4 record but went 5-1 with a 1.71 ERA for the remainder of the season with Cleveland.
April 20, 1910: Addie Joss
Nap 1, White Sox 0
Joss became the first pitcher in MLB history not to hit the same team twice, a feat that hadn’t been matched until Tim Lincecum failed to hit the Padres in 2013 and 2014 for the San Francisco Giants. White Sox hitter Freddy Parent hit a third-place ball that was not lined up cleanly by Bill Bradley and was initially considered a hit. The call was then changed to an error. Joss, 30, would throw his last big league pitch about three months later. He died the following year from meningitis. Joss was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1978.
October 2, 1908: Addie Joss
Naps 1, White Sox 0 (Perfect game)
Joss’ biker jacket was the second ever launched in the modern era. The Naps had to face Hall of Famer Ed Walsh – who arguably had the best game. Walsh struck out 15 batters and allowed one unearned run on four hits. Joss stoked three, but the White Sox had no answer for him. Joss finished the game on just 74 shots. The Naps finished 90-64 and half a game behind Detroit, which lost to the Cubs in the World Series. He was the closest Joss to ever come to a championship.
September 18, 1908: Dusty Rhoads
Nap 2, Red Sox 1
Just weeks before Joss pitched his perfect match, Bob “Dusty” Rhoads kicked off the organization’s first hitting-free game with a 2-1 win over the Red Sox. The win helped Rhoads improve to 16-12 – he walked two and struck out two on holds. It was perhaps the highlight of the right-hander’s career, which ended the following season.