The opening day of the baseball season has been filled with historic moments and happenings. Moments like Hank Aaron tying Babe Ruth’s home run record and Ted Williams hitting .449 in all of his opening day game appearances. One of these milestones happened in 1940 and has yet to be repeated on the day that starts the long baseball season, a no hitter.
On April 16, 1940 at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Hall Of Fame pitcher Bob Feller made the history books when he threw his first no hitter. Completing a no hitter as a pitcher is incredible enough but there is another element that makes this feat even more incredible, this is the only occurrence of a no hitter on Opening Day. On that day Feller pitched his Cleveland Indians to a 1-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox. The eventual game winning run was scored by the Indians in the 4th inning when Jeff Heath scored on a Rollie Hemsley hit. The losing pitcher that day was Eddie Smith.
Bob Feller would have two more no hitters in his career before he retired in 1956. Those came in the 1946 and 1951 seasons against the Yankees and Tigers. Bob Feller was inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame in 1962. Feller amassed 266 wins and 162 loses and threw 2,581 strikeouts. An interensting note to his career is that he also threw 12 one hit games on top of his three no hitters.
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The game of baseball is the only professional American sport without a clock to time the play. In the vast history of baseball many games have gone on for hours while some have been completed in less than an hour. One game holds the Major League record for most innings played.
The game took place on May 1st, 1920 in Boston at Braves Field. The teams that day were the Brooklyn Robins (Later known as the Dodgers) and the Boston Braves. This record setting game consisted of 26 innings and ended in a tying score of 1-1. The game was called due to darkness. The starting pitchers were Leon Cadore for the Robins and Joe Oeschger for the Braves. Both pitchers played the entire game which by today’s standards is a heroic feat.
While it holds the record for the most innings it does not hold the record for actual time. The game was called at 4 hours and 50 minutes after the first pitch. In the history of the Major Leagues games have gone past 22 innings less than ten times. The most recent of those was in 1989. It is safe to say that this game has stood the test of time and will continue to hold this amazing record for many decades to come.
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