Tag Archives: pitching

MLB Opening Day: The Only No Hitter

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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Top 3 Moments in June “The Greatest Month In Sports”

It’s July and that means one thing the greatest month in sports is over, for this year at least. June has held a big place in sports for many years now.  I personally consider it to be the most memorable month in sports every year.  No one can forget the O.J. Simpson bronco chase in June of 1994. Other unforgettable images pop up as well.  Michael Jordan winning his championships with the Chicago Bulls and sealing his place on sports history.  The Stanley Cup classics with greats like Wayne Gretzky capturing the cup numerous times for the Edmonton Oilers in the 1980s. Numerous World Cup soccer competitions had their start in June and also brought many memorable moments with them.  Major League Baseball has some of its most exciting games matching up teams from the N.L. and A.L. in inter league play.  There have been so many great things that occurred during this month.  So I decided to give you my top 3 moments for this past month.  Let’s take a look…

#1- LEBRON JAMES WINS HIS FIRST NBA TITLE (June 21st, 2012)

Lebron James celebrates with the Miami Heat.
(Getty Images)

After 9 seasons in the NBA Lebron James showed the world that he was in fact a champion.  The Miami Heat defated the Oklahoma City Thunder and their young rising superstar Kevin Durant in 5 games to win the NBA Title.  This Miami Heat team was heavely favored going into the season to take the title.  They had some rough moments in their Eastern Conference Finals series against the Boston Celtics but they came out on top and advanced to their second NBA Finals in a row.  Lebron showed a level of play and maturity like we have never seen from him before.  Lebron can have a nice relating summer and pick up the pursuit of more NBA Titles in the fall.

#2- THE LOS ANGELES KINGS TAKE THE STANLEY CUP (June 11th, 2012)

The Kings shocked the world this year in the NHL Playoffs.
(Getty Images)

The surprising L.A. Kings won the Lord Stanley’s Cup in 6 games over the New Jersey Devils.  This Stanley Cup victory will never be forgotten by the hockey world or the sports world for that matter.  The city of L.A. needed this victory at a time when the Lakers and Clippers both were knocked out of the NBA Playoffs early.  The city of L.A. got red hot over the Kings outstanding postseason run.  Many casual fans that disappeared when Wayne Gretzky left the team for the Rangers in the late 90′s were back.  The American Hockey scene needed this victory as well.  This could spark excitement and push the sport even further in the American Culture.

#3- MATT CAIN’S PERFECT PERFORMANCE (June 13th, 2012)

The Giants Matt Cain pitching perfection.
(Getty Images)

On the 13th of June the San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain threw baseball’s 22 perfect game ever.  This was the second perfect game this season, Phil Humber of the White Sox threw a perfect ball game in April against the Mariners in Seattle.  Matt Cain’s perfect game ended in a score of 10-0 against the Houston Astors.  Stat wise this could be considered one of the best perfect games ever.  Matt Cain struck out an impressive 14 batters during the game.  A feat which had only been done one time before when Sandy Koufax threw a perfect game in 1965.  The great game had a great moment at the end when Cain met his wife in the dugout to celebrate his history making performance with her.

Perfect Phil

The White Sox Phillip Humber throws MLB's 21 prefect game.
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Chicago White Sox pitcher Phil Humber pitched his way into the history books on Saturday.  Humber pitched the White Sox to a perfect game win over the Seattle Mariners with a score of 4-0.  Humber amazed the baseball world with incredible pitching against a decent Mariners ball club.  He performed this incredible feat in just 96 pitches and had 9K’s.  This was his first win of the season, and what a great way to way to do it.

Humber is probably the last guy anyone would have expected to throw a perfect game.  He went 9-9 last year with a 3.75 ERA in his first full year in the show.  He was drafted 3rd overall by the Mets in 2004 and had elbow issues by 2006.  He was bounced around the league for a few years and ended up in Chicago off of waivers in 2011.  Humber’s performance is inspiring due to the fact he underwent Tommy John surgery 7 years ago.  Many pitchers never return to for or develop into a player that can perform such a feat after major surgery on their arm.

Here are some facts of where this perfect game sits in the history books.  This was just the 21st perfect game in MLB history.  The first one since the Phillies Roy Halloday did it in 2010 against the Florida Marlins.  It just the 7th perfect game ever pitched on the Road. The most impressive stat of them all is he did it the earliest in a season ever.  Beating the previous record of April 30th by Charles Robertson in 1922.

This season has been very entertaining already, and it isn’t even May yet.  I am sure we will see more history going forward.  As far as Humber goes, he is in for a wild ride.  He will be followed very closely the rest of the year to see how he fares during the grueling season.  Can he do it again? That is going to be the fun question that we will be waiting to find the answer to.  All eyes will be on him during his next start against a Boston Red Sox club that has been struggling this year.  No matter what he does for the rest of the season he has made his mark, and his outing on Saturday will never be forgotten.